I woke up on July 25, 2016 and knew that day was “the day.” With this scripture in mind, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) I was ready to start my fitness journey through GRACE (God Reveals As Coach Eternal). So what did I do first?
The night before I had taken the dreaded before pictures and measurements. Why are before pictures and measurements encouraged? So you can see the progress you make weekly. Any change for me on pictures is a sign of hope and progress. The measurements can be taken monthly to see how you have changed. The pictures revealed what I knew–that I was at my all-time highest weight. I burst out crying. I looked horrible, bloated, and pregnant. And although I loved being pregnant, looking pregnant when I wasn’t is a different story. It reminded me of several times when I was asked, “When are you due?” or “Are you pregnant?” Who does that? Some people do, obviously. My fiancé took the pictures (worst choice ever) and I had him take the measurements. To make matters worse, I couldn’t find a tape measure and used the paper tape measure from IKEA (epic fail). It was too short around my waist and to add to the embarrassment I had my fiancé take a pen and mark off where it ended on my stomach and measure the remaining area. He didn’t want to but I insisted. What was I thinking? I started laughing and crying at the same time, thinking how comical this was and embarrassing. I went to bed crying and my fiancé comforted me. Thank goodness for a supportive partner who only sees the beauty within and, of course, he told me I was beautiful too. :::still crying:::
At that time I started the Whole30 program, planning, prepping, and preparing wholesome, raw meals. I was going to eat clean and stay clean. I took the time to plan a 30-day menu (you can call this overkill or extremely organized, I prefer the latter). I went shopping for the weekly groceries and prepared the lunches for week. Snacking is not encouraged but since I have an hour and a half commute, I knew having an apple or small fruit and nuts would be helpful for me. I enjoy cooking so coming home to make meals feels relaxing. Not to mention, I feel like I’m doing something wonderful for my family, providing and serving healthy dinners.
More importantly, I knew that this body was the only one God had given me. I had to take care of it for my sons. I want to be around for their graduations, weddings, children’s births and so many other milestones in life. So what is there to do? I also committed to exercising daily. This was not seen as a chore but rather a choice I made because it felt good and it was what I committed too. In the past I had struggled to get up in the morning or finish my day with a workout. Exercise was not something I did. I realized that working out previously was definitely a challenge for me. Without thinking how different my mindset was now, I made plans with friends to make it easier to lace up the shoes and go on a hike up or walk around the track. I get to catch up with friends and exercise too. Each day continues to be a step in a better direction for me. There are days I am sore and feel like I want to stay in bed. Then I think, “press toward the goal” and I get up, get dressed, and workout.
I’m taking my family on my weightloss journey. What does that mean? The significant food changes I make also impact my family. What I cook for myself is what I serve my family too. One Sunday morning, we enjoyed a hearty egg dish with Teton Waters Ranch 100% grassfed beef sausages, onions and bell peppers. I served potatoes and pineapple on the side. And I sipped on my iced coffee with coconut milk from a can, which I prefer. My sons are eating variations of this dish. They don’t like the “mess” on my plate and prefer things individually. I opted to not eat the potatoes also served.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this weightloss journey. On another occasion, I was frustrated when I couldn’t build my own pizza and delight in the dessert the others had this particular evening. Although I made the healthy choice for myself since I was still on the Whole30 program, I still felt it difficult to eat and sit around the table surrounded by the pizza. One bite after next I ate my greens knowing that this is an example of pressing toward the goal. So what to do with the frustration? I came home to row, row, row my steam away! I honestly felt better and much lighter.
Now I’m grateful to be waking up early in the morning and getting my workouts done. When I start breaking a sweat I smile, knowing that I’m working hard to transform myself to be a fit mom for my boys. They see and hear everything we do and say as parents, so providing quality nutrition and being a fitness role model are good for their spirits. I’m glad I can do both.
Each day I’m getting stronger but not stronger just in my body, stronger in my mind and spiritually filled. Knowing full well why I’m doing this.
Follow Marisol Barrios, also known as “Eve,” on Instagram and on Facebook @MissGuidedMom. I will be sharing my weightloss journey, reflecting on what I’m learning and how #fitbyGRACE (God Reveals As Coach Eternal) is working in my life.
Stay tuned to read Part 3: Nourishing my Soul with a Balanced Life and in case you missed the first article Part 1: How I Became Committed to this Health and Wellness Journey: Feeding my mind spiritually