‘Remember why you started’
It’s what I wrote in my calendar every single day of this Challenge. I recently overcame a yearlong battle with devastating neurological Lyme disease. My subsequent paralysis and rehabilitation left me in a darker place than I like to admit. Coupled with my hypothyroid Hashiomoto’s Disease, it was a one-two punch that was crushing in terms of fatigue, joint pain and muscle weakness. I struggled through 50-hour + work weeks, and barely had enough juice at the end of the day to read a story to my four-year-old twins and put them to bed. Forget about playtime.
As I had a lifetime struggle with my weight, the loss of energy really took a toll on my fitness level, body fat composition which hovered at obesity levels, and self-esteem. When I received the 60-Day Challenge email, it seemed so promising. So full of light and optimism. I desperately needed some light.
I remembered the promise I made to myself and my babies in a hospital bed a little over a year ago. I promised if I was to get better, I would make up all the time I had lost with my boys when I was sick. Thank God, I did recover! With that promise in mind, I signed up for this Challenge. It was time to take back my health. I was relentless in my pursuit. Absolutely nothing was going to get in my way of getting healthy.
Day 1 I cut all sugar, dairy, alcohol, carbs, fast food, restaurant food, and anything I did not create in my own kitchen or buy at LifeCafe. I began the Detox program and reaped immediate benefits (12 pounds gone)! I supplemented my workouts with UCAN and took the scariest classes I could find with seriously twisted names like TCX and Insanity. Laurie C and Ali P pushed me, but I found great inspiration in their energy and appeals. “Can you give one more percent than last time”? Well, I wasn’t going to let them down!
I enrolled in Alpha Training with Cathy and Boot Camp training with Pete after work and after our family dinners at LifeCafe. As a self-conscious group participant and a generally introverted person, the small group intimidated me. But my instructors were outstanding! And an encouraging nod from a classmate meant something real to me. I went from 2x a week at the gym to 7+ sessions (thanks, kids club)! My AMR and RMR analysis allowed me to work efficiently, without wasting a precious minute.
Joining the Life Time Run Club was the best thing I ever did. I am not an impressive runner. Last place was my place. But this is the thing, as humbling (and embarrassing) as that was: Life Time Run became my lifeline. They lined up to high-five me at the finish line. They hugged me at races, and they became more important to my success than they will ever know.
About halfway into the Challenge, the dreaded plateau had arrived. The only way to continue the gains I had accomplished was to make a Herculean effort. I doubted I had the strength, but I was going to go for it!
And so for the final 36 days I set an alarm for 3:55am, fastened my headlamp, packed my backpack with a couple bottles of water and hit the trails. It was on those pre-dawn runs I sensed the collective encouragement from the other 60-Day Challengers. All of us would ultimately face this same wall of resistance at some point in our journey. They may not be physically with me on the trail, but in my mind’s eye they were right beside me. I was never alone; we were all in this together.
Now, if you ever told me I would be trail running solo, in the dark, at any point before this Challenge, I would have said you were a couple sandwiches short of a picnic! But with the Challenge as my catalyst, I found strength on those trails, and no one was more surprised than me.
Day 60 arrived, and my children brought home a simple and beautiful bracelet they made at school. Their loving gift reinforced all the reasons I joined this Challenge. I am just beginning this journey, but I’ve already enjoyed more Sunday Junior Chef and Dance parties with my twins than I have had in a year’s time. The light I found through the Challenge gave me back my energy and health. Every day I know that promise I made my boys is coming true. Mommy is back.
With Life Time Fitness, Run Club and my Trainer Pete by my side, I plan on working aggressively to maintain my health. I will be forever grateful for this experience.