Wow! I received so much positive feedback on yesterday’s blog about gratitude that I now have a whole new slew of reasons to be appreciative! lol! Thank you!! In the midst of all the overwhelming responses yesterday, I had an old competition client reach out to me to explain why she had “fallen off the face of the earth” (aka shut me out) after completing her first show with JillFit a couple years ago because she was embarrassed about gaining weight after the show and wanted to hide. This girl is such a sweetheart and I am so glad she reached out to me, and how can I not understand that?? Of course! We have all been there, right?
Her email reminded me of the times when I have struggled the most with living the fat loss lifestyle and about not feeling 100% secure in my skin. I have been at this physique stuff for many years now and it has only been in the last couple years that I have really “owned” my look and been ok with the package I bring to the table. Early on, I remember saying, “if I could just have this person’s thighs or this person’s abs or have the discipline of this person…” then…….? I could, what, be happy? Get praise? Be liked? Hmmm…seems like I can be all of those thing without rocking a 6-pack year round, no? It seems silly, and yet so many of us accomplished women, many with advanced degrees or thriving careers or successful moms can literally be brought to our knees by the number on the scale. Huh? I now know that I might not always have the smallest waist or the tightest glutes and damn my big bones, but I get to choose right now to be ok with what I have and then happily work my ass off to create the best physique that Jill can possibly have.
In addition to digging deep and learning to be at peace with my thighs, I have come to a very simple realization about effectively living the fat loss lifestyle: be gentle with yourself. The expectation that we are going to eat perfectly 24/7 and never slip up only leaves us feeling helpless and frustrated when we inevitably do. For a select few individuals, they can eat perfectly all the time and they are amazing, but for the average woman who wants fat loss and to feel more comfortable in her skin (not to mention her clothes!), there is going to be a learning process involved. At Metabolic Effect, we say that practice makes progress–not, practice makes perfect. The first step is accepting that we will probably never be perfect…BUT, we can get better.
We can practice making the right choices more often and learn from our experiences (for me, I tend to get in trouble at night after dinner so it is important for me to have an unsweetened cocoa drink or drink tea or chew gum or just get in bed). This process is all about learning about you and what is right FOR YOU. The idea is not to get a new diet plan and then use every ounce of will-power to stay on it. How miserable. Find what works for you..ask yourself, how do I feel after eating that? How are my hunger and cravings when I skimp on sleep? How does skipping breakfast affect me later in the day? Gee, my joints hurt today, what did I eat last night? Why do I feel bloated after I eat whey protein? Etc. These are examples of relevant questions to begin asking yourself to tune into how food affects you and your goals, and then move forward making better choices for you as an individual.
Many of you know that I love food. I have a huge appetite and in my younger days was a cardio-queen-eat-anything-I-want-carb-junkie and guess what, I was PUFFY!!! Though I was always “fit,” I always had a layer of fat and water that stayed with me–could it have been the burritos, chips & salsa, cookies, chips, bagels and pasta? Of course! And even though I gained weight back after my first competition (like many first-timers do), I had learned how to fuel my body and how to burn fat and shed water at will…the outcome continues to rely on the choices that I make day in and day out. There is no “on-season” or “off-season” there is only this meal, right now, in front of me. Do I choose to burn fat or store fat? To shed water or to retain water? And though I still don’t always make the right decisions, years and years of practice and preparation has allowed me to make real progress over time.
So here is my treat to you: my WAY before, before and now photos! :) Enjoy! ox Jill
2001 (college) —-> 2005 (before my first show) —-> 2011