Two years ago someone asked me what I would tell my 20 year old self. Without hesitation I responded ‘love your body’. In my 20’s I was a scale driven, calorie counting, cardio junkie who felt successful when the number on the scale dropped lower and lower. Today I realize that I wasn’t kind to my body, the number was never going to be small enough, and being skinny is not the same as being healthy and fit. But after having 3 babies in less than 5 years I was left with a body I didn’t recognize and I was desperate for the size of my pre-pregnancy body. I fell back into old patterns – calories and cardio, only this time it wasn’t working. It wasn’t fixing the areas that needed fixing. More importantly, I now had 3 daughters and I needed to set a good example.
Things began to change when I came across a picture of my friend on Facebook. She had posted a picture that stopped me in my tracks. She had 2 babies. She had lost 100lbs. She HAD abs! I had HOPE. Hope turned out to be named Craig.
In July 2012 I sat down with Craig to discuss my goals. I wanted 3 things. I wanted to fit into my ‘pre-pregnancy jeans’ (you know the ones made before they invented stretch lol). I wanted a ‘number’ on the scale. I wanted to be an example of ‘healthy, strong and fit’ for my girls.
My life changed after that meeting. Craig made me feel like my goals were attainable. I felt empowered. I felt focused. I felt in control for the first time in a long time. I had a meal plan and a training program developed specifically for my needs. I was eating more food in a day than I thought necessary but I was committed to following the plan that Craig had created. Weightlifting was new to me. Other than the circuit at the gym or some light weights added to a cardio class, I did not strength train. My training sessions felt intense. I felt weak and I hated that, but I was not giving up. Weight started to come off. I started to get stronger. Who knew that the cardio junkie would LOVE lifting! Craig constantly re-assessed where I was in relation to my goals and progress, and changed my training and meal plans accordingly. I achieved my first goal in December – I fit into the elusive pre-pregnancy jeans! The second goal is where things got dicey. I was within 2-3 lbs of that ‘number’ on the scale for about 3 months. I could NOT seem to let go of it! Feeling particularly frustrated after my weekly weigh in I commented that perhaps I just needed to give up the number and move on Craig’s response was FINALLY!!! I looked at him confused. He explained to me that I could NOT have the number that I wanted on the scale AND the physique I wanted to see in the mirror. They were not compatible. I had to sit with this idea for a while. Was the number on the scale more important to me than how I actually looked? I decided it was not. I trusted Craig. He knew what he was doing – my progress this far was proof of that. I agreed to change the path that I was on. I was not going to be anchored to the scale. So technically I did not achieve my second goal – I altered it!
Craig has been the best decision I have made for myself in a very long time. I learn from him every day. I have never been this lean, healthy, or strong. I have achieved my third goal! In the first 10 months that I worked with Craig I lost 30 lbs, improved my eating habits, my fitness level and my overall strength. But I am not finished. I am a work in progress. I have new goals. I am working towards a physique that I am excited about and that has nothing to do with a number on the scale. For the first time in my entire life I have NO idea what I weigh! It is liberating and scary at the same time.
I continue to train with Craig because he pushes me further than I thought possible. He challenges me each week to be better than I was. My progress drives me to want more. To be better. To reach higher. As much as Craig hates when I say that he is the reason that I have been successful – it’s truth! He has taught me how to eat to fuel my body. He has instilled in me the love of lifting. He is the reason that if I was asked today “what would you tell your 20 year old self?” I’d reply “wait til you see your 30 year old self” she kicks your ass!