I started out yesterday wanting to make a video for you all. The topic for the video was to be my WHY. Why do I do this? And why should you join me? As I ran through everything in my mind that I wanted to say, I started having a flood of thoughts that there was just no way I could organize into a coherent video presentation. To be honest, this may not even be a particularly coherent blog...but at least this way I can go back and edit ;). What sparked these thoughts, was a video that one of my fellow coaches posted on her wall. It was deeply moving. She talked about how she was at the gym and there were piles of sugary pastries and treats set out, and how much it bothered her, not because she is the food police, but because there are people that are going to the gym to ESCAPE those things, and to try and save their lives. You could feel the passion in her voice as she started to tear up when she said that the gym was supposed to be a place where those people felt supported because in many instances, that may be the ONLY place they can go to get refuge from unhealthy influences. It really moved me, and got me thinking...What am I that passionate about?
Now don't get me wrong, I certainly don't think it's cool to eat GMO's or shovel fast food burgers down your gullet (don't you just love that word?) each day at lunchtime, BUT my passion is not nutrition. I will always advocate eating lots of (organic if possible) fruits and veggies, not eating tons of sweets or white flours, and generally avoiding most processed foods. However, my heart is not 100% sold on that notion because for my fitness journey, that's never been what it's all about. If you've ever shared a meal with me at a restaurant, you will see that I eat with reckless abandon. I LOVE ooey gooey treats, and if I'm ordering a plate of loaded nachos, you can bet your arse that the only "nutritional" demand that I make is that there is no pork (I love my piggies). Again, as with a lot of my posts, here's where you ask yourself "...and how is this person a fitness coach?". Don't worry, I'll get there...My meals of that nature are few and far between. I enjoy one date night (sometimes two depending on his schedule) a week with my husband. During the rest of the week I am drinking my shakeology, eating whole grains and oats, fruits, and lean meats with veggies for dinner. I have worked very hard for my body, which even though I'm still about 12 pounds from my goal weight, I still completely LOVE. I understand that depending on lots of factors (type of exercise, bloating, etc), there will always be a fluctuation in my weight. It's important to me that I am HAPPY and love myself EXACTLY how I am right now, despite the fact that my ultimate goal is 12 pounds away. So anyways, back to my passion. Here it is. Well, I should say, there it is. I want other women to feel EXACTLY the same way that I do. I spent a good part of my life being "chunky". I was always active in gymnastics, and had a very muscular build, but did not ever do "cardio" until I started gaining weight in college. To be honest, I didn't even know "cardio" was a "thing" until my roommate told me that's how I could lose weight. I can remember thinking about summer and dreading being invited to pool parties...How would I explain the fact that I don't want to get in the pool? Do I say I have my period? Honestly...I would debate announcing to the whole world that I had blood running from my vagina just so that I wouldn't have to say "I'm fat and don't want you to see me in a bathing suit"...That may have been TMI, but it's the truth. Then there's wearing a shirt to the beach over your bathing suit and saying "I don't want to get sunburned". Come on lady, if people have their babies out in the sun you can slap on some sunscreen and disrobe. Here's the worst part. I KNOW that I'm not the only one who has contemplated this. I KNOW without a doubt that there is someone reading this right now who has done, and is already thinking about doing these things this summer. It's an awful feeling. It has taken me 2 years to shed 60 pounds, mostly due to my love of nachos. I started in April 2012. That summer, I stayed away from pool parties (I know now it was because even though I had completedINSANITY and everyone was telling me how great I looked with my clothes ON, that I didn't follow through on the nutrition aspect and didn't have as great results as I could have had). But guess what? I continued to work hard. I ran, I shaped up my diet (a little), and did Turbo Fire. The following May, when my husband and I got some time off together and finally went to one of our Texas "bucket list" locations, Schlitterbahn, I donned a new bikini....With no T-shirt on top!!! I was nervous, but when I got there, I realized that even though my body was far from perfect (at this point I was still almost 30 pounds from my goal weight), I had muscle tone, and CONFIDENCE because I KNEW that I had worked hard to get where I was. To my surprise, I looked at the other ladies in bikinis and realized that they looked pretty close to me! ***I didn't, however, compare myself to the 18-22 year old set...that's just not healthy for a 34 year old woman to do...Unfortunately I see A LOT of women get caught up doing so...I'm telling you now, STOP IT***
What I'm trying to get at here (I told you there were a flood of thoughts), is that where my passion lies is in that deep dark spot in many women's heads that says "I can't wear a bikini" or "I'm too fat for this dress". What I want people to know is that first of all, you NEED to be healthy, you DO NOT need to be skinny. Wherever you are in your journey, you should LOVE yourself for deciding to make a change and you should LOVE your body for the things that it's capable of. The other thing that I need you to know is that if you haven't yet made a decision to get healthy, and you don't want to spend another summer at the pool with a T-shirt over your bathing suit, YOU CAN CHANGE. I promise you can. You don't have to be at your ultimate goal weight to don a bathing suit. You just need to start TAKING THE STEPS to get there, and I cannot tell you how much your confidence will soar. I post A LOT of pictures on facebook. I am guilty of "fitness selfies". I take pictures of myself when I look cute. It's not out of vanity or bragging at my accomplishments. It's because when I look back for "transformation tuesday" pictures, I have VERY FEW to pick from. Not because I didn't spend a good amount of time being well overweight, but because I deleted EVERY bad picture of myself. The only ones that got kept were the ones that made me look SKINNIER than I actually was. I don't ever again want to quit documenting my life just because of my insecurities.
What I want everyone reading this to know is that you DO NOT have to put yourself out to pasture just because you don't have your "twenties" figure anymore. I started my journey at 32. I'm not saying that's old. In fact, I feel younger now than I ever have, but I also know that there are women out there who are thinking "I'm in my thirties, what's the point?" The point is two things. Your HEALTH and your WELL BEING. I'm of the opinion that being unhappy is just as detrimental to your health as a fast food drive thru, and unfortunately sometimes the two go hand in hand. I hope in some way my brutal honesty has spoken to someone out there and helped them feel that they aren't alone. If it has, please reach out to me. I've been there, and I know how hard it is, but I am also willing to commit to you 100%. If you don't give up on you, neither will I.
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.