Be Absolutely Proud
For eight weeks,
I changed my lifestyle for this.
I worked out a lot for this.
I gave up many things for this.
I woke up early every day for this.
I ate extremely clean for this.
I was injured, but kept training for this.
I lifted heavier and more often for this.
I worked every damn day for this.
I wanted to make myself proud. I really did. But, I have a really hard time doing this because I always strive for better. The morning of the picture was difficult for me. I was disappointed. I wasn’t ready to show what my abs’ current state…so I delayed the pictures. I didn’t want to show anyone. I thought I had failed. I expected more. I expected better. I was more worried about my abs that morning. When in reality, I should have been more worried about a much stronger muscle…my mind. Sometimes it can be your worst enemy.
What you see in my final picture is not the most defined six pack (you have ever seen), but it is the best I had this time. What I see is not perfection. I see progress. I lacked confidence in my results because I envisioned someone else’s abs…but instead I got mine.
Going into the final two weeks, we took out most of my carbs. That meant no more oatmeal and rice. Surprisingly, this wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be…well, until those last couple days. I realized how much my body depended on carbs for energy. I was exhausted without them! The last week, we also increased my sodium intake until the last day when we totally cut sodium. We used water manipulation in the last 2 weeks similar to what a body builder does when prepping for a competition. Since I didn’t have the same goals as a body building or competitor, it was to a much smaller extent. I added a diuretic in the last week and I consumed over a gallon of water every day. The day before my picture, I drank two gallons of water to flush out my system.
When I started this journey, I was told I would need to lose 15 pounds to see my abs. My initial reaction was to laugh. I ended up losing 14 pounds. I lost 3 pounds in the last week, which was all water weight. By the end, I felt light. For me, I could care less about weight. It’s actually not about weight at all, but that is how many woman think.
With my final testing, we figured I lost a total of 8% body fat. I didn’t measure my body fat the most accurate from the start so this is our best guess. We used a combination of a hand held body fat tester, which is really not that accurate. We also used a 3 point calibrated test. The best test, for women, is to use a calibrator and do a 7 site skinfold test. My trainer and diet coach analyzed the results. I lost about 16 pounds of fat while putting on 2 pounds of muscle. Looking at pictures from eight weeks ago to now, you can see my fat loss. My body looks more defined. I feel more confident.
This whole journey was empowering for me not only physically but mentally as well. When I was struggling with my results, my husband reminded me that I actually didn’t have to get a six pack. It wasn’t about winning or losing. It took me beyond where I ever thought I could go (training-wise, comfort-wise, body-wise, confidence-wise). It reminded me that my strongest muscle can also be my worst enemy; and you need to not only train your body but your mind as well. It’s a beautiful thing when you can believe in yourself and feel confident in your own skin. Like I mentioned before, this wasn’t really about getting abs or what your abs look like. It’s about finding your strengths and being proud of how far you have come. My journey isn’t over, but for now, I am going to walk away from this ABSolutely proud!
Mary’s 6-PACK AT THIRTY-6 Blog Series:
Blog #1 ABSolutely Committed
Blog #2 Starting to die…it!
Blog #3 All About That Diet
Blog #4 Did Someone Say Cheat Meal?
Blog #5 How Much Longer Mom?
Blog #6 Fearless Progress
Blog #7 Prepping for Success
Blog #8 WHY Are You Doing This?
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