December marked my commitment to a huge transformation. Since having my twins exactly eight years ago I have struggled deeply both physically and emotionally. The main physical struggle was my weight. I was never a large individual and after having my twins, 8lbs 2oz and 6lbs respectively, the weight came off and packed back on while breastfeeding twins full-time. Emotionally, I was a wreck. Rarely getting out of the house, the mental toll of having extra weight, a self esteem that fluttered in the wind. So when my twins were 18 months I took my life back again through a change in diet and exercise, but I never was truly satisfied with my weight, my image, myself.
I ping ponged with weight loss programs with everything from P90X to HCG to diet pills prescribed by a physician. I looked for the easy route in addition to “going to the gym.” Putting in the work just seemed to be too taxing, too hard, too cumbersome. I thought I could just eat right, exercise normal and look like I did when I was 25. As the weight fluctuated up and down I never saw myself as fat until I had side-by-side comparisons.
Last October I pressed hard with my personal trainer, we discussed my commitment to transform my body in a way I never achieved even when I was thin. We discussed the challenges, the struggles, the trials and my overall commitment. You see the hard part was not the exercise or the food. The hard part was to trust the process.
My thought was that my food was good. I was eating super clean. Unprocessed. Fully organic. Low calorie. I was running a deficit like any proper “diet.” Working my ass off in the gym as much as I was, the weight should have just been falling off me. My thoughts were wrong. What I was failing to do was trust my trainer, trust what he was telling me to do, trusting in a process I could not see.
So we reconvened again and went over everything. Taking daily photos of my food including drinks and any cheats. Cheats are something I have not indulged since Thanksgiving. No drinking. No candy. No sweets. No cookies. Not even peanut butter. Well….occasionally the peanut butter. What we found was that I was not eating enough. While I was eating every 3 hours or so and taking in plenty of carbs through the means of sweet potatoes and grapefruit, I truly was not eating enough. We upped my food times, every two hours, on the nose. I eat from the moment I wake and I eat until the moment I go to bed.
I had to trust this process.
This goes against everything I ever knew to be true. You stop eating after 6pm otherwise you pack on the pounds. You do not eat carbs, they make you fat. You should eat a diet rich in protein and veggies and limit your carb intake. Everything in this paragraph could not be farther from the truth. Everything in this paragraph is about trusting the process, trusting how certain foods are processed healthily by your body. Trusting how your body NEEDS fuel. Trusting that I would not gain the weight back. Trusting I would lean out. Trusting my hard work would shine through with newly exposed muscles.
Trusting this process has to be the hardest thing next to my belief in God, Jesus and walking in faith. You are all in, like Texas Holdem. There is no bluffing. There is no half ass. You cannot walk this walk and only do it part of the way. You have to embrace the submersion into uncharted territory. What we do not realize in the journey is an evil lurks in your head that tells you that you are not changing, that you are the same person, that you look the same. Your eyes deceive you. Your mind plays tricks on you.
The silent voice calls out from the distance, “trust the process.”
Here I am six weeks into this process. I have a new outlook. I have a new understanding of food. I have a new mindset. I am letting go. I am letting go of what I knew, who I knew, who I was as a person. I am embracing the strength inside me that I have fought for so long to contain because her ferocity was overbearing. I am learning to love myself. I am learning that weight is just a number. I am learning that size is just a number. I am learning my strength far exceeds anything I ever imagined in this life. Spiritually. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally.
Trusting in God seemed so much easier. Trusting in myself, my capabilities, seems so far fetched, I have never done something so radical. So unimaginable. Someone dear to me shared her final words, words that are an everyday reminder to trust this process of transformation.
“If you can survive twins you can handle anything.”
I hold those words close. When my inner darkness tells me to give up, that it’s okay to skimp, that change is not happening, that I will never make it to the stage as a figure competitor. I remember that statement. I am reminded that I survived pregnancy with twins. The first year of twins. Then the second year. Terrible threes. Fours. Kindergarten. Here we are eight years later, I am stronger, wiser and more energized to better than I ever was. To be a better person, a better woman, a better wife, a better mother. Most of all, to be better at loving myself while I am trusting the process of change. 130 days until competition.