2015 has been an adventure so far….and it’s just now March! I have been sooo busy, but I have FINALLY squared away a few minutes to write down a few snippets of what I’ve been up to. *Insert deep breath here* :D
It has taken me a while to get used to it, but apparently I look a little different physically than I used to. And quite a few people want to know what I’ve been doing to achieve such drastic changes. So for all my fitness-gurus-to-be, here is the “skinny”!!
Before I disclose this top-secret info, however, a few disclaimers:
1. I am not a certified health professional in any way. I have found something that works for me and stuck to it, with the advice of a few health professionals and personal trainer.
3. This post will cover my general workout routines. I will give more details on my food consumption next week. ;D
My fitness journey has been an ongoing one for quite some time. I honestly have been working out consistently and intentionally since my freshman year in college. So while I may have been heart healthy and maintained a level of fitness above average (which is very important BTW), I wasn’t getting the outward physical results that I wanted.
I realized more recently that this was not only because of the way I was working out, but because my body had to surpass a certain weight plateau in order to get over the “rut” it had been in. I had to work much harder than most in order to jump-start my weight loss. It also had a good deal to do with my diet as well. But we’ll talk about that next week.
Since June 2014 I have lost a little more than 40 lbs.
To be completely honest, the loss of the first 7-10 lbs was the result of emotional stress. It was a really difficult time for me, and I’m the exact opposite of an emotional eater.
But guess what?? My ability to progress through that situation came from my decision to make something FANTASTIC out of something negative. And then came the other 30!
So after the first 10 lbs, I began slowly working my old habit of walking/running 3 miles, 3 times a week back into my repertoire.
The biggest milestone came in October when I decided to join a challenge recommended to me by a friend, called 30 Runs in 30 days. Every day for 30 days I ran or walked 2 miles and posted the proof of the workout using Nike Plus on a Facebook group before midnight.
Since I don’t like to fail, this challenge gave me just the boost of accountability that I needed. I finished successfully, and there went another 10+ lbs.
In November, I joined a Squat challenge. By the end of the month I was doing 100 squats and 100 crunches every day. This challenge helped build my endurance, and squats honestly are one of the best all-around exercises that you can do. After that month I realized my legs were much stronger, and I could run much faster for a longer period of time.
By December, I had incorporated running at least 3 times a week with approx 100 squats every day. I gradually increased the number of exercises I did to where I was doing something every day. More importantly, I was not only doing cardio, but including quite a few calisthenic (bodyweight only) exercises in my routines (i.e. push-ups, Russian twists, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and PLANKS).
In January I joined Fitness 19. The weather had become cold and slightly rainy, and I didn’t want to have ANY excuses for not working out.
One of the introductory perks I requested was a few sessions with a personal trainer. This was very educational, eye-opening, and embarrassing (LOL)–but absolutely necessary! It showed me that although I had been working out for a while, I could still do a few simple exercises in 30 minutes and be completely WINDED. It showed me the areas I needed to improve on, and the areas I needed to lose weight. I ABSOLUTELY recommend it for everyone, at least initially, to get an idea of where you are on your fitness journey.
Last month (February), I did a second round of the 30 Runs in 30 Days Challenge. Tomorrow is the last day, and me and my calves are soooo excited! On the 15th of this month is also the end of a Weight Loss Challenge I am involved in at work. Hopefully I am on the winning side of that, because the prize is $300+!!! I’ll keep you all posted :D
And in a nutshell, that’s it. Looking back, it seems like such a short summation of what was really a long journey. But one of my favorite sayings is “poco a poco se va lejos”–little by little one goes far. My journey, while including a few milestones, was for the majority a summation of small DAILY choices. If that meant taking my 10 minute break at work in the bathroom to do 50 squats to get my hundred in for the day, then that’s what it meant. I am a firm believer that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to–but you have to put your mind to it, and it has to be important enough for you to do WHATEVER it takes to get it done.
One of the most important things I learned during the 30 Runs in 30 Days Challenge is that YOU MUST MAKE TIME to do things that are important to you–because when it’s 11 PM, and you have to run two miles before midnight, your character is tested!! You can give up, (because that is definitely the easiest thing to do), or you can get out there and BEAST IT and run two miles in 26 minutes, and feel FANTASTIC about yourself. The patterns of our lives are really shaped by our daily decisions, all part of the gift we call free choice.
It is important, however, to know who you are and where you are in your journey. 30 Runs in 30 Days may not be something that you can do physically. But the first step is CHANGING YOUR MINDSET. Secondly, incorporate something in your life that you can do every day. Start with small goals that you can successfully achieve and build on those goals incrementally. Find a partner who is also motivated who can help you maintain accountability. Join a class, support group, or challenge if you like to do things in large groups. Find something that works for you and run with it! Literally.
Many of you asked me if I feel different. Eh….maybe. At the end of the day I still feel like the same me. But I do have an additional boost of confidence that comes with being healthy and knowing that if I want to run a 5K on the fly I can do it at any time. And the compliments aren’t unmanageable either. ;) But we’ll talk more about that next time. :D
I hope this has been an inspiration to you all. Don’t ever be discouraged about where you are because that is YOUR personal journey. It is never too late to start and every day is an opportunity to do better. Please feel free to comment with any particular questions or comments you have! I would love to hear from you. I appreciate all of your love and support. Every time someone shoots a positive comment my way I am even more inspired; so thank you for that! I look forward to hearing about your journeys as well! Here’s to being better, happier, healthier people in 2015!