My whole adult life, I lacked any sort of confidence and avoided so many social situations that I was just no longer invited out. Even now, it wasn’t until about a week ago before I made my Instagram account a public account. I only had family following me and I only posted safe, cute pictures of my son and myself.
When I was 18, I fell for a really bad guy and was headed down a very dark, ugly path. Right after I turned 19, I became pregnant and I had my son just one month shy of my 20th birthday. Really, all I can say is Thank God Connor came along when he did...he saved my life. See, I devoted my life to my son and thankfully, I was able to pivot my life and walk away from a really rough situation. Back then, I didn’t realize how much strength that actually took. I was just trying to keep myself and my son alive. I always wonder where Connor and I would be if I never had the strength and courage to leave.
So, my life became all about Connor. And I told myself that was enough. That’s what a good mom does. I put him before everything else in my life. Health, fitness, fun, who had time for that? I never went out, never dated anyone, only had other mom ‘friends’ that I talked to at sporting events. Connor’s father really did a number on my confidence and my whole twenties was solely about being a good mom for Connor.
But, man, was I miserable with myself. I was so self-conscious and constantly worried about what others thought of me. I didn’t take care of myself and the weight just piled on. Then, about 7 years ago, one of my sisters introduced me to Insanity and I was so jealous of her dedication and ability to actually do the workouts. They were so freaking hard! I started and stopped the workouts so many times during the next 5 years that it was actually embarrassing! Then, about two years ago, I finally felt like I hit rock bottom with my weight and health. Hitting rock bottom was the biggest wake up call for me!
All of a sudden, I became the most stubborn person about working out and eating right. It was like a switch went off inside me and I became so freaking stubborn and nothing was going to stop me. I was just dedicated to proving I could do it! Almost instantaneously, my confidence started growing. With every pound that came off, I became more and more determined to be the healthiest I’d ever been.
What I realized though was that while the weight coming off felt amazing, it was the transformation on the inside that was the most mind blowing part. I had lost 60 pounds in 6 months and I started not only taking care of my body, but my mind, too. I started listening to self-help podcasts and I bought the audio version of Shaun Ts Transformation book, which he narrated himself. He laid it all out there and opened up like I couldn’t believe. He was so raw and authentic and told his story so beautifully. (If you haven't read it, go grab it now!) Through his workouts and his story, he showed me how I could believe in myself and I realized that to be the best mother to my son, I had to be the best version of myself! Isn’t that crazy?! Someone who I had never met had that much influence over me!
So, when Shaun T announced his Transformation Tour, I immediately bought a ticket. I felt like I owed him so much for changing my life and the opportunity to meet him in person was just too good to pass up. But, when the day of the event came, all of a sudden, all those old insecurities came flooding back and I the last thing I wanted was to be put in a room full of strangers for an entire day without any idea of what we would be doing. I woke up that day and really dreaded going. I still don’t know how I did it, but I drove the two hour drive to Chicago and had to talk myself into walking into that building. I mean, let me just say, Thank God I did that. The whole event was something l’ll never forget. We had to do trust walks with random strangers, play Twister with random strangers, take pictures with random strangers! It was very interactive and one of the sessions had us writing a letter to ourselves about our obstacles, goals, where we want to be 6 months from then, etc., then put it in an envelope and address to ourselves. They told us we would get it in the mail in 6 months. So, I wrote my little letter, addressed it, and put it in their box. When Shaun T came out on stage and began his transformation spiel, all of a sudden, he pulls out that damn box and tells us he is going to pick some letters out and we’d have to go up on stage with him and read our letter out loud in front of everybody! WTF?!? I wanted to vomit, run, hide, do anything to get out of there at that moment. Alas, my letter was not picked and the ladies who did get called up there went up fearlessly and with amazing strength that I was just in complete awe. But, wait, now I want to go up there!! I want my voice heard, I want to push past my comfort level, I want to break through my shell! I wanted to prove to myself that I could do that, too! What?! The girl in my twenties would never come close to feeling that way.
At the end of the event, Shaun T graciously met every single person there. All I could say when I met him was Thank You. But, if he only knew everything I was feeling behind that Thank You! His hug was genuine and in that moment, I had to hold back the tears (I mean we had a photo op and I could NOT look like hell in my only pic I’d ever get with Shaun T!!). He lit a fire inside me two years ago and I’ll forever be grateful for him. Shaun T and the Beachbody family has changed my life. Everything that Beachbody has to offer, the support, the fitness, the nutrition plans, is something really special. I’ve physically transformed these past couple years, but the changes to my mindset is what this is really all about.
So, that’s it. That’s how Shaun T and I changed my life. Stay tuned for my next post all about how I finally opened up, let someone in after 10 years of being alone, lost 60 pounds, and bam...became pregnant again, gained nearly 90 pounds, and started my fitness journey all over again. But, at least I have the confidence knowing I can do it!