I stepped on the scale on day 21 of my 21-day workout program… and I smiled.

The same 140.0 number that looked up at me was the same 140.0 number that showed itself on my day-one weigh-in.  And yet, I couldn’t have felt more proud.

Because while that number didn’t go a few notches down — a result that has been instilled in us to shoot for when it comes to diet and exercise — it was the other changes that happened in those 21 days that mattered to me more.

I look in the mirror and see a new spirit.

In my “before” picture, I can’t see anything in that reflection besides sadness… and only a semblance of the person that I knew I was.  One who made excuses to not care for herself. One who said, “I don’t need to be one of those every day workout people. I just want to live my life.” One who had lost all confidence.  One who had little energy. One who wasn’t caring about the foods she put in her body.

After three weeks, the transformation in my spirit was impossible to ignore.  Because while my waist had thinned out and my muscles got more cut… I knew that behind that camera was a person who finally felt authentic again… and that outweighed any result on my body.

I looked in the mirror and saw someone who put herself in a position to grow.

Throughout the 21 days, the typical excuses came to my mind. “I worked hard today, I deserve to rest.” Or, “It’s not a big deal if I miss just this one day.” Or, “It’s 10:30 at night, this is ridiculous, I’m not working out this late.” Or “Ok, I did 15 of the 30 minutes of the workout. That counts, right?” or “I’ve done one week and I don’t see any results. What’s the point of this?”

The problem with these excuses is that they don’t just show up when it comes to taking care of my body.  They’re mental games I play in my head all of the time… ESPECIALLY when it comes to my personal dreams and goals. I learned that I’m someone that has always let herself off the hook at being “ok” – instead of giving myself permission to be great.

And this program allowed me to FEEL what it feels like to push past “ok” and feel “great” — training my brain to no longer look at hurdles as setbacks, but as opportunities to get to that feeling back again once they’re overcome. The mental toughness I gained was by far the most important to me.

I look beside me and see a little girl inspired.

My 7-year-old daughter joined me for almost half of the workouts. We took turns complimenting each other. We encouraged each other. We talked about our bodies and the importance of strength. We talked about what it means to be healthy. We had bonding time that was just for the two of us.

I look in the mirror and see a new shape.

To say that the way I look didn’t matter AT ALL in this process would be a lie. I think we all care a little about how we present ourselves, and I was certainly struggling with the way I felt like I was.

This program resulted in me having a strong, healthy, muscular shape that fits the athletic mentality I’ve always had.   In conversations with friends and clients, I no longer am thinking in the back of my mind about the way my pants are fitting me, and am instead paying attention to the conversation. I no longer want to cry when I go into my closet, and am no longer going straight for the clothes that hide my waist.

I look in the mirror and see a better version of ME – especially on the inside.

And that will be my goal moving forward, too… no matter what number is on the scale.



IF you missed my post pre-21-day program … check it out here.

To The Extra 17 Pounds: Thank You

Written by Brea Schmidt

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