Saturday, January 21, 2017

Taking My Body Back: Strength Over Numbers

Hello everyone!

Happy belated MLK Day! <3

I am writing this post on MLK day though I doubt this will be posted the same day. [The next best thing - this is getting posted on Women's March Day where women all over the US are marching for equal rights, ownership of our own bodies, etc]

I have been itching to write this post for a while but life gets in the way. I figured I would get to it today - on a day that honors a man who fought for love, light, and equal rights. 

I wanted to share a post on self-love and the new light shone into my life. No better day than today to share my update. And WARNING: This will be a long storybook post. 

Back in September, I started a post series called "Taking My Body Back" after gaining weight over the last few years. I was determined to lose weight to go back to my pre-Lupus body weight. That was my goal. I was very focused on the number and how the extra weight made me self-conscious. 

Since that post, I was not too good on following my goal of a great diet. I was exercising 3-5 days/week but was eating double after the gym, totally counteracting my gym efforts. I was also eating a lot more sweets than I should have and over-snacking at work out of boredom. 

In December of last year, I felt like I hit a "weight rock bottom" when I could not close my favorite pair of jeans. As I was progressively gaining weight, I was still able to suck in my tummy and close them. On the day of my friend's baby shower when I attempted to slip them on, no amount of sucking my gut in could get them to close. I was devastated. Reality hit me. I have definitely gained weight. My pants were getting tighter over the years and months, but now, they just would not close.

I gained 15 pounds in 3 years. Five pounds in 3 months. I was starting to get scared. I was losing control over my eating. And the more out of control I was, the more self-conscious I would become and the more I would eat out of stress and helplessness. I was spiraling in this hole of uncontrollable eating and unhealthy eating habits. 

Throughout all of this, I was still loving my gym life of Zumba. As much as I love my Zumba, it was taking a toll on my left knee making it painful to participate. What used to be the quickest, funnest hour of my day turned into a long, painful hour. 

I decided to switch up my Zumba days and do it every other day. I also wanted to take other classes at the gym such as strength and yoga/pilates. 

I wanted to be strong. I was becoming less focused on size and numbers and admiring bodies of strength. I wanted to be those women who were fit, those women who could do push ups and lift more than 20lbs.

My sad little deconditioned self could barely lift 10lbs. I can't do modified push-up to save my life. I was in bad shape. Part of it was me and part of it was the toll my Lupus took on my joints. I would say it was mostly me though.

Since late December, I have been working out 5-6 days/week doing Zumba and strength training. I may not quite be losing weight (yet), but I feel myself getting stronger. 

I can do ONE modified push-up now. LOL. That seems like a lame accomplishment but it is not to me. That is ONE more than I could have ever done before. 

In the last few weeks, I found the courage to take these classes. Before, I was too shy and scared to try something new (watch out for a future post on this). I am proud of myself for coming out of my comfort zone. I may not be able to lift as heavy weights as my fellow gym class attendees, but I am not in competition with anyone else. 

I am in it to win it for me. And winning means getting stronger, getting toned, getting fit and most importantly, getting healthy. In the last few weeks, I've been eating much healthier. My portions have even been better controlled. I am eating a regular size portion as opposed to my overindulging double. Once you take care of your body, the rest will follow.

I am not quite where I want to be yet, but I am taking my time. And as I take my time, I am falling more in love with fitness. It's crazy. I never thought I'd be a "gym rat" as my friends now call me. But I hold that title proud. There is nothing wrong in taking care of your body in a positive, healthy way. 

And I am happy to report, I tried on my jeans this past weekend...and they fit. My weight is the same, but it seems that my body is flowing in a better way than it used to. I still have my little baby belly but I feel like that will stay with me for a while. LOL. 

It's no longer about the number on the scale. To me, taking back my body means eating healthy, getting fit, feeling stronger and feeling the best I've ever felt in a long time.

So delicious, but so dang expensive!

Please remember that the most important thing that we can do for ourselves is to keep ourselves strong and healthy. If not for ourselves, for those that we care about - family, children, friends, loved ones.


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