If you’ve followed my blog for awhile you have read about a lot of experiences I had this year. This really did turn out to be an epic year – my life has completely changed. The adventure hasn’t stopped… in fact, I feel like it’s just starting.
In the midst of training for my competition the thought of “What am I going to do next?” was a thought floating in the back of my mind. It’s not something I really dwelled on and not something I was scared of because I felt so content with life and I knew whatever came next would be the right thing at the right time. I was ready for even bigger goals, dreams… to keep going.
Now that my first NPC competition is behind me I can focus on some new endeavors for the next several months. My heart has really been touched by so many people around me that I have been able to come in contact with through this whole journey. It’s been during this time I have found, besides writing, my true passion and something I am incredibly excited to chase and share with other people.
Which brings me to an exciting announcement!!!! Over the past several weeks of thinking about this, talking about it with a few people, praying about it… I have felt such peace as I am proud and happy to announce I am actively pursuing becoming certified as a personal trainer. I don’t know how to explain how I feel – there is such a swelling in my heart. I know this sounds cheesy, but this is what life is supposed to feel like, ya’ll. I’m telling you. People can tell you what love is supposed to feel like but until you have felt all consuming love that makes you crazy you don’t really know. That’s what this is like – that feeling that people talk about when they just know something is completely right for them.
I’ve definitely been emotional a few times as I think about this new course of events in my life. Why? Because, I am so passionate about this. Completely rebuilding your body takes time. A lot of time. Losing the 40 lbs I did was just part of the whole puzzle. It wasn’t just about hitting a certain number or fitting into a certain size. I wanted to change my body – to push myself. Building muscle is not easy. Changing your body is not easy and it takes patience. Learning how to time food, eat right, being 100% faithful and dedicated to the process… none of it’s easy. At my heaviest I was 5’5″ and 155 lbs – that’s overweight for a woman my height and frame. I wasn’t obese, but I was most definitely overweight, out of shape, and 100% not healthy. My intermittent moments of exercising didn’t make me fit or dedicated – it made me a yoyo dieter and a flighty workout participant. It made me an emotional eater. It made me someone who had episodes of binge eating followed by intense shame and self loathing. It made me put my body through starvation mode as I consumed one meal a day yet the pounds continued to climb and I became more and more miserable.
I know what it’s like to not want to step foot into the gym (unless you’re running over to the treadmill and then sneaking out without making eye contact with anyone), I know what it’s like to get to the point of breaking where you know you have to change, I know what it’s like to have the mindset of “weights make women bulky,” I know what it’s like to be scared to admit to a trainer all your insecurities and fears and worry if you’re going to be able to do anything they ask of you. I know what it’s like to feel like you may never get to where you want because you can barely do a simple arm exercise with an 8lb weight. I know what it’s like to want to give up. To think you’re not seeing results, to think you’re not progressing. To sit outside of the gym and think of every reason and excuse not to go in. To cry because you feel fat, because you don’t think you’re seeing results or because someone told you you were “big” or “too skinny”.
But, I also know what dedication and perseverance feels like. I know what it’s like to have the privilege of being reminded by own trainer to think about where I started and how much stronger I have become. And, that I only get stronger. I know what it’s like to set a crazy high goal for yourself and actually reach it. I know what it’s like to finally go in to a store and buy whatever I want because I don’t have to worry about it not fitting. I know what it’s like to finally feel 100% comfortable in my own body for the first time ever.
That’s one thing I love so much about fitness – you don’t have to reach a finite point. You can keep going or you can change things and have different goals but you still see results when you are faithful. I will never be “done” with working out. I get to go to the gym and challenge myself every time I go – it’s a never ending competition with myself.
I’ve never felt like something was so right for me and to be able to share the excitement and frustrating moments followed by moments of breakthrough with other people has me so excited. I wish there was a way to sell the feeling you get after working out, seeing results, being consistent… all stemming from the hard work you put in yourself. You have the power to completely transform yourself and all it takes is perseverance and your body.
For me, fitness is about so much more than just changing your body. It’s emotional, spiritual, mental… It changes every part of you for the better. And, now I am going to get to share those life changing moments with other people!
until next time… xoxo, patty lauren