I was tempted to call this post "Fitness Journey", but it isn't reeeaaallllly a "fitness journey", although maybe it is? HA. Who knows. I just think sometimes the words "Fitness Journey" sounds so over used. For me, it really just feels like a shift. (insert shrugging emoji)

10 years ago I was in the best shape of my life. I was 50lbs lighter, had practically no body fat, a six pack, and I was lookin' gooooooood. That chapter quickly closed when we were faced with Infertility. Depression, emptiness, hormones, infertility drugs, miscarriages, all cost around 5-10lbs each, of weight gain. Before I knew it, I was 50lbs heavier in the course of 5 years. Then getting pregnant, becoming a mother, added new challenges and really I just lost myself in the midst and haze of motherhood. 

 I began to hide under layers of clothes, and "attempted", every fitness routine, and diet fad on the market. Nothing seemed to work for me because my mind hadn't shifted. I would lose 5lbs, then panic and gain it back. I realized that hiding under my layers of clothes, and extra pounds made me feel safe. Does that make sense? I felt too exposed every time a few pounds would drop off. I didn't understand why. Wouldn't losing weight make one feel happy, empowered, motivated? It didn't for me at that time. One morning, I weighed myself, I was down 6lbs, I was immediately filled with anxiety and went downstairs and fixed myself some pancakes. 

That was when I realized that my problem was more than just being overweight, it was a deep rooted emotional, fear, lost, confused, undefined, problem. I was lost and afraid. It took months, MONTHS, of working through some of these emotional issues. Postpartum kinda does that to ya'. I just wanted to find myself again and figure out where I went. 

Early March 2018, I looked in the mirror and said to myself, "Nothing changes, if nothing changes. Do something NOW Marilyn, no one is going to do this for you, quit the excuses and the crap and just move your body, and GO".  I swear that is what I said to myself. 

March 16, 2018, I put on gym clothes and planned on driving to the local gym to sign up for a membership (we had just moved to North Carolina). I took a wrong turn, and ended up parked in front of a sign that said 9Rounds. I pulled out my phone while I sat in my car (I was already doubting myself and almost drove back home), and curiously googled 9Rounds. My phone was filled with 5 star reviews  and I quickly learned that it was a kickboxing gym. In that very moment, I made a decision. I shifted. I had to. I just shifted my mindset. A lot of self talk was involved. Shift Marilyn, just GO, FIND YOURSELF.

Taking a deep breath and not knowing what to expect, I peeled myself out of my car and nervously walked into the kickboxing gym. I was greeted by a trainer and the first words that poured from my mouth were, "Hi, my name is Marilyn, I've never been here, I don't know what I am doing, can you help me". I really did say that haha. 

The trainer, Lew, was so kind. He walked me through the concept of 9rounds (30 min kickboxing workout, personal trainer, no class times, walk-in whenever etc.) He introduced me to the "regulars" (members), and guided me through each round. At the end of my workout, sweating profusely and thighs shaking, I knew this was the kick-in-the-ass I needed. Not just for my physical health, but for my emotional health too. It was a moment of pure vulnerability. 

Today, I am 25 lbs lighter. I go to 9rounds 5 days a week. Each pound shed has brought me closer to me. "Oh there you are Marilyn, I've missed you, I love you" (see? That's me talking to myself). I have never felt so strong physically and emotionally, even more now than 10 years ago.

Finding a fitness routine that works for me has helped me with my stress and anxiety.  Through this shift, I started to love myself again. Self Love. THAT is what I had been missing for so long. Going through infertility, you start to hate yourself.....well I did anyway. I hated that my body didn't and wasn't doing what it was supposed to, and then I just filled myself up with hate and resentment towards myself and my body. But love.....oh LOVE. Love is an intense feeling of deep affection. Love is fondness, tenderness. I had to fall in love with myself again because I deserved my love and affection. I am not talking about being vain, abnoxious or being conceited. I am talking about deep deep Love and respect for yourself. And when I saw glimmers of her, the yucky feelings I once had, started to melt away. 

I love myself so much and I am kinder I crave my daily workouts. I feel so strong, like a superhero. I love 9rounds because it only takes 30 minutes to workout, it is challenging, workouts change daily,  it's high intensity, and I burn SO many calories. There is always a trainer there to guide you, motivate you, and challenge you. 

I am not a fitness expert or a weight loss expert. What I do know, is that it starts here (me pointing at my head). Weight loss starts in your mind. You need to decide and shift. It isn't an overnight loss, or a quick one, it is long term baby. You can run your brains out, walk, do Keto, Whole30 etc., but until you get it shifted and right in your head, none of that will work. You have to dig deep my friend, and decide. I am glad I did.

I am Marilyn. I am here. Finally. 

Thanks for sitting with me. 

All my love,