Hosted at Joy's Book Blog every Tuesday, Readers' Workouts gives us a chance to motivate each other and stay accountable to ourselves.
Whew! It's been a long time since I posted one of these! I'm still working out, although I do believe the treadmill is going to be the death of me. I just can't make my peace with it. I was able to get out and run Sunday afternoon in this freakishly warm weather we've had, and it felt so good! I also finally broke down and went to a local running store to see what they recommended for running shoes. I was so nervous! I just knew they would tell me that I had the worst stride they'd ever seen and I needed to get back on the elliptical. Imagine my joy when they said that I have a great natural stride and that people have to retrain themselves to learn to do what comes naturally to me! Humongous YAY! Now I'm eager for my new shoes to get here later this week.
But really, with the start of the new year, I wanted to write about my journey to being more fit and healthy.
I started in October 2011. Don't ask me what finally set me off. I saw a flyer at work about a special at the local YMCA. Something just clicked. I'd had enough.
I started in late October with a goal of losing 22 pounds. At 5'6" and... let's just say size 12, I was by no means obese but my doctor had started having the "You've gained a few pounds over the past year. You know it's easier to lose weight when you're young" talk with me. It was time. I didn't really have any idea how to lose weight but I was going to try my best.
I instantly felt better. Before I'd even lost a pound, I had more energy just from getting up and moving. My local Y has a program they call "Coach Approach," which are basically 6 hour-long free personal training sessions over about 6 months to help you get on track and stay on track. I signed up right away. I was a little nervous. Say "Personal trainer" and I picture a drill sergeant in my face screaming to "Drop and give me 20!" I stubbornly dig in my heels and quietly do the exact opposite of what I'm told when I'm confronted with anything even remotely like that. Imagine my relief when the trainer I was assigned to was an easygoing guy with a great sense of humor who kept me at ease. He helped get me set up on the weight machines, gave me pointers about stretching, and made sure that I knew I could ask any of the coaches at any time for help.
Around this time, I also came across My Fitness Pal. I mostly used the app on my phone. I was easily able to track calories consumed and burned. I actually started measuring and counting serving sizes and looking at labels. Did I want a chicken breast or a few Snickers minis? I was hungry; I chose the chicken.
I was afraid to weigh in for a while. Then I noticed that my scrub pants felt loose. Scrubs are the most forgiving clothes on the planet. And they felt loose? Surely not. I finally climbed on the scales. I'd lost 6 pounds in about 6 weeks. I was elated! I'd never purposefully lost weight before and I was actually doing it and seeing results! With that encouragement, I was able to stay on track.
It wasn't always easy but I stuck with it. I don't know exactly when I finally hit my goal, but it was around April 2012. I was back to my wedding weight and size--a good, solid 8.
I've kept with the exercising. I have so much more energy and I'm so proud of myself as I see little accomplishments. I have signs of muscle definition! Me! One HUGE benefit that I never expected was that my headaches practically disappeared. At one point, it seemed like I was eating ibuprofen like candy. Now I might get one a month, and it is very manageable. I took up running, I signed up for a mud run with a group of friends and had a blast, I'm looking at a Color Run in March, and I get downright cranky if I don't get my butt kicked in Pilates at least once a week. Where did this person come from?!?!?! I've maintained my goal weight for almost a year now. With all the exercise, I've toned up a lot and managed to lose another size just by converting fat to muscle.
My husband had started a workout routine well before I did. Not that he's ever needed to lose weight; he just wanted to tone up. And boy, has he! *winkwink* Hands off, ladies, he's mine! He was trying to eat right too so that helped tremendously. I can't imagine how much harder it would have been if he'd just been sitting on the couch chowing down on all the junk food that I have to admit I still love. I've learned to indulge sparingly now. My after-dinner sweet tooth has learned to be happy enough with a cup of hot tea.
That's my long-winded story! I hope that by sharing my ongoing journey, some of you might be inspired to get up and take the first steps to a healthier lifestyle. I'm still struggling with my eating habits and I'm by no means ready for the cover of Shape magazine, but I feel better overall and I feel better about myself. It's been worth every bit of work.
My question for you--Do any of you have any workout DVDs/Wii games to recommend? I'm mostly looking for Pilates or yoga. Some days I don't feel like fighting the crowds at the gym but I do want to make sure I get something in.
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