I recently finished up my third year at my gym, Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping (FXB). Probably the most common question I get is, “Is it still working for you?”
It’s an understandable question, but it’s one I’m not really sure how to answer. Not because I don’t know, but because my answer most likely doesn’t match up with what the person asking had in mind. It’s a gym that advertises in extreme body makeovers. I’m clearly overweight. Logically, people want to know if the program is helping me shed my many unwanted pounds.
Here’s the thing—my answer has nothing to do with pounds.
Don’t get me wrong. I signed up for this program with visions of being ten sizes smaller dancing in my head. I knew I wouldn’t get there in the first 10-week session, but maybe by the end of a full year. Certainly by the end of three years. But something happened along the way.
I learned I had no clue what I really needed.
I thought I had to lose weight, but what I needed was to get healthy.
I thought I had to eat better, but what I needed was to establish a healthy relationship with food.
I thought I had to be smaller to be an athlete, but what I needed to learn was that I’m already an athlete.
I thought I needed to stop failing, but what I needed was to stop looking for failure.
In nutrition terms, I no longer look at food as my enemy. I don’t analyze every piece of food I put in my mouth. I don’t beat myself up if I eat something that isn’t on the ‘healthy’ side of the food logs. I do still have a tendency to hide some of the things I eat, but I’m working on it. I realized I started hiding what I ate back in my teens, and 30 years of a bad habit is really hard to break.
In physical terms, I now make working out a high priority in my daily schedule. Even above sleep most days (but that’s a topic for a different post). In 2017, I logged the 6th highest number of classes at my gym. Six days a week I’m on that mat, giving my Level 10 best. Another gain for me has been my mindset on how I look at my workouts. My Level 10 may not be the same as others. At the start of this journey, I felt like I was too slow. That my weight was holding me back from giving a higher Level 10. But now I see it differently. I might not get up off the mat as fast as others, but I’m pounding out the same grueling workout as some people who are literally half my size. Think about that. Imagine doing your workout with someone holding on to your back. That’s me. And I’m doing it like a boss.
Do I still want to lose some weight? Absolutely. But I no longer want to lose that weight because I think it’s what I need to be healthy or happy. A while back I posted some reasons I wanted to lose weight. Those are still valid. And it would also be nice because I’m sure my knee would be much happier if it had less weight to support.
So if you want to ask me how the program is working, be prepared to hear an unconventional answer. Because yes, this program continues to not only work for me but surpass my expectations. Not in terms of pounds lost, but in how much I’ve gained—both physically and emotionally. Oh, and in terms of family. I’ve gained so much family.
It’s the start of the year and many people make resolutions to ‘get healthy’ when what they really mean is ‘lose weight’. I challenge you to open your mind to a more broad definition. Get healthy, but don’t just focus on what you want to lose. Look at what you can gain as well because, unfortunately, despite our best efforts there are times when that scale won’t budge. Or it goes in the opposite direction. And then you’re left feeling like it failed, or you failed. But if you look at a bigger picture, you might find you were aiming at the wrong target from the start and you succeeded just fine.