I can honestly say that as a result of adopting the Lean for Life/Fitmania lifestyle and participating in Challenge #6 I am more healthy, happy, fit and confident than I have ever been in my life! Seeing it change my children’s and grandchildren’s lives, I knew that it was something I wanted for myself. This time around things fell into place to make it possible and I was ready to commit. As a result, I’ve had the experience of loving the way I feel after a workout – so energized and positive! I’ve come closer to my goal of “eating to live rather than living to eat.” I’ve turned my proclivity for snacking into a positive instead of a negative by changing what I eat, and I never have to go hungry! Although I have a way to go in kicking my sugar cravings, I’m so much better than I was and I have found healthy substitutes that I honestly enjoy as much or more than the junk I used to eat. I feel so sluggish when I do indulge that it just isn’t worth it.
I find that all physical activities are easier than before – working in the yard, playing with the grandkids, climbing stairs, running on the beach, even getting out of the bathtub. My balance has also improved, which will be a great benefit as I age.
Some of the greatest growth I experienced came as a result of injuries and illness that I struggled with during the 90 days, including starting boot camps two weeks late after landing on my tailbone the day of signups, a fall and blow to the head 2 weeks later, low back, neck & shoulder issues, a heart arrhythmia and a head cold during the final 2 weeks. Those, in combination with transitioning from a pretty sedentary lifestyle and being a couple of decades older than most of my boot camp buddies caused me to frequently consider quitting. Having persisted and experiencing some pretty good results in spite of the challenges, I am now less likely to let life’s trials and bumps in the road dictate my mood, my happiness level or whether I continue forward with a task or a goal. I’ve learned that when the journey gets difficult, it doesn’t mean quit; it means push harder, try different methods, or modify expectations, but never give up.
I learned that perfection is not required. Although I had to modify some of the exercises and often felt inferior to the other participants, I learned to ignore what was going on around me, look inside myself and know that as long as I was pushing myself, working up a sweat, getting my heart pumping and not giving up, it was still better than staying home in bed! I learned that focus and the encouragement of friends are amazing things.
I have discovered that I can do things I never thought I would be able to do. Maybe not right away, but by persevering or setting it aside for awhile and then trying again. At first when I attempted something and failed, I adopted the belief that it was just something I couldn’t do. Then one day, I tried again and had grown enough stronger that I could sort of do it. Each successive time that I tried, it was a bit easier and I was a little more successful. What a great lesson, applicable in all aspects of life! As a result, I’m better at subduing the “I can’t’s” in my life. Just because I’m not successful on my first attempt doesn’t mean I’m doomed to always fail and if I don’t try, I’ll never know!
I’ve learned that spending a little more on great tasting, healthy foods is a good investment and that I am worth it. I’ve also learned to think outside the box and be more creative with meals. The cooking classes, support pages and fellow Fitmaniacs have been invaluable in this regard.
As a result of my increased confidence, attending my High School Reunion this summer was a joy rather than something to dread. I walked tall and confident, really put myself out there and had a completely different experience than I would have had otherwise. People really are more drawn to you when you are secure in yourself!
This experience has changed me and changed my life for the better and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to participate.