PR in a marathon.
A wise person once said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That very intelligent human being might have been referring to my history with weight loss. Doing the same thing over and over again and somehow still being shocked when I ended up right back where I started. I remember my first ‘diet’. I was barely in middle school and I had very skewed expectations for my body. Those expectations didn’t change as I got older. Most of my weight loss plans revolved around spring break or family vacation, an all or nothing approach where I pushed myself until the plane took off and then went right back to my old habits the minute my suitcase was unpacked. This yo-yo went on every year for nearly two decades. It messed up my body and it messed up my mind and as a 32 year-old woman, I put in work every day to not go back to that place.
Life Time and the 60day has played a huge role in helping me change my mindset when it comes to healthy eating and weight loss. To start, I need to acknowledge the incredible staff at my Plymouth location. Without their encouragement and resources, I would still be stuck in my old habits. For example, it was Sara Opara who suggested I try out GTX. I won’t lie, I had my hesitations. I was a ‘cardio junkie’, someone who would rather run 10 miles than ever lift a weight. But with Sara’s encouragement, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and joined Heather King’s class. And guess what? I love it. My body is changing in ways I’ve never seen before – I feel strong and it’s amazing. With Heather at the helm, I’ve pushed myself in ways I never would have on my own. Like the time I did 101 burpees. It wasn’t pretty but I did it. And you know what? It felt great.
Another major takeaway from the 60day? Accountability. Accountability from my trainers, accountability from the other participants, accountability for myself. I’ll admit, my first few weeks at Life Time were filled with intimidation. I didn’t know anyone and I felt out of place. Through my involvement in numerous 60days, that feeling has been completely replaced by comfort and accessibility.
Another major takeaway from the 60day? Accountability. Accountability from my trainers, accountability from the other participants, accountability for myself. I’ll admit, my first few weeks at Life Time were filled with intimidation. I didn’t know anyone and I felt out of place. Through my involvement in numerous 60days, that feeling has been completely replaced by comfort and accessibility. I schedule workout dates with other participants and meet friends for group fitness classes. I also started introducing myself to trainers and instructors I didn’t know. That’s how I met Shelley, the barbell strength instructor who has me racing out of the office every Tuesday afternoon to make her class. Fitting in these workouts has become a priority for me; during this challenge, I also wrote down every single one of my scheduled workouts and highlighted the ones I made it to. It added a new level of accountability that I had to control myself.
As you can see from my photos, I saw significant physical changes during this challenge. And while those gains should be celebrated, I do want to focus on the things you can’t see. I’ve struggled with mental health issues for the majority of my life — anxiety, depression, seasonal affective disorder. For the first time in a long time, I feel balanced and I know that relates directly back to my experience in the 60day. I’ve been reminded that my whole body responds well to regular exercise and healthy eating. In fact, this winter was the first time in my adult life where I felt significant control over my emotions – my SAD symptoms were much less noticeable and I’m not experiencing the mid-afternoon exhaustion that I had in years past. I genuinely think I’ve developed habits that I can stick to – a change from the all or nothing mindset I had in the past.
My 60day wasn’t perfect. On my birthday, I indulged at my favorite restaurant and when we bought our first house, I toasted with champagne and takeout Chinese food. But the next day, my first stop was Life Time. Not because of guilt or shame, something that would have pushed me to the gym in the past. But excitement. Happiness. Joy in the workouts I was doing. Curiosity in seeing what challenges I might face that day and how I would choose to react. That’s my outlook moving forward. I’ve come this far, what can I do next? Maybe it’s improving my meal planning efforts during the week or staying away from the free food in the kitchenette at work. Or maybe it’s adding another couple of inches to the box jump I’ve worked hard on mastering over the last 8 weeks. Through the 60day, I’ve learned there is so much more to count than the number on the scale and I’m excited to see what I can do with another 60 days behind me.