WHERE ARE THEY NOW???
Megan started the SKFitLife Challenge almost exactly one year ago. She recently checked in with me to share some stats and I think you will find them to be extremely interesting…
August 2012 Body Fat: 43.5 Pounds
June 2013 Body Fat: 27.3 Pounds
OVERALL CHANGE IN WEIGHT: 7.2 Pounds
We cover the importance of aiming for “Non-Scale Victories” during the SKFitLife Challenge. The number on the scale doesn’t define you nor does it define your progress.
Read Megan’s Full Story Here:
For the past year, I felt like I was really spinning my wheels in all things health related. I still had about 10-15 pounds to get to my goal weight. I had always loved to exercise and thought I ate pretty healthy. But, the gym I had gone to for 8 years had a new owner and was changing its focus. Many of the group fitness instructors had left and I had just lost the passion for it.
Where diet was concerned, it was a huge cycle. I would buckle down Sunday night though Friday morning, and then end up in the same place when the next Sunday night rolled around. I counted points, counted calories, and then throw in the towel and say, “I just want to eat this and be happy!” I would beat myself up after making bad food choices. Add this to the stress of starting my own business where I mainly worked out of a home office with a 4 and 7 year old right in the next room, and it was all becoming too much to handle once it was all added to my regular life of being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.
Then I saw my friend Iris’ before and after pictures. She was a real person, not a TV ad! And she looked great. A few text messages and e-mails later, and I was ready to sign up. Of course, this was about 36 hours before the challenge started, so things got worse before they got better. Once I registered, I printed out everything and started freaking out. “I wasted our money! I can’t do this!” I cried to my husband. He urged me to stay the course and give it a shot.
The exercise was a welcome change and a total paradigm shift for me. I was a cardio addict and would spend 6-8 hours a week taking group cardio fitness classes. I had injuries, but I kept going because I felt working out like that was allowing me to eat the way I was and still remain in my jeans. But Stephanie’s workouts were totally different. I decided to dive in and embrace the change. I loved the challenge of trying to beat my time or reps in a previous round. I thought it would be hard to push myself without my friends from the gym around me, but it turns out that I am a powerful motivator for MYSELF!
I took on a challenge issued by a group member and went to a hot yoga class and loved it! If someone would have told me 12 weeks ago that I would dread a 60 minute step class and look forward to yoga, I would have told them they were crazy. But I honestly don’t see the need to be a slave to a gym schedule anymore. The freedom these workouts allowed me was just what I needed to gain some valuable perspective.
The clean eating was a bigger challenge. I was not a soda drinker and I didn’t eat foods that I just had to microwave for 3 minutes until they became a meal. But I had a MAJOR sugar problem. I could eat an entire tub of cookie dough before the oven could even preheat.
Anytime I allowed myself to have “just one treat,” it ended up being “just one entire tray of that treat.” I was also not big on leftovers, so prepping meals and reheating them did not appeal to me. However, I vowed this was the last straw and I was going to give it everything I had.
I was going to make a lifestyle change and LIVE it!
I learned how to make meatballs, roast Brussels sprouts, and cook chicken for a salad topping to last me for days. I even warmed up tilapia for lunch that was left over from dinner and liked it. This also saved me a lot of time.
Once I took responsibility for this diet change and did it, the eating just fell into place.
I had a plan and I had food ready for when I was hungry. Foods that I used to think were gross had wonderful flavor and the junk foods I was eating suddenly tasted like chemicals. My energy was higher, my attitude was better, and I had more time to do the things I wanted to be doing (which was not inputting calories into an app!). I started thinking of food as FUEL for the hard work I was doing in the workouts and throughout the day. It was no longer my nemesis!
I didn’t think I would like the Facebook group portion of the challenge. I am not a big touchy-feely person, but I quickly learned the Facebook group was a huge portion of my success. Instead of competing with these women, and I was getting to know them and celebrating their victories.
When I didn’t want to work out in the morning, I would roll over and look at my phone and see the people who had already worked out at 4:30 AM before their children got up. The people who pushed through when their husbands were deployed were inspiring to me. I found myself saying, “My friend ____ in the challenge…” to my husband as if I had hung out with these women for years! The recipes, motivation and support from the group were fantastic.
Along with the shift in thinking about exercise came a shift in thinking about weight. Around week 4 or 5, I really did stop “chasing skinny.” I would forget to weigh myself Tuesday morning, as I had done for years. I didn’t need to! Things were fitting! I felt great! I knew I was getting results, even if I didn’t lose a pound. Once week 8 hit, I knew I was getting there. Other people started to notice the change and it felt great.
My kids wouldn’t say that I was on a diet; they would say I was “making healthy food choices” and I would encourage them to do the same.
I want them to know that a positive self-image is important and that they are beautiful by being healthy, not skinny. I now look at the food I am going to eat and know I can eat it AND be happy.
Stephanie’s passion for life and life’s experiences is contagious. Along with the group, she really makes you feel like you can take on the world. She, along with the rest of the group, were so supportive and non-judgmental, and that was something I also started to bring into my life outside of the challenge more. I took the time to really understand why people around me said and did the things they did, instead of making snap judgments. I was happy for them instead of brooding about why that wasn’t happening for me. This program was more of a journey in becoming a better me than a skinnier me. Life is so much easier this way!
It was not what I signed up for, but what an added bonus!
Thank you Stephanie, everyone at SKFitLife, and especially my sisters at in the SK Challenge 0312 group! We rocked it!!!!