Stop and pause. Think about a big goal. One you might think is unattainable, but you’ll entertain the idea for the moment because it’s fun to dream.
Some people might dream of a yacht. A new house. Becoming a famous singer. A writer.
If you’re Somer Walker three years ago, that dream was losing 100 lbs. It’s possible she didn’t even dream that big at first. But she knew she had to make a change. She showed up day after day for herself and over the course of three years, she achieved that goal.
And by reaching that goal, she gained so much more.
We probably know all too well how fitness and health journeys can go. There’s a reason the gym is packed in January and fizzles out by March. Sometimes we commit to a goal and then lose sight of it. Life gets hectic. Your routine gets interrupted, and all of a sudden you realize that you have shifted from what you originally set out to accomplish.
For Somer, it took a serious wake-up call to really commit.
“It became real when I found out I was pre-diabetic. I realized that this was a turning point and I couldn’t play around anymore.”
She continued, “On top of that, I was so tired of wishing I had a different body day after day. I was uncomfortable and it was exhausting.”
"I was so tired of wishing I had a different body day after day. I was uncomfortable and it was exhausting.”
Somer had been down this road before. It seemed like she had tried every diet in the world and hadn’t seen success. She decided that this time she was going to switch her approach. Instead of committing to an intense diet, Somer started making small changes to her eating habits, which gave food less control over her life.
“I started to share my food, when before I used to eat every single bite. I would wait until I was situated at the table before I started eating. Before, I would snack while I cooked because it just looked so good.”
When it came to letting go of the control food had over her life, she referenced a quote from one of her favorite trainers, Jordan Syatt (@syattfitness).
“Always just take a moment to pause and think about how you’ll feel after you eat something.”
Food isn’t the only part of the equation when making a serious health change. Somer also committed to a fitness routine. In the beginning, she was battling feelings of low self-esteem, and the thought of working out around others was uncomfortable.
“I felt really uncomfortable around men, so I signed up to an all women’s gym. I felt more at home there and was able to put in the work without feeling like I had to look a certain way.”
Somer continued to push toward her goal by joining in on classes they had at the gym.
“I had done sports in my adolescent years but had never worked out to lose weight. I didn’t know where to start, so I did group workouts like HIIT, Pilates, and Zumba.”
Just like changing her food habits with small steps, she started off her fitness journey the same way. She didn’t put pressure on herself and vowed she would make it to the gym when she could. After developing a consistent routine of working out three days a week, she began to see real change.
“I had lost 30 lbs and that kept me motivated. I knew after getting that far that I could do this and take it seriously.”
Somer built off of that feeling of success and increased her three-day gym visits to five days a week and began planning and picking classes that she knew would challenge her. She researched workouts that involved more weightlifting and eventually moved away from taking classes as she developed her own routine.
With newfound confidence, discipline, and consistency, she got to a point of success where she felt that the sky was limit. Losing 100 lbs is something a lot of us look at as the impossible, and Somer was no different.
“I used to be someone who gave up when things got hard. I liked my comfort zone. But then I accomplished this and I finally understood that I could do hard things.”
This realization not only pushed her further towards living a healthy lifestyle in the physical sense, but it helped her personality blossom as well. As a self-proclaimed introvert, the thought of going to a party used to bring extreme anxiety.
“Now I can hold my own in a crowd. I like to communicate and network and my community is stronger because of it.”
Having low self-esteem meant that she used to settle in romantic relationships. She’s now newly engaged and planning her wedding.
“Right before I met my fiancé, I felt so empowered.” She smiled, “I realized I was the prize.”
When it comes to sources of inspiration, she talked about her relationship with God throughout her journey and how it had strengthened over time. She had asked God to help her see what He sees in her, and for strength when making the right choice was not easy.
Somer had also unleashed inspiration within herself.
“If I could go back, I would tell myself that you cannot fail at weight loss. Even if you have a bad day, you can get back on track the next day. You cannot fail.”
Somer has now taken what she has learned and continues to share it with others who want to make a change (@somerbodyfitness). She extends invites to workout with her via zoom or in the park, has written an eBook on weight loss, and a blog and a podcast titled Fearfully Fit, inspired by her favorite bible verse: Psalm 139:14, “Fearfully and wonderfully made”, which is tattooed on her arm.
"Your mind will talk you out of your dreams before any closed-door ever will"
After talking to Somer, I was reminded of the dreams we don’t reach for because we think they’re impossible.
The truth is those big things are possible. We can do hard things. With consistent small changes, we pave the way for bigger changes. We open the doors to newer and better things. We allow the idea of the impossible to creep into our lives – and become a reality.
When asked for one piece of advice to someone who wants to make their own change, Somer left me with this:
“Your mind will talk you out of your dreams before any closed-door ever will. We talk ourselves out of so many blessings. There’s nothing that can hold you back from who you want to be but you.”
You can view Somer's zoom workouts, ebook, podcast, youtube channel, and more here.