It may sound weird, but this week I have been trying to find love for myself again. My Super Sweet Husband (Ty) says it’s important to love yourself most of all — and he’s right. For too long, I have been struggling. You see, when you go through a trauma like I have been through, it is natural to blame yourself — sometimes, even when it’s not logical (or correct) to do so. And that is the way I’ve felt for months. It’s been bringing me down.

In the spirit of recognizing progress, at least outwardly, I’ve got some to report! Today, it was fun for me to look back at some photos and be able to immediately see physical changes in only a matter of months. Brace yourself. This was me last December:

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In early February of this year, I decided I had to make some changes, and I have. I’ve been successful because I went into it embracing that it was a full lifestyle change, and not a short term “diet/exercise program.” I started eating clean again — I have done this on and off for many years, but haven’t always stuck to it for long periods of time. I tried to jumpstart my weight-loss journey by doing a Whole30, which is really a wonderful and fulfilling process. For 30 days, you strictly cut out every little bit of garbage from your day to day, and focus on fueling your body with the nutrients it loves.

I started working out again. Every. Single. Day. Rain, illness, exhaustion, time, etc. be damned. I became creepily obsessed with closing my rings on my Apple Watch – it’s given me a hilarious sort of purpose from the minute I wake up each day until I finally go to sleep at night. If those rings aren’t closed, I’m not allowed to get in the bed until they are.

Finally, I began counting macronutrients with the help of Coach Courtney at Of the Lion Fitness in Austin. Read more about macros at She Thrives blog – these ladies have really changed the way I look at how my body operates on an hour-to-hour basis. I’m never hungry because I eat every couple of hours, and I feel great 99.9% of the time. It’s the most sustainable dieting I’ve ever done, and I can even have wine! #priorities

Here is me 7 months later, 45 pounds lighter, countless muscles leaner, and with a smile on my face — in a swimsuit no less:

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Even though I still have a ways to go, I am happy to be a work in progress. I’m particularly proud of my shoulders — so take a look at this work out I did on Thursday night from Girls Gone Strong blog:

First, I ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill at a 2.0 incline – which got me over 3 miles! (Note: I could never have run this far without stopping even 6 months ago, but once I started shedding weight, everything started to become easier!) Then, I started on shoulders:

  • Seated Arnold Press: Perform 4 sets of 6-8 repetitions. Rest 60-90 seconds between sets.
  • Triset of these three exercises: Note: In a triset you perform one set of each exercise, one after the other, before taking a rest.
    • Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raise
    • Standing Bent Over Rear Delt Raise
    • Seated Single Arm Front Raise

Perform 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions, moving directly from one exercise to the next. Rest 60-90 seconds after each triset.

My diet has been the most important change overall, and I eat well 90% of the time. I try not to feel bad when I get a cheat craving, or overindulge every once in a while, even though that’s sometimes hard.

As I continue to tweak my physical body, I also work on my emotional self — both are important parts of leading a healthy lifestyle. The good news is that working out and eating healthy gives me a clearer mind, and helps me relieve all the stress. And you know what Coach Taylor and that (gorgeous!) Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights say about clear minds… If you don’t, what kind of rock have you been living under?! Grab the closest Hulu subscription, posthaste, and let the binging begin!

#clearmindsfullheartscantlose #workinprogress #coachtaylorismyhero

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Thanks for reading! Xo.

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