Last week I finished a 6 week class called LIFE.REVAMP. The class was made up of a small group of people and led by an incredible woman named Amy Machacek. Twice a week we got together for an hour long session that started with a workout then  followed that with a discussion on nutrition with a bit of life coaching added in.

I first heard about REVAMP through my friend Joy Riggs (of the My Musical Family blog and book project). Since Joy started LIFE.REVAMP. I have noticed she has become really fit and has also made significant progress on writing her book. Intrigued, I’ve talked to Joy about the program quite a bit and she’s filled me in about how she’s learned to set measurable goals and change her eating habits. REVAMP sounded interesting and like something that might work for me but I hesitated to sign up because the times the class was offered didn’t fit into my schedule. Because of the cost. Because of life at the moment. And, probably, because I was a bit scared.

Back in March, Owen and I were on an overnight outing in Stillwater. At lunch we talked about how we felt stuck in unhealthy patterns in our lives that neither of us felt we could change despite our best efforts. We talked about how neither of us were feeling as healthy and as fit as we’d like. For instance, neither of us has been getting enough sleep even though we both keep saying “we need to go to bed earlier.” In addition, I was at my all-time high weight and feeling bad about my physical appearance. Both of us felt like we work too hard and don’t enjoy life enough. After some talking, we decided to sign up for LIFE.REVMAP. I didn’t think the schedule would fit our lives but Owen figured out a way to work from home on REVAMP days so that he and I could make one of the session times work for us.

Guess what? The class was life changing for us. One of the first things we changed in our lives was the way we eat. We now eat a more protein and fat based diet and have reduced our sugar intake. Owen, for instance, switched to eating eggs for breakfast instead of 2 cups of raisin bran. The result is that we no longer need snacks to make it from meal to meal and I no longer feel shaky when I haven’t eaten in a few hours. We also learned a lot about goal setting and how to set goals that are attainable and measurable. Another big element of the class is, quite simply, learning how to be more positive in how we think – essentially reprogramming negative thoughts we might have about life and ourselves.

There is also a huge fitness component in REVAMP. Each time we met we did a good workout that focused on strengthening our core. Some of the workouts were pretty tough but Amy had us focus on proper form and we only did what we felt we could handle so that we didn’t overdo it and get hurt.

The tagline for LIFE.REVMAP. is “Change Your Life By Changing Your Habits” and I found that REVAMP has helped me change my habits and, yes, my life. One of my REVAMP goals was to complete a 60 mile mixed-surface bike ride called Box of Frogs. I knew the 60 mile tar, gravel and dirt ride would be a challenge. But, due to huge rains in the days before, the ride turned into more of an obstacle course of tar, mud and slippery surfaces than a straightforward bike ride. Yet I finished the ride! I believe part of the reason I was able to Box of Frogs is because of the physical and internal work I did in LIFE.REVAMP.

The double track in U More Park appears dry and easy to ride in this picture. Most of it, however, was slipper and wet. We had to walk with our bikes on portions. I'm in the front in this picture and friends, Kate, is behind me. Our other ride partner, Victoria, took the picture.

The double track in U More Park appears dry and easy to ride in this picture. Most of it, however, was slipper and wet. We had to walk with our bikes on portions. I’m in the front in this picture and friends, Kate, is behind me. Our other ride partner, Victoria, took the picture.

I’m excited enough about the work I did in REVMAP that I signed up again! I know that I still have work to do, mostly in the area of accepting who I am and changing that inner voice that beats myself up a lot and calls myself “fat” and other unkind things. Also, even though I know good work was going on inside of me physically during my 6 weeks of REVAMP, I didn’t see much change in my weight or body shape. I’m frustrated by this. But, if I was working on changing my weight on my own I know I would simply have given up already and gone back to eating my old way. I’m keeping the faith (some days are easier than others) that with help from REVAMP, I’ll be able to get back to my ideal weight.

In the meantime, I am reminding myself that my body is strong and, even though I’m not at my ideal weight and shape, I still managed to kick some serious butt on my Box of Frogs bike ride. I’m reminding myself that I have a lot to be grateful for today. That life is good. That I’m a work in progress and I’m getting stronger, healthier and more balanced in my life each day.