So I lost weight. And gained strength. And feel good about it. People notice at the gym. And they ask me about it.

The other day someone asked me what did I do and I said I stopped eating in the evenings. She was taken aback and said this can’t be it… It obviously isn’t it. It was just an easy way to do gym small talk. I was sorry to mislead and overly simplify.

Not eating in the evening might have been the last step, but there were thousands of little steps before it. Steps that took three years. Small conscious steps and opportunities that I took. It was hard like hell and I worked my ass off. And the sweat at the gym was a big part of it, but definitely wasn’t all.

I wished I would get here and share so that everyone can do what I did. And now that I’m here, I don’t know how to tell it. Because it was hard, because my particular circumstances made it possible and because it feels unfair to ask others to do what I did.

I hoped it will be just the same me with less pounds and more muscle, and I came out a different person with a different mindset, definitely different habits, priorities, and interests.

I love who I am and where I’m heading, but I feel uneasy sharing what it took to get here. Because it was a lot and it’s still not comfortable.

I will again oversimplify, but add a little more:

  • The biggest change and challenge was in my brain. In how I prioritized exercise over everything, cut through loads of excuses and kept at it until I found something that worked. This is the part that took 3 years…
  • Another challenge was in getting the support I needed at home. I had a lot of support. I did not hear one complaint when I went to the gym 5 times a week. My husband cooked and took care of our son and cheered on me. For me, it was not enough. There are life changes that you need to make. And for me it did not work. The support I needed was to be in it heart and soul together. I have no idea how to help someone else do it. Small kids, jobs, commutes, chores, illness, parents and other obligations… a million obstacles in anyone’s way.
  • The part that seems easy now, but it took a while was finding the right gym and sticking with the program. I like to think that I made a rational, well thought-through choice and that my gym is the absolute best gym around. Alas, I think it was a combination of being sick of gym hopping, needing this to work, the convenience of being close to home and having flexible hours, not getting into the trap of the free class, pure luck and yes, ultimately a gym where people cared and had the experience and support to make it a good place for me.

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