Over the next several months Body Elite client Jennifer Eck will be writing about her health and wellness journey. The good, the bad and the in between. We all have a different journey to wellness and we hope you find some inspiration in your health by reading about Jennifer.
I have always had this love/hate relationship with my body. I think every person does in some way or fashion. My struggles include getting on the bathroom scale and fighting the guilt of having that snack at 9 while binge watching that show on Netflix. Here I am at 40 something with two beautiful children but I would look in the mirror and always say “I will change this tomorrow.” Then I went to Disney World. While on family vacation, I found myself having a complete meltdown of tears and frustration when putting on shorts and t-shirt in our hotel room with my two kids present. I felt so ashamed of how I looked and disappointed in myself for letting it be ok to wear the size shorts and shirts in my suitcase. My supportive husband had to take my kids out for a walk while I got myself to that place of calm where I could tell the overweight and very emotional self that my husband and children loved me no matter what and that our trip was not about how I looked but about the memories we were making together.
Up until Disney World, we had made several positive changes as a family. Cleaning our cabinets of processed food, joining a CSA for our vegetables, and purchasing our meats from a local farm. Despite those very positive changes we still drank a lot of soda, I was eating the “mom meal” of whatever I could find when I was hungry and having that snack about every night at 9 after the kids went to bed. Not to mention how good a beer tasted after a full day of family and work!
When we came home from vacation I immediately started following another lifestyle diet. I had lost weight using their plan before and figured it would work again. My husband was very supportive. We both worked to cut out the pints each evening and focus on eating healthier each day. It wasn’t enough though.
I have never been one to exercise. I had waves in life where I wanted to get in shape for an event or needed to exercise to take off the winter weight, but it was never a lifestyle change for me. I did have a year or two where I had a personal trainer off and on and would participate in long distance bike rides for charity. But those days seem very far away, and I found it difficult to find the time for myself in between work and family responsibilities. I did try at home workouts without success and went to the occasional yoga or barre3 class but never anything consistent. I went to a few training sessions at Body Elite, even getting up at 4:30 am in September and then life happened, and I fell off the wagon. Flash forward to February and I had gotten over the holiday hurdle and decided for the last time I didn’t want to be that mom in Disney World anymore.
Over a period of several weeks in between sick kids and snow days I made time for myself to go through the Body Elite Assessment. The assessment was three, hour long sessions that went over nutrition, behavior, fitness level and my goals.
During session one, my trainer, Mark, did a complete Functional Movement Screening and for the next hour, we went over a few basic questions such as injuries, current pain I was experiencing and getting my height and weight. The screening included measuring my ability/flexibility to move in certain exercises, the strength of my core, and my posture. We did a few cardio exercises to test my ability to keep my heart rate under control. The hour flew by as Mark guided me through each exercise and answered my questions. More importantly though, he made me feel confident about why I was there and making this assessment a positive direction towards my health and wellness journey.
During session two, I got on the scale, discussed my eating habits and what I did and didn’t do for exercise. The session was surprisingly fun, and there were no judgements from Mark as I explained myself and habits to him. In our discussion I realized I was not eating enough and it might be a big part of why I felt sluggish and even though I was trying another lifestyle plan I wasn’t losing any weight. So, I got on MyFitnessPal and started tracking what I eat. Turns out Mark was right, I was about 800 calories a day short. Not good!
During the final session, Mark reviewed my assessment and we talked about how I was doing tracking my nutrition. Being 3 pounds lighter since I started monitoring my nutrition and feeling much better, I was very motivated. We set a new goal to help me learn how to manage how I need to eat at the correct calorie count. Lifestyle change number one. Next, we moved into the sample work out. We spent a half hour going through a training session focusing on the areas (Glutes, arms, back and core) that need strengthening based on the first day of the assessment. When the session ended, we talked about an exercise plan that not only works for my busy schedule but will help me make positive lifestyle changes. Despite the muscle aches experienced the day after, I felt good about what I was doing for the first time in a very long time.
The journey to looking and feeling good with my body image starts with how you feel on the inside. I am ok if I never fit in a size 10 again, but I want to be able to look in a mirror and know that I am making the best choices every day for me and my family. I made the choice to walk into Body Elite and take three hours for me and me only. Now, it is up to me to make that lifestyle change with the goals I have created. I am ready for the challenge and to BE better for me and my family.
-- Jennifer Eck