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One year wrap-up in 905 words ^_^

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So today marks one year since I started this weight loss journey and decided to change my lifestyle to a healthier one FOR GOOD.  Though I did my first 21 Day Fix workout on February 24, 2014, I have to backtrack a little bit to when my challenge pack first arrived.  There was one bigger book with a whole lot of colors and lists, and like three little pamphets, plus three dvds, a bunch of containers that seemed so tiny, a shaker cup and this giant bag of Shakeology.  I was very nervous and trepidatious at first, because everything else I had been trying hadn’t worked.  I’d lose some weight then gain it right back the second I looked at chocolate cake or pizza.  It was logical to be skeptical right?  But then I sat down and started calculating.  TWO THOUSAND CALORIES.  The program had me eating five times a day and 2000 calories.  Sheyeah right.  I had literally been shooting for 1200 ever since I could remember…but I decided that I had to give it the three weeks and put my trust in something unknown to see what it could do.

My coach had added me to a private online accountability group and we had to check in, and show pictures of our food, and take sweaty selfies, and share our experiences with each other.  Not only had weight loss and fitness been a pretty individual thing for me up until that point, but a lot of the other challengers didn’t have much to lose and I felt like the token fat chick.  But I quickly learned a lot of things about myself and others in just those three weeks.  The first thing I learned was, just because someone is a size 2 doesn’t mean they are happy with their body.  I was confused why someone so small would want to be doing a diet and exercise program.  I had assumed that everyone did Beachbody programs because they wanted to lose weight.  Little did I know that the nutrition plans that were provided with the programs not only could help someone lose weight, but could assist in maintaining and even GAINING weight!  And the workout programs all have a modifier to make things lower impact, while there’s always some over-zealous person on screen to amp things up a bit, too.  And I was also participating in this group with some ladies that were very comfortable with their size 18 bodies, but just wanted to be healthier wives, moms, lovers, etc.  I quickly learned that everyone is on their own journey, and you should never compare your journey to anyone else’s.  We all have different steps to follow, and even missteps we will take along the way.  We have different reasons and motivation that push us in the directions we go, and temptations that will drive us backward if we let them.

Those little containers weren’t so little after I realized how much food you really could eat when it was fueling your body for optimal nutrition and health.  Long gone were the days of starving myself on purpose, eating 1200 calories without taking into account the workout I did for the day, or chain-smoking to keep myself from overeating.  This was a much more advanced way of thinking but strangely simplistic and easy to follow once I got the hang of it.  The workouts kicked my ass, but in all honesty I hadn’t really put forth the effort I needed to start burning fat and raising my metabolism to help me from the inside out.   And 21 days later I was 6 pounds and 9.5 inches smaller and on my way to being healthier, happier, and more confident.  It was then that I made the decision to become a coach because I had found a solution that works and it was like the Fountain of Youth…I just needed to share it with everyone so they could see results, too.

Fast foward to today and here’s a quick recap of my accomplishments over the past 365 days, of which I’m pretty darn proud…

–I completed three dedicated rounds of the 21 Day Fix
–I nailed the 14-week Focus T25 program (Alpha, Beta, and Gamma)
–I dabbled in a TurboFire/PiYo hybrid while training for the half
–Oh yeah…I trained 12 weeks for and completed a half marathon (with no walking)
–I am three days from completing the 60 day Les Mills Combat program
–I am about to start 21 Day Fix Extreme on Monday, March 2nd
–I now coach 133 people and lead a team of 11 coaches
-I have lost 49.1 pounds and 36 inches.
-I went from a size 18 to a size 10; XL to medium.
-I have more confidence, I’m healthier,  I have plenty of energy to complete my tasks, my body is able to handle more than it ever could, and I’m happier.

And my journey is not over yet. No, I didn’t quite make it to fifty pounds before my one year, like I had imagined, but with everything else that I’ve gained (and lost) this year, I could hardly be disappointed in myself.  I’ve worked really hard, but played really hard, too.  I’m not perfect.  I make mistakes.  And I’ll be the first to admit that some of the choices I make still aren’t the healthiest.  But I make it work and I know how to reel it back in and get back on track.  This isn’t just a diet or a 21 day program…it’s a lifestyle.  And I’m never going back.

