Wow, thank you so much celebrating the end of my 90 day journey with me on my last post! I really felt like you guys were my girl friends giving me a big hug at the finish line of a marathon. I truly appreciate you soooooo much! You bring me so much joy!
So, part 1 was all the technical stuff. My workouts, my food, my numbers, and my physical, external transformation. Now, it’s time for all the ooey gooey mushy gushy stuff – the feelings…the internal metamorphosis, which to me, is the more important and longer lasting aspect of my 90 day journey. Part 2 is going to be all about the feels.
Why I Needed To Go On A 90 Day Journey
At the end of this past summer, Sam and I had just finished a 3 day retreat, and on our way back to the airport, I broke down and started crying outta nowhere. (I don’t know what it is about retreats but they break you open and make you face things you don’t want to face.)
As Sam was driving, sadness overpowered my entire body and I became overwhelmed when I realized that I was not living the life I truly wanted. I felt lost, I felt stagnant, I felt fake, and I no longer knew who I was. I realized that I was no longer my true authentic self. I had stopped doing the things that REALLY made me happy.
Cuz I was afraid.
Being in the public eye for over 10 years, I began to say less and less because every time I said something, someone would be upset. When Blogilates started back in 2009, I was pretty much blogging 7 days a week! But as Blogilates got bigger and bigger, I became less and less vocal because I was afraid of making people unhappy. I went from blogging 7 days a week to blogging maybe 7 days a year.
Anytime I shared what I ate, someone would call me a murderer.
Anytime I talked about my body, someone would say I was too fat to be a trainer.
Anytime I talked about my heritage, someone would tell me to take the race out of it.
And the ONE TIME I talked about how happy I was that gay marriage was now legal, I lost 4,000 followers in just a few minutes.
So, overtime, I taught myself to hold back my real thoughts and opinions to keep people peaceful. Unfortunately this caused me to become a slave to other people’s opinions of me…and I ended up molding myself into this vanilla cupcake whose goal was to offend no one. Which is stupid…because it’s impossible.
In doing so, I lost my identity.
After the plane ride home, I took some time to ask myself what I really wanted. And on August 16th, I decided it was time to make a big change. I told Sam that I wanted to go on a 90 day journey to get in the best shape of my life physically and mentally. I told him that I wanted to document the entire journey on my blog in order to keep myself accountable. Blogilates.com would return to what it once was – my safe space and my personal fitness diary.
But, I was hesitant.
I knew a lot of people would be upset at how transparent I was about to get. I knew that for myself, I needed to announce my goal weight and my goal body fat percentage in order to keep myself hyper focused. I personally like using numbers because they keep me honest. Plus they give me something to objectively work towards. BUT I knew that for the people going through body insecurity issues, talk of scales and weight would be upsetting – which I totally understand! I mean, I didn’t step on a scale for a couple years because of the way I would let it control my emotions. But once I realized that I was allowing an inanimate object to have power over my self worth, I saw how ridiculous it was and stopping giving the scale so much control. Instead, I began viewing the scale as just a tool that was there to help me collect data points. That right there is what really helped switch my mindset.
Why I Needed to Announce My Goals
Announcing my goals publicly was important to me because it gave me the accountability I needed to stay on track. If I knew that people were watching, I’d be less likely to give up. So after reviewing my plan with Sam, I made the decision to announce my 90 day journey publicly on August 16th.
In my gut, I knew I was going get some backlash, but…I was not prepared for HOW much backlash I was going to get.
Some people were excited to follow along, some people were genuinely concerned about me relapsing into an eating disorder, but a surprising number of people were just straight up rude, mean spirited, and in some cases derogatory and hateful. The comments being made about my character and my intentions me cry and feel really terrible about myself.
Now that I’ve had 3 months to think about it, here’s my take on why my 90 day journey was received with so much negativity.
You see, it’s weird when you start out teaching Pilates on YouTube with the pure goal of JUST TEACHING PILATES and then people start making rude comments about how fat you are. Then when the media brands you as a “body positive influencer” because you’re “so brave” for teaching Pilates without a six pack, all of a sudden you become a leader of a movement you never intended to be a part of. It’s also important to note that body positivity back in 2013/14 is not what it is today. So then, when you, as a fitness instructor, decide to do something so “heinous” such as – oh you know, maybe like embark on a 90 day journey where you decide to eat cleaner and workout a little more, all of a sudden you’re branded as a “bad role model”, “irresponsible”, “mentally ill”, “too skinny” and “an embarrassment and disappointment to womankind.”
Logically, I can see why the 90 day journey would SEEM like something that would “go against” my perceived brand values. But at the same time, the Blogilates brand value first and foremost is to help people find the joy in exercise. And that mission has never changed.
My Internal Metamorphosis
Before I started my 90 day journey, I felt like a vanilla cupcake with no opinions. I was scared to offend people and I was scared of hurting people feelings, so I let mine get hurt instead. Over time, I felt muted by my own community and I started turning into someone I wasn’t.
At the same time, in my personal life, I was dealing lots of family drama and business mishaps that took a toll on my sleep, my stress levels, and overall quality of life. Things felt very stuck internally. I needed a whole life makeover. So I decided to put my focus back onto myself. And that meant getting fitter externally so that I could get fitter internally. I needed structure, discipline, and extreme focus. Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I didn’t go on this journey because I hated my body. I went on this journey because I loved my body so much that I wanted to dedicate time towards improving myself mentally and physically.
