On June 6th I took rather unflattering, exposed photos of myself and posted them to Facebook and declared that in 90 day I will reach my Level 10, or I will be in the best shape of my life. Not just postpartum shape, but shape period. Better than before I was pregnant and I was in great shape before pregnancy. These photos were not easy to publish for the world to see. I used to be very particular about what photos I posted for everyone to see. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist I had been trying out being less than perfect for the world to see. These photos were just me, vulnerable me. No fancy poses to make me look better, slimmer, thinner. They were the real me; how I actually looked.
Well, that’s me 11 months postpartum and for some these may look like great postpartum photos. For me, it was so hard to let these go into the internet. There were a few reasons I did it.
1. Step out of my comfort zone and be vulnerable
Over and over, successful, happy people tell us we need to be getting out of our comfort zone to really grow in who we are and this was definitely outside my comfort zone. To get anywhere in life and to truly become a part of this wonderful human experience, we have to accept that we will not be perfect. To do this we have to become vulnerable. For someone who wants everything to be and look “perfect” this is exceptionally difficult. It’s like asking someone with OCD to look at an awful misaligned mess and not allow them to fix it. Your insides are screaming. Vulnerability is our way to more richly experiencing a unique connection with ourself and others.
If I posted it online then I had to do it. All my friends and family would see my progress, ask how I was doing, and if I bailed they would all know. Posting regularly about it helped too because it meant that no one would forget and I really had to stick to my word to make a difference. If 90 days goes by and I’ve been talking up a big game and then my side-by-side photos look like there’s no difference it says either I don’t work or my products don’t.
3. To be an inspiration for other women
It’s hard enough to love your body as a woman when all that we see in the media, advertising, movies, etc. shows us we must be tan, thin, tall, and somehow curvy to be attractive. After pregnancy and birth it’s even worse. Stretch marks, weight gain, cellulite, droopy boobs, it’s all there and none of it makes us feel good about ourselves. I had a particularly hard time coping with my stretch marks. I think that was the hardest part about posting the pictures. There are not enough pictures on the internet of fit moms with stretch marks. Even when I searched for it, I found maybe 3 photos. I wanted to (hopefully) inspire other moms that if I can do it, you can do it. If I can get fit, tone, lean, and strong so can you. You are not alone, I am not alone. We have given life to our children and our bodies should be celebrated for that.
But why all this in the first place? I wanted to look great and feel great and be more fit and stronger than ever before in my life. This was my goal and I had not felt this way since giving birth. I was working out, I was eating healthy meals, but it was just the little details I wasn’t being consistent about. I went too long between meals and sometimes I would go a week or two without a single workout. You know, the normal mom life just got in the way. Now it was time for no more excuses. 100% accountability 100% commitment. I had my Herbalife, healthy meals, and High Frequency Training (HFT) plan. I ate every 2-3 hours and had 4 workouts a week. However, the journey wasn’t always so straightforward.
Starting out, I must admit I had some pathetic thoughts, “I don’t really need to work hard the first month anyway.” Anyone else do this? Often when I make a big commitment that scares the crap out of me I immediately start to down-play it in my mind to ease the anxiety it’s causing me. I’m looking for a loophole to jump through that will somehow magically make this less difficult. However, when I gave myself a stern look in the mirror I realized there was not going to be any easy way out. Right when I was about to post the pictures online I had to talk myself through it faster than I could talk myself out of it. “Just do it before you change your mind. Do it, do it, do it.” And now I was doing the same pep talk, but there was no way out. “Just do it and do your best. Simply do your best.” I had to accept that as long as I did my best, even if the results were not spectacular, I would have to accept myself and my progress and know that I did the best that I could do.
About 3 weeks in to my new regimen I got an injury. My philosophy regarding injuries is to stop any physical activity that makes it hurt worse and do not resume until several days after feeling no pain. I am not going to push through the pain to prove I am a bad ass and wind up with a lifelong injury. Backs, knees, the achellies, shoulders, I’ve seen it. After a week I was back on my workout routine, but, again, I had to have a pep talk with myself, “A week! You lost a week! No worries. It’s only the beginning of the challenge, I can easily make it up. It’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine.” However, I was not fine and I was not accepting myself for doing my best. I was expecting more than my best and punishing myself for coming up short. Funny how we play games in our minds, right? I’d like to point out at this time that nobody sees this part of our struggles on social media and yet we all have these doubts and fears. Even those who seem like they have it all and they live the perfect fairytale life, even them, they fall and fail like everyone else. Maybe they just choose not to post it for everyone to comment on.
Back on track and nearing the third month of my 90 days I thought to myself, “This is what will make it count!” and another minor injury. Missed 10 days of working out. For some of you this may not seem like a big deal, but for those who are actively working out, we know. Missing nearly 3 weeks out of 12 can be a devastating blow. This time, though, I kept a positive mindset. I didn’t focus on the fact that I was missing workouts, I channeled my focus to my nutrition. I believe in my nutrition and products so much and I want to show others that it’s not all about the workout. We have a saying that it’s 20% workout and 80% nutrition and I really believe that. I should know because I lived it. When I was in college I signed up for a fitness class which was basically just clocking in to workout in the gym. I worked out 3-5 days a week for more than an hour every time and in a year I wasn’t down one pound. I didn’t look any better than the day I had started. When Luka introduced me to a healthy lifestyle I didn’t have to kill myself in a gym and I lost 15 pounds in a month.
For the last month I really gave it my all. I was all in all the time. I posted a reminder online for the extra encouragement from family and friends. Then something unexpected happened in the last 2 weeks. Suddenly people started asking me what I am doing. People in Herbalife, people on Facebook, people I’ve been friends with for a while, people I know, people who do the same thing I do. I was confused. “What do you mean ‘what am I doing?’ I’m doing what I have been doing for the past year. You know what I do. You know I use Herbalife Nutrition, eat healthy meals, and workout. Nothing has changed. I simply just set a goal and I’m being consistent about it.” But then I realized, we humans are always looking for the next new thing, the easiest “fix” to our problems. It’s in our nature. It’s just how we operate. When we see someone who has what we want or they seem to have something new, we want to know all about it because maybe this is just the thing that will work for us. But I have to tell you that there will always be the next new thing. There will always be a new fad, a new trend, a new diet, a new product, a new workout, a new exercise, a newer-bigger-better thing. However, none of those things will give you what you are looking for. You are looking for a magical answer that will give you the perfect body in a week that will last the rest of your life. If you want to know what exercises I did for a better butt or for lean and tone arms then just search Google or Pinterest and you will find thousands of exercises that will do the same thing. The truth is maybe a diet or a product or exercise will make a difference for a little while, but it’s not a permanent fix. It is not giving us what we really need: health.
The goal of all this is not our looks, it’s our health and it is easy to lose sight of that. My goals may have started out with my looks, but as I neared the end I realized that this was about my health. Giving my body the best I can. “The best” will never be quick or fast or easy. The best is for the rest of your life. The best is a lifestyle. It means living a healthy life every day. So! Are you ready to reach your Level 10?
To reach your Level 10 contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Consumers who use Herbalife® Formula 1 twice per day as part of a healthy lifestyle can generally expect to lose around 0.5 to 1 pound per week. Participants in a 12-week single-blind study used Formula 1 twice per day (once as a meal and once as a snack) with a reduced calorie diet and a goal of 30 minutes of exercise per day. Participants followed either a high protein diet or a standard protein diet. Participants in both groups lost about 8.5 pounds.