My life isn’t that of the typical “fit” girl you may find on social media. I’m not 20 something, living in an apartment or with my parents, going to school, worrying about writing papers or making it to class on time, going out with friends, parties, going on dates, finding “the one”, figuring out who I am and what I want to do with my life, where I want to be in 10 years, what I want to accomplish in the next 5 years, or anything else that the “younger” crowd has to deal with. My focus is my family, my children, my husband and trying desperately to just to keep everyone alive day to day…. if I happen to make them happy in the process, well I simply consider that a bonus (it’s tough with a moody 15 year old around). I have to deal with things like school drop off and pick up lines, school lunches, teacher emails and complaints about my kid/s, a kid failing 2 subjects out of mere laziness, teacher meetings, the emotional stability of these humans, worrying if somehow my husband and/or I are screwing them up for life, being a parent by disciplining and showing my kids right from wrong, being a friend to them by listening to their problems and being a shoulder to cry on when they get the bumps and bruises, trying to calm their worries & fears, football practices, volleyball practices, games, having snack duty, grocery shopping, mortgages, car payments, bills bills and more bills, balanced dinners, kids homework, attempting to clean 3,250 sq ft of home, dealing with a husband who literally lays his life on the line every time he walks out of our home and goes to work AND has an extremely odd schedule that changes constantly, making sure he and I have our own time together through all the craziness, taking care of our dog and making sure I don’t kill him somehow, AND while trying to manage and operate my businesses simultaneously.
All this? Yeah, that’s my life day in and day out. On top of all this regular stuff, my family (kids, husband, and myself together and separate) were all hit with a pile of other crap the past month ranging from one of my kids (who is highly emotional and sensitive) completely changing schools and leaving all that she’s known for the past 5 years, a minor medical procedure for another kid which brought us to the doctor’s 4 times in one week, pneumonia with 104+ temps which brought us to the doctor 3 times during another week for a different kid, sinus infection, ear infections, and an extra large dose of bronchitis for myself & my husband. To say things have been hectic would be a complete understatement. Literally day after day, week after week for the past month and some change, I promise you there was something “new” going on in my household.
Certain times in life you are going to be handed a big bag of lemons and find yourself forced to take a step back from your sweet, cozy daily routine and rituals. Typically, if your life is anything like mine, it luckily does NOT happen too often BUT when shit does hit the fan and you seem to have a cloud hanging over you thats raining cats and dogs AND throwing big hail chunks at your face, you are not only left with that original bag of lemons, you seem to find bag after bag after truckload of MORE lemons. I promise you there have been times in the past 5 weeks that I have broken down crying, threw my hands in the air, and thought to myself “OK all mighty powers above, I get it. You can stop testing me now! You win, you win!” I found myself wanting to “tap out” on quite a few occasions.
Although I would like to think of myself as Super Woman sometimes, clearly I am not. I’m human. I’m a parent (and a good one if I do say so myself). I hurt for my children. I feel all of their pain/s when they are sick or trying to figure out their own struggles and want so desperately to make it immediately better for them. I want to take all the weight and burden they are feeling and place it on my own shoulders. It’s not simply about “me” at this point in my life. I no longer have the luxury of saying screw it all. I have 3 other people that I care much more about than myself that I HAVE to take care of and look after. I’m no different than any other good parent/wife out there though and I will NEVER claim to have it harder than anyone else. It’s just every now and then, carrying all that worry around and having to deal with sickness on top of it all just simply takes it toll on you.
This past month, I was dealt with a shit load of potential set backs in my journey. So, yes. I do get it. I get that life happens. But here is the thing… “life” happens to ALL of us. We are all dealt a crappy hand every now and then and you (and I) are no different than the next girl. I promise you, we are all forced to deal with set backs. The difference is HOW we deal with them.
I see people all of the time, literally every single day via social media, Facebook groups, or emails I get from women making excuses for this, that, and the next thing. I can’t work out because XYZ ABC LMNOQ and P. I’m too busy for this. I ate like an asshole because of that. Today I didn’t do this because I said screw it all.
Could I easily have used any and all of the past 5 weeks of “lemons” as an excuse for a derailment in my fitness & nutrition routine?
NO, absolutely NOT. It’s not in my nature to be honest with you.
Regardless of what I have had to do, go through, deal with, work around, work through, make arrangements for, one thing I know 100% with all my heart is that I continued to take full responsibility for my health, my training, and my nutrition as best as I could.
