Natalie’s CHAARG Journey: Learning to Trust Myself

My CHAARG Spring Break FitPlan journey was not what I expected it to be. I set a lot of goals for myself, went in with my spirits high, + held a *go-getting, nothing’s going to get in my way, this is finally the time I commit 100% + succeed* attitude. You may be thinking this was the part that was different for me, that perhaps I went in doubting myself from the get-go. Plot twist: that wasn’t what was different.

The *beginning* of any fit plan//workout program//goal I set my sights on starts off with intentions high + mighty. I’m unstoppable, on a path that cannot be derailed. I am always sure that I can do it. So how was this time different, then?

It was different because I had a little voice [just an itty bitty one] telling me that I wasn’t going to accomplish any of the goals I set out to accomplish over these next five weeks.

I knew that after countless attempts to truly commit, stay focused + stick to my promises, I had really only *succeeded* once in my life: three years prior, during my freshman year of college. Within a period of three months, I lost 35 pounds the wrong way: burning too many calories, not eating back enough, nit-picking + shaming myself for how my body looked on a daily basis, + going to extreme measures to not only ensure that I wouldn’t see the number on the scale go up one week, but to ensure I’d continue to see it go down. I was sick.

Since then, every time I’ve tried to shed some pounds that I’ve gained back over the holidays, because of emotions or just because, I have been unsuccessful. The weight would come off for the first couple weeks, then I would let one slip turn into a slide + lose sights of all that I wanted to accomplish.

But the thing was, every time I set out to start, I told myself, *This time will be different. You’re not going to get in the way of your own success.* So what was it about the #CHAARGSBFP that gave me that smallest bit of self-doubt?

As soon as I felt + recognized it, I asked myself, *Why?* Was it because I gave up so many times in the past? Was it because I remembered my results from the CHAARG FitPlan weren’t exactly what I was hoping for? Whatever it was, I didn’t like it. I hadn’t openly doubted myself like that in a long time.

So, this time around I didn’t just focus on my body [while I must say I did kick some major booty in the gym with every sweat sesh ; )] — I focused on my mind + soul.

I wrote in a journal every single night reflecting on my day + the workout.

I spent more time with myself… + not to just watch Netflix like I had been the last couple months, to actually think.

I went to hot yoga once or twice a week.

I continued to see an eating psychologist, something I made my #FitGoal for the CHAARG FitPlan in the fall.

I began to finally trust myself.

These last five weeks were far from *perfect behavior.* I ate french fries, had dessert + drank beer. But you know what? I enjoyed every bite of those treats as much as I enjoyed every fruit, veggie, piece of chicken + sweet potato I ate, too.

Sure, I lost 5.2 pounds + shed 9.5 inches off my body, but that’s not why I feel in my heart that the #CHAARGSBFP was a success; it was a success because I fueled my own fire. I took my self-doubt + didn’t run away from it. I was real with myself. I no longer felt guilty about my choices. Most importantly, I learned to trust myself: trust that I can accomplish my goals, see improvements + make strides toward a happier, healthier + better me without putting myself through hell + back. Why did I think it had to be hard in order for it to be done?

I had the tools all along to accomplish my goals, I just had to work on myself from the inside first. The #CHAARGSBFP showed me that when your mind is right, your body will reward you.

+ let me tell ya, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

natalie-new

+ Natalie [@natalie_inchaarg], VirtCHAARG Girl from Grand Rapids

#CHAARGJourney highlights our members’ amazing journeys through CHAARG — physically, mentally, emotionally. Natalie was one of the three winners of the CHAARG Spring Break FitPlan 2015. We could not be more proud of her for not only seeking an eating psychologist, but continuing to pursue mindful eating + trusting in the process. We cannot wait to follow her journey through CHAARG [+ stay tuned for a blog post from Natalie about what she’s learned from seeing an eating psych!].

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