|Finding Balance (Transformation/Inspiration)|
By Osiris Prieto
Trying to find balance in life can be a challenge. I’m a 41 year old mother of two and step mother to four, I’m also a Personal Trainer and compete as a Fitness Bikini athlete. So believe me I understand that juggling your personal life, motherhood and work seems like a tremendous task but if I’m able to do it, I’m here to tell you that you can too. I truly believe that finding balance in your life starts by setting your priorities straight. As a mother I know we tend to put our children and our partners ahead of ourselves, same goes with work, household chores and the list just goes on and on.
During my daily routine at work I’m constantly asked how I got started on this fitness journey and what made me realize it was time to look out for myself and make some changes in my life. For most of my adult life I was just like many other women, always starting a new diet, a new workout routine, signing up for a gym membership and quitting after just a couple of months. This was the rollercoaster I was on for years. There was always an excuse to quit, life’s too busy, going on vacation and messing up my routine or eating too much and just throwing in the towel. If this sounds familiar I want you to know that you’re not alone, this happens to so many of us. Don’t feel defeated as it is never too late to make a change just like I did.
Just a few years ago I started to notice how my body was changing and I was not thrilled at all. I was always complaining to my husband about the things I didn’t like about my body or how I was tired all the time and wanting to still feel young, but his answer would always be the same, “well baby you know I love you no matter how you look, but if you don’t like what you see, just do something about it” for some reason his answer would infuriate me. This happened time and time again, until one day everything just made sense. For years I had been waiting for someone to change me because I didn’t think I was capable of making these changes for myself. Then it clicked, if I didn’t take charge of my life and made me a priority I would never be happy with myself. That day I decided to do for me what no one else could and that’s when I challenged myself to be in the best shape of my life by my 40th Birthday. For this I needed to make some serious changes in my life.
So I began by taking small steps, I started walking in the afternoons, which turned into jogging, and each time I would push myself a little further. I changed my eating habits little by little and researched every diet plan and exercise routine possible; learning as much as I could to be able to succeed. I had what I thought was an enormous goal being in this great shape by the time I hit 40. But to make this possible, I aimed for short term challenges; like being able to run three miles without stopping, or sticking to a weight training routine for 3 months without quitting, and if I missed a day I didn’t beat myself up, I just jumped right back in the next day. Every time I accomplished a challenge I would set a new one. As soon as I started noticing all these changes, I didn’t want to jeopardize all of this hard work and go back to the old me, not to mention, how good I was feeling mentally and emotionally.
I knew that I was beating the little negative monster we all have within; you know what I’m talking about, that negative voice in our heads that makes us doubt ourselves and question everything that we are doing. Well, after a while of working out and changing my lifestyle I started to feel unbeatable and powerful, a beautiful strong woman was emerging and this was priceless. Once I realized that I could accomplish my small goals and reached the age of 40 in the best shape of my life, I decided to raise the bar even higher and set a plan in motion to become a Fitness Bikini Athlete. I knew this wouldn’t be an easy task so I needed to prepare myself mentally and not just physically for the task at hand. To this day I still remember the joy I felt stepping on stage and winning my first competition I ever entered. It just showed me what we can accomplish once we have the right mindset along with hard work and dedication. Today I’ve raised the bar again and challenged myself to become a Pro Bikini athlete this year, and one day be on stage at the Mr. Olympia.
If you’re having difficulties sticking to a plan, losing weight or finding the motivation within, start by time blocking your days and sticking to it. In other words, if you plan to workout from 5 am to 6 am because it’s the only time you have available, stick to it, just get up and go!!! Plan out your complete week, tell someone close, and let them hold you accountable. Remember none of this is easy and your journey will be filled with joy, pain, but also with a sense of accomplishment. Whatever your goals and challenges, always try to be the best “YOU” you can be!
Here are some tips that have worked for me and I guarantee will make your life easier:
- -Plan your workouts and your workout time for the week and stick to them. Don’t go to the gym without knowing what you’re going to train. Find a plan you can stick to and do it.
- -Prepare your meals ahead of time. I cook 2-3 times a week and separate my meals individually to take them to work. Try to eat small meals often throughout the day. Never let yourself go hungry, that’s when you will make the wrong choices.
- -This is one of the most important tips I can give you, “Hang around people who want the same lifestyle and have the same drive you do.” Keep a tight circle of friends and family that will support you, as this will be the key for your success.
- -Make this a way of life, not just a stage in your life. Whenever you start questioning yourself, remember how you felt before you started and why you are doing this. Believe me, you will thank yourself in a year from now.
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