Spring 2018 - Pre Assesments

It’s Sunday morning, 10 AM, and my kitchen is already trashed. Blender dripping with the remnants of smoothie. Instant Pot cooking chicken breasts to shred for salads. Egg muffins baking in the oven. Little pieces of chopped veggies EVERYWHERE. And me, sipping black coffee in the middle of it all.

My husband surveys the mess, sighs, and says, “Body Back starting again already?”

He knows me well by now. This is the start of my fourth Body Back session – yes, I admit I might be a Body Back addict – and I’ve learned from my previous sessions that it’s super-helpful to hit the ground running and go into the session committed.

But then, that’s my personality too. I’m very Type A and I go into most everything I do 100% committed. That’s why I love Body Back, and also why I need Body Back: The 8-week focus on myself helps me create space in my head to let go of what I need to let go of, and push myself to achieve the goals I know I’m capable of, but sometimes lack the motivation to pursue.

Although I’m a “repeater”, this session of Body Back is a departure for me: My previous three have been in the same location, on the same schedule, with the same instructor and many of the same mamas I’ve gotten to know so well. Each session has been life-changing in different ways, both large and small, but the routine was also getting comfortable. That means it’s time to step outside my comfort zone again and switch it up.

Enter Wednesday-Saturday Body Back. Change of scenery, different schedule, new instructor, and a whole new group of moms. We had our kick-off meeting yesterday, where we introduced ourselves and talked about our goals for the session, our insecurities and hang-ups, our challenges. Take 12 very different mamas and give them a safe space to open up in, and you still might be surprised at how much our words echoed each other: Having babies has changed us so much. We look different, feel different. We want not just our bodies back, but ourselves back. To feel confident. Healthy. In control. Strong. The way we felt pre-kids.

We also talked about the program and what to expect: Following the Body Back recipe book and nutrition guide. Logging everything we eat and drink, knowing that our instructor will be reviewing it to provide guidance and encouragement. Twice-weekly group workouts, at-home workouts and a variety of challenges that change weekly. The private Facebook group for support and accountability, to share our struggles and triumphs. And of course, Assessment Night.

Yes, Assessment Night: The way each 8-week session of Body Back begins and ends, with a weigh-in, measurements, and photos, plus a series of physical challenges: a timed mile run, bicep curls, push-ups, squats, planks, and side planks. It’s nerve-wracking but exhilarating at the same time.

My first session of Body Back, I literally dreaded the initial Assessment Night. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to keep up, I’d embarrass myself, slow down the group. I hadn’t run a mile since high school (and not really even then either!) I highly doubted I could do even 1 legitimate push-up. And then, no doubt seeing my mounting insecurities written all over my face, our instructor reminded me: “Tonight isn’t about any other mama except YOU. It’s your journey. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.”

I went out there and did it that night, learned a thing or two, came back twice a week for the next 8 weeks, and then did it all over again on Final Assessment Night at session end. I was shocked with the results, and proud of myself for the first time in a long time.

Since that first session, I don’t stress about Assessment Night anymore. Your numbers don’t define you. Assessments are just a progress marker, a starting point. They show you where you were at the beginning so you can see how far you’ve come at the end. I know now that it’s what you do going forward that counts – during the session and afterward.

And that’s why I like to hit the ground running, drawing on the energy of the group to start strong and hope to sustain that energy and enthusiasm through the ups and downs of the next 8 weeks. I’ll keep you updated weekly with where this session takes me, but for now it’s back to my kitchen and chopping vegetables. My husband shakes his head, refills his own coffee, and starts to clean up the kitchen mess as I make more of it. Just another Meal Prep Sunday at our house.