In honor of the upcoming start of a new Body Back session, I wanted to take a moment to share how my life has looked since I completed my full Body Back session last October. During the session, my biggest concern was determining how I would maintain what I had achieved after I was done with Body Back. After all, what was the point of full committing myself to the program for two months if I didn’t plan on learning from it and implementing it full time into my life?
I had been stuck at a certain weight for a very long time and simply did nothing about it, even though I knew what needed to be done. I did Stroller Strides classes two to four times a week (for 3.5 years) and was definitely in the best shape of my life (at the time). But I knew I could do better. I knew I could lose that extra pregnancy weight and, to be honest, I knew that if I fixed my eating habits, I would be able to achieve what I wanted to achieve. The food aspect of Body Back was definitely what had the biggest impact on my weight loss success. I think a common misconception about Body Back (and about working out, in general) is that if you do intense workouts on a regular basis, you’ll get this fit body without having to change any other part of your life. Yes, the workouts are amazing. I think I might be slightly addicted to Body Back workouts. I was pushed beyond my comfort zone and came out so much stronger than I was before. But that didn’t give me the permission to go home and eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. It was a challenging but life-changing lesson to learn because I had absolutely no plan when it came to my eating habits. With the “three meals and two snacks” set up of the Body Back eating plan, I was forced to pay attention to when I was ACTUALLY hungry as opposed to, “Hey, that looks good and I’m going to eat it even though I’m really not hungry right now.” This has made such a major difference in my post Body Back life and I truly believe it is what has allowed me to continue to be successful and lose even a few more pounds after I finished (and during the holidays, nonetheless!!). Aside from supper, I used to snack my way through the day--”I’m a busy mom” was my excuse. While that was and still is true, it was not a good excuse at all. If anything, it turned into a motivating factor because being a busy mom means that I needed to be taking better care of myself to have energy to get through the day! It’s been seven months since I completed my session of Body Back and the eating schedule I established is now second nature to me. Two things that have made a big difference for me was realizing that between breakfast and lunch, I’m not actually hungry. I make sure I eat a good breakfast and actually realized the other day that my go-to breakfasts are actually Body Back meal plan breakfasts. I have just been eating them for so long that I don’t even think about it anymore! I also have made sure that I have lunch items on hand all of the time. When I’m not prepared, it’s easy for me to justify eating whatever I can find. By making sure that I eat a filling lunch, I eliminate the desire to snack the afternoon away. I have an alarm on my phone that rings when it’s time for my boys to have an afternoon snack so that they aren’t constantly asking for one. I’ve started using this timer for me, too, as a way to keep myself accountable to only eating one snack in between lunch and supper. So many times when I am tempted to get something to eat, I realize that I’m not actually hungry--eating something is just something to do while I watch shows with my boys or write a blog post or read a magazine. Habits like that contributed to my plateaued weight loss and breaking free of that routine has made a huge difference. I’m also much more aware of portion sizes and eating in moderation. I don’t feel any sense of deprivation with my new eating habits. I feel free to eat a candy bar guilt-free but I’m not going to eat a candy bar every day and probably not even every week.
As far as what my fitness regimen looks like now, I have discovered that while I was certainly dedicated to going to Stroller Strides on a regular basis before Body Back, I am even more motivated now. I worked so hard to accomplish something awesome and there’s no way I’m going to take that for granted or think that I don’t have any responsibility to continue what Body Back started. I’m certainly not working out as much as I was during my session--each week I was doing two Stroller Strides classes, two workouts at home, and two Body Back workouts. Now I do my best to be at three Stroller Strides classes each week. When I started making Stroller Strides classes something that the rest of my schedule had to work around as opposed to making Stroller Strides classes work around the rest of my schedule, I noticed a big difference in the amount of focus and drive that I bring to each workout. I keep track of my life with Google Calendar so at the end of a month, I look at the next month and sign in to all of the classes I’m planning on attending for the entire month. I’ve also created the mindset of “When I’m at class, I’m fully at class.” Perhaps that seems obvious (duh, of COURSE you’re at class…), but if I put forth the effort to gather everything together to get out of the house for class, I’m going to make the most of that hour. For me, that means pushing myself to my limits every single time. It means running in between stations, even though I don’t enjoy running. It means using my red band, even if it means I can barely do a shoulder press with it. If you see me running at a class, most likely this is what’s going through my head to motivate me: “I’m here. I’m doing this. I’m here. I’m doing this. It’s only an hour. I can do this. I’m here.” Yes, I occasionally have to stop in the middle of a station to care for my boys but I’m learning to resolve situations as quickly as possible so I can return to my workout. I have also participated in two sessions of Body Back Boost and not only do I love the high intensity workouts, I appreciate that these sessions continue some sense of accountability as I continue in my fitness journey. And a little side note: There aren’t kids at Body Back workouts. Did you catch that?? NO KIDS. It’s basically a vacation where the instructor is kicking your butt in the kindest, most encouraging way. :-)
It’s fun to reflect on how far I have come in such a short time! I’m healthier physically and mentally and I have a renewed sense of confidence. I love that Body Back brought out strength, determination, and motivation that I didn’t know how to access on my own. I sincerely hope that you consider participating in a full session because I can personally attest to how wonderfully effective this program is. It’s so much more than a workout and eating well---it’s a program that cares for all aspects of your life so that you can pursue all aspects of your life in a healthy way.
See you at the Body Back preview tonight!!