As the 24-Days of Body Love has ended, a whole new world has begun.
I need to make a confession before I start baring my soul. I had to re-start the 24-day plan because I was silly enough to think that I could survive the Jewish holiday of Sukkot while strictly adhering to my nutrition and exercise regimen. At first, I was pretty bummed, especially because I had made a public commitment to my Facebook world that I was motivated and dedicated and ready to change my life.
Looking back, I think that starting over was a good lesson of self-compassion and acceptance of the human in all of us.
When I look at the changes I've made in the past month or so, and I see these before and afters, I am so proud of myself. I'm so inspired that I am continually becoming the woman that I want to be. Even more internally, than externally, to be honest.
I also got a super fab haircut by the talented Shira Katz, so that was a little fun addition to this whole journey.
Here are some things that have become more ingrained in me during the last month or so of training.
Tova Eastman is absolutely incredible and the coolest trainer ever.
I am stronger than I think.
I am determined as hell.
The best way to teach your children is to be an example.
I am beautiful at any size.
I've accepted it. Burpees are now a part of life.
I need to have more compassion for myself.
I am at the very beginning of my self-love journey.
You may be wondering what I did to loose 2 inches in my waist, tone up, and feel healthier and stronger in such a short amount of time.
Let's just say it wasn't easy. Some days felt awesome, like I was on top of the world and could conquer anything and everything I wanted to. Some days, I was grumpy or hormonal, and all I could think about was Ben & Jerry's. Though I'm proud to say I did not have ONE piece of candy, one sip of soda or one bite of junk food over the entire duration of this plan. And I still ate delicious food.
I loved that Tova incorporated things I loved into my diet, such as a night time snack of air popped popcorn with coconut oil or a piece of dark chocolate. She's also a fan of red wine, which made me fall in love with her from the moment we started talking about food.
My diet was and still is, high protein, lots of veggies, low-carb (but I do eat grains), and I still have my dairy bio yogurt every morning. Nothing was radical. It was balanced and filling. I felt in control. Well, most of the time.
I followed a fitness plan that catered to my personal goals, such as toning my abdomen area and firming up my backside. High intensity interval training is the way to go ladies. Tova's got it DOWN.
It was also awesome that I was able to continue doing CrossFit, which I started this past February. I really enjoyed being able to combine the two plans, with Tova's complete direction and support.
Working out on my own at home actually proved to be empowering. I felt like I really knew what I was doing. I barely needed any equipment, and I could do it anywhere at any time. NO EXCUSES!
As someone who advocates that all women are beautiful, there are times when I don't feel like I fully love myself. I often have wondered if this is a dichotomy that I can allow to exist.
Even recently, I was having a lot of anxiety surrounding these after pictures. I delayed taking them, hoping that maybe y'all would forget about this whole thing. ;)
Yet, I've come to this huge realization that self-love is a journey.
Just like any other relationship we have in life, there is an ebb and flow. The beauty is that any bump in the road is an opportunity to dig deeper into ourselves and grow to an even higher place than we were before.
I don't believe that self-love is something you achieve.
It is a relationship that is ultimately one of the most rewarding ones if your work is relentless. If you choose to care and invest in yourself as if you are a loved one, if you speak to yourself with compassion, and if you try to accept who and where you are in life, you are on the best path you could ever imagine.
Thanks so much to Ignite Fitness Training.
Tova, you are a true inspiration, and I know that you will continue to give other women what you have given me.