If you’re looking for a magic pill, or cream, or something, then you’re in the wrong place. I’m here to be honest. It isn’t always easy, although it is simple. It isn’t an overnight transformation – not the effects on your body, and not the effects on your mind. You have to be patient with yourself. You have to forgive yourself – and sometimes you have to forgive other people who may not deserve it. This is about you.
Best of all, guess what? It doesn’t have to cost a fortune! In fact, it doesn’t have to cost much of anything!
Eight weeks ago, I joined a Fitness Challenge group on Facebook which was run by my good friend, Nicole. I had no access to a gym and no money to buy fancy shakes or programs or supplements. I didn’t even have any sort of equipment. Nicole announced the challenge and I joined on a whim. I knew that I needed a change. I bitterly missed being able to take my camera to local parks. I missed being autonomous. I missed being active. I had no faith in myself. I didn’t even expect to finish the challenge. Not only did I finish, but I was the points winner!
I started with a free app on my phone called MyFitnessPal and the free thirty day trial of Daily Burn (tablet, smart phone, laptop, smart TV… frickin’ anywhere). It’s only about $13 a month after that, so if you feel like you still need it and you can afford thirteen bucks, keep on with it. There are a ton of great programs on there, for almost any fitness level.
I chose the True Beginner program, because I had been so stagnate for 6 months. I wanted all the points available in the challenge, so even though the daily workout is only a half hour, I would do it twice. At first, I needed hours to rest up in between. By the time I cancelled my Daily Burn subscription (more on that in a later post), I was doing three of them back to back.
I made myself eat 4 times a day: a breakfast of a scrambled egg on a whole wheat light English muffin or a whole wheat thin bagel. My first snack was a smoothie, every day. I used my old blender – sure, it’s a pain to clean if you aren’t blessed with a dishwasher, but it won’t hurt ya. The smoothies were just Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt, about a cup of frozen no sugar added fruit, and a handful of veggies and healthy greens, like spinach. My lunch was a salad. And no, I haven’t given up my delicious salad dressing. I use Ken’s Lite Honey Mustard and it is delicious and you can’t take it away from me. Sometimes I toss a boiled egg in there. With the yolk. Yes, you can do that. Dinner, typically, is a protein and a veggie (I’m a diabetic, I try to get my carbs in early, when I know I’ll burn them off.) I also keep walnuts or cashews around if I need an extra snack – just measure them out.
I want to make this very clear: the amount of money that we spent at the grocery store did not change. We purchased different items. Healthier items. In fact, I eat more now than I did before, and we spend about the same amount of money. My next post will be be a breakdown of exactly how inexpensive it can be to eat better, healthier food.
After the first four weeks, I wasn’t seeing any results on the scale at all. It didn’t make sense. Everybody says, “Calories in, calories out”, right? Nope. I cut my insulin by just 4 units, and the scale moved. Four more, and the measuring tape moved. By the end of the challenge, I had reduced my total insulin by about 14 units and my blood sugar is not only still controlled – it’s better than it was before I reduced the insulin! (Please consult your doctor before changing your medication.)
Paul started occasionally working out with me, and then I found a nearby walk/run/bike trail. We went for a walk on it, which turned into jogging, which turned into training for our first 5k. As soon as I decided to do the 5k, my knee messed up! So I spent the last two weeks of the challenge trying to work around a bad knee and finding ways I could work out that wouldn’t require any significant weight-bearing on it. You can do it, it’s totally possible.
At the end of the challenge, I had lost 6 pounds – and 6.5 inches. An inch off my waist, an inch off my hips, two inches off my bust (all back fat!) an inch and a half off my thighs and an inch off my arms.
Those results aren’t newsworthy. They’ll never be featured in a before-and-after advertisement for anything. But they’re real. They’re results. I’ve learned to celebrate every victory: when my morning blood sugar is particularly awesome, the fact that my new workout shorts are a large and not an extra-large, hooking my bra on the smallest hook (which is bitter sweet, bras in my size are expensive!!)
Celebrate everything. And for the love of all things good and holy, throw out your scale! It’s not about pounds, it’s about inches. It’s about how your clothes fit, it’s about how you feel when you look in the mirror. It’s about being healthy, about loving yourself, and about treating yourself and your body with respect.
Start now. Start today. Take this journey with me. Get off the couch, get off your phone. Get your shoes on, and get moving. It doesn’t matter where you start, or how slow you are. Stop being intimidated by all the B.S. that you see online – you don’t need that. Take a walk, eat a salad. Build from there.
I can do it, and you can, too.
Tell me your story in the comments below, or find me on Facebook!