A few months ago I set off on a journey to Finding My Healthy. My goal was to get stronger and be bolder while reinventing this new cancer-free, butt-kicking, life-loving “Me.” Let me introduce you to the “self” I am today.
It has been six months since I took the first step/ dive/ leap into this new adventure. I am stronger today than I was yesterday. Goal accomplished!!
You Have to Leave Your Old Self Behind
My first objective was to leave my old self behind and get stronger both physically and emotionally (being a Survivor is a challenge in itself). I started by finding a workout program that fit my schedule. I chose Camp Gladiator because of its mission to impact lives both physically and mentally with a communal approach. I mean, their motto is “Better Together”! How awesome is that! They offer a total body workout at your own pace and on your own time. That’s what I’m all about. Doing it my way (or is that Burger King?). You see how my mind works! Which is why I rely heavily on my accountability buddies. Not everyone has one or needs one, but for me, it works! And I have three!
Surround Yourself With People Who Will Hold You Accountable
My friend Kelly will text me if I miss a workout and will send friendly reminders about an upcoming event. And when we go to lunch it’s usually someplace healthy. My son, who is a true athlete and now a member of the Armed Forces, often goes with me to provide encouragement and drive me home in case I pass out (just kidding!) He is my motivator and inspiration. Even when he can’t go with me, his words still ring in my head, “keep going, mama. Don’t quit!” just like he did through my illness. During the CG workouts, my trainer, Bree (another accountability buddy) pushes me to work harder, encourages me to lift heavier weights, or when needed she reminds me to “take it easy” (I like that part).
The group style workouts are great! They bring out the competitive edge in me without having to actually challenge someone to a pushup contest. (although, just between you and me, there are a couple of people in the group that I try to outdo in the number of burpees, sit-ups, push-ups, etc.) Imagine me on my workout mat wishing they’d stop already because I’m not stopping until they do! There are friendly competitions within the group, and they make workouts a lot of fun. If you get the opportunity to try a “group workout” like Camp Gladiator, I highly encourage it!
Has it been easy? No. The struggle is real. My struggle has been finding the elusive “free time” and having the energy to do something with it. The holidays didn’t help. All the food! And the drink. Then more food. Then dessert! It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole surrounded by bottles (in my case wine) and food (chocolate cake) that says “Eat me/Drink me.”
It’s Okay to Say No.
I took a cheat month. And I loved it!
I’ll admit, I felt a little guilty at first but with the post-holiday roster of my life (family, work, volunteer obligations, etc.) slapping me in the face quietly screaming “Hey! What about us?” Something had to give. And it wasn’t going to be me (or my health). I decided to take it one day at a time. I only went to Camp Gladiator on the days that I could squeeze it in between other commitments. I took outdoor walks, dusted off the treadmill and exercised at home. It’s okay; you don’t HAVE to work out every day… but put down the cake!
Now that the holiday schedule is behind me, I’m back to training and hitting it just as hard! My goal towards competing in the CG Games is getting closer! And I’ll be ready! In my first eight weeks, I had lost 6 pounds and was maintaining my goal. Much to my surprise, even with my “cheat month,” I didn’t gain weight! My second goal was to strengthen my mind. And I did just that. The key is to be resilient and compliant with your body. Rest… then get back up. Remember, you’ve already made a commitment to a healthier you. And our “healthy” comes from within. Mind, soul, and body.
Being strong sometimes just means “Be the best YOU for right NOW.”
Thank you for following me on this journey. I may stumble, stop and rest, but I will always get back up. I am stronger and bolder than I was yesterday. I have a purpose and a voice. So do you.