Over the past month, I tried my hardest to get my training in where and how I could. Was I always completely on track with my split and regular routine? No. Was there an entire WEEK that I didn’t lift one weight or do a single sprint? Yes, last week in fact when I was battling bronchitis and pneumonia. As much as I wanted to train last week, I literally could not move. I slept anywhere I laid my head and running a fever for 2-3 days on top coughing up my a lung here and there, left me feeling like I was on my death bed. Literally, I thought it might be the end for me. AND coming off everything I had to deal with in regards to my family? I could have easily raised the white flag and many would believe I was completely justified for giving up and throwing in the towel all together.
Despite it all though, I kept track of every single macronutrient that I put in my body AND stayed within my daily limits the entire time. I figured that just because I physically couldn’t lift a weight or do any cardio at times, I did have COMPLETE control over what I put in my body. Was it hard? I guess to an extent because #1 I’m dieting still (week 10) and #2 I don’t know about anyone else, but being at home for 7 days straight and having a fully stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry within arms reach can definitely prove to be difficult to stay on track and #3 when I’m sick, I just want to eat… anything I can get my hands on, I want to soothe my aches and pains and fever with a giant brownie sundae and chase that with a pizza.
I don’t consider myself ANY different from ANY other woman out there on a fitness journey. However, when it comes to determination and sticking to a plan… I made a very conscious decision when I began this dieting phase/cut that if I was going to do it, I would 100% have to commit to it. I promised myself that I would continue to train my heart out (as I’m physically able) AND stay consistent (and compliant) to my nutrition & tracking macros. This is where I do find myself different than many others out there (not better or worse, just different). While dealing with everything that was thrown at me last month, I could have EASILY come up with 1,000 reasons why I couldn’t work out, why it was hard to get to the gym because of my schedule, why my brain could probably use an extra rest day, why I couldn’t do my cardio, why I was “justified” in having an extra serving of something, why it would be OK to “cheat” on my diet just this one time or for an entire day, why I should do 3 sets of a workout instead of 4, why I probably should just do 6 reps one day instead of 8 on everything, etc.
Each and every single day, I looked at my life and what I had to deal. The passion, heart, love, joy, and sheer joy for what I do on this journey just won’t allow me to. I LOVE lifting. I LOVE challenging myself. I LOVE how I feel when I workout. I LOVE feeling motivated and driven. I LOVE everything I eat (thank you flexible dieting for making that possible and this diet a breeze). My happy place is pushing and pulling that weight. It’s my release. It’s my escape.
More than anything though…
I LOVE that I can sit here today (not even 100% recovered from the bronchitis) and know with ever fiber in me that I did what I could, when I could. I made no excuses for anything. I took complete responsibility for myself, my training, and my nutrition. I’m proud that although I felt extremely fragile many times, I was never broken. I never deviated too far off from my plan at any point regardless of what was thrown at me. I not only gave my best to my family but also to myself & my body. It says something about me and my character. I can’t help but feel proud that I found no excuses to use despite having an entire line up right in front of me.
Bottom line here?
If you are on your own journey and trying to desperately to stay on track, just know that your desire to change MUST be stronger than ANY excuse you might happen to want to come up with along the way. You owe it to yourself to give 100% at all times, even when things get rough… you CAN do it.
Life WILL happen. Things WILL get hard. There will be days you do NOT want to work out and want to eat ALL the food. It happens to ALL of us.
Just don’t always give in to it. Don’t be the one who finds themselves rationalizing their choices that cause you to get off track. Don’t be the one who constantly finds the excuses AND uses them any chance you get.
Be GREATER than your excuses. Want the change MORE than the excuses. Stay focused. Stay driven.
JUST KEEP GOING!!!!
If you have goals and are serious about them, you will MAKE them happen.
You will need to decide what’s important to you in your life and then work around it ALL to make it happen.
For me this past month, my family of course comes first (always), then came work, then came dead lines I committed to, then came training. All the while though, I stayed compliant to my nutrition… again, no reason to make excuses for eating like an asshole. This is something we can ALL do and make time for just about every single day. No excuses when it comes to what you decide to put in your body. Even if you decide not to work out, you can always eat accordingly.
