P90X Results: How I Failed and Succeeded at Bringing It with Confidence

Last night I enjoyed a delicious plate of fettuccini alfredo, the after-effects of which were not nearly as satisfying as the initial taste, nor did their food-baby inducing ways contribute in any form to the desired skinny feeling often associated with completing a workout program.

And I have completed a workout program. I finally completed P90X.

And for some reason I’ve decided to reward myself with an all-out feast of the foods I so desperately tried to avoid during the last ninety days.

Remember him?

Remember him?

“What? Lee, I thought you had committed yourself to a new lifestyle, to living healthy and making the right dietary choices? What about Tony Horton? What about Bringing It?” says the Collective Voice of my Readers.

Don’t worry, guys. I did bring it. I pushed play every day for ninety days – no missed days – and I sweat until I was satisfied that the sweet stench of victory would be forever absorbed into my clothes. And yet despite all my hard work, when this past Monday came and I was due to take my final pictures and measurements, I was still greatly disappointed.

I didn’t lose any weight.

In fact, I’d gained two pounds. My measurements neither increased nor decreased, and, for the most part, I felt as though I looked relatively the same as when I started – rather disappointing after ninety consecutive days of determination.

And what made me struggle even more with these results was that I was so excited to share my Before and After success story with you all. I wanted to be one of those people I had seen so many times on Youtube, sharing their amazing, drastic results. I wanted visible proof of my commitment and effort. And I didn’t get it. I was so sure I wanted to show my results pictures with you, but after seeing those numbers, I felt embarrassed and needed to rethink my decision. And after taking the whole of the week to think about it, I’ve come to a conclusion.

The pictures don’t matter.

It doesn’t matter that I didn’t lose any weight or that my body didn’t transform dramatically after that short amount of time. Because what I saw in those pictures was a slight physical change, a change brought about by the determination and sheer will to stick with my goal, no matter how difficult or worthless I might have felt it was going to be. I didn’t quit. I held on. I completed something I set out to do. And that’s enough for me.

I can’t expect miracles to happen in three months. The fact that I, an extremely lazy person who has struggled with exercise and weight her whole life, was able to push through the pain and workout for that long consecutively seems like a miracle to me. So I want to keep exercising, not because it will necessarily help me lose weight, but because it makes me feel so accomplished afterward. I love how it makes me feel. It’s healthy for my body and my mind. Better eating habits will follow (because eating too much pasta does not make you feel good).

Maybe this wasn’t the inspirational post I had first envisioned writing, but I do feel that it’s still important. Do not give up. You will see results. Though it may take longer than you had hoped, you will see them. And just because you don’t notice much of a physical change doesn’t mean you haven’t changed at all (just maybe not in the way you first expected).

If I'd been smart enough to take these in front of a white wall...

If I’d been smart enough to take these in front of a white wall…

this crappy editing wouldn't have been necessary. I apologize for the crappy quality of these pictures.

this crappy editing wouldn’t have been necessary. I apologize for the crappy quality of these pictures.

(I decided to show one partial Before and After picture, only because I feel that it’s important to show what an exercise program like P90X can do, even if I didn’t get all the physical changes I wanted. I plan on continuing on with other programs and exercises, and I hope to write about those as well in the future. If you enjoy reading about that kind of stuff, be sure to follow along.)


Rise Up: Discover You

I apologize for the reoccurring themes that seem to be the focus of my last few posts – overly inspirational and weight-loss oriented – but the start of a brand new year can have that kind of influence on people, and I feel that this post needs to be written.

As a very shy and reserved person, due to many of the reasons you’re about to read, this subject is very difficult for me to talk about. I doubt I can even do it justice. It’s a serious topic and a long post, but my hope in writing this is that someone, at least one person, will take this story to heart, relate, and change for the better.

For the very early part of my childhood, I was healthy.  I played outside, I ate what my parents fed me, I was a normal kid. Then, for reasons that shall be left to a post at another time, I decided to become a vegetarian at the ripe old age of six. Mealtime now became exceedingly challenging for my parents, and it was difficult for them to find food I would be willing to eat. That’s probably what started it.

I didn’t know what to feed myself either. I was six. I liked candy and junk as much as the next kid. So, that’s what I ate. I never realized something so good would eventually lead to something so bad.

I started to put on some weight. I always knew I was larger than the other children in my grade. Even as my weight continued to increase, it never seriously bothered me until the summer before I started middle school. My best friend’s new boyfriend, who I had only briefly met once before, had called me fat. That was the first time.

After school started, he and his friends amped up the insults. Fat led to ugly. Ugly led to a whole myriad of other taunts about my physical appearance. The bullying did not stop. On the bus, in the lunchroom, during class, I was teased everywhere, even by people I had once considered my friends.

I would come home after school and cry. Then I would eat. I would sit and consume ungodly amounts of food because for some reason, some screwed up cell in my brain seemed to think that it would help. The food tasted good, so maybe it would make me feel good too.

It didn’t. I was never pushed, never punched or hit. I was never physically bullied. But no amount of Cheez-its could ever conceal the mental and emotional scarring bullying had caused. Middle school lasted for three years. For three years, I continued to grow heavier and was bullied even more.

Those who care about me tried to reassure me that the weight I was experiencing was just baby fat, and that as I got older, it would basically just fall right off. I knew that wasn’t the case. I wasn’t that naïve.

I don’t know exactly what triggered it. If there was a specific moment or something said that just really inspired me, I don’t remember it. But the summer before high school, I made a change.

I dug deep inside and found the push that I needed, the drive, in order to better myself. No more being the victim. No more hiding because I couldn’t handle the hurt. I drastically changed my eating habits from almost an entire bag of Oreos and a glass of milk after school, to a small 100-calorie pack of crackers. Then I actually tried eating salad. I incorporated vegetables and drank more water. I started exercising little by little. I would try to keep telling myself was that I was tired of feeling so helpless and held back because I believed what someone else thought about me. I dropped at least 20 pounds that summer.

After that, school wasn’t so hard. Losing all that weight, showing myself that I could actually accomplish what I worked hard to achieve, gave me the confidence and the edge I needed to begin to heal my scars. When the bullies realized that I had quit caring about what they said, so did they. Surely enough, the mocking eventually stopped.

This post isn’t about weight-loss. This post isn’t even about bullying. This is about digging down and finding out who you truly are. This is about being fed up with unhappiness. Because when you finally get a taste of what you’re made of, you’ll get addicted, and you’ll become unstoppable.

No matter what anyone says, no matter what anyone does, you can relish in the fact that you know exactly who you are and what you’re capable of. Your determination, your will, your fight…those are things no one can ever take away from you. You can rise from the flames. And after the war is over, and you’re standing on the battlefield staring your defeated enemy right in the eyes, you’ll know what true happiness really feels like.

Don’t ever stop fighting. Do it for you.