Just about every January 1st, I’ve written that my New Year’s Resolution was to get ripped. This was normally after nursing a hangover from whatever festivities happened the night before. And by ripped I mean, I wanted to get super skinny, run marathons, drink green stuff that makes you poop glitter, wear crop tops to the grocery store…you know, that kind of ripped. And yet, I would set these super unrealistic goals and never achieve them, and repeat the vicious New Year’s Resolution again. Just with worse hangovers as I’ve gotten older than 21…
If you’ve been following my other posts (I know, I haven’t posted since March!), you’ve maybe caught on that I’ve done a total 180 to where I was just a year ago. I got married to the redneck of my dreams, quit my stressful corporate job, and started basically designing what I wanted my life to look like. And so I thought…why not get ripped now?!
My definition of ripped and “super skinny” has definitely changed as I’ve gotten older and wiser. The mindset that I mentioned earlier has turned into more of a health-oriented, positive and realistic lifestyle change.
I started to really direct my energy towards my health goals after Christmas and had my motivation and drive full speed ahead. I’ve always had a love for running but it was hard to find a good place outdoors in the winter, so I wanted to find some at-home work outs instead. That’s where one of my friends and fitness guru Roni, with Ronilynn Fitness, came to the rescue. She began her 30 Day Fitness Challenge in January and offered it to the public for free, so I jumped right in. The goal of these challenges was to help establish habit and consistency with your workouts each week. It was a fun group to be apart of, and Roni posted new workouts each week to try at home or in the gym. Roni preached moderation, the benefits of lifting and the impact of high intensity workouts. Ultimately, it helped launch me into the right direction with my goals and set a good foundation for me mentally. If you’re looking for a place to get started, hit her up! (Link above)
As the weather began to slightly warm up, I turned more to my outdoor cardio. I started slowly, literally running in circles around my two acre Funny Farm, jump roping in the garage blaring gangster rap, and then took my runs out to the ditch roads of the dairy farm surrounding my house. You can literally start ANYWHERE and build your stamina. You don’t need a treadmill or fancy running gear. All you need is you. And maybe some cattle, because I loved running next to them 🙂
It’s easy to get discouraged when you’ve only ran a half mile and feel like dying, but the only way to get better is to keep going. The past few years I’ve entered the fun 5k races in the area, and by May of this year I ran my fastest 3 miles ever. And now I’m training for a half marathon. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever want to run that far. Proof that success takes time and consistency!
Although after that race I felt great, I still wanted to see more results. I knew my workouts were on point, so I did a total upheaval of my diet, because let’s be honest, you can’t outrun your fork. I cut beer and wine almost to nothing…or what most people call “moderation” (if you know me, you understand this 😉 If you don’t know me, please don’t think I’m an alcoholic) I focused entirely on protein, complex carbs and healthy fats…moderating everything else. Fat loss really is a science and isn’t hard to figure out what your body needs to be fueled once you start giving it what it needs. The hard part is mastering your mind. But with practice, you can do it. You’ll become intuitive about what your body needs, and that in turn programs your brain to crave wholesome foods instead of Ham ‘n Cheese Hot Pockets (hellloooo College Diet)
Sometimes I shock myself when I crave egg whites and asparagus. Or when I meal prep for an entire week. Or when I pass on the queso (let’s be real that barely happens though) I’m telling you, once you start seeing results and feeling like a new person, you literally become a new person.
Beyond my workouts and diet, it was important to me to stay determined and I needed to find more role models lean on. Most importantly, I needed to find more role models that I could relate to, just as I related to Roni and her teachings of moderation and self-love. I have always needed to surround myself with smarter people; people with major goals, intelligence and drive. People who see things differently and show you how to do the same.
What better than to look to other horsewomen?? I’ve followed professional barrel racer Fallon Taylor since her National Finals Rodeo championship in 2014 and it just so happened that she has been embarking on her own fitness journey into the bikini competitor arena. If you don’t know who she is, follow her because she is incredibly inspiring, even if you’re not in the equestrian world. She is the ultimate underdog story. Although she has gained much fame, she is still very easy to relate to as a woman and horse geek.
I found out that a few of my other horse friends had also been inspired by her journey, so it’s been one big motivational event for all of us. We cheer each other on from the sidelines and share progress pictures. You’ve got to find your people, and stick with them!
Speaking of the horse world, one of the reasons I wanted to get into better shape was to improve my athleticism for my horse. The confidence I’ve gained throughout my journey has really come through for my Cowgirl Goals this year, and can only continue! You have to figure out the WHY’s in your fitness and health goals to really fall in love with improving yourself. Sure, I have goals for my outward appearance, but those goals are far out-shined by my goals for growing on the INSIDE.
Whatever your fitness goals are, get after them! I am proof that you can do and be whoever and whatever you want! Although I’m not at my end-all, be-all goal, this journey will continue forever.
But, on a more serious, real life note:
Remember: fat is fat, and that is that. You can make it go away. It might fluctuate as you age. It might come back after you’ve had kids. It can go away again.
Your weight is only a number in relation to gravity. It doesn’t show who you are. Kind. Beautiful. Smart. Funny. Capable.
There’s a quote by one of my favorite authors, J.K. Rowling, that has always resonated with me.
“Is fat really the worst thing a human being can be? Is fat worse than vindictive, jealous, shallow, vain, boring, evil or cruel? Not to me.”
Let that one sink in a minute.
You see, my fitness journey is about a lot more than dropping pant sizes. It was more about taking control of yourself and your goals, and proving to yourself that you can do it. For me, it’s about feeling strong. It’s that feeling of putting my foot in the stirrup knowing my horse is going to be faster. It’s about glowing–on the inside and out. My journey will be continuous, as will yours. Design your life, find your happiness, find your people, and you’ll be AMAZED at how good your life can be. Be the best version of YOU.