I had been scrolling through pictures of me, seeing the changes to my body as I gained weight, lost a little, gained more. This would probably have to show me at around my heaviest. I look like a stuffed sausage, a 5'8" balloon that may burst.
Let's face it- it isn't easy to change habits. At this point I wasn't really physically active, although I didn't have any health issues. Could I run a block? Not a chance. I was pretty content in staying right where I was, eating what I was, hoping people would see right past the layers of excess weight to see 'me'.
However, something changed inside of me. I wanted to change. I needed to change. Frankly I would like to dress to make myself look hot, and snag a sexy, fit boyfriend. The sexy, FIT boyfriend would surely want a sexy, FIT girlfriend, right? Hmm...And thus was my catch-22. Of course those weren't the only reasons for wanting to change but hey, they were a couple of them and for today's blog they are a good couple of my real reasons to go with.
I picked a random day to start my journey and just started with cleaning up my eating. I lost my first 25 lbs through just eating within a range to lose weight. I knew I wouldn't ever be able to eat as much as I did, and had to brace myself to the fact that I probably wouldn't ever be able to eat as much as I first did when I was losing weight. Smaller bodies need fewer calories, simply put.
Abs are 90% made in the kitchen. I try to eat mostly non-processed foods, and always enjoyed cooking from scratch. My portion sizes and amounts of fats/sugars were out of control though before I started. As I drop weight my body needs fewer calories, and so the calories I consume have slowly dropped over time. I much prefer this slow calorie cut method as it allows my body to slowly adapt to caloric shifts. I've been paying more attention to sodium, and drinking more water lately. These changes have not happened over night.
At about the 25lb lost range a friend was talking about the gym she went to. I had previously been a member of a couple different gyms, and I like working out, so I thought- ok, time to do it! And I joined.
Now, the eating may make you lose ALL of your weight, and you won't have to lift a finger to do it. I'm not going to lie. You could. However, you will see DRAMATIC changes if you start working out. DRA-MA-TIC. Not only in what you look like, but what you can DO. And that makes every single drop of sweat worth it.
I decided, just 7 months ago, when I was looking like this to join a gym (this pic was one of the ones that prompted me to join the gym):
I was already 25 lbs down in the pic (can't tell much as I was slouching in the pic), but trust me, I was feeling fabulous here! I was down 25 lbs after all.
So I worked out with weights and cardio for about a week, then I decided to do a bootcamp. Looking like the above pic. With about 100lbs to lose. OhmyGod, I felt like I was going to DIE. I had to modify everything, and couldn't make it through half of any set. None of the jumping movements could be done- no hopping, jumps, etc, etc. More than a jumping jack or two was out of the question, I was just too out of shape. Could there be such a thing as having no other health issues but being terribly, horribly out of shape and obese? Well, I was walking proof.
I went again to the bootcamp the next week.
And then I started going twice a week. Each class I pushed myself to do a little more- 'just finish the whole modified set' I'd tell myself, or 'just one more'. Why did I stay? Well, I've got a competitive streak in me- competitive with myself and with others, so I saw the other bootcampers doing it and thought surely one day I would be able to, as well. One class I would push myself to do half the plyometrics in a jumping jack set, the next class all of the full out jumping jacks in the set. No modifications. It continued through all the different plyometric sets, and into the core work. I am not caught up in core yet. YET. But now? 7 months later and 55-60lbs lighter I'm doing it. That's all it took for me. And along the way I've picked up a multitude of other classes to try- boxercise, and kickboxing being highlights. And weights? Still love 'em. Still do 'em. I've switched to doing them AFTER the classes, so I get them in at least 3x a week. I've been called hardcore more than once, and I take it as a compliment each and every time.
And along the way I've met a couple of good friends who are also on the weight-loss/ fitness journey, who inspire and motivate me every day. One of whom inspired me to take up running- along with a multitude of Sparkers who run. I started running a lap. ...and then felt like my lungs would explode. Anyone who has been following my progress knows- I started running in October, and just today I ran for 30 minutes!!! 4.2k!!!! My progress has exploded over the last 2 weeks or so.
I'm running 5k with my friend this week sometime. It's our plan. She does half-marathons, but she's running WITH me. She's so inspiring and such a running mentor. She drives me to want to be a better, faster runner. And I in turn push her to do weights after our classes (her weak point).
Now with 82 lbs down:
I get so many questions at work and elsewhere about how much weight I've lost, and I'm not so comfortable in telling people, so I always say 'a lot' and leave it at that. So NO ONE at work knows how much I've lost. I'm weird like that.
And some of my fave pics just taken 2 days ago in kickboxing, showing the sweat, total satisfaction and endorphin rush:
This week I have off, and I've got plans. I've finished day 3 of 9 intense work-out days, where I've planned to burn at least 1000 calories/day and double my gym time with classes/intense cardio. The endorphin rush is amazing. Today I ran for 30 minutes, then did a 75 minute spin/boot/core class from he!!, then did a couple weights. My HRM, which I started 10 min into the run, says I burned 1900+ calories. It's been a fun 3 days so far.
I don't ever want to go back to the way I looked before. I am much healthier and more confident now.
So rock on my Sparklyfriends! You too can accomplish great things with hard work and dedication.