There have been a couple of times in my life that I have just decided to make a change. Just stopped doing stuff that didn't make me feel good and instead, get on the path to making things right. The first was quitting drugs and getting sober. Today I've been sober over 23 years. Another time was when I quit smoking. No patches, no pills, no nicotine gum. Just quit cold turkey (just as I did with the drugs). I haven't smoked since.
Now it's time to face my health, my body issues, my weight. I'm far from fat but I am heavier than I'd like to be. I'm far from a couch potato but I do need to get toned and fit. I just want to feel good about myself. And I know I don't. I just took a picture of myself and I think I look horrible. I am far from fit.
I know some of you might be saying, "but you were on Dancing with the Stars and you looked great." And it's true. What started out as me wondering if America was ready to "read my hips" eventually morphed into six wonderful weeks of dancing and having fun. But the rehearsals were brutal. They went on for 5, 6, sometimes 7 to 8 hours a day. And the costumes got skimpier and skimpier. Determined not to embarrass myself, I cut out all carbs and ate only lean protein, fruits and vegetables. And I danced. And danced. And danced. The pounds started to drop off and I started to gain confidence. I even asked the designers to cut a little more out of my costumes to show more skin. Every week I worked harder to dance and I was determined to not snack, eat sweets or even have a slice of pizza.
By the time the Dancing With the Stars finale arrived and I had lost 20 pounds. I was down to a size 0, something I hadn't been in since way before I had my 4 kids and was doing a movie called "Hear No Evil" where I played a marathon runner. But something wasn't right. In looking at the pictures now, I realized I was TOO thin; my face and arms and chest. The dance workouts had become unrealistic. No one should work out eight hours a day to stay fit. And no one should cut out nearly everything just to drop weight; it needs to be balanced. But I was caught up in the moment, of being aware that 25 million people were watching me on TV in skimpy little dance costumes. I felt I HAD to be thin.
I knew something wasn't right because, after wrapping up The L Word and after having a wonderful 8 weeks on the road with the Dancing with the Stars tour, I was back a year later where I was before I did Dancing with the Stars; back to my old weight and back to my old ways of eating. Just last week, I had to go to a meeting with producers and was told I had to be "sexy" and "hot." So I tried a number of dresses on. Some were some were and some were sixes; one was even a ten! I know a lot of women would kill to be those sizes but believe me when I say, for me no matter if I was a size 0, I didn't feel right. That's because I was soft. I ended up using creative dressing (thank goodness for Spanx!) to hide all the parts I didn't like about myself; my upper arms, my midsection, and my legs. Though I managed to do it, it really took a lot for me to get into that dress. I would've rather gone in my baggy boyfriend jeans. You know the feeling, right?
That's when I decided that it was time for a change and go on a new journey. But I must admit that I'm embarrassed. No one wants to admit they have flaws; and I'd rather do it quietly and privately. But I know that for whatever reason, people have told me in the past that my story, my ability to overcome barriers has been an inspiration to them. So maybe that's what I have to do in my desire to be fit, to be healthy - to just make a change and share my experience as a means to inspire me AND you. And so many of you have told me that you want to get fit and healthy too.
There's also another motive for me to get fit. That's because there's health issues going in my family that are of concern to me. Several years ago, my mom had heart bypass surgery and up until recently, my dad struggled with his weight until he finally had to undergo a couple of back operations. If that's not a wake up call, I don't know what is.So I'm determined to do it NOW, not later like they did and get myself on the road to wellness.
But this time I wan't to do it RIGHT. But how? I have the busiest schedule on the planet with four kids and a husband and a career. I don't have the luxury of going with a trainer to the gym for two hours a day. And I don't really want to go to the gym and have everyone look at me. So without a gym or a trainer, I was at a loss what to do.
That is until I saw the ads for Power 90 and P90X. You've probably seen them; they're all over the place. I was curious; does it work? The singer Pink talked about it on Oprah and the people in the ads looked great. Best of all it involves only an hour a day and you do it at HOME. Awesome. So I started asking around and people who tried it told me that though it was hard, they LOVED it and it worked. It was a good, BALANCED work out. Best of all it was accompanied by an awesome eating plan. Imagine, a work out I could do without worrying if anyone was judging me. Best of all, the videos were closed captioned!
So, here's a secret I've been keeping for the last couple of weeks. I've been doing Power 90. It's like P90X light. I'm doing that because I want to ease myself into P90X. So far, it's been hard and I admit I was sore for a couple of days. But I'm feeling good. And on August 1st I will jump up to next level - to P90X. I've also decided to get a jump start on my healthy eating so I'm supplementing my work outs with a meal replacement drink they offer called Shakeology, which is a high protein drink combined with lots of good, healthy and natural stuff to get the right nutrition. I might as well do it right.
I know it's going to be a challenge. But I'm determined to go all the way. But just to make it a little easier, I'm bringing my husband on the journey along with me. Yep, my husband the cop is going to join me. He's determined to healthy and fit too. We are both are eager to learn, and commit ourselves to being good students of health and fitness. Most of all we want to set a good example for our kids and be healthy for them.
But I've got admit there's even a bigger challenge here. What we'd really like to do is do this with a buddy - or two - or maybe a hundred or thousand! Why not build a COMMUNITY, -- all of us supporting each other? Every day I keep hearing that obesity in adults and children is rampant in America so why not help nudge the trend in the opposite direction? I'm more than happy to lead the charge! So, I took the initiative and talked to the folks at Beach Body and asked them how I could do it. Next thing you know, I'm a coach and officially calling my posse "Team Marlee." You're all welcome to join me. Eventually, what I'd like to see is a whole community of family and friends, passing along the message that it's time to get fit. And It doesn't have to be P90X (thought it'd be fun to do it together, don't you think?); it can be Power 90 or the many other programs that are offered on the Beachbody's site. But what I'd love is for you to join Team Marlee, get fit and get healthy. What do you say? You can even become a coach too!
Well, this is step one of my journey. I've never been known as someone who sits by silently or gives up easily; in fact, as I've said so often, silence is the last thing the world will ever hear from me. I love to make noise. I know you probably have questions because I do too. But I keep reminding myself that when there were times when I had to make a change in my life, I just DID IT; eventually, things turned out pretty good. So, I'm not going to stress out too much on the little stuff. And I'm sure, if you join me, the same will be true for you. In the end, we just have to DO IT!
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