I don’t do this often, but I stumbled upon a friend’s blog post and felt compelled to share this with my readers! Some of you may know her, but most of you won’t. She has recently made a choice to change her lifestyle, and the amount of motivation and commitment emanating from her is so inspiring! I can talk all day long about how to get started, but my point of true change happened several years ago, and maybe for some of you it would be helpful to hear from someone who is just starting out. Much in the same way a couple might fall in love again at the memory of a first date, I am completely inspired by the memory of what it was like in the first moments of what is now my lifestyle. Sandra captures this moment so beautifully that it took my breath away and I had to share it!
Maybe some of you want to make a change but you’re afraid, or there’s something holding you back from moving forward–read what Sandra has to say about that!
TIME FOR CHANGE
Ok so here comes some hardcore truth. I’m spilling the beans and it won’t be pretty but it’s ok b/c I’m going to change that now and that is the beauty of it all. It is never too late to change. Thank Goodness!
So first some history and let me start by saying I had a great childhood so the following is more on the history of my knowledge of fitness and nutrition. I grew up in a Latin household eating all the rice, beans, maduros, and meat my heart desired. I had soda for breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and yep even before bed. Cookies, chips, Swiss rolls, cakes, sweet cereals were all easily accessible. Fruits and vegetables? Yeah, what are those again? It was bad but I don’t blame them. Food was a source of enjoyment, family time, reward, and success. Yes success. A full belly meant you had enough money to splurge on all the food you’d like and when the country you were born in has a low food supply the idea of limiting foods is unheard of, but abundance is a dream. So we live and learn and it’s time for change.
Fitness. Thank goodness for P.E. or I’d have never exercised a day in my life. I lived in a big city with lots of “bad” people, going out to ride bike was a big no no. My parents, God love them, didn’t care much for fitness. Going to the park, or riding bike, or even tossing the ball with me, was not a high priority and let’s face it it’s not like I asked either. So I watched TV, played with dolls, talked to friends, but there was very very minimal physical movement going on. In fact it was not till I was 16 and met the love of my life that I found out regular people go the gym. Gasp!!! Hysterical, or a bit sad, but true none the less. My husband (Alex) was a gym rat, well still is. I thought it was cute. “Awe look how cute he looks in jeans.”, “He’s so health conscious.” So we dated for a minute and soon after got married. That is where I met my first gym in Aventura, FL, Olympia Gym. Awkward? Yes, very. We went together and I got on most of the machines and did what I thought I was supposed to do. I realized I was pretty strong but my body didn’t really change. Since then I’ve been a member of at least 7+ gyms and I’ve learned nothing. Well I’ve learned a lot but not how to implement it or use it for MY benefit. I’ve lost 40-50 lbs and then gained them, then lost them again. I’ve lost biggest loser contests and I’ve won them. Yet here I am and I’m so tired of not knowing. Again, Time for Change!!!
Now comes the part so many don’t talk about. Recently some T.V. shows are bringing to light another incredibly important factor in your health. Emotion!! The psychology of why you are where you are and why you can’t get out of that vicious cycle. This is the hard part. I believe I actually enjoy working out. No, I know I do. Once I start there is a sense of accomplishment and instant gratification unlike so many aspects in life beyond your control. However there is this damn voice in my head that tells me now and then “Wonder what they think of me?” Wish she’d shut the hell up but no she’s there loud and clear and it makes me doubt myself, plays havoc with my self-esteem, and sadly makes me walk away. My constant wondering of how people view me and what I want people to view me as, has been my downfall in so many ways. It has stopped me from going where I’ve never been, reach new limits, and take certain risks. But worst of all it has stopped me from believing in myself. I valued others more than myself and let me tell you that is in most cases a fail fail situation. Instead of seeing myself as a possible inspiration to someone, I saw myself as the “fat” one at the gym. Instead of being proud of my workout, I criticized my form and performance. And before too long I had talked myself out of all the progress b/c for heaven’s sake someone in that gym may be laughing at ME!
It is not a good place to be and I’m still struggling with it. However I guess age teaches you a thing or two or you finally just stop giving a damn about a lot of things. I truly believe out of all 3 aspects in my life the psychological one has been the absolute hardest and most straining. Honestly I don’t even know why it is there. I can’t say I’ve had a lot of negative influences in my life. My parents love me unconditionally and I have a husband who adores me in ways I didn’t think truly existed. As for everyone else their views of me, or should I say the views I forced upon them of me, has built walls so high I can’t even measure them. So if I ever feel an instructor thinks I’m slacking (when I know I’m not) it has hurt me. Disappointing someone that I feel I need to gain the respect of is just not something I deal with well. I’ve never done well with people not liking me simply just because, however add the fact that I may care about that person and it’s just a blow to my ego that I have not been strong enough to overcome. Well it’s time for some real f’n change!!!!
I have, I think come to terms with who I am (it’s a work in progress). It happens a little bit more each day, month, and year. Now I’m truly ready to make the changes for me. It’s not just about changing my body anymore. It’s not about what society says I should be or look like. It’s about valuing myself and giving myself some damn credit. Dang it I am good enough and if you don’t agree with my effort well screw you because at least I’m putting effort. I’m doing this for me so your view is no longer my concern. So what if I don’t look the way I’d like in my workout cloths, so what if I shake as I push that weight, so what if my hair is all over the place, so what if I need a break or if I have to call it a day sooner than later sometimes. I’m giving it my best and I’m making this my life not a hobby. I have different goals so your generalizations do not include me. As for criticism, go ahead and offer it, but be constructive with it. I may do something b/c I’m injured or have limitations or am getting older (lol) however I will come up with alternatives and I will keep going. I’ve had a lot of positive influences in my life. A lot of support! However it is not till your mindset changes. Till you make the decision for yourself and no one else that you can finally succeed. This Change is for me because I’m ready and you can either guide me or get the hell out of my way.
Ok so maybe I still have to work on emotion a bit or a lot but you get the idea. Just like me I’m sure there are many. There are those who are lazy, those who have not committed, and those who are mentally weak. Help them and realize that all of the above, Nutrition, Exercise, and Mental health are dependent of each other. We don’t all have the same background, same will, same wants and needs. There are physical restraints that stop some, don’t roll your eyes, show them an alternative. I know some need more time than others but we all want to succeed we just need our minds to say,“It’s time!”