Let me start off by saying that I am on this crazy BeachBody journey that is blowing my mind and that is where the courage for this post comes from. For me, this journey has become more than losing weight. It is completely changing my mindset about so many things I believed about myself to be true!
I no longer want to be skinny, I want to be strong.
I no longer want to hide flaws, I want to share.
I no longer think that I'm average, I know I am more.
I no longer think that this is about sales, it's about helping others and helping myself.
The support that is flowing from this group of coaches and challengers is huge! People building people up. It's crazy awesome.
What's that got to do with stretch marks you say?
Well, here MY story that lead to BeachBody.
Chapter 1: Who likes middle school, anyways?
I always felt pretty wishy-washy about my body. During middle school I was unfortunate enough to get terrible stretch marks across my hips and inner thighs from puberty. They were terrible and noticeable. And it made me feel terrible and self-conscious.
Chapter 2: "The beach?? Nah, I hate the beach."
Well, they faded! Hooooray! Along comes high school. I was so self-conscious from middle school that I didn't go with friends to the beach for my ENTIRE freshman year. You guys, I live a mile from the beach. My excuses were lame. I didn't even own a swimsuit. I went shopping with some girlfriends one time to find a suit and I refused to come out of the dressing room until they resorted to crawling under the door- this was completely acceptable 14 yr old behavior!
Chapter 3: Frida's broken cookies for lunch
I was on the cross country team and ran 40+ miles a week, every week, year-round. Four years of that and I felt content with my body but I treated it so poorly. I would eat a pudding cup for breakfast (not kidding), have some chocolate chip cookies for lunch (I really wish I were kidding) and go run my heart out. But the running kept me fit and I was happy enough with it all.
Chapter 4: How much feta can I put on one salad?
College slowed down my metabolism (as did the buffet style meal-plan) but it was manageable and the weight fell off eventually. To be honest, I was having so much fun I didn't even know I had gained weight. By the time it came off after moving AWAY from my buffet style food was right around when I was realizing it was even there to begin with.
Chapter 5: Hello, tankini.
And then comes love and marriage and the baby carriage. Oh boy.
I have to be honest here, my entire life I could not wait to have children! I couldn't wait to be pregnant but mixed in there I had a terrible deep rooted fear about what it would do to my body. I wasn't scared of changes, or weight...I was deeply afraid of the stretch marks that I knew would be mine.
Once a stretchmark girl, always a stretchmark girl they say. I don't know if anyone says that actually. But I guess I do!
I made it really far. 8 months. Then one morning, there it was. One small mark. I HATED myself. I literally started crying and spent a few hours laying in bed and basically waiting for the rest of them. Pity party for one.
And then they came one after another. In two weeks I was COVERED. They spanned all across my stomach in every direction, over my hips, and one even on my back. (really skin?? Thanks for that!)
(Let me interject here and mention how dramatic this is sounding. Well, I'm only going to halfway apologize because although there are much, much worse things in the world, this is a TRUE feeling women get! I'm telling you- the pressure on women to hide flaws and be perfect is HUGE. It would be absurd to dismiss these feelings since it seems we have been trained to have them. Amen.)
Goodbye, self-esteem. Hello, tankini.
Chapter 6: Nip Tuck
After a year of moping I was determined to get fit! I had run three half marathons, a 10 miler, three 10K's.
I remember crying to my husband the same night after a half marathon (with a pretty decent time might I add 2:04:03) that I was disappointed in myself. Although I had trained and beat my goal time- I still didn't like the way I looked. I had honestly thought this would do the trick, just like it did in high school when I would eat a pudding cup and run it off, but that night when I looked in the mirror I still wasn't happy.
After a lengthy research on tummy tucks I told my husband that I was going to do p90x. P90x was currently on our shelf, where it had been for FOUR years, collecting dust. I figured if I did it, when the time for the tummy tuck came, I would be able to rest assured that I had done everything in my power to change my body and then I could content in my decision to opt for medical intervention. (I don't think I could have really gone through with a tummy tuck- but I DID use it as some solid motivation.)
Visions of P90x and when to start were swirling around my head right around the time I heard of challenge groups, Shakeology, etc. for the first time....
ALL over my newsfeed.
To be honest, I was pretty annoyed by it. But, I knew it was a "me" problem (thank you mental health grad school for this inner self-realization! lol). I was annoyed because I wanted to be doing it too.
It took me three months to decide to commit.
I knew the programs would work. I had tried p90x before and quit after 11 days because the program demanded results and WORK. But, to be honest, I had high doubts about Shakeology. But I figured investing some cash into Shakeology would force me to finish the program and eat healthy. Because if nothing else- I (and that hubby of mine) don't like to waste money.
The entire experience and balance of working out, Shakeology, nutrition, and accountability has transformed me!
I cant even really put it into words.
The pictures don't even begin to explain the changes on the inside.
I feel better than I have in years. Energy, confidence, motivation is UP!
Those love handles? I didn't even know I had those until they were gone- I was so focused on that baby belly of mine ;)
I am now onto my next program- T25 and an active BeachBody Coach! I get an awesome opportunity to help others get healthy (whatever that means- tone up, eat right, lose weight, gain weight) and in the process keep myself accountable. It. is. awesome.
The coaching journey begins...I'm currently running a few challenge groups, working on improving myself from the inside out and I am delighted to say this is a "To Be Continued".
I can't wait to see what comes next!