So, what had to go by the wayside for me then? Social media-ing. If you look at my Instagram account, there have been entire weeks that I didn’t post anything. I literally just couldn’t. By the time I dealt with “life” and got my workouts in, spending any amount of time on the computer or my phone messing around was not going to happen. It wasn’t a priority to me . I actually have no idea how some people can post 3, 4, 10 times a day… I certainly ain’t got no time for that (even on a regular day when I’m not slammed)! I could barely manage getting recipes up here on my blog that I needed to, let alone random posts on Instagram. It was definitely not my priority and I was fine not utilizing any amount of time posting or scrolling… you really have no idea how much time social media sucks up until you stay away from it for a period of time. Kinda disturbing actually… but anyways, yeah, that’s what I needed to kick out of my life while I got my stuff together.
And just to show the flip side of things because I don’t want to be misunderstood… if you are going to make excuses along your journey (we ALL do it at some point), you need to be 100% honest with yourself about it and OWN IT. I’m all about moderation and flexibility, so I believe in being kind to your body, mind, and soul at all times. That may include taking an extra rest day if you feel you need it. It may include not tracking your meals for a day here and there because your brain needs a reset and you just want to live & eat. It may mean skipping the gym one day to hit the beach and play with friends because you were asked out. TAKE those life moments and make the most of them, ALWAYS. However, just don’t do combinations of those things every day, every week and then complain about the progress you are NOT making. Remember, consistency is key!!!! Even with goals, you can give 100% but still enjoy your life!
EXAMPLE: Last weekend, my husband felt so bad for me being sick that he planned a special trip just for him and I. He made arrangements for the kids, booked a room at one of our favorite local resorts, and had the entire weekend carefully thought out, little did he know I would still be sick as a dog. Of course, there was no way I would ever decline the offer (even while sick) so with bronchitis and all, we made the best of our little stay cation. Upon check in, the front desk lady apparently could see how terrible I felt, sounded, and looked because by the time we got to the room, I had a sweet note, chicken soup, crackers, bread, and ginger ale waiting for me! How thoughtful of them huh? Of course, I still wasn’t training due to the coughing and fever but as far as eating goes, I’ve been tracking long enough to know RELATIVELY how much I should be eating. I made healthy/nutrient dense choices the majority of the time without logging it all, then for a dinner I ordered exactly what I wanted to (even though it definitely didn’t fit nto my diet plan). I had pasta carbonara dish, a few pieces of bread and butter, and then we ordered room service for dessert…. caramel ice cream and a big slice of chocolate cake! MMMMMMM. And isn’t my husband fabulous? Lucky girl I tell you…
but anyways… See? I’m not a machine. I’m not solely focused on training and macros. I’m not obsessed. I just know how to do moderation and balance on my life. This little trip does NOT set me back on my diet one bit and even if it did? WHO CARES? What’s the point of doing any of it, if you can’t enjoy all facets of your life fully? I wouldn’t make a habit out of times like this while dieting BUT again, no chance I would ever turn this opportunity and quality time with my husband down!
Now, done with the rambling… here I am 10 weeks into my cut. The past 4-5 have been a mess, but again I always did what I could. Progress might be slow and some may think “Well, that’s not a very big difference at all!” and that’s OK! I know my body has changed this past month. My clothes are fitting different. My body feels different. ALL of my bottoms (underwear, shorts, pants, etc.) are all getting bigger on me and I’m either swimming in them now or having to constantly pull them up. Weight hasn’t fluctuated a ton (I don’t have much to lose in the first place), BUT body composition has changed… most definitely! I’m tighter in my core even though my muscles are a bit deflated after being sick and not training at all. Overall, I’m more than happy with my progress despite the ups and downs! I’m actually even more pumped now to continue on with the cut!
Left is 4-5 weeks ago/Right was taken yesterday mid monthly cycle in both of the following pics…
** The past 4-5 weeks difference in these pictures has included: complete inconsistencies in my training, 1 “deload” (diet/training break) week with increased macros/calories and lower volume on lifts, 1 entire week with no lifting or cardio due to fever/illness, and 1 week with 4 high carb days VS. the 2 I normally have. Flexible dieting the entire time of course which includes hamburgers, pizza, ice cream, cookies, cereal, (and anything else I craved) as well as tons of veggies, fruits, whole grains, and all things “healthy”! **
And now? BACK to my regularly scheduled program which includes “life”, training, eating, blogging, and social media-ing!!!! Going to give the last phase of this cut my 100%, time to fill in my sick muscles a bit, and then finish STRONG for ME!!!!