2014 is now in full swing and the holidays are behind us! Unfortunately, the past few weeks have been complete hell for me! On top of all the stress this time of year brings with buying gifts, shuffling around to visit family, making sure the kids are nicely occupied during break, and all of the other typical holiday bustle not only was my family hit with colds but we were fortunate enough to also get the stomach flu. One by one, we all dropped like flies. It hit us fast and hard and even ON Christmas nonetheless. Nobody had even really gotten over their colds & coughs by the time we got the stomach bugs so the last 2 weeks of 2013 pretty much sucked ass. I wasn’t able to train. I could barely stay on top of my macros. And I definitely didn’t feel like my usual energetic, happy self.
However, during these couple of weeks of being completely out of commission a few amazing things happened and I honestly don’t feel like they would have occurred had I not been forced to take a step back from training and tracking macros. In the midst of recovering from the stomach flu, I had a couple of “A-HA” moments with myself. They have made a HUGE impact on me over the past couple of weeks and something I felt like I should share here while documenting my journey. Let me back track just for a second….
I have ALWAYS felt like my “problem” area on my body was my stomach. At any given point during the day in my past, you could quite possibly catch me looking down at my mid section and/or poking at my abs (or non existent ones) checking to see & feel my extra fluff. I don’t carry much weight anywhere else, but my body typically just hangs on to extra body fat around my hips and lower stomach. Luckily the rest of my body has always been somewhat lean. But that damn tummy has always been my “issue”. Again, I have never considered myself overweight even a little bit BUT we all have areas of our body that we have mentally struggled with…. whether or not anyone else would consider it a problem is neither here nor there, but in our own minds, the “issue” does exist and it is real to US individually. Anyways, I used to poke my tummy at least 10 times a day wishing my abs were hard, wishing I had a six pack, even a two pack, I would have even settled for a one pack. I would look at fitness models, competition girls, scroll through my IG feed this past year, look at celebrities thinking “God, I want a tummy like that. Where the hell is my six pack and why can’t I have one?!” While there have been times in my life where my stomach was flat, I never thought it was enough. I wanted a rock hard six pack and that was it. That was my main only goal when I first started out. Well, up until a couple of weeks ago that is.
My first Christmas break “A-HA” moment hit me right as I was recovering from that stomach flu. At one point when I was able to eat again and got back on track with my macros, I did my typical “Let me look and poke my tummy now to check my lack of progress and extra squish.” That single time time after poking, for the first time in my entire life my feelings were different. Instead of beating myself up, I thought to myself “Holy crap, my stomach feels pretty good!”. My weight hasn’t really changed drastically, but for the first time in my life, I felt different about the one area of my body I mentally struggled with my whole life. It was a great moment for me. I no longer cared about how it technically looked (because I’m definitely fluffy right now). I was way more comfortable with how I FELT in my skin and the skewed perception I once had was finally beginning to go away. This was a huge day for me. I realized at that moment that I was SO much more comfortable with “me” and body than ever before. I realized that while my stomach didn’t look like it belonged on any stage, there were so many other areas of my body that have changed and progressed as a result of my hard work. Regardless of what the scale said, it just didn’t matter.
The other amazing moment I had was when I took my daughter to the mall last week. We made our rounds hitting her stores and then mine to try on a couple of cute things I saw in the front displays. Usually when I go to try on clothes, #1 I obviously look at how my stomach looks because again, that used to be my only area of concern and #2 I would look at my rear end because I have always wanted it bigger… I have suffered from a pancake ass since birth. I use to quickly throw on whatever it was that I was trying on just so I didn’t have to really see what was going on with my stomach and lack of butt. Most of the time, I was bound to catch glimpses in the mirror and I would ALWAYS end up feeling bad because I didn’t like what I saw. But not this particular time though. I tried on a dress, didn’t like how it fit, took it off, tried on a pair of pants and they actually felt TIGHT on my rear end and thighs! Never has that ever happened to me before. Normally I can’t button things but am swimming everywhere else… just proved to me that the muscle I have been working so hard for really is growing! That wasn’t all though… after feeling pretty good about myself and my isolated booty gains, I slipped the pants off and took a peek at myself in my under roos. Not only did I not cringe, but I actually thought to myself “Hey, not bad! Not bad at all!” That night I came home and while getting ready to jump in the shower, I caught another glimpse of myself, naked in all my glory… had the same feeling “OK, things are looking and feeling different. Corina, you are doing alright. You really should be proud!” No more criticizing. No more wishing. I simply just felt good about myself and where my body is at.
