how Miley Cyrus saved me from a downward spiral…seriously.

The challenge is finally over and I’m experiencing a range of emotions that I never expected. I’ve spent a good amount of my time for the last 6 weeks focusing on every calorie I’m consuming, every calorie I’m burning, what the scale says, how much water I’ve consumed, the amount of protein that’s in a meal, cross checking my grocery list for Kroger-Aldi-Whole Foods-Trader Joes, trying on pants (too big), trying on other pants (too small), did I remember to take my AdvoCare…. I’M EXHAUSTED. Mentally and physically, I’m wiped out. I kept thinking… just wait until March 10th. You’ll be able to relax with a nice diet coke, followed by one (or three) glasses of wine. But that was not what I wanted when March 10th came. What I wanted, was to know who won this challenge.

I weighed in before work and was extremely proud of results {more on that later}. Instead of celebrating my accomplishments, I immediately needed to know who won. After all, that’s why I did this challenge. To win. I dropped beloved beverages, cut out sugar/carbs/saturated fat for that title, that sense of pride. I did it to prove to myself that hard work and dedication trump all and that I’m an Orange Theory warrior. (I’m not kidding, this was my actual thought process).

As I drove to work, I put in a CD that Rachel had made me when we graduated high school (hello 2010!). As I drove I listened to iron and wine, some Mumford and sons, (and in typical Rachel fashion-Miley Cyrus). The Climb came on as I was pulling onto the interstate and the water works could not be stopped. The lyrics, which are simplistic at best, completely sunk in and snapped me out of my compulsive thinking. OBVIOUSLY I had a much greater goal when I started this challenge. I wanted to change my lifestyle, I wanted to become more fit, I wanted to feel confident again. This was not about the money or the title or the Instagram’s that would surely follow. This was about taking a step to better my life and EDUCATE myself.

“ I can almost see it.
That dream I’m dreaming, but
There’s a voice inside my head saying
You’ll never reach it
Every step I’m takin’
Every move I make
Feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin’
But I, I gotta keep tryin’
Gotta keep my head held high”

When I started this challenge, I remember pre-booking for the entire challenge. I signed up for a class EVERY day of the challenge. I remember thinking, “LOL, I’ll make it to probably HALF of these.” (Note: I only skipped 6 classes total). There were a lot of voices telling me that I was never going to make it through this challenge.

“There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb”

I mean, let’s face it. I will probably always have to watch what I eat. It’s no coincidence that I have spent 7 years of my life working for assorted pizza restaurants. There is always going to be maintenance that needs to be done. There will be times that I gain weight, there will be times when I can’t make it to Orange Theory, and there will definitely be times that I eat my fair share of pizza. AND THAT IS OKAY. This is a weight loss JOURNEY- not a competition. This is about creating a sustainable lifestyle, it’s all about the climb.

“The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down, but
No I’m not breaking
I may not know it, but
These are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep goin’,
And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on, ’cause”

Stuggles? Let me list the ways (savage day, advocare, starvation mode… just to name a few). All of those knocked me down, again and again. But somehow, when I look back at all those moments (crying over Hilary Duff, not mixing my fiber packet with anything, and working out twice a day), I’m reminded that I’m going to stumble and fall, a lot. Luckily, I have a GREAT support system that continuously builds me up.

“Keep on movin’
Keep climbin’
Keep the faith baby
It’s all about, it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa, whoa, oh”

The results from the challenge aren’t posted until March 19th. (EEK!) But in the meantime, I’ll keep moving. (Does anyone have an extra fitbit, I’ve lost 2 and my mom keeps asking me to be in workweek hustles.). I’ll keep climbing. (That Stairmaster has done WONDERS for my butt). I’ll keep my faith. (In this process, in my journey, and knowing that I’m not in this alone.)

Because, it’s all about the climb. Okay, mostly about the climb, a little about the CASH prize. (Baby steps!)

Cheers,

S.L.

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