We came to a point where we had to make a decision. A decision for our health... We got tired of making excuses for ourselves. Saying things like "I just don't have the time....", "I'm too tired to workout.", "I wish I had the leisure and the money to do that.", "I have three children... are you kidding?"
Well, one thing I've learned over the years and especially in the years of running our business is that everyone has money and time for what's important to them. You will always find the time and the money for what you want the most. I know of people who can't "afford a car", but they go out to eat almost everyday. I know of people who are complaining about the debt that they're in, but they have the latest and greatest gadget and dress in the latest trends. For us, we always said that we don't have the time or the money to go to the gym, but deep inside, we knew that it was because it wasn't important to us and frankly, we were too lazy to do it. What you know and what you do or put into action are totally different things. If it was important to us, our health wouldn't have been where it was.
Well, last year across the street from our neighborhood, they were building a new gym. WHAAAAAT??? Yes, literally across the street. Literally a three minute drive from our home. As soon as we found out that they were building it, Craig said that he was going to get a membership and start working out. I said, "Hm... we'll see..." Well, November of 2016 came and they were done. My husband really went like he said he would and got himself a membership as well as one for me and my mom. But, because my mom and I didn't decide to go yet, he put a hold on our accounts. He went for one week by himself... I still doubted his commitment because it's been only a week. He finally convinced me to get an assessment there. Through that assessment, as I predicted, my heart rate was bad... I mean really bad... That was the biggest concern when it came to my health. Craig always expressed his concern and thought that I had many symptoms of heart disease. I agreed, but again, my excuse was finding the time. Well, after I found out that my resting heart rate was so high that it wasn't even on the chart for my age, I knew that I had to make that day a turning point in my life. Opposite from me, Craig's cardiovascular and other areas were great. For him, it was just his weight. This year, I turned 38 years old and I knew that it was now or never, and I wanted to be in the best shape of my life before I turned 40. We got more than a gym membership for me. After much hesitation and from my husband's support, I got a personal trainer as well. I'm sure that many moms out there can relate, but ever since we had children, money always went to the kids and I struggled with feeling guilty if I bought anything for myself. But, with this, I knew that it wasn't just for me but for the well being of my family as well. I wanted to be more energized and happier for my family. Also, knowing me, I knew that if I invest money in it, I will get my money's worth, so it will make me get my butt in the gym.
Well, it's been almost 5 months.... I can't even believe that! This is the most we've ever worked out. Wow! Want to hear some results? I'm so proud to say that my hubby, Craig, lost 37 pounds! 37!!!!! Crazy, right? His body fat percentage went from 33 to 14. His pant size went from 36 to 32. He had to get a new belt because the old one didn't have anymore holes left and obviously new clothes. His shirt size went from L to M... He looks like a new man! What has he been doing? Just eating right and tons of swimming with some weight lifting. He has changed so much that I have to change his bio on our website. LOL! I have never seen him make such wise choices with food. He now tells me what to eat! WHAT? Who is this guy? You guys have no idea how many arguments we've gotten into because of the way he USED to eat and now I'm following his lead with it. I haven't said one word about his eating habits ever since he started working out. Not one word... :)
My result... Let me just say that it's been very disappointing for me. I have to look REALLY hard to see any change. LOL! My transformation has definitely been more internal as in my heart rate and energy level. My resting heart rate went down 20 points. 20! I have lost 0 pounds. Yup, a big fat 0! My goal was 5... Honestly, the scale has been very frustrating, so I just don't go on it anymore. I know that muscles weigh more than fat, but still.... BUT! About 6 weeks ago, I changed my trainer and I have finally seen a change in my measurements which is the only thing I can go by at this point. My target was my thunder thighs and so far, I've lost 1.25" there and 0.25" - 0.5" everywhere else. Because my change has been so slow, I have to really remind myself that I feel muscles that I never knew existed. LOL! Although I feel the "new" muscles, I haven't had anyone come up to me and say, "Have you been working out?" Hope someone does soon. (Someone who has not read this blog. hehe) Craig definitely gets that now and I'm so happy for him and VERY proud of him, but it does leave me a little disappointed with my results because his are so apparent. Oh well... I just gotta keep going. Remember our blog about the gems? I'm a RUBY and because this is a game I chose to play, I have to win, but because I'm not winning against Craig in this game, it's making me want to stop playing, but I just have to keep reminding myself that I can't compare myself to him and keep trying and do it more for my overall health than physical appearance. (I know... that was a long run-on sentence.) Can anyone out there relate?? Hope so... :) But, this has given us such a fun hobby as individuals and as a married couple too. I have so much fun going to the gym with Craig (when we can)! Love all the laughs and feeling that accomplishment together has been amazing!
There are so many things I have been learning since we started working out. We go at least 5 days a week and let me just say that it never gets easier. There's not been one day when I went and thought to myself, "OH! That was easy!" First, my trainer gives me a harder workout every time and kicks my tail. And, I can't believe I'm saying this, but really... it's hard, but SO FUN at the same time! I remember one time when I almost just couldn't finish it and felt like throwing up, and she said, "Unchong, finish it! FINISH IT! It's all in your mind... Be strong in your mind and believe that you can do it then you WILL finish. You're not paying me to get physically stronger, you're paying me for your mind to get stronger. If you're strong in your mind, your body will follow. People are weak in their mind and that's why they are in poor health. Put your mind into it. Focus and finish!" My jaw dropped. How could I not finish after someone tells me something like that? Wow! That is one of those things in my life that I will never forget. But, isn't what she said really true? It all starts in my thoughts... in my mind. Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." It's a struggle every time. Every time I step into that gym, it's so hard and I feel like I can't finish, but I do and it's the greatest feeling. Getting there is so hard, but once I'm there, I finish. Finishing something is powerful, isn't it? There are struggles after struggles with running our business too just like anything else in life, but I know that I have to set my mind to the truth that God has given us. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Gosh... it's been amazing to see Craig change. I've said it before, but really, every time that man puts his mind into something, he does it. Your body really follows your mind. God has really strengthened us throughout this journey and I know that through Him, we will continue and live the rest of our lives taking our health seriously. Yes, I do regret all the years that I didn't, but hey, there's nothing I can do about that now. We can only look forward and I'm excited about what we will continue to learn and the benefits that will come with that.
And what does this mean for our business? That our clients will be getting healthier photographers who will no longer be huffing and puffing. :) It used to take about half a day for Craig to recover after shooting a wedding, but for me, 2-3 days. I know... sounds pitiful, right? But, that was the truth. Not anymore! I now come home from a wedding of course tired, but not so tired and beat that I can't function. Guys, I really couldn't function after a wedding before. Not anymore! I have so much more energy and the next day is a normal day, so we are so excited to be serving our clients better! Our kids have a happier mom and dad and just that in itself has been so worth it. Because we now live an active life, we can't help but be more active with our kids and instill that lifestyle in them as well.
Oh, and my mom? Yeah... she goes to Zumba class every single day! We go minimum of 5 days a week... my mom goes 7 days a week. She puts us to shame! We are so happy for her. She has been making friends at the gym and it's so wonderful to see my mom who is in her 60s so happy and healthy.
I pray that all of you who read this blog be encouraged to set your mind in the right way and finish the race that you're on. It may be a physical, financial, spiritual or a relational race... Whatever you're going through, finish it and finish it strong and well because you CAN!
With much love,
Craig & Unchong :)