I Almost Had A 6 Pack

       

These pictures were taken just one year ago - February 2015. I was finishing up a strict nutrition regimen for a weight loss challenge, and I had dwindled down to a scale weight of 160LBS standing at 5'10". 

YOU GUYS - I had never, EVER seen this weight in my adult life, my teenage life, and honestly, I had already surpassed 160LBS by the time I was in 5th grade at 10 years old. 

In that picture I was focused. I was SO determined. And I was so proud of my "almost a 6 pack" abs. I had come a long way from 240 LBS. 

My weight loss journey has occurred in many phases - my college phase (losing the most weight), my running marathons phase (all throughout my 20s), and then my "ah-ha, nutrition matters" phase that started at age 30. 

I was obsessed in the pics above. I awoke every single day to step onto the scale, letting the number dictate how my day would go. I pinched my belly and frowned up my rolls. I constantly looked for reassurance from my wife on my physique. While her responses were always positive, my constant questioning for validation was a tad alarming. I was at my smallest weight since elementary school, and it still wasn't enough for me. 

Once the weigh-in was over for the weight loss challenge, I found myself addicted to the strictness and structure, but my willpower was wearing thin. When I allowed myself to indulge in sweets or less than healthy snacks, I completely and embarrassingly found myself bingeing on those foods. "I deserve this!" Following a binge, guilt would take over. It was a vicious cycle that left me terrified of food. 

I started seeing my extreme leanness disappear, and some of the weight started to appear back on the scale. 

Here's what I learned:

- for ME, strict regimens do not work. Yes, they yield physical results, but the mental ramifications are far too damaging afterward.  

- I'm thankful for the experience (hindsight is 20/20 lol), but going forward I know that mindset guidance is just as important as nutritional guidance. 

- there is certainly a place and a time for fat loss, but extreme measures do not serve ME well. 

- just because my willpower wears thin with strict regimens does not mean that I am any less disciplined. 

- white knuckling my way through nutritional methods leaves me feeling less powerful of my own decisions. 

- the faster I lose it, the faster it comes back.

- today I'm 175 LBS, and I'm wearing the same pant size that I did at that weigh-in 1 year ago. 

- not only am I physically stronger, but today I am mentally stronger in all aspects. 

Listen, last year I was chasing a number on the scale. I was VERY lean in those pictures, but I was NOT HAPPY. I was hungry. I was thirsty. I was living with a measuring cup in my purse. 

This year, I might be heavier on the scale (that I rarely EVER step on by the way), but my mindset has shifted. I have learned to love the skin that I am in, and I don't let a number define me. 

I don't have washboard abs, but I have strong quads, muscular arms, and a strong core to support my movement. I have the capability to grocery shop and know that while 90% of the shopping cart items are healthy, I'm not scared to allow the other 10%. 

I could easily look at those pictures above and want to be back in that lean body. But I don't. I strive for fat loss in a sustainable way, one that allows me to live my life outside of traveling Tupperware. I eat healthy. I exercise. I lift. But I'm not afraid of a cupcake. 

Today I feel powerful in the skin that I am in. I'm stronger than ever. I'm confident in my body and all that it does for me on the daily. Our bodies work SO hard for us!

No number on a scale can take any of that power away from you. It's yours for the taking! Go get it, 6 pack or not. 

Engage. Empower. Elevate. 

- coach fowler 

PS - yes, I constantly keep chapstick on my bathroom mirror. lolol 

         

My Top 5 Traveling Snacks...

Traveling is my favorite thing to do!  Although packing a suitcase is my least favorite thing to do (I over analyze everything while packing), there's still a light at the end of the tunnel knowing that the carefully packed suitcase affords us the opportunity to leave our regimented schedules behind and take off for an adventure! I mean, what's NOT fun about this?

https://instagram.com/p/0sW0nEmWVd/?taken-by=coachfowler

This photo was from my latest traveling escapade from March.  I spent the weekend with 50 other lovelies from all over the globe at the #RadianceRetreat in Santa Monica, CA.  I’ll save these details for another post – coming soon! xo

Throughout my 20's the main focus for vacation was the food. I picked my restaurants in advance, had goals for specific local treats, and had no guilt about anything food related. Fast forward to 2013 when I started my fitness journey and traveling became a scary thing for me. What will I eat?  Will they have what I need for my meal plan?

I went from one extreme to another extreme.

Nowadays I'm working on finding a balance. If I visit New Orleans in the near future you can bet your hard earned money that I'm gonna go get a beignet and coffee, but I'm also going to avoid going bat sh*t crazy eating anything and everything in sight from take-off to landing just because I'm on vacation. This doesn't serve me well, mentally or physically. But it's trial and error, and I've tried and failed numerous times.

When I travel anywhere now, be it on a road trip or a flight, I bring a few essentials with me for accessible, healthy options. See my top 5 traveling snacks below!

1. Almonds

Duh! Whole almonds are so easy to tote around. I don't dare pay attention to the calories.  These babies are a healthy fat, yummy snack, and I never leave home without them. (Note: eating a 16 oz bag in a week's time is not recommended. Oops)

2. RxBars

These protein bars are delish! With core ingredients like egg whites, dates, figs, and nuts you'll only find whole ingredients packed in these bars. Each flavored bar boasts a full 12g of real protein.  Did I mention that they're delicious? Check them out right here!

3. Boiled Eggs

People either love 'em or hate 'em. I happen to love them. Sprinkle a little sea salt on them and they're another filling option for you. Be careful about opening them up though - you may piss off the other flight members with the strong smell. Yikes.

4. Plantain Chips

I love these little guys! They're a member of the banana family, and they're a great substitute to potato chips. I like to keep these handy as a better option for a no-processed snack (if you're into that sort of thing). These are my favorite brand!

5. Water

Did I seriously just list water as one of my top traveling snacks? Yes, yes I did!  Here’s why - I know that while traveling I’ll be consuming adult beverages.  I also know that I’ll be a little out of my realm from my typical nutrition. So in addition to keeping some healthier options with me for backup, I also make sure I drink a TON of water. I buy big bottles to better track my drinking. Yes, water. Stay hydrated.

And enjoy your travels…  Adios! xo