Holy smokes, I did it!

in Health by

Photo above: Coach Amy (on left) joined by the the rest of Team Amy; 

By Molly Ingram 

I am now at the eight week mark of this amazing Body Makeover Program. And I am still in one piece – albeit a smaller piece than I was when I started. Team Amy continues to provide challenges coupled with the team members who add the support to get you through it.

Team Amy walking across the McTeer Bridge.
Team Amy walking across the McTeer Bridge.

As with many things that we were tested on in the beginning that I couldn’t do at all, I am now seeing definite progress whether it is on how long I can hold a plank position or how many “crunches” I can do in a minute, I am getting better. Here’s a concrete example. Two weeks ago, our team took our Friday class at noon to walk the McTeer Bridge that goes from Port Royal to Lady’s Island. We met at the car park at Cat Island and headed out. We all made it across the bridge and back which is 2.2 miles but with some significant huffing and puffing on my part going up the inclined part of the bridge. Last week we did it again. But this time, we all did it faster than our original times and without any of my huffing and puffing and short rests along the way. And this time I remembered the sunscreen!

Now there will be other teams who are able to run—not walk—across this bridge and that’s great but I have learned that this journey is all about me and nobody else. Being able to do a push up at the beginning was totally impossible. Today I can do a couple before I collapse. And then I find I will try it again. And it’s the trying it again which is the key to the wellbeing that you feel while in the Beaufort Memorial LifeFit Body Makeover program.

We took all our measurements again at about the midpoint mark and I am happy to say that there is less of me in most places except my neck which got bigger. Seriously? Must be measuring error. I have lost some weight which I am really happy about and people are just beginning to notice which is also nice but it is hardly the be-all and end-all of this journey.

Mondays are arm days which means lifting weights to tone and trim.
Mondays are arm days which means lifting weights to tone and trim.

The weight loss and body contouring is just the tip of the iceberg of what you get. The pros at the gym have continually worked with me on my blood pressure which seems to be a work in progress. It has gone from too low after exercising to being perfect after exercising and too high in the morning before class. I have no concerns about getting the meds and my activity level and weight organized but trying to do that in a basic gym program just wouldn’t happen.

Yesterday, Saturday at 8:30 a.m., I found myself heading up the four flights of stairs to attend a nutrition lecture given by Ricca Callis, an amazing young lady who has a degree in something I can’t even pronounce much less spell. What it means is that she understands how all the parts of food work together in our bodies. I admit to being totally flummoxed by much of the terminology in the world of nutrition and I really didn’t get how important is all is to how you feel and how well your body performs. Yes, we all know “food is fuel” and I know that carbs equal sugar which equals “you eat too much of them Molly” but I didn’t get all the disparate aspects of not only the type of carb or protein or fat a food might be but which ones you need and which ones are harmful. Honestly. I still don’t get it all—Zoo things and Phyto things still seem kind of alien to me but the program has found a way to take all of that and put it in “doable” suggestions. Our Body Makeover book which is at least 300 pages, is chocked full of good, healthy ways to solve issues. I know I am not eating enough greens or getting enough protein each day. So, I have ways I am going to try and rebalance what I am eating.

As a member of the original clean-plate-club, I am learning about portion control and what combinations of foods I need before a workout. It would have been so helpful if I had liked vegetables and fruit when I came into this program but I am actually beginning to enjoy some of them. My life is no longer just meat and potatoes. And there is nothing on the “you can’t eat any of this” on my menus. You can treat yourself to what you love every now and again. But so far I have found that my mind might say, “oh great, a giant chocolate chip cookie” but my body says, “I’m not so happy with all that garbage you just put in me” which totally takes all of the fun out of eating a cookie.

But the most important lesson I have learned so far is that there is no 12 or 20 week program that is the solution to my problems. The Body Makeover program is just the framework for teaching you how to live a healthier and more fulfilling life. Do I feel better? Absolutely. Do I look better? Yes! But it is in my head that the big changes have occurred. I am the one now making the choices and they are deliberate choices not just heading to the drive-thru window because it is easy and convenient. Today, I enjoy yoghurt (Noosa from Australia), and I use hummus instead of Mayo. This is not the same person who started this program with great trepidation 12 weeks ago!