Yesterday I found the perfect message painted on the wall of one of our local favorites. Te quiero mucho! I love you! Body love, self love, and love for others is what makes this world go round 🙂
Candid Moment: Final Thoughts On The 24 Day Challenge
First, I just wanted to say I’m sorry it’s taken a few weeks to write this final post! I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts so that I could write a post that meaningfully explains my experience during those short 24 days in April.
When I start to think about how I feel now that the challenge is over, one word comes to mind. And that word is peace.
I lost a ton of weight. This weight is not the kind of weight that I carry in my hips or thighs. I carried an excess of weight in my head: negative thoughts, doubts, fears and insecurities.
Now that this challenge is over, I am finally at peace with my body for the first time. I am at peace with the fact that I have a perfectly unperfect body. And that is just okay with me.
In all reality, I did lose five physical pounds on this challenge. But after it was over, I was thankful for my body and what it is capable of.
Before diving in too deep, I wanted to share a few lessons I learned and am still learning after this challenge.
Lesson #1: Rust Consumes Iron As Envy Consumes Itself
The rise of social media and bloggers combined with my [minor] obsession to be perfect has caused me to compare my life with others.
Celebrities, fitness and fashion bloggers often post about what they eat daily and what their workouts consist of. They have these absolutely perfect bodies and appear to be so happy and confident.
With fitness and healthy eating at the core of what they do, I wished that I could do the same. Why couldn’t I work out 6-7 days a week and eat extremely clean >80% of the time?
After I dedicated myself to live “that kind of life” for 24 days, I realized that this lifestyle was not the secret to happiness. At least not for me.
I live a very busy life. I work 40 hours a week and spend anywhere between 5-10 hours a week commuting to and from work. Outside of work, I volunteer, blog, freelance, work out, cook and try to make time for my friends, family, dog and boyfriend among all of that. Sometimes I have to plan my weekends months in advance!
I justify this constant state of chaos for a few reasons. I’m still young, I don’t have kids, and I want to take advantage of this freedom while I still can.
Sometimes I have time to meal prep a few times a week, and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have time to get five workouts in that week, and sometimes I don’t.
This challenge made me realize it is okay to not reach my personal health goals every week. Because in the end, all I was doing was stressing myself out even more.
To me, happiness is coming home after a long day of work and having a nice glass of cabernet.
To me, happiness is living by a set of guidelines rather than rules. Most days I make good decisions when it comes to the food I eat. But some days I make bad ones.
For me to envy another’s lifestyle and body on social media is like me wanting to be someone I am not. I learned that I love my life the way it is, and being happy and healthy have equal importance.
Loving my life as it is was one set of weights lifted off my shoulders.
Lesson #2: Be Thankful
Completing the challenge forced me to love my body even more. I am perfectly capable of eating healthy meals and working out five times a week.
My body is healthy, it is strong, and it allows food to nourish me. I am incredibly blessed with a healthy body that does what it is supposed to do.
There are millions of people in this world who are sick, have a disease or a body that just does not function properly. God blessed me with this healthy body.
I must be thankful for all that I am and all that it does for me.
Being thankful for the body I have was another set of weights lifted off my shoulders.
Lesson #3: There Will Always Be Haters
When I was younger, I hated that I was born with curves. God gave me a booty. He also gave me thighs that hold up that booty. He gave me a slimmer upper body making it hard to buy clothes that fit most other women, except me.
Trying to find a pair of shorts or pants that fit both my thighs and waist is a real adventure! Some dresses fit awkward, making me feel bigger than I really am.
In high school, boys used to say that I was “thick” or “curvy”. To me, this meant plus size. *(This thinking has since changed, but then I felt embarrassed). Girls who didn’t like me would call me fat.
These small shopping inconveniences plus occasional mean comments are what lead me to start hating my body at an early age.
While I quickly learned these people were deflecting their own insecurities on me, it still hurt. This misconception of what fat, curvy or thick is what made me desire a different body.
The challenge reminded me that I can’t let other people’s opinions or words affect me.
When others make snide comments like “you’re so young!” or something negative about millennials, I can’t let it ruin my day.
This challenge reminded me of my past, my present and made me want to change my mindset for my future.
There are always going to be people who want to see me fail. There are always going to be people who are going to want to get a laugh from making fun of me or my life. And there will always be people who will doubt me.
This challenge made me remember that I know who I am, I know what I believe in and I know my passion sometimes scares people. Letting comments or actions roll off my back is what I need to do in order to move forward.
And yet again, another weight lifted off my shoulders.
Lesson #4: I Can Do Anything I Want To Do
Last but certainly not least, this challenge proved to me that I can do anything I set my mind out to do. I stuck to the healthy meal plan and workouts on most days. And I achieved awesome results.
**Sidenote: every day was not easy. On day four, I suffered a minor meltdown. I thought too long and hard about how many calories I had left to eat and the fact that I couldn’t have wine (silly, I know). Some days were easier than others, but the main point is that I stuck to it. Even when it got hard.
I went to work with a positive energy. My day was smoother and I felt happier and stronger. My clothes fit much nicer, not as tight. Most importantly – I proved to myself that I can do this.
All because I put my mind to this challenge and did not allow the temptations around me to push me completely off track.
This challenge was more than just a physical one. It also pushed my mind to just believe in myself.
This challenge reminded me that I can do anything I set my mind to. & this was another set of weights covered in doubts lifted off my shoulders. 🙂
Okay okay, now to the part you probably only care about :)I took a before and after photo that shows my final results.
24 days is not a long enough timeframe to see any drastic results when your starting weight is 132. However, I saw the most improvement in my hips, booty, and thighs.
This is no surprise since this is where I carry excess fat (yikes!) My arms also toned up quite a bit.
Thanks for following along on this fitness and spiritual journey with me. Are you participating in any challenges? Have you in the past? What has been your favorite?
If you have any questions about the challenge I followed or want more information on the diet/workout plan, feel free to reach out! I hope you all have a FABULOUS Monday!! <3
~XXXO, Mary <3