I did not wake up like this. I changed my lifestyle for this. I changed my eating habits for this. I wake up early for this. I cried for this. I put in the work for this. 

4 years ago I decided I wanted to do a photoshoot for my 40th birthday. I knew if I wanted to do this that it would take time, dedication and some serious change in some of my habits. At first it started off working out 2-3 times a week. I gradually noticed that changes were happening. Over the course of the next 2 years I increased my workouts to 4-5 times a week. This included weight training and running. 

In January 2020 I knew I really needed to focus on a lot more than just fitness and needed to dial in on my nutrition to really get the results I wanted. I found an amazing coach to work with. She understood my goal and the importance of it. We started to work together to get the results I wanted for a November photoshoot. 

Obviously 2020 hasn’t been a walk in the park for anyone, when things shut down in March I was almost ready to give up. I knew I would need a gym to get the results I was looking for. Coach B talked me through things we figured out what I could do at home for weight training but this is when we really dialed in the habit and behaviors of my nutrition and started focusing on my eating habits. What a change!! I was determined not to ‘gain the Covid 19’ but even better by the end of July I had ‘lost the Covid 19’. I was feeling great. Getting back to the gym, running, working out in my garage things were progressing well. 

When my mom passed in August I was crushed! I didn’t even know what to do. How does one function without their mom? How does your life keep going? I had one of 2 choices, forget all the hard work I had done, postpone the photoshoot, fall into a bucket of ice cream every night and forget everything I had worked so hard for over the last 2.5 years or focus on what was important to me, focus on the reason why I was doing the photoshoot, focus on all the new habits I had formed. After many conversations and texts with Coach B I was now more than ever determined to do this. I knew the ‘hard’ part was yet to come. 

Over the next few months it was time to get serious. I had a plan and a coach that worked with what I needed. Grief is hard AF, but I am so happy I had my fitness and nutrition to focus on. It was the one constant and thing I could control in my life. As calories went down, workouts became more intense and became more frequent, 6 days a week, with a focus on lifting weights, hitting 15,000 steps a day and an occasional 20 AMRAP and my grief was catching up to me. There were so many times I was ready to give up, was it worth it? But I kept reminding myself of why I was doing it.

The last 2 months were not easy but as Coach B kept reminding me this is temporary! My end goal was so close. I am so glad I stuck with it. When walking into my photoshoots (yes I did 2 because why not?), I felt AMAZING. I never thought in my wildest dreams I would get to where I am. Getting the pictures back I just couldn’t believe that was me. When you see yourself everyday you don’t notice the changes and progress as much but when you see it through a different lense I was shocked. I am so proud of the work I have done and it really was worth it. 

What’s next? I am still determined to keep up my fitness levels and maintain the new and healthy habits I have formed. First step is reverse dieting, a gradual increase of calories to get back to a maintenance level. Even though I had a flexible approach to my nutrition [as I was macro tracking the entire time] poverty macros don’t always mean you get to eat ice cream. I am looking forward to enjoying ice cream, a donut or a meal out every once and awhile in my near future. For those who wonder how I did it, know that results happen over time, not overnight- work hard, stay consistent and be patient. Motivation is what got me started, but the new habits I have developed are what keeps me going.

Written by Andrea Mishio

Please check out my Instagram account @fit.wonder.womom for more details and stories about my success.