Imagine the following: It's January 1, 2019. A full year is ahead of you, and this is the very first day. The possibilities are endless. (Overwhelmed by all these possibilities? Of course, here's some help: how to set goals and reach them.) So you sit down and scratch out a few intentions because you've known for a while that you need to eat more greens more training or whatever keeps you from feeling the best. And although these goals may be useful to you, it's easy to forget that achieving those goals takes time – usually a lot. This is especially true if you are trying to make a meaningful change in your lifestyle. The Australian influencer Lucy McConnell tells you exactly that, because she knows from experience. (Related: The Ultimate 40-Day Plan to Smash Every Destination, with Jen Widerstrom)
The personal trainer has recently posted four photos of herself on Instagram, which have been taken over the past four years to guide the way To prove a healthy life is more roller coaster than one-way street.
"If I had asked you in which photo I look the most healthy … Honestly, I probably could not answer that myself," she wrote next to the photos. "I do not think I've ever been in a state where I'm the" healthiest "I could be, I'm still learning how that looks."
McConnell went on to explain where she was emotionally and physically in each photo. "In the first photo (taken in 2014), my lifestyle was full of drinking and eating," she wrote. "I was chronically inactive and turned to eating during difficult times in my family life, and after graduation I had gained a lot of weight with my newer, more sedentary lifestyle and adding drinking nights, and I was not physically healthy mentally or mentally."  Fast forward to 2017 and McConnell has lost weight, but she says it happens so much more than it seems at first glance. "Photo two may look like a picture of health, but at this stage I lost my menstrual cycle," she wrote. "I was without it for some time, and along with my sanity, it was because I was obsessed with tracking down every bit of food I ate, and insisting I did not miss a single workout." (Related: 10 Causes of Irregular Periods)
In June of this year, McConnell announced that she had overcome amenorrhea (if you did not get her period for a long time). "I have 3000 calories a day without formal exercise," she wrote. "Shortly after this photo, I got my first period in several years, and despite my physical health, my head was uncomfortable in my appearance, and I felt I was living in a different body." (See also: How I Made My Bowel Ruin to Face My Body Dysmorphia)
Today, McConnell says she's doing a lot better and feels the best she has in years. "The last photo is the youngest," she wrote. "I train and eat well, I've got periods, even though they are not yet regular, my head is in a much better place, but I still have much to do to improve my relationship with food, I can say for sure I feel good and proud of what my body looks like, I did a photo shoot in that body, and I felt absolutely amazing. "
All of this inner growth has allowed McConnell to pay attention to the fact that she might does not look and feel like she does now, forever. "Bodies should change," she wrote. "Life has its seasons, priorities change and bodies do not look the same everywhere, that's normal, it's just life." (See also: How do you comply with your resolutions when a failure is imminent?)
To those who could begin their wellness journey, McConnell says: " Be careful with yourself." Remember when you adopt resolutions in the New Year or tackle long daily task lists.