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Reflection on 2014 and Best Wishes for 2015

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When 2014 started, I honestly didn’t have any expectations of the coming year.  I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago!  But when I think back over the last 364 days, I realize there were a lot of monumental changes in my life this year.  Not only did I finally get my health and fitness on the right track, but I achieved a lot of goals that I set out for myself along the way.  And I have come to the realization that setting smaller goals and achieving them little by little was the way that worked for me.  I certainly didn’t start out January 1st planning on running a half marathon in November.  And I definitely didn’t know I would eventually lose over 46 pounds and almost 40 inches before December 31st.  I decided to sit here for a moment and list the things I was able to achieve this year  so that I can start thinking about the goals I want to set for 2015.  I also included some important things I’ve gained, along with the losses.  I hope I inspire you to do the same…remember little changes lead to big ones.  There is no accomplishment too small to count!

Accomplishments for 2015, in no particular order

-Completed a 3 week workout program (21 Day Fix) fully, three times
(Feb. 24-March 12, Sept. 1-21, Nov. 29-Dec.19)
-Completed a 14 week workout program (T25 Alpha, Beta, Gamma)
(Alpha/Beta March 31-June 9 & Gamma June 23-July 18)
-Completed a 12 week Half Marathon training program
(Aug. 25-Nov.15)
-Ran less than a 10 minute mile (April 12)
-Ran less than a 9 minute mile (June)
-Ran less than an 8 minute mile (Nov.)
-Ran a 5k in less than 30 minutes (Oct. 7)
-Ran a 10k distance (not an official race) in less than 1 hour (Sept. 28)
-Ran a half marathon in 2:01:46 without walking (Nov. 15)
-Lost 46.5 pounds and 38 inches (Feb. 24 – Dec. 31)
-Went from a size 16/18 to a size 10, XL/XXL to a M/L
-Did a yoga bind (Dec. 15)
-Became a Beachbody coach and now support almost 90(!) people around the United States and Canada on their weight loss journeys (March 1)

But beyond all of these accomplisments and losses, there are three very important things I GAINED throughout this year.

SUPPORT SYSTEM
Not only do I have the support of my loving husband, family, and friends, but I now have added a network of coaches, other runners, accountability groups, fitness junkies, etc. that I speak to DAILY about our goals, dreams, aspirations, and struggles.  Having this support system was honestly the key to my success.  Without all of you and your inspirational and motivational posts, pictures, high fives, and kicks in the butt, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.

CONFIDENCE
Those of you that know me personally know I’m not really shy, but it takes me a bit to open up about my personal feelings.  Having gained 80 pounds since high school has always plagued me, but I never had the courage to do anything about it.  Now I have the confidence to see how far I’ve come, know I can reach the rest of my goals no matter how rough, and help others do the same.

MOTIVATION
Once I figured out my “WHY” it made it all that much easier to start achieving my goals.  But your WHY needs to be STRONG ENOUGH and you have to be willing to put in the work.  I never realized that until this year.  When times got tough before, I gave up.  Thinking back to when my husband proposed to me, I wanted to lose weight for our wedding which was to take place 9 months later.  Though I lost a little, I still walked down the aisle in a size 18 dress.  I knew he loved me in the body I was in, and that was always lingering in the back of my head.  I know today that he’ll still love me no matter what my pant size is, how far I can run, what kind of food I eat, etc. but I want to be healthy for our future child(ren).  I want to end the trend of obesity in my own household so that we aren’t just another statistic.  I want to stop the risk factors we have for hereditary issues dead in their tracks and never look back.  Those wants are powerful enough to keep me going…to keep me working toward my ultimate goals, no matter how long they take.  And I know I have the support system, confidence and motivation to get there.

I hope your 2014 was monumental, no matter how big or small your accomplisments were.  Write them down, reflect, and think about what you have to do going forward to take you further.  If you need help, I recommend finding a support system.  Talk about your goals.  Post them around you so you can see/hear/reflect on them daily.    Share them with others.  Share them with me!  Make 2015 great, no matter what you’ve got going on around you!

I’m sure you’ve seen the posts and quotes around, but it is soooooo true!
Happy New Year!

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