When I embarked on my 90 Day Journey, I thought the hardest part was going to be the food. Workouts have never been a problem because I honestly enjoy exercising. But little did I know food was going to be the least of my worries.
The extra negativity I got externally put a lot of unnecessary stress on my well being. I found myself constantly trying to defend myself against the negativity, which honestly, exhausted me and just made me feel really bad. I don’t know why I put myself through the torture, but I read through all of the comments as they started pouring in. I let them make me cry. I let them hurt my self confidence. I let them deprive me of my happiness when I should have been celebrating small victories. It’s something I still need to work on. I’m not good at not letting people’s opinions of me affect my well being, so it’s a goal of mine to stop caring as much. As an overly empathetic, sensitive, and emotionally aware person who is also a natural people pleaser – I’ve got a lot of internal work to do before I can “stop caring.”
But I will say this. The comments tested me and made me stronger. Yeah, I was hurt and yeah it felt terrible. But here I am, past the 90 days, feeling SO ALIVE, feeling SO MUCH STRONGER, feeling SO MUCH MORE CONFIDENT, and feeling SO MUCH BETTER than when I started. I believe the negativity was a necessary part of my growth. Without it, I would not be as solid as I am right now. So for that, I am grateful.
On another note – people ask me why I read comments if they affect me so much. I’ll tell you why. I want to understand the truth and I want to always face reality. I never want to be delusional or ignorantly blissful. I’d rather have the truth hurt me than a lie make me feel good.
Plus, in between the negativity, there were some genuinely concerned POPsters who wanted to make sure I wasn’t relapsing, and for that I thank you. For those who cheered me on, I want you to know your comments brought a smile to my face. For those who started their own 90 day journeys, I’m sending you my strength and my motivation and I wish you so much success. And for those who left nasty comments, I hope you found the love you needed to heal yourself.
So there you have it guys. From the beginning, I said that this 90 Day Journey was going to be for me, and I kept true to that. Unexpected challenges arose during my journey, but I kept going back to my “why”. I wanted to get in the best shape of my life mentally and physically. And I almost can’t believe it, but I DID IT!!!!
I feel so proud not only because I reached my goals (well most of them), but because I reached them by practicing total self love and compassion.
Finally, I need to give a special shoutout to my Sam. He was the one who encouraged me to go on this 90 day journey and he was there to pick me up and dance silly with me whenever I broke down and ugly cried over the past 3 months – which happened kinda a lot. He sees me in my worst form and still loves me somehow, so for that, I feel so so sooooo lucky.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Food wise, I will keep eating like how I’ve been eating because I feel so energetic eating low carb, mod protein, mod fat. In fact, it doesn’t even feel like a diet. I am full and nourished! I will eat ice cream and treats when I feel like it, but I will be conscious of my portions. That is the biggest thing I have learned on the 90 day journey – I realize that I am a huge overachiever when it comes to eating :P
In terms workouts, I’ll strive to work out about 6x a week and I will DEFINITELY continue to take my heels classes! I hope to get better and start taking pole classes as well. It really helps with making me feel more confident!
In regards to next goals, I’ve already thought about what I want to accomplish for myself in the next 90. I love the length of 90 days because it’s long enough so you have time to make mistakes and learn from them, but also short enough so that you feel the pressure to not get lazy.
So, what’s my next goal?
I’m going to now shift my focus towards something I’ve wanted to accomplish for a long time. It has nothing to do with weight or body fat. It’s time to give that a break and focus instead on my flexibility :) Flexibility is soooooo important – in life, in business, in relationships, and in this case, your body. The more you know how to bend, the less likely you are to break.
So, beginning today I will make stretching a priority because 3 months from now, I want to get closer to doing…
#1. The middle splits! This is going to be so hard. My hips are super tight. I honestly don’t think 3 months is enough time, but hey, gotta start somewhere!
#2. A wheel with palms underneath my shoulders! This will also be hard. My shoulders and back are super tight too – a lot of that coming from stress and just the way I sit at the computer. Again, 3 months will probably not be enough time, but let’s see how far I get!
#3. And just cuz it’s so pretty, I want pointier feet! I have naturally flat-ish feet…soooooo this will be interesting!
Having more flexibility will also help me improve my Pilates practice, so I’m excited to see how my Pilates will enhance. Getting flexible is not just about stretching…it’s about strengthening too. So I’m excited to see how my muscles will change.
With all that said – I’m going to start stretching tonight. 90 days from today will be February 16th, 2020. I’ll need to devise a detailed plan to get towards my goals and I will update you guys with before pics in my next post!
YAY guys thanks for following along!! I can’t wait to embark on the next 90.
If you want to start your own 90 day journey, I’ll help you get started. Here’s a discount code to get 40% off the 12 week Fit Journal! Just use the code 90DAYJOURNEY at checkout on the POPFLEX website! The sale ends tomorrow Tuesday November 19th.
I actually just grabbed another copy for myself so I could track my plans for my 2nd 90 day journey towards flexibility. Excited to begin writing the next chapter of my life.