These particular moments had snowball effect on me over the course of the next few days and I began to look at all of the amazing things I have accomplished since I started my journey last April. I was so focused on the numbers the scale was giving me (body fat %, weight, muscle mass, etc.) and my skewed perception that I never really stopped to think about all of the non scale, visual, and emotional victories I have had in the past 5 months. Even in the midst of my reverse diet & bulking period, I was still able to take that step back and truly love myself, my body, and my progress. I appreciated my effort and working the hardest I possibly can. I have even gone back and forth with continuing my reverse diet because I feel so damn good right now. Part of me is totally happy with my body as is but there is another part of me that really wants to see where I can push and test myself with an actual “diet” and cutting phase. As of today, I’m still on track to start that in the next week or so! Scared but excited!
So for the rest of you who are so focused on numbers, I know it’s easy for me to say throw out your scales and worry less about what that scale is saying. We must all have our own “A-HA moments”. They will come easier for some, but I encourage you to take a step back and look at your overall progress. Really do some soul searching and the “small” things that have gone unnoticed may make a BIG impact on you and how you feel about how far you have come. Your short and long term goals are more than likely different than anyone else’s, so don’t compare YOUR progress to someone else’s OR to how someone else looks. This is YOUR journey and you should ALWAYS be proud of the big and small feats whether they come in number form or not!
Here is a list of some non scale victories I came up with that might help you see how far you have really come or that you should look for when the scale starts lying to you:
- your are clothes fitting you different
- you feel healthier
- you are able to lift more/do more reps while training
- you have more energy
- you are running/doing cardio faster and longer without feeling as fatigued
- others are noticing a difference in your body and letting you know about it
- you smile more
- you have a healthier relationship with food and eating
- you are making healthier choices because you no longer always crave the “unhealthy” food
- you are more committed to achieving goals
- you are wearing clothes you wouldn’t have even tried on before
- you want to be intimate with your partner more (I know it sounds odd, but I feel like a lot of women who aren’t comfortable with their bodies/themselves simply avoid being intimate)
- you feel less stressed out day to day
- you have more confidence in you, your abilities, and your self worth
- you are more willing to try new things
- you have fewer occurrences of anxiety, depression, and/or lonely feelings
- you begin to truly feel like you are worthy, loved, and needed
These are all of the things I could think of right now, but I’m sure there are a ton more! Please feel free to leave me a comment if you have your own personal victories. I’d love to hear and add them to my list!
Last thing I wanted to end this post with is another non scale victory I achieved after a couple of months of lifting that I was/am super proud of. It was honestly one of the first goals I set for myself, easily top 3 that I set back in August/September. When I first started out, I could not even do ONE pull up (neutral or wide grip). After a couple of months building my upper body strength AND also not being embarrassed to try these at the gym, I can easily hit FOUR SETS of 8-10 now! I alternate between wide grip and neutral grip (which helped me get used to the motion when I first started working on it). Here is a little snippet of me yesterday when I hit upper body, I actually like to warm up with neutral grip as soon as I hit the gym for back. Unfortunately, after these two weeks of being sick and not being able to train, I have lost a little strength… temporary though! I will be back to 100% next week for sure! For now, I will simply enjoy the fact that 6 months ago, I could not even do one of these. Progress is progress no matter how small and regardless if the tiny set backs that are bound to occur!
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As of the past two weeks, I will take strength, more energy, and feeling GOOD about myself & my body OVER abs any day! Definitely didn’t have the strength 6 months ago to even do these. Feels good knowing I’m moving forward, hitting goals that are not “weight” or number related! I think it’s important for everyone to set fitness goals that don’t solely have to do with appearance and/or weight! This year, I hope to be able to do hand stands, hand stand push ups, and maybe even some yoga inversions. Just have to make these things a priority each week when training then keep working on them!
“Don’t focus on the SKINNY. Focus on the HEALTHY (mind, body, and spirit)!”