It was mid-March of 2020, and word of a ‘pandemic’ started lurking. Could this really be? Would we really live something that hadn’t been lived in 100+ years? We would soon find out that yes, it could be, and yes, this was all too real. The world as we knew it would change right before our eyes in the coming weeks and months! And, I would embark on my weight loss transformation journey without even realizing it.
With working from home, and being on lockdown, I quickly had to change my fast-paced life and slow down, a lot. This was tough at first for someone like me, but with a mandatory quarantine, I had no choice. With the nice weather coming, I started filling up my “free time” naturally doing what many others did too, and spent afternoons and evenings going for walks. It seems like walking became 2020s national sport. Everyone I was talking to was doing it!
Finally, It Clicked!
One day near the end of March, I saw an article on MTL Blog highlighting some of the best trainers in Montreal offering free workouts on Instagram. This is an article that little did I know would propel me forward on my journey to health and wellness. I checked out all of the trainers mentioned, but one resonated with me more than the others: Val Desjardins, owner of The Studio MTL and trainer to the stars. I joined her first workout that Sunday, the Sunday Sermon as it is called, a HIIT bodyweight class which made me sweat, BIG TIME. The combination of Val’s choice of movements and her sermons (literally) about the importance of not only the physical but the mind, her wife, Jennifer (also an amazing coach!), doing the workout as Val coached it, the music…I had never lived anything like it. Even through the screen, I could feel the energy, and after that one hour in her presence, I knew I had found the coach for me. FINALLY, IT CLICKED!
As the quarantine rules started lifting in May, I started going on walks with friends and seeing people from a distance, who all told me I had lost weight. Huh? I didn’t believe them. All I was doing was going for daily walks and following two of Val’s classes per week. I decided to hop on the scale after a few of the comments and indeed, for the first time, I was happy to be wrong. The scale showed 20 pounds less than when I had last weighed myself. Wow, so if it was that “easy” for me to lose 20 pounds without realizing it, imagine the transformation I could make actually being conscious of my efforts.
AND SO IT OFFICIALLY BEGAN…
From that point on, I started being careful — exercising more, watching what I ate, and truly engulfing myself in the journey of health & wellness. I realized that being healthy is not just about physically being in shape, but it’s about your mind following that, too. I started letting go of negative energy, taking baths, journaling, reading more books, and it felt awesome. My favorite part? Walking alone while listening to music. That, to me, is the best way to combine both — you get to exercise AND clear your mind, a win-win.
As the days and weeks went on, I became adamant about not working at my day job past 5pm. Why? Well, I had something else to work on every evening: myself. To all you “workaholics” reading this: I get it. Up until this pandemic, I was just like you. Nothing was ever enough, I could always do more. Food for thought! Try to disconnect at 5pm and only log back on at 9am the next morning, but like, really disconnect. You’ll likely feel a lot more productive & rejuvenated during your work hours. This is because you will have been able to completely focus on other things for that period of 16 hours. It’s awesome.
FAST FORWARD & Here We Are…
2.5 years into my journey to health and wellness. Crazy how time flies! I am down over 50 pounds (and have kept it off!) but more than that, I have gained muscle, strength, confidence, stamina, and so much more. I can’t stop looking at myself in the mirror and doing “before & after” photo collages. Though my journey is not over yet, this is all about trusting the process and never giving up. Slow and steady is the way to go. I have a lot to work on, and a long way to go, but I am so proud of how far I have come up until this point.
If you are looking for a sign to start on YOUR journey to health and wellness, consider it THIS! It is never too late, and it is never too hard. Don’t wait until Monday, start right now. Yes, NOW! Even if it’s the middle of the day, it doesn’t matter! Simply make healthier choices for the rest of it. Start slow, and continuously build. If I can do it, you certainly can. Had you told me three years ago that I’d soon be in shape and would have lost 50+lbs, I wouldn’t have believed you.
GAME ON, FRIENDS! YOU CAN DO THIS! If you need tips or motivation along the way, feel free to hit me up & check out my other articles! Contrary to what I first thought, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to educate on how to take the first steps!