A year later: before and after: there is no ‘end game.’

Visualize the end game. The result.

That’s what you’re supposed to do when you set out on a journey, a challenge, towards a goal.

But at first, I never could quite visualize the end game, the result, from the opportunity I was granted a year ago for the barre n9ne 60 day challenge.

Why?

Because I didn’t quite believe. In myself. Or even in the challenge facing me. Or in all that it could be, if I set my mind to it.

I was used to going halfway and stopping.

I was used to the field goal.

I had never achieved the results I wanted or thought I could attain. I didn’t believe in “smarter, not harder.” I didn’t believe, even, (not fully) in lifestyle change.

On day one, this was the me I was then. Not quite believing…hoping, not unable to visualize. 

Frustrated with myself physically, feeling like a hamster on a wheel spinning and spinning but with little to show for it, not understanding that I had lost the ability to see moderation in my eats, and having lower self esteem than I ever wanted to admit or be faced with. Day one of the 60 day challenge was a scary day for me. Because it meant facing the things that I had ignored and pushed aside for fear of number fixation, the reality of the situation and doing something I’d never done before. *Not* stopping at the field goal…but going for the touchdown.

The last year has been a year out of my comfort zone, and not only has it taught me that I have the power to reach the goals in which I set for myself, for perhaps the first time in my life, it’s also given me an opportunity I never thought possible. To pay forward what I have learned, in lifestyle changes, the power of a barre workout and how to finally – finally – be comfortable in my own skin.

And, as a result?…this is the me I am now.

When I took this picture, I saw it for the first time. The end game that I never thought possible. I had achieved the ‘after’ that I always envied on infomercials (even pooh-pooh’ing the words these ‘success story’ spokespeople said…words like life-changing, being the me I always wanted to be, etc), losing the inches, pants sizes and weight. Perhaps the best part of seeing this picture? Besides the renewed gleam in my eye that speaks happiness, confidence and pride?

Realizing that there is no end game.This is the life I have built for myself.

And it is the life that I will continue. Moderation, real, wholesome, fueling foods, and a love for barre n9ne, from teaching, to taking classes.  This life. A life that rails against the word ‘diet,’ that focuses on real foods, no gimmicks and the magic bullet of consistency that has opened the door to the happy medium I never thought was possible.

And ultimately? This is a life that I will continue to pay forward.  Because this happy medium life is pretty damn good . Thank you, Tanya, for your belief in us, to my sister Jess in sharing this journey with me (read her post here on her results and thoughts on the last year!), to the barre n9ne community for being such a supportive family (and believing in us then, as the first ‘challenges’ and now, as instructors), and to all of you – my family and friends, for supporting, encouraging and believing.

**as I hit ‘publish’ on this, know that it took a lot of thought and decision-making on posting my before and after pictures…because as much as this journey has of course, been about weight and inches lost, that’s not *all* it has been. I think that goes without saying…but, I just thought it was worth mentioning again.**

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68 thoughts on “A year later: before and after: there is no ‘end game.’

  1. Wow! You look fabulous and you should be very proud of yourself for this accomplishment! Keep your chin up, love your attitude about life and celebrate your success!

  2. I am crying tears of sheer joy as I read your words – the complete and utter pride you have in yourself, the confidence in YOU that you have. It makes me so so so happy — YOU did this sis. YOU. I love you and am so proud of how far you’ve come, we’ve come, and how “right where we’re meant to be” we truly are today. It’s such an incredible blessing. I can’t even begin to put the proper words to paper to describe it. xoxo

    1. I can’t believe I didn’t reply to this yesterday sis. But seriously, this journey would not have been nearly as good if it weren’t something we did together. I still remember that knock out drag out argument we had just before we started this…and ya know what? ever since that moment (that realization, really), we have never had a fight like that again. Unity. Love you sis, and am so incredibly proud of what WE did. XOXO

  3. Congratulations Jolene you look beautiful, a picture of great health and wellness. I want to work out with you girls.

    1. Thank you Lee! Yes, absolutely agree with you, I feel GOOD about myself, and am confident I can do anything I set my mind to. First time ever, truly.

    1. aww, again, blushing, thank you. You know it wasn’t easy to post either the before and after, so you ‘get’ how big this was for me!

  4. First off you look FABULOUS. I just love you (and Jess!) and I’m so glad I met you ladies. The line “Realizing that there is no end game.This is the life I have built for myself.” seriously resonates with me. It’s so true. I will never be “done” with this journey – but someday I will be at the point where I am proud of the life I built and happy/healthy at the same time. Thank you for sharing!

    1. THANK YOU so much, and I am SO glad you found US and barre n9ne too. And believe in the ‘no end game’ mantra. Because when you realize that, you know, it isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon and one that keeps going and going, in a good way. You are already WELL on your way to this marathon, girl, keep it UP!!!!!!!

  5. Love love love this!! It goes without saying that you look amazing, strong, fit and healthy. But it’s the realization that it’s not the end game – that there isn’t an end game but that this is a core part of who you are now. And that gleam in your eye? Priceless. <3

  6. Great job my friend! Like I said to Jess too – I know you look amazing but DAMN AMAZING – Seriously, you have worked so HARD to get where you are today. I am so glad you’re here, and continuing on this journey that you worked so hard for. You’re an inspiration my dear!

  7. Geesh…someone get me a glass of ice water…shoooooph!!!! Ttttzzzzzzzztttttt! Hahahaha. You look phenomenal, Jo. “When I took this picture, I saw it for the first time.” You look amazing, don’t you??? And I love that you can see the change in the look in your eye…that’s really really important. You’re right…it’s not ever just about the inches or the weight. It’s EVERYTHING involved. The more you work, the more you feel the change, the more you see it. You CAN see it in your eyes…and you should be SO proud of yourself.

    1. You win for the best, funniest, most fabulous comment EVER. This made me giggle, blush and blush some more! LOVE this and thank you so much for your support and love! Love you girl!

    1. Oh, thank you so much! I keep blushing reading these, but am truly proud, and so happy to share this story with everyone and hope to motivate and inspire, just like YOU do for me too! XOXO

    1. Thank you friend!! That means so much!! You too look amazing!! I was totally checking out your ASSets last night heehee!! ;-) Confidence is so good to have, isn’t it?! XOXO

  8. You look fabulous friend!!! I’m so proud of you! This has made you become an entirely new confident person. You sound happier! Good for you!

  9. Goosebumps! It’s so much more than this AMAZING before and after – look at how your confidence and overall way you carry yourself has changed.

    This is incredibly inspiring, I am beyond elated for you – wow, wow, wow.

    1. THANK YOU! I got goosebumps reading this comment! I really appreciate your kind words and you are so very right, this goes far beyond the before and after. In so many ways.

  10. First off, you looked gorgeous a year ago. Even if you couldn’t see it! And holy hell girl, I think you’re my new girl crush! I feel an overwhelming desire to pin your pic to my Fitness Inspiration board!

    1. I’ll take your girl crush anyday ;-) I saw your pics on FB this week and YOU, my friend, look amazing too (as always!). Love ya girl! And this also made me blush, like whoa ;-) XOXO

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