It’s time for a Coffee Talk Tuesday chat! Sharing some thoughts over coffee and a delicious garden view today…
I’ve been (over)thinking a lot about fitness and wellness lately. I mean, it’s my job! But it’s more than that to me — fitness and wellness and sharing my passion for these things is my life. I love helping people reach goals and feel confident. Confidence is the word of the year for me. And this year, I decided to take a dose of my own medicine and start to feel really confident about myself.
When I first started getting into fitness, I wanted to lose weight. I was overweight, unhappy, feeling lethargic and generally blah all the time. It took a lot of courage to pull an oversized t-shirt over my head and get myself to walk into the gym that first time. But I did it. At the time, I wanted to feel good, I wanted to stop my belly from hurting all the time, and I wanted my clothes to fit.
When I started getting really into fitness, I found exercise classes. Ok, I found Zumba. That was the rage at the time. I still wanted to lose weight. I still wore long pants and baggy t-shirts to class, because there were mirrors and I didn’t want to see myself. I hid in the back corner and started coming to every class offered during the week.
When I started getting really really into fitness, I enjoyed myself in classes. I even asked if I could lead a song. I moved to the front row. New routines didn’t scare me, they thrilled me. It was time for something new, so I found a Zumba license class and took it.
When I started getting really, really, really into fitness, I taught Zumba classes. I taught a lot of Zumba classes. I was hungry for more – I wanted to teach every day. So I did, sometimes twice a day. I took any group fitness job I could find, even subbing classes. I’d lost 30 pounds and I wanted more.
When I started getting extremely into fitness, I found running. I could run and run and run and I lost weight. I learned that I couldn’t run the day after eating certain foods–anything fried, anything greasy, tomatoes, peppers. So, I stopped eating those. Then I stopped eating meat because that made me feel heavy at the time and I wanted to be a fast runner. I lost weight running. I lost a lot of weight running and doing Zumba. I wanted more.
When I started getting very extremely into fitness, I ran 30 miles a week. I ran all the races I could find, the longer, the better! I still taught 7-8 Zumba classes a week. I found other classes by coming early to the gym where I taught or staying late and doing double-duty classes. I wanted to teach those, too.
When I started getting very, very, extremely into fitness, I got certified to teach 2 other formats within the span of 6 months. This was fun, collecting fitness certifications and finding new ways to challenge my body. I wanted to be skinny. I thought skinny was healthy. I did get skinny, but I didn’t realize it at the time.
When I started getting thinner, I felt hungrier. I ate more and more, and got really into the local food movement. When I took certain things away from my diet, I felt better. I wondered why? Then I learned about inflammation and wellness and how certain foods make people feel a certain way. Intrigue! I started eating meat again, because that made me feel stronger. I kept not eating tomatoes, peppers, and fried foods. I didn’t have stomach issues! I wanted to be strong.
When I wanted to be strong, I found programs like Insanity – all about bodyweight strength and challenging your max. I was hooked. I wanted to teach this, too! I got certified so I could help others be strong. Strong is sexy!
When I started getting stronger, I started getting more confident. I said good-bye to my previous life of being a martyr and living in a not-so-good situation. I became even more independent. I got my own little place around the corner from my job and literally bounced around everywhere. I was happy.
As I started getting happier, I found my person. Maybe he found me. We found each other. The girl who never thought she would be a wife became a wife to the best husband. The best. Happy is awesome.
As I started getting happy, I wanted other people to be so happy. So, I started teaching even more classes. This makes happy, right? The fitness community boomed and it was so much fun sharing happy.
But with all of this happy, I stopped working out on my own. I ran, but not as much. I worked out, but not as much. I taught and taught and taught classes, which still made me happy. But I wanted more.
As I looked for more, I rekindled my daily yoga practice. Ah, this was missing. It was nice to find center and calm in a chaotic world. I started regularly going to hot yoga classes. My people! I found my people, and my body found happy movements and connection.
As I started getting into yoga classes, I started getting stronger. I liked feeling strong. Strong is good for me. I wanted to find more strength.
Then I found Kayla Itsines and her Sweat/BBG program – 28 minute workouts three times a week? Ok, I could do that. And then I found confidence.
Confidence feels good. It’s putting on an outfit without stressing about how it looks (because who cares). It’s waking up feeling strong every single day. It’s lifting your chin up and keeping your head up at all times. It’s liking the way you look and not feeling ashamed about showing it. It’s asking for what you want. It’s not constantly apologizing for things you didn’t actually do. It’s finding balance, not being so eager to be the best or do the best. It’s realizing that you haven’t been sick since you started feeling confident. It’s realizing that your belly aches of the past have been eliminated. It’s being you, regardless of whether that fits into a mold or whether it’s what’s expected. It’s not caring about expectations. It’s accepting that you cannot change everything. It’s being.
Here I find myself – happy, strong, confident. After a path like this, I’m eager and excited to learn what might be my next steps. More confidence? More being? Just being? Oh, the possibilities.