If a diet program exists, I’ve likely tried it. I have experimented with so many in the last 10 years I don’t know how my body hasn’t completely revolted. I have spent my entire life feeling like I physically wasn’t good enough, or pretty enough, or thin enough. I’ve developed this awful habit where I compare myself to anyone and everyone around me, sometimes without even trying. My anxiety is always a voice in my head focusing on the tiniest negative details with my life, from interacting with people I perceive to be attractive, to the nutrition in my diet programs. A few weeks ago, I decided I’ve absolutely had enough. I’m DONE with the excuses. I’m DONE with hating myself in the mirror. I’m DONE with the lack of confidence. I’m DONE giving up on myself. I’m DONE with the negative messages.
In August I was posting a lot on Instagram about mental health positivity and making good improvements to yourself. These positive messages attracted quite a few coaches from Beachbody asking me to either join their teams or become a coach myself. I have a few Beachbody workout programs that were really intense and as a result I gave up on after only a week. I do not like the idea of having someone checking in with me to see how my workouts are going, because my anxiety would tell me I’m disappointing my coach or not meeting their expectations.
There was a girl in particular that I decided to keep following (Andrea- thatfitagvocate). She posts about 5-10 stories and 1-2 feed posts per day. She has never directly messaged me asking me to join her team, and for that she is a winner in my book! Her messages are always super positive telling you that it’s ok to feel stressed out, it’s ok to feel discouraged, it’s ok to have negative thoughts, but you are the ONLY person who has the ability to challenge those ideas. I continued to follow her page for another month and watched the dramatic transformation her body undertakes with each program she completes. I was inspired and motivated to figure out how to feel more confident about myself.
I decided instead of using a coach or joining a team, I signed up for Beachbody on demand. Basically, this is a monthly subscription that allows you access to all of the Beachbody programs (like P90X, PiYo and Insanity) and stream the videos through any TV or device. I took a few days to try the the first videos in a couple of the programs unsure of what exactly I was looking for. Then I happened to see a program called “80 Day Obsession”. I read through the companion guides for nutrition, supplements and workout calendar. The more I researched how the program worked, the more I wanted to make it happen. I decided to make the 80-day devotion to myself and started the program.
To say everything has gone according to plan would be a lie. My first day of actual workouts didn’t happen, because we spent 10 hours that day moving furniture around our house for new carpet to be installed. My first instinct was that I already failed myself. Day 2 of the program and I was already discouraged. That feeling of discouragement was not going to break me down this time. I told myself that is was ok and I physically changed the workout calendar to begin on Tuesday instead of Monday. That one simple change on paper, mentally made a world of difference.
My nutrition also hasn’t been 100% according to plan. In the past nutrition has made me go completely insane. If the plan listed very specific food items and weights, I would be so strict with myself I would start feeling guilty for even eating the allowed foods! Nutrition plans would turn me from having terrible eating habits (pizza, sugar coffee, no portion control) into borderline anorexic. For this program, I purchased the measuring containers required, highlighted the allowed food list to indicate what foods I know I like to eat, and then I made a list of what I consider “failing”. My list includes:
- Having two “cheat” meals in a row
- Drinking more than 1 alcoholic beverage a week
- Not measuring my food
I am using this list as a guide and not as a rule book. I am the person that decides when I’ve failed this program. I am not perfect. With the holiday season coming soon, I know the increase in food consumption has the potential to ruin all of my progress. In reality it’s ok to eat food that is off plan, and enjoy being a human being celebrating with friends and family.
The hard truth I am learning about myself, is that I need to relax. I plan so much of my life to the point where planning (my anxiety defense mechanism) is causing my anxiety to have a platform to run with. I have already heard messages from my anxiety telling me I’m not seeing results, or amplifying areas of my body that I have not seen a change. IT IS ONLY DAY 10 OF 80! I have 70 days left to make changes and be obsessed with my health. Like any other aspect of my life when I receive those messages, I take a critical look at how valid they are. Instead of focusing on “my stomach is still too big and hasn’t changed”, I am looking at how good my booty looks and feels to far! My clothes already fit better, and I am down a whole pant size in 10 FREAKING DAYS.
If I ever feel like I want to give up on myself within in the next 70 days, I will come back and read these messages:
- I AM good enough
- I AM confident
- I AM beautiful
- I AM working hard
- I AM WORTH IT