I’ve always respected and admired runners for their stamina and dedication. The saying goes “Become what you respect and mirror what you admire.” So on a random Sunday afternoon several years ago I laced up my shoes and went for my very first run. It wasn’t pretty in any sense of the word, but that’s a different story.
In May 2016 I completed my first ½ marathon and while extremely proud of myself for accomplishing this huge goal, I was NOT comfortable with how my body looked in my finish line photos.
I was skinny fat. Which means not enough muscle and too much fat (especially belly fat) and I didn’t feel strong at all. Running had not turned me into the long and lean athletic machine I thought it would.
Fast forward a several weeks. I had decided to run the Med City Fall Half because I wasn’t satisfied with my time for the spring half. I’m highly competitive with myself and only slightly less so with others. A couple weeks into my second round of training I totally DID NOT want to go on the run scheduled for that day. It wasn’t even all that far of a distance, four miles I believe, but I just didn’t want to do it even the tiniest bit.
I can be a little thick brained sometimes and will continue down a path just for the sheer fact of having started down the path in the first place. But on this particular day a light bulb went off in my head as I asked myself,
“Why am I doing this? I don’t even really enjoy it. I’m always glad that I went for a run. I feel accomplished, but I never look forward to it. Why am I spending all this time and energy on something that doesn’t bring me joy or the results I want?”
When I asked myself what did bring me joy (besides Zumba) I knew in an instant the answer… was weight lifting. Not just the gym bunny, pink weights kind of lifting. I wanted to lift and I wanted to be serious about lifting, maybe not competition serious but at the very least the “Holy cow you’re shoulders (or any other body part you care to insert) look incredible” kind of lifting. I wanted to change my body and I wanted it to be noticeable in my gym clothes, noticeable in my street clothes and noticeable in no clothes. I wanted something different than I ever had before. I wanted an eating lifestyle that didn’t leave me cranky and angry with an empty growling pit of a stomach. I wanted a community of like-minded people where I could ask questions and get accurate information from people who had been where I wanted to go. I wanted to share progress pictures without worrying I would make someone feel bad about themselves or be viewed as a selfie-obsessed narcissist. I wanted a place I could just generally be fitness and nutrition obsessed without driving my regular Facebook friends and family crazy (My husband doesn’t count. He has to put up with me no matter what).
Within just a few days of my big running revelation a Facebook add for The Fighter Diet came along with the tag line “Overeat, so you don’t overeat” and I knew this might be just what I had been looking for!
Once I make a decision about what it is I really want I’m pretty quick to walk away from the old and jump into the new with both feet. So, in perfect Stephanie style, I joined the Facebook group, bought a couple books and dove right in. I put my running gear on the shelf, began eating 2-3lbs of veggies every day and started lifting 5-6 days a week. I think the results speak for themselves. What do you think?
My journey is only just beginning though! On October 1st I began a membership exclusive, 12 week online body building challenge and I’m inviting YOU to follow along with me. Once a week I’ll share about how I make it work, what keeps me going, how I respond to the supporters and the naysayers, food prep, what I do about social events, progress photos, and lots more. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find a little fitness inspiration of your own along the way.
Stephanie Neher is a Tennessee belle living in Minne-SOH-ta with her very own Paul Bunyan. She home-schools their 2 little blue oxen and keeps her figure red-flannel-ready through teaching Zumba classes, lifting heavy pieces of iron and anything else physical that strikes her fitness fancy.