Deep breath. Deep breath.
I write this, nervous about sharing my progress images with you. No one is making me do this. I'm doing it as motivation and self support. While I'll pretty much answer any question you ask with pure honesty, and while I wear my emotions raw on my sleeve, it's not me to share swimsuit pics or many selfies of my bare skin.
So be kind.
I am that girl who always picks themselves apart. I am that girl that doesn't think she's good enough. I am that girl that needs to heal from years of being told she was overweight and the body image issues that followed.
A year ago, I thought I was doing a great job in my health and fitness. I bought that swimsuit and honestly it was supposed to be perfect. It wasn't. I didn't like how it fit or how I fit in it so I took the photo on the left.
That was after I returned from a family trip to Disney and a work trip to Atlanta. I resigned myself into believing I couldn't lose any more weight because I was in my 40's. That this pic on the left was the best I could do. But I wanted to try... a little. So, I jump-started the year with the Whole 30 diet, and I added some strength classes into my dance and yoga routine.
I'd like to tell you a year later I work out all the time and that I live on quinoa, kale and avocados. But I don't. I'd probably look better if I did.
I do eat cinnamon rolls. I do eat French fries and chips on occasion, I drink beer and I do sleep in and skip workouts. But those days are limited. I make better choices and some days I participate in a couple of fitness classes a day. I do what feels good. I try not to feel guilty about it. And if I'm injured - I don't push.
Again, don't get me wrong. When I took the one year progress picture today I picked it apart; I see the wrinkled damaged skin from carrying babies and I still see inches to lose, but I am trying to remind myself that this is a great body for me. At age 44, I'm succeeding on the path to being healthy, and I have to support myself.
Still working on it. Feeling better about it. If you need some support on your journey, let me know - I'm here for you.
Thanks for reading.
About the Author
Sandi Cano Cauley is a small business owner, fitness instructor, dancer and retired broadcast journalist. She operates Turn Cardio Jam Studio in Richmond, VA (founded in 2015) with goals to mesh dance + fitness and connect others with some of their youth. She is also a 3 x boy mom, a Tejana, a wannabe