Sitting at the beach with my girlfriend Angie, on Tybee Island, GA around the age of 20, I thought to myself, "I wonder if I will ever be able to sit like her and feel comfortable?" She and I had been baking all morning on a super hot Southern day. I had made a practice of wearing a bikini (because that is what 20 year old girls do, right?), and not feeling comfortable in it. I had the habit of wearing clothes to the beach and on the beach and only de-robing when I was in a flat, laying down position. If I ran to the water, I hoped no one would look at me, and I would scurry back to my towel and return back to the safety of the horizontal positioning. I never sat up. I never got comfortable. I never let anyone see me on the beach, in a suit, moving around or sitting upright. I simply was not at all comfortable with it. My girlfriend Angie seemed naturally lean. She was comfortable in her skin and with her body. I saw it just as she sat up, crossed legged, just like I am sitting in the picture above. I never thought I would ever get to sit like she did that day, on a beach, unless I happened to be the only person there.
So I had my daughter take this picture above the other day, because I was outside sunning myself, thinking about how far I have come in my own Beachbody fitness transformation. I talk with coaches all the time who don't feel comfortable reaching out and building their business because they "have not lost enough weight yet." Do I look like Angie did that day on the beach in 1999? Heck no! I certainly have not achieved all of my goals yet. I certainly do NOT look like a fitness model. But here is what I have done, -I have lost between 50-60 pounds (it fluctuates), -I have quit drinking alcohol, -I have gained so much strength and endurance I cannot believe it, -I have completed my first half marathon, -I have birthed two children, -I have made 3 total and 2 international military moves and I have learned more about nutrition than I ever imagined I would, cleaning up my diet to pristine levels. I drink my water, I drink good tea, I drink shakeology (shameless plug: www.myshakeology.com/zenmamma) daily and never go more than one day off without working out. If I cannot sit in the seated bikini position with comfort after all of this for nearly two years of good choices, when will I?
Thing is, I know I will look better next year, and the following and the following. I have found a new lifestyle that kicks the pants off my old lifestyle. I study and care about what goes into my mouth. I do a lot of work on myself because I feel we all should do that for ourselves, honestly. So I did feel comfortable in that position. Sure, I still have a bunch of belly sag. Part of that is from massive belly weight loss. Part of that is from pregnancy. Part of that is from how hard I have been on my poor body in the first 30 years I lived in it. It is embarrassing. Not gonna lie. I really do feel like I should look like a fitness model at this point. But I don't and so what. I am healthy and getting healthier every day.
I am finding a new comfort and new expectations for myself. At the end of the day, if I have lived the very best I can, which I have recently, I am going to wear a damn bikini and sit upright and play sports on the beach and move around and if I jiggle and look awful all over the place, oh well! I have decided to leave my house in a bikini the next time I go swimming in public.
I was invited to a friend's pool the other day and I ventured into the haunted swim suit drawer and pulled out a bikini. I have always wanted to wear one for the past 10+ years, but only ever do when I want to get sun completely alone. I always opted for the one piece or tankini (Momkini) for the past 5-10 years. I started out in a bikini and took it off. I still was not comfortable moving, upright, sag flowing freely with every move or bend over, rolls for miles in my mind. Am I that woman who had a considerable weight loss and still sees herself as nearly 200 pounds? Or do I just still have more work to do before it is appropriate to actually don a bikini in public?
Some might say "honey, you are 34 years old, put the bikinis away already." Oh and I love when women say, "you should NOT feel like you will ever get into your old body again, get your body back or fit into the jeans you wore before having children." Frankly, that thought and those statements really piss me off. Structurally, our bodies go back to the original skeleton within centimeters of the skeleton it was before bearing a child. I don't want women to get their "old body back," I want women to get in BETTER shape than they were when they were living it up in college or whenever, pre-babies! Hit me with your best shot, seriously, I think this is a hot topic and we are living a lie if we think we are not designed to look better at 40 than we did at 20. I look and feel better today than I did when I was in 10th grade, 16 years old. I am not exaggerating. I believe we are designed to get smarter, sexier, more beautiful, stronger and fitter with age. Anyone who feels otherwise is creating an excuse for themselves. At this age and in my life, I live excuse-free and have very little patience for excuses from others. Compassion? Got boat loads of it. I have suffered through spasms and pain from my low back condition. I have felt exhaustion, stress, allergies, sciatica, depression and asthma. I threw out all of those things and found solutions for each. Present me with your current situation, I will help you to no end to find solutions that work for you. Present me with your excuses and I will tell you to come back when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired and ready to rock this life. I will help you every single day at that point.
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This is me today (below). If you see me from one angle, sometimes I look fatter than another angle. Sometimes I look super fit. Sometimes I look like I did in my "before" photo. I have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks. When you see Beachbody transformations, please notice that these people are all awesome, all real and in process. There are very few transformation stories where the person receives HUGE results with ripped abs in just one round of a program. We adopt a way of life. We take several photos until that belly roll that exists post-weight loss is not showing so much. Everyone does it! We don't edit. We just choose angles. It is probably obvious, but I just want people to know. YOU CAN DO THIS! You can change your life. We are all human! We ALL have hardships. We ALL are in process, we all struggle daily, have sag and rolls and flab and battle our weaknesses. But we ALL have the responsibility to ourselves and our loved ones to honor and love our bodies the very best we know how and if we do not know how, it is our responsibility to learn. What is your best angle?
Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I love to connect with people, so please comment and email me and talk with me about anything I have written that might have spoken to you!