• Sarita

Pizza Girl- Hold the Cheese Please! Final wk of the 60 Day Challenge at the Gym 4/6/2019

Can you imagine? Can you imagine a girl who loved sitting on her couch with a glass of wine, a girl who loved watching movies, a girl who loved “relaxing”- becoming the girl who has energy to do all the things? I couldn’t. I couldn’t imagine not being tired. I couldn’t imagine wanting to go to the gym and I definitely couldn’t imagine wanting to sweat big ugly drops of sweat down my neck on purpose! Yet here I am, 7 weeks later, and I have become a better version of myself!

The final week of the 60 Day Challenge had me going for the gusto! I kept coming to the gym and I kept eating properly. I worked my butt off, and I threw myself into every single squat, every Romanian deadlift, every run, every Goblet squat, every ab crunch. I went for it, because my thinking was, if not now, when?? I knew for me, this was my chance to get as in shape as possible for my midlife years, because if I didn’t do it today, I would wish I had. Starting is always the hard part, that first week, not gonna lie- it was a killer. But if you get through that first week, you can do it! One day at a time, and by the time you know it, a month has passed. It does get easier to follow the plan as the days go by. Establishing the habits is a matter of mastering your mind and becoming the boss of YOU.

There were times when I felt like I wasn’t progressing as much as I wanted to. There were times when I was so sick of chicken that I was testy and irritable. There were times when I would see other women outside of the gym and they looked so “in shape” and I was still battling my midsection, but then I’d remember that I’m ME and I’m doing the things necessary to be the best me that I can. There were times I would wonder if the “Wayzata moms” in the sauna with their trim waists and their high blonde ponytails were judging me as I schlepped my sweaty untoned body into the vicinity. Then I realized, “I’m judging them by thinking they would do that, I’m doing to them what I fear they are doing to me.” Now, could be that they were, but you know what? Could be that they weren’t, and maybe the pressure to stay within society’s standards of “beautiful” was worse, or maybe they just love being healthy and are living their best lives and probably would be a lot of fun to get to know. In any case, I learned that I have to be more aware of being positive, and less afraid of situations. The gym is great for that!

I ended up going to Texas the weekend my 60 Day Challenge wrapped up. I went to see my birth family, who I hadn’t been to see in too many years. (Read my adoption story here.) We had a wonderful time catching up, and I ate all the things. Now, I didn’t over indulge in that I stopped when I felt satisfied instead of stopping when I was unable to move from the table like I used to do. I had tacos. I had cheese in my chicken fajitas. I had wine. I enjoyed Mexican bakery, and I had ribeye steak and a margarita. And then I had a migraine. My body had become used to eating clean all of the time, and since I had basically eliminated dairy from my foods, it sort of wreaked havoc on my system. Oh but it was good, not gonna fib on that one. The feel of cheese melting into my mouth and satisfying that craving for feel good foods was tricky. Feel good foods, my ass. Feel good at the time maybe, but not after.

Prior to going to Texas, I stepped on the Scales of Truth for the last time in this Challenge. In the 7 weeks of mind over matter, determination, tears, sweat and getting real, I had managed to shed 16.7 pounds!!! I was absolutely floored. Becca the Beast was my cheerleader throughout this entire process, she was my confidant, my rock and my fire lighter. She stood there with a huge smile on her face and congratulated me on my success. Her eyes were bright, and her hair swinging in her pony- “Girl!!! Look at you!!! Look at what all that hard work has helped you do!! Sarita the Cheetah!!” I could have hugged her right there, but I’m not a hugger and I probably smelled like sweat battling with Birch Water deodorant. (Birch Water scent- what a crock. Who even knows what that smells like and who bottled it and who marketed it and made me buy it?)

Becca the Beautiful will tell you that I did all the work. I beg to differ. Becca the Bestest has shown up to the gym with a smile on her face and the pep in her step that I have needed. She has led by example, she has been there so she gets it! In fact, she is the face of Lifetime Fitness as they are featuring her after she completed one of her 60 Day Challenges that she took before she became a personal trainer! I couldn’t have done what I did honestly if it weren’t for Becca the Bible. She has helped me more than she knows, and I cannot thank her enough. I am realizing that adopting her is not a possibility, however, I’ve always wanted a sister, so maybe she will be my honorary sibling. We could do things like celebrate National Siblings Day. And stuff. Whatever sisters do... Check out her video below!!

The 60 Day Challenge at Lifetime Fitness asks that you take before photos as well as after, and also asks that you write an essay regarding your 60 Day experience. They choose the finalists based on those things, and not necessarily numbers on a scale. Well, true to my previous lack of self-esteem and confidence, I did not take before photos. I could not look at myself in pictures unless I took them, and the angles were just right. I couldn’t bear the thought of anyone knowing what I had let happen to my body. It was too humiliating. I’m sad for that person I was. I’m sad that I let others determine what was beautiful for ME, and that I had fallen victim to society’s expectations of the female body. I’m sad that I felt unlovable and unattractive. I’m sad that my shame prevented me from taking those before pics, because I had a decent shot at becoming a finalist.

Seven weeks ago, I was that person.

Today, I’m much different. I’m healthier, and as of 4/19/19, I’m down 20 pounds, which is great, but more importantly, I'm healthier. I’m still not crazy about photos, and I still feel self-conscious in them. However, when I do the Summer 60 Day Challenge in May, I will take those before photos, and I will praise my body for the good it is doing. I will praise my body and my mind for working hard and for becoming strong. I will believe that I am beautiful, not just my shell, but my soul. I am loved by my family and my friends; I am encouraged by my new friends at the gym- for being just as I am. The goal is not a svelte body in a pair of yoga pants- no, that’s kind of a bonus. The GOAL is a healthy human who loves and is loved, the GOAL is doing better today than yesterday, and doing better tomorrow than today. The GOAL is being kind to myself and rockin’ whatever stage in my journey I am at. The GOAL is feeding my body foods that it needs and steering clear of the foods that will hurt me. The GOAL is to find a balance that I can maintain, so that in a year from now, I won’t fall back into my old habits.

Friends, I thank you for reading my Pizza Girl series, and I’ll be picking up where I left off when the Summer 60 Day Challenge starts, in the middle of May. Until then, I’ll keep going to the gym, I’ll keep showing up and doing the work, and I’ll keep working on being kinder to myself and those around me.


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