“If I can, you can too…”

Our first FIT blog guest contributor is Iris Lancaster. You’ll be inspired to tackle those challenges after checking out her story. Don’t wait until the new year to change your life. Now is the time to get FIT! http://www.8weekfit.com

My FIT story began on June 30, 2014, just 6 weeks after my third baby was born. I started at 236.8 pounds with a goal to lose 50 pounds by Christmas 2014. I had lost that 50 pounds by mid-October, winning first place in two 8-week challenges in a row in the “pounds lost” category. I went on to lose another 24.2, for a total of 74.2 pounds lost.

Iris 1

I heard about the 8-week FIT challenge through a friend who shared her weight loss experience on Facebook. I knew immediately after reading the description that THIS was how I wanted to lose weight and get fit and healthy. I had been contacted and tempted many times by sweet, well-meaning friends encouraging me to try their drinks, shakes, or wraps. I always felt uneasy and hesitant about trying those. BUT, the FIT plan just made perfect sense to me: cut down on the sugary and processed foods and replace them with REAL and minimally processed foods, increase my water consumption, increase the amount of fresh vegetables and fruits in my diet, keep a food journal, and consistently exercise.

Among all of these changes, the one that I struggle with the most is excessively indulging in sweets. With the motivation, encouragement, and accountability that I received from being part of this amazing group of women, I quit coffee creamer, and I limited myself to sugary sweets only one day a week. I believe this was a HUGE contributor to my weight loss.

The other huge contributor to my weight loss was the decision to become a runner. Halfway through my first weight-loss challenge, my husband and I took our teen group to camp where there are no cardio machines, and I started running. When we returned home, I didn’t stop running. Never before had I run more than 1 mile at a time. I hated running. But I decided that I hated being unfit even more. Each day I saw improvement which gave me motivation to continue. On Memorial Day 2015, I completely a 15k race, my longest race to date, and I’m now training for a much bigger race in the near future.

Why do I share all this? Because if I CAN, you CAN too. I’m a 30-year-old mom of 3 kids: ages 4, 3, and 1. I’m a normal girl, with normal struggles, and normal opportunities. We can either make excuses (Like I did after my first two children were born. I have been there!), or we can change our thinking and our attitudes and decide “I AM going to take control of my health and get fit. I AM going to change my lifestyle and my habits.”

Something I share often is that the first step to changing your body is to stop hating it. Remember that your worth does not lie in a number on the scale. You are loved, and you are valuable no matter what your size. Jesus Christ died to offer you salvation from your sin. The God of the universe considers you worthy of His sacrifice! So please, dear sweet lady, stop with the negativity and self-loathing, and accept yourself where you are now. Then, and only then, will you be able to celebrate even the smallest victories and continue to be encouraged during the biggest of setbacks. Join our FIT team and make it your lifestyle.

Iris Lancaster

Iris 2

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