Those of you who know me know that I am a first grade teacher. I think that a lot of people assume that I work in the fitness industry, and think things like "she can be that fit because she works out all day" or "It must be nice to not have anything to worry about other than working out and eating". Well, my day job/career is far from that! I spend all day with six year olds, teaching them how to speak English, read, write, do math, and be good humans.
I get up at 4:40am so get my training in by the time I have to get ready for school because it is important to me and it is what I LOVE to do. I prep my food and measure it because it is important to me and I feel good (mentally and physically) knowing that I am fueling my body just right each day.
I was not always like this. When I started teaching nine years ago (I won't even go back to high school/college years because those I could write an entire book about health/fitness-wise), I worked out like the average person (and got nowhere- which you can read about here if you would like). For years and years and years, I "just didn't have the energy/time" to eat better or exercise consistently. What I should have just said at that point in my life was that I really DID NOT CARE. My health and fitness were not a priority to me, even though I hated the way I looked and felt. I had convinced myself that I would never look the way I wanted to, but the truth was that I never really TRIED. I didn't want to put the time or energy into getting healthy because I believed that it should just come easy to me, and I wasn't willing to have to work for it.
In my late 20s, I finally had had enough of myself and my excuses and the unhappiness I was feeling because of MY OWN CHOICES. I knew I was ready to change my lifestyle and commit myself to becoming the person I wanted to be on the inside and out. And it took exactly that- CHANGING MY LIFESTYLE.
I started working out in the wee hours of the morning so that I would feel strong and accomplished before my busy day even started. I started cooking at home way more often, and going out to eat less. I started going to bed earlier so that I could wake up feeling better for my workouts. Thank goodness my husband (then boyfriend/fiancee) was doing it all with me, because it made this transitional time much more fun and easier with us motivating and pushing one another. Again, you can read more about this in the blog post I linked earlier. Eventually, this lifestyle change became my PASSION and I began following much more specific diet and training programs and took the time to educate myself a lot more about strength, conditioning, and nutrition (which I am constantly doing).
I cannot tell you how many people ask me, "How do you get up so early and do that?", or say "I want to look like you, but I could never". Believe me, I get my fair share of negative comments as well, including this one from a "family" member: "You either need to stop lifting or grow a few inches taller because you're starting to look a little.........." (That was back when I was doing Crossfit and not even powerlifting, so I can only imagine what he thinks now LOL.)
Here's the bottom line. "Wanting" something: wanting to look some way, wanting to feel some way, wanting to BE some way... it's great. But it means NOTHING. Wanting to be happy, feel good about myself, look and be strong and healthy, feel secure- it got me nowhere for 20+ years. Actually CHANGING my mindset, my lifestyle, my priorities... that is what it took to live the kind of life I "wanted" all along. And if you really want something, you are going to have to make changes- but it is possible!