Motherhood & Mothers

Self Awareness, Pt. 3 – Getting Started

When I found out that my health was bad enough that I was going to make it better or die, I had to figure out  my first step toward taking care of myself. I’ll want to tell you what my first step was. This was the beginning of a long journey that I’m on to be as authenticly me as I can be.

Self awareness is a process more than an end result. Just like every process or journey, many steps will be yours alone, and many be gleaned from the experiences of others. #selfawareness #courage

The first step is the hardest. That’s a cliche for a reason. It’s true. It doesn’t mean that the remaining steps aren’t hard, but the first is definitely the hardest. My partner said we needed a gym. Seriously? Ok. First step – find a gym. Ugh. Me no like-y.

Truth be told, I didn’t like the idea because I was terrified! Me? In a gym? With all the people who looked like they didn’t really need the gym? Muscles bulging? YIKES! I was terrified. And intimidated. Surely they would stare at me. Probably make fun of me. But here’s the thing. All of those thoughts combined terrified me (slightly) less than dying. Soon. Or even worse, being really sick and in extreme pain before it took me a really long time to die. That possibility had crossed my mind too. So, as ignoble as it was, fear gave me enough courage to take the first step into a gym.

I lifted weights in college, so I knew that I could be really strong. Even “for a girl.” I’d been around a gym before. I could give some gym swagger. (If you know me, you probably just snarfed coffee out of your nose – sorry.) I found a gym and started with a trainer. He stood me up the second time around. Hungover. (Him, not me.) Nice. Thanks, dude. Clearly I’m slack ass enough for both of us – your slack ass-ness is not helping.

I mention this only because this would have been the perfect opportunity for me to give up. But I didn’t. On to trainer number two.

My second, and current, trainer put me on the elliptical at Level I and I was checking the timer at 2 minutes wondering if I was done (or dead) yet. After we had been to work out with him several times, he asked if we wanted to go out to dinner. Holy crap!!! Out to dinner with the trainer??? Why? Why could he possibly want to go to dinner with us? Did he want to see what we would eat? Was this some sort of test or judgment? Before I could stammer, “ummm, I’m pretty sure we’re busy,” the P (partner – I’ve picked this nickname) happily accepted. Geez, this was going to be excruciating. Long story short, we had a great time – it was nothing that I feared it would be. And we became great friends with our trainer.

Over the next two years, I learned so much about diet, nutrition, and exercise from him. And I continue to learn from him.

This intense journey took me almost two years, but I lost 120 lbs through good old fashioned hard work. And while I was blessed to have the luxury of a trainer, the hard work was still mine. 120lbs. later – I was super strong and at 27% body fat – perfectly respectable and happy with where I was. I was the strongest woman my trainer trained and one of the strongest at our gym! Better yet, NO MORE MEDICAL problems. No medications!

Lifting weights provides so many health benefits including bone strength. #liftheavy #selfawareness #courage
I learned that healthier also meant stronger. Not necessarily skinny.

Authenticity Requires Courage

Ironically, fear gave me the courage to start this journey. And courage and determination kept me going. I found the courage to step into the gym in the first place. Courage got me through the humiliation of the first “fitness evaluation” that was required before I started with a trainer. I mustered the courage to go to dinner with our trainer and forge a great friendship. I had the courage to come back day after day after day. I came back even when muscles were sore. I kept going even when my whole body was tired. I had the courage to talk to a lot of people, ask a lot of questions of my trainer, do a lot of research – which led to wisdom. Not perfection, but wisdom. I mustered the courage to speak to people and make friends at the gym. Without exception, everyone was welcoming, friendly and encouraging.

After loosing the weight, I wanted to keep working and loose another 10 lbs. or so, but given where I had started I wasn’t stressing about it.

Self awareness is a process more than an end result. Just like every process or journey, many steps will be yours alone, and many be gleaned from the experiences of others. #selfawareness #courage
This is the first step in a lifelong journey – for me, it began with my physical health. Without first finding this, I would never have achieved anything.

During my journey, I learned a ton of tips, tricks, and hacks – both physical and emotional. I experienced great successes and many failures. And I learned that I had more courage than I ever expected to have. I’m going to share them all with you. But what I can’t share is a magic pill. Or an Amazon link. That I don’t know about. Courage, hard work, dedication, and time commitment – I know about. Knowing when is the time for authenticity, I know about.

Click here to see the other posts in my Self Awareness Sunday Series.

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  1. That’s amazing! I can relate with you about not wanting to go into the gym. I’ve never been overweight exactly. But, I would say that I’m out of shape. I have always been scared of going into the gym and looking like an idiot trying to do the basic level on the elliptical while everyone else is an expert. But, I finally started a workout routine and even though it’s extremely painful (particularly with the exercise-induced asthma), I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. I don’t want to be the one huffing and puffing in the back on family hikes any longer. Good for you with your dedication and determination! I hope I can stick with my goals like you did!

    1. Spoiler alert: I’ve gotten to where I really enjoy the gym! I’m not always thrilled to arrive, but I always feel great when I’m done! Congratulations on taking your first steps and keeping with it! I have every confidence that you can stick with your goals! I’ll be writing every other Sunday, so be sure to check back!

  2. Isn’t it wonderful that courage is discovered during a journey? I know that’s exactly where I found my courage: in a difficult, yet important, journey.

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog today and for leaving such a lovely, warm comment. xoxo 🙂

  3. Self awareness Is such an important part of self-care. I know I had to learn this lesson myself years ago. I’m so so glad that I did and that I stuck with it – both the learning to self-care and the self awareness. Both journeys have helped me help others as well, which is really great. But even moreso, I’m happy that I have enough self awareness (most of the time) to heed off other more dangerous, slippery, or tricky behaviors/attitudes.

    And Congrats to you for discovering yours and making such progress! 🙂

  4. I sometimes need help with my own sense of self, so thank you for sharing Self Awareness Sunday Series with us on the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I’m pinning and sharing.

  5. Loved this post. Def something I needed to read right now, which is why your my pick as a featured post over at Healthy Living Link Party. Thanks for co-hosting and sharing this post. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Healthy Living Link Party September 2, 2015 | Divas Run For Bling

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