A year ago I went for my yearly check-up and my Doc was concerned with my slightly higher than normal heart rate. Even though I tend to get very nervous at the Doctors, I still took this very seriously. With an extensive family history of high blood pressure and heart problems, as well as my own past with Preeclampsia, I didn't want to take any chances. I knew it was time to really kick things into high gear. I had already started working out again, but I needed something that was a little more structured. Enter Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. I'm pretty sure that if you're active in the blogging world, on Twitter, are into working out, and are on Instagram, you've probably come across at least a member or two of Kayla's Army. I purchased the BBG and started immediately. In the beginning I could hardly do 5 burpees without getting winded, I kid you not! But I made it through the program... not once, or twice, but 3 times through! And I loved to hate every second of it.
Last Holiday season I got into the best shape I had been in a really long time (after being about 2 months into the program) but after some issues with Endometriosis (I have it) and Holiday eating (I did it), I started to gain a little fat back. This started my struggle. I still continued with the program as I said above, but I never did hit that level of progress again. However, this past summer I achieved one very important goal - I got my legs in good enough shape to wear shorts in public! You have no idea how big this was for me!
Basically what I'm trying to say is that everyone has high points and low points. I'm lucky enough to have become one of those people, that despite the level of difficulty of the workout - I'm now finally on BBG 2 - I do truly enjoy working out for the most part. Unless I'm so sore I can't walk and feel like I'm dying, it really is never a chore for me. But I have had some lows as I've approached the very middle of my Thirties. Somewhere along the way after the holidays, I started eating in a way that totally threw a curveball at my already fragile hormones. The pudge around my middle that I worked so hard to lose, came back and so did my "love handles". The last several months have been a constant trial and error, trying to figure out what works best for me. My Hormones are out of balance and at this point I think I might be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, but I've found a great supplement regimen that seems to work well and am just fine tuning my eating. I'm thinking about trying Paleo at this point. I've dabbled for a while.
I even started running last spring, something I thought I would never do, and after a couple weeks into it, I really started to love it. I did it regularly all summer long and just a few weeks ago starting having issues with a high heart rate, lots of discomfort and my usual routine just not feeling good anymore (hence the adrenal fatigue). So I'm back to LISS and only running a few miles one day a week if I can. At the end of the day it's just as much of a mental battle as a physical one. I'm slowly learning to let go of my perfectionism and be happy with who I am. Which if you know me, you know is very very difficult. Right now I'm just happy that I'm happy 90% of the time. Even though I still haven't attained all of my health goals, I went from an Average Resting Heart Rate to an Excellent, almost Athlete's Resting Heart Rate! And this is the most muscular and healthy I've ever been in my life, despite the fat I still need to lose. My outlook isn't perfect all the time, and I do have my days. But I'm ok with that! So whether you're prepping to take the leap into a Fit lifestyle, are currently a Fit Girl or are dealing with a low right now, here's my personal advice....
1. Progress is Progress. It doesn't mean it's ok to excuse multiple binges in a week, or not staying on your training schedule for multiple days - giving yourself a free pass. But sometimes life happens and we need a break. A break from the everyday, from ripping ourselves apart, from breaking and rebuilding our body, and from the mental taxing.
2. Everything takes time. Let go of your unrealistic goals. This was a tough one for me. I had these crazy goals in the beginning and they were so hard to live up to. I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself during an already vigorous lifestyle change. I learned to dream the big things, but make the small things attainable and be happy with it. Like wearing those shorts this past summer. I may not have been as fit as I would have liked, but I was happy with where I was. Sometimes that's ok.
3. Listen to your body. Don't push yourself so hard. I'm competitive even with myself. My perfectionism truly shines when I'm sticking to a schedule like the BBG. This is both good and bad. Good in the sense that I have no issue sticking to a 6 day weekly training schedule. But bad because I am really hard on myself all the time. Sometimes I push too hard and it ends up costing me a day. Especially with my current health hurdles. Listen to the signs, your body is pretty darn smart.
Never give up. I know it's hard. I know it hurts. And sometimes it's just not fair how hard you work and you're still not where you want to be. Everyone has a different body makeup and we all respond to food and fitness differently. You need to find a way of eating that makes you feel vibrant and healthy, not what fits the expectations of some dogma you might have gotten sucked into. Trust me, I've been there. If a workout plan isn't for you, find the plan that is for you. Find something that you look forward to doing even when it's hard. Something that challenges you and makes you feel strong. And don't stop until you find it. But never ever give up on you. You are worth way too much and are way too important to ever do so. Our bodies are the only place we have to live after all. ; )
I hope my little ramblings help you in a small way. I'm still learning about myself even at my age. Life really is a never ending lesson. It truly is. And I'm grateful for it =)