Hands down, the biggest change in my life this year has been one of health and fitness. You've seen me talk about it a lot here on Fresh Jess, with good reason. Aside from my various work and blog projects, it's pretty much my main priority. It's been over six months since I started my fitness journey (more like seven months now, but half a year sounded better), and my life has been rocked in the best possible ways ever since.
January's Resolution Challenge started with a 10-day superfood detox, which I quickly likened to how Bella must've felt in her transformation to vampire in the Twilight series. Stephanie Meyer basically described it as a few days of excruciating pain leading to a lifetime of glittery, stunningly gorgeous vampire life. "I better glitter after this" is what I kept saying during the detox. Haha! I don't know about stunningly gorgeous, but I did drop six pounds and felt so...different. I felt amazing, but I knew that was just the starting point to something greater. Something long-term. Little did I know that getting through the detox was only the first of major lessons I'd learn about myself this year....
Persistence is everything
Since the detox, I've kept up with the lifestyle. Green smoothies, superfood-heavy meals, working out regularly, all that. I am not perfect - in fact, I am super weak in the face of a Lil Woody's burger and Mexican Coke. I still struggle with making excuses, eating horribly, not working out. All that. What's different this time (versus any other time I've tried sustaining a healthy diet and workout regimen) is that I keep getting back on the wagon. Every time, no questions asked. Had a few bad meals this weekend? Green smoothie and good meals the next day. If I somehow screw that up and don't do it, I try again the next day. And keep trying. Now I'm having a green smoothie every day for breakfast. Little steps lead to big leaps.
About that morning life
If you would've told me six months ago that I'd not only be awake, but working out at 6:00a.m., I'd tell you that was the craziest of crazy talk. I'm the last person I'd expect to become a morning person. Yet here I am, waking up at 5:30a.m. everyday. Okay, every weekday at least. And I love it! Who even am I? I get so much done after my workout, and if I take a mid-day nap I know it's always well-deserved. I have found, however, that I need that workout adrenaline to be up that early. For any other reason, I'm just a zombie at that hour, desperately in need of coffee.
Food is fuel
I think I've consumed more greens in the last six months that I have in my entire life. I've also finally gained an understanding not just of what's healthy for me, but why, and what to look for when I'm shopping. We make so many better decisions when we're informed. I've tried countless recipes for meals and smoothies, and have found a few favorites. I would've never guessed I'd be one who didn't need meat, bread, dairy or sugar to enjoy a meal.
Numbers don't matter
Yes, I lost six pounds from the January detox and went on to lose nine more, reaching my goal weight for the year within the first four months of it. Somewhere along the way, those numbers stopped meaning as much as they used to. What does matter is how much stronger, flexible and toned I feel. I fit my clothes so much better than I did six months ago, but sometimes I'm bloated full of water or just getting heavier from muscle build. I had a weight in mind, but if I gain some of it back for muscle, I am totally fine with that. I've never felt as consistently fit as I do now, and that's what truly matters to me.
Keep it real
While I always get back on the workout/superfood diet wagon, I definitely beat myself up for not sticking to it all the time. One thing I am always working on is keeping it real with myself. It's okay to treat yourself once in awhile. I have to remind myself that I've made a lot of changes in the last six months, but moving to a lifestyle that basically doesn't include 80% of what I ate and drank before then is going to take a long, long time. Need to recognize what I have accomplished in the last six months and understand it's only the beginning of my journey.
I'm really excited to see my progress in the next six months. If I've come this far in such a short period of time, I can do anything!