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So, if you had asked me a year ago I would have told you that I loathed exercise. You know those people who are all about exercising and how it makes you happy and all that (like how I am now, I suppose)? Well, I used to want to punch them in the face. Exercise makes you happy? Um, NO. It fucking sucks. And it DOES suck. In the beginning. Getting in shape is HARD. It is painful. You feel horrible and fat and old and ugh. Everything is uncomfortable. And no one likes to be uncomfortable. Getting through the first month of getting in shape takes a whole lot of determination. That is why I have never stuck to an exercise program before. I try it and it is hard and I don’t get this high that everyone is talking about so I think I am just wired differently. Everyone in my family is fit and happy and maybe I just didn’t get the fit and happy gene.

This time I started month one with a whole lot of determination. And it was so hard and I did not feel happy about it but I stuck it out. After the first month I saw I was losing some weight so I stuck it out for another month. It got a little easier and I lost more weight. After about month three I started getting the bug. It also helped having my accountability group and seeing other people’s successes and excitement. I decided to start a new program and I was excited about it. It is about that time that I started getting hooked. I noticed myself changing and people around me started noticing, too. I started to feel good!

It took six months to lose 30 pounds and blast my goal out of the water (my goal was about 15 pounds because I never thought any more was possible) and about that long to start getting the high. I finally got it! It isn’t that you do one 30 minute work out and you are going to feel amazing.  Nope. You gotta push and push and stick to it for several MONTHS before you get that high. I won’t say I love exercising every time I do it. Some days are hard; I don’t feel like working out or I feel run down or not as strong as I normally do. But the majority of the time I look forward to my work out and enjoy it. I enjoy pushing myself because I know I can do it. It’s a different kind of hard. Not that soul-crushing hardness of getting in shape but that exhilarating, testing-your-own-limits type of hard.

So, no one is more surprised than me that my life (not just my body) has been changed through exercise. I have been a lifelong struggler of depression. I’m not going to say exercise has replaced my medications because I am still on them. But I will say that I feel happier than I have in YEARS. I am more confident, healthier, stronger, happier. All because I stuck to 30 minutes of exercise a day for long enough for me to CHANGE inside and out. And so now the old me can punch the new me in the face. But I’m sure I can take her!

The only thing standing in your way is YOU. I stood in my own way for YEARS. Thinking I couldn’t or I just didn’t want to. Don’t sell your self short. Anything is possible!

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