Why did I create iAM? I never, ever want us to lose sight of what iAM is and what our message represents. I've always been into fitness. In the beginning it wasn't a healthy addiction I had. It was paired with my eating disorder and I worked out for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to be skinny, I wanted the scale to change, I wanted to burn all the extra calories I consumed by spending hours on the treadmill.
When I started getting help for my eating disorder, I had to take a break from fitness. I had to take a break from trying to lose weight, diet pills, meal plans and everything else that my life revolved around. It was the most difficult but best thing I've ever done.
After going through counseling and reading all the books I could find I approached fitness another way. I focused on health. I learned to listen to my body to see what it wanted. If I was tired I would rest, if I wanted to run I would run. I slowly learned to trust my body with food and really worked on loving myself.
It's been about 4 years now since I started this new journey and it is amazing to me how wonderful life is. I never knew it was possible to not stress about food, to eat balanced, feel good, be active and make it a LIFESTYLE opposed to a month long fad.
Last year I wasn't sure what to do. I wanted to help people that struggled with the same things I did. I considered going into counseling. The issue with that is it only took care of one side of things, I couldn't teach people how to eat balanced or how to move their bodies. Every gym I went into preached meal plans, diets, crazy workouts, 21 day fixes, fat burning pills and magic shakes. Those things were all a bunch of crap.
That was when my husband and I decided to create iAM. iAM is a studio where we teach women how to be healthy. We do this by touching on all aspects of health; fitness, nutrition and wellness. We don't do strict meal plans or sell magic weight loss pills, we teach you how to live a healthy life.
We teach you how to fuel your body with natural, whole foods, and also how to enjoy a cupcake every now and than. We don't prep you for bikini competition, but we prep you to be able to play tag with your grandkids. We are a community of women pushing each other to be healthy, and for once, loving ourselves like no other.
iAM is not a gym where you go workout at, its a studio full of friends and family that are working towards a healthy lifestyle.
And trust me i know how great it is to lose weight and fit into old jeans. We have women dropping inches left and right, but the difference is they do it in a maintainable way that becomes a LIFESTYLE.
If you are new to iAM I want to say welcome and congrats on the beginning of your new lifestyle change!
The other day I had a client tell me she was mad at herself because she couldn't make it through a certain workout. I had another one mention how she was just eating cruddy all week. Another felt guilty for missing a few days in a row. WELCOME TO THE CLUB.
I remember when I use to go to the gym and see people there who had the 'perfect' body. I still catch myself scrolling through Instagram and comparing myself to other people. I always end up feeling like crap about myself. Sound familiar?
In the past week I've had multiple people mention how they wish they could be motivated to workout everyday like me. I had someone mention they wish they could eat healthy food like me. I'm flattered but the truth is I'm human.
Yesterday I put myself through a workout I couldn't finish. I've canceled on my running partner twice this week (sorry Kiely!), I ate too much chocolate last night and beat myself up for it. I am human, and so is everyone else you see.
If you think you're alone in having an off day, an off week or heck, an off month, think again. It doesn't mean you're a failure or you have to start from the beginning again, it means you're human. It actually means you are working towards your goals because guess what, that's how a journey works. You have slip ups and off days. You have great days and victories. Its all part of the process.
So, before you beat yourself up and compare yourself to someone else's journey, just remember we are all human. For the most part, we all see the best side of everyone. See a perfect body on Instagram? Maybe it took them 20 pictures to get that certain one! You meet someone who is just crazy happy all the time, I bet they have their off days too.
These past few weeks I've caught myself in a trap of being a little too hard on myself. I've caught myself comparing my journey to people I don't even know. So I decided to take a pledge to be a little more gentle with myself. I hope you join me too.
I want you to remember how unique, beautiful and wonderful you truly are. I want you to remember the effort you've been putting in and how amazing your body really is. Today, I urge you to try being nice to your body. Think about why you're thankful for it opposes to all the things you want to change about it. Our bodies do some amazing things for us and its time we love them back.
When you want to start getting healthier, focus on LIFESTYLE opposed to restricting. Diets and restrictions don't last because they are not maintainable. Instead, try to make one small change a day. Allow yourself some wiggle room and find what works for you and your lifestyle. My rule is if you can't do something you're whole life you shouldn't be doing it! If you feel like your restricting, wanting to binge or 'cheating' if you eat something, its time to reevaluate!
Here are some healthy changes to try.
Start and end your day with a big glass of water
Get 30 minutes of activity in 3-5 days a week
Create a plan and prep your food for the week
Pack your ice chest every day
Practice positive self talk
Meditate every morning
Q&A with Patty Britton
How long have you been with iAM?
I am on my 5th week with iAM. I started January 2015.
What are some of the biggest changes you are seeing/feeling?
The biggest change is that I don't need to nap during the day anymore. I am getting stronger and find myself standing taller. At 5'1 I can stand with pride! In just one month I have had to purchase smaller workout clothes!
What has been a challenge you have had to overcome?
Getting off the couch and driving to class alone; it was a big challenge for me!
What has been the most unexpected part of your lifestyle change?
That working out has become a part of me. I look forward to it daily.
What are your future goals?
To get stronger and healthier. To be a better role model for my family.
What advice would you give to someone new to a lifestyle change who might be nervous?
Don't give up! Try it for a month, see how great you feel, you will be surprised!
My name is Hanna Kuyper and my mission for iamwell comes directly from my past experiences. Read more