People often ask what is was that made me finally decide to lose weight, eat healthier & be more active. I've always given more of a generic answer like "I just decided one day I didn't want to feel the way I did anymore." or "I decided to stop wishing for what I wanted, stopped making excuses and went after it." While both of those hold truth for me, something I've never really told anyone, but kept more to myself was the real spark, the real catalyst for my changes.
One day I was playing with outside without daughter Lydia, who was between one and two at the time. She was her high energy, busy self, in her dress with her pale blonde hair and blue eyes. Always with that determined look and way about her. And it struck me. I loved her personality. However "little" she was her personality and resolve to go after what she wanted, even at that she, was BIG and strong. And I didn't want her to lose that. Because I don't remember having that growing up. That's when I knew. Knew I needed to make changes in myself. I wanted have that determination too and to show her that example from myself as she was growing. We all know growing up is hard, and you can end up losing your personality, the real you, in favor of what other people say is how you should be. It gets buried and we forget. I wanted to show her to grow up and stand up for who she is, what she wants and keep that determination strong no matter who says she shouldn't be that way. That women can be strong, and fit, and break the boundaries of what is set around them. To be different. And that's okay. No matter if it is different to everyone around you & they don't understand why you do it or who you are.
So that's what I did. Small steps. I joined weight watchers and lost about 50 with changes I made through that. Then I decided to make changes on my own to stop my unhealthy habits. Cutting out the diet sofa. The candy. Eating more whole foods, less processed & packaged. Drinking more water. Just eating better. I began moving more. I started running. Eventually I joined a gym for the first time in my 39 years. Started lifting weights. Changing the way my body looked, getting stronger. Prepping and competing in a body building bikini competition at almost 40 that tested my patience, my confidence. Putting me way beyond what I was comfortable with. And just a few months ago, training for and completing my first sprint triathlon. Something I NEVER imagined doing or that I could do. It was a huge test of my abilities as an athlete, my resolve. Proving to myself that my doubts in my abilities are wrong. All this made a huge difference in how I felt physically and mentally. In my heart and mind. And my confidence was slowly growing. Increasing. Letting my kids see that it was hard, but I wouldn't let that stop me. Setting an example for my kids as they grow. Making it okay to let them show they are unique individuals and they don't need to mold into what everyone surrounding them is.
So, all along it's been more than just weight loss. It's more about the body changes. The meaning has transformed along the path, just as I have internally and externally. It's about being stronger, body and mind. More independent. Being honest with myself and others how I think, how I feel. Pushing my boundaries of what I thought was possible. Believing in myself and what I feel in my soul. Not moving with the masses and often on my own because I can no longer follow or believe what isn't truly meant for me. And I hope Lydia and my boys can do the same. It's an incredible, scary, empowering feeling.