I am not that disciplined
I just don’t have the time right now
I can’t give up chocolate, cheese, or champagne never mind AND
I hate cardio
I can’t eat those plain foods EVERYDAY
My work schedule is too unpredictable and demanding
It is going to cost too much money
The physical preparation is too stressful
These were all thoughts flying through my mind in the seconds after a long time friend asked me if I would be interested in doing a fitness competition with her. It was the last week of July 2013 and the decision had to be made almost immediately as the competition was a short 13 weeks away. She asked because she knew I expressed interest in the past, but never made a commitment on my own.
She also listened to me on many occasions rant about how running 3 businesses leaves little to no time for any of my personal hobbies and interests and how one day I would probably wake up twenty plus years from now having dedicated every bit of my life to Integrity and having never taken the time to pursue all the activities I wanted to do along the way.
When she asked I felt my stomach turn, I so badly wanted to pursue this, but at the same time felt a deep guilt for time that would be taken away from the businesses, my family and friends and in that moment I felt what so many of the women that come to Integrity feel.
I’ve watched too many women over the past 8 years at Integrity jeopardize not only their health but also suppress their entire essence or soul in their quest to nurture everyone in their life. The result is always the same over time, deep resentment, depression or severe anxiety, and low self worth. I think we’ve all heard when you’re happy and healthy you are that much more effective at everything you do, and it does make sense, but truly believing it is a challenge for most.
Somewhere deep inside me a little voice was saying, “Do it, do it, do it!” Without the initiation from my friend, I doubted I would ever pursue it on my own. It afforded me an opportunity to do something for me, something she knew I not only wanted but also needed. For the next couple days the thought tossed around in my mind and I battled between what the spirit in me really wanted and what the guilt-ridden (often confused with responsible) part of me thought I should do. It was tough but I won, I said yes, made the commitment and here I am halfway through.
Some misguided friends at Integrity thought this Irish girl should share her story, so get comfortable because storytelling is kind of my thing and consider yourselves lucky I haven’t had a few drinks otherwise you’d be in for a novel. :0)
July 30, 2013: Age 29, Height 5’6”, Body Weight 140 lbs, Body Composition 25.7%, Pounds of Fat 35.9, Pounds of Lean Weight 103.6, Mental State: disappointed in myself but hopeful about my new adventure.
The first week was miserable, it’s like an addict weaning off drugs, in my case sugar and fats. I was starving, I had headaches, and my mood was terrible. I knew getting into this was all mind over matter. I was getting a beautifully balanced diet, just less all the toxic foods and drinks I mixed in with it daily. I remember Rocco taking the week 1 photos, looking at them and thinking “I don’t look that bad”. Denial is an interesting mental state. I knew for the past 6 months I was rarely consistent with my program and I consumed way more calories than necessary and that showed in the pictures.
Weeks 2 through 4 were marginally better. It takes a solid 2 weeks before your body even starts to change and even then the results were below my expectations based on the amount of suffering I was perceptually living in without booze, extra fats, sugar and salt. At the end of the first month, there was a glimmer of hope, my weight on the scale did not change dramatically, but my body composition did.
August 30, 2013: Body Weight 136, Body Composition 20.1%, Pounds of Fat 27.3, Pounds of Lean Weight 108.7, Mental State: mostly hostile with the chance of a smile.
Here comes September! I was beginning to truly enjoy my morning cardio. It allowed me a period shortly after waking to be outdoors, breathe, quiet my mind, and be mindful about each day. This makes me happy! What a difference compared to the Jillian who rolls out of bed and right into the rat race. It took me some convincing initially, but the world is not going to end if I take 10-15 minutes extra to start my day off burning up a little extra fat and everyone on my team would have to understand, and they did!
For my EZCoach program I am following a Simply Slender routine, which takes me about 45 minutes 3 times per week. Again, I needed to rally support from my team to understand that there can be no interruptions during my workout time and magically everything has been fine!
The food is becoming much easier; my brain understands we are eating to live, not living to eat. I am also realizing most of these guilty or negative thoughts I had were self-imposed. The entire Integrity Team was always supportive; it was me who thought that it wasn’t right for me to take a break to workout or sometimes even to eat, and for those of you that really know me even to pee! I learned to tone down the obsessiveness that wants to get everything done right away, and notice I am a higher performer and more productive with some balance.
By the end of September I am a new woman not only physically but also more importantly, mentally. I learned to say no without an ounce of guilt to Rocco, to our friends that want to wine and dine every weekend, and know that the awesome girls we have on our team are more than capable of taking care of the businesses without me for a few hours a week.
The moment I decided this was going to be my new direction, everything worked itself out without me even knowing how it would. It simply did because I truly wanted this; I deserved this, and I believed the outcome would only lead to something positive. My life could only get better by taking time to care for me, it couldn’t get worse.
I asked and I received, and I know I had the power all along it just took some time to overcome the fears of people thinking I was selfish, not being able to care for the people I love as attentively, and not doing my best at work. The reality is this journey made me better at everything I do because inside my spirit is uncontrollably ecstatic about life, my being is in alignment with what I want and nothing can stop me, except me. No excuses, no compromises, and especially, no shit from anyone!
October 1st 2013: Body Weight 132, Body Composition 16.7%, Pounds of Fat 22, Pounds of Lean Weight 110, Mental State: happy, proud of myself, balanced and peaceful. Oh, and the occasional thoughts of cinnabons dancing through my head.:0)
I am a few weeks away from the competition, if you enjoyed my tale I will be happy to share a few more laughs with you all after the show!
Integrity Health is a franchise company residing in New Hampshire. We specialize in health coaching centers combining fitness with weight loss to optimize and promote optimal health.