It's time to share my favorite transformation story of 2017! You may be thinking, "Your favorite story is about yourself? Wow. Conceited much?" I used to have that same mindset....that it was somehow wrong to feel proud of myself and that loving myself was conceited or vain. I mean, we live in a society where we OBSESS over all the things we hate about ourselves and it took a long time to realize that loving myself is not only okay, but it's also life changing. When you feel good about yourself, you genuinely want to see others succeed, too. So yes, my favorite transformation story is about my amazing year.
In the beginning of my journey, I thought I'd feel better when I reached a number on the scale. I didn't understand or know that there were more important things to focus on or how to celebrate my other small successes along the way but over time I learned not to let my weight dictate my self-worth and I realized that I wanted something MORE than just a number on the scale-- I wanted to FEEL healthy and confident and strong and not let my fear hold me back from doing the things I wished I could do.
I tell my challengers all the time that our goals are not achieved all at once, but they are actually a culmination of many small steps taken consistently over time. My banner goal for 2017 was to give fear the middle finger and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This meant doing things that scared the shit out of me like sharing my journey with others, knowing there would be those who judged me harshly, meeting new people to overcome my social phobia, climbing tall walls to face my fear of heights, and hitting the trails alone so that I could feel peace and strength in solitude rather than fear and anxiety.
In early 2017, I registered for my first Spartan race AND the Pikes Peak Ascent. Both of these goals required me to face many fears all at once but luckily I didn't have to go it alone. I started lifting heavier to gain the strength I'd need for my Spartan and for the first time in my life, I started getting definition in my arms. To see these photos side by side not only makes me feel proud but it also makes me laugh because SO many people tell me that these at home programs don't really work. My shoulders and arms say otherwise. I know it's not just about how I look but I can't tell you how good it feels to have a smoking hot bod at 33 and look more fit than I did as a college athlete at 18. I started rock climbing and learned to climb a rope to overcome the sheer terror I felt when I got more than 10 feet off the ground...and the entire time, my little girl was watching me. I'd take her to the climbing gym with me and she'd be above me saying, "Come on, Mom! You can do it. You're strong and you're brave." Little eyes and ears are always watching and listening. Thanks to the small steps I took each and every day, however minute they may have seemed at the time, I rocked my first Spartan, only failing one obstacle.
Training for the Pikes Peak Ascent not only required the physical capability to run up a 14,114 ft mountain, it challenged me to face my fear of hitting the trails alone and having the confidence that I wouldn't injure myself or become a victim to wildlife or other humans. I continued my strength training but shifted my focus to running more, constantly increasing the time I spent in solitude on the trails. All those runs, all those hours, came together at the top of Pikes Peak in August, after I finished my first Ascent in 4:34. I had literally faced my fears and climbed a mountain. I've never cried at a race finish before I had tears streaming down my face when I crossed that finish line. I'm living the life and doing the things I wished I could do 5 years ago.
Throughout all of this, I received a world of judgement for what I was doing with my business of helping others. Some people just couldn't see (or maybe they didn't want to) that what I was doing wasn't just about weight loss or getting the perfect bikini body. I was torn apart on social media but that didn't stop me. I persevered in spite of them because I knew I was changing lives. Because of my commitment to my vision, I finished in the top .3% of coaches, earned an all inclusive trip for Mike and I to Riviera Maya plus a trip to a Leadership Retreat in California, AND grew a team of other like-minded girl bosses who are working toward their own goals by helping others as well. These girls are like my family and I know that they always have my back.
I don't choose to live this way because I want to be skinny or have a perfect body. No way...my why is so much bigger than that. I want to live a life of fun and adventure and feel proud and ALIVE for years to come. This means I need to honor my body by caring for it now with good nutrition and consistent exercise. It means learning to live from a place of gratitude so that I can face challenges with a positive mindset instead of feeling completely defeated. It means surrounding myself with people who lift me up and inspire me and responding less to negativity. It's about realizing that I am deserving of a life abundance and success, too. It's about realizing that everything I want is on the other side of fear and helping others do the same.