Monday, June 8, 2009

A Work in Progress

So, I posted an album on myspace and facebook with some pics from the past two years to chronicle my struggle with getting into shape. Being an active kid in high school with cheer and dance, fitness was never really something I had to pay attention to. Once I was out of high school, pretty much inactive and making my own money to buy food left and right since there was never much in the house that didn't require preparing, I started gaining weight. Now, I know that everyone goes through changes in their bodies as they grow older, but there is also a lot that you can do to affect the way it changes. Stuffing your face with fast food and not exercising, is probably not the best way to assist those changes that your body is already going through. There are other things that can affect a woman's weight as she ages as well, such as birth control. Hormones tend to have quite the effect on weight gain. And although I slowly gained some weight after high school, maybe about 5 lbs per year, breaking off my engagement (I promise, I will blog about that at some point) really sped up the process. It has been almost 4 years since then. The first two years I spent drinking from Thursday night to Sunday night and enjoying the late night eating, followed by lazy hangover days with greasy burgers that goes along with it. In May of 2007, I was almost 160 at 5'6". My body fat percentage was around 30% and I looked like this:





That's when I realized that something needed to change. I needed to start taking care of myself and changing my lifestyle. If this were easy, America wouldn't be obese. But I suddenly had this fear that if I didn't start doing something about it now, it would be much harder and a much bigger task later. It's not like exercise was foreign to me. I have danced most of my life and participated in soccer and gymnastics briefly when I was younger. But as an adult, finding time to work it into my busy social life outside of work was more difficult than I thought. At least that's what I told myself.

At some point, I found The Abs Diet. Which was interesting because it wasn't a diet at all. It was just a book with tips and workouts and recipes and knowledge. Once I educated myself on how bad what I was putting into my body was for me, it made it easier to stop doing it. It also taught me that everyone gets to indulge, and moderation is key. No brainer, right? Well, even with the foods and workouts right in front of me, it still wasn't easy. A year later, I still looked like this:





I felt like I was making progress, but clearly the pictures tell a different story. Have you noticed a common theme yet? Alcohol. Right. Apparently not only does alcohol equal empty calories and make you want to stuff your face, but it also hinders your body from burning fat, so very little, if any, of what you take in is even being burned off when you have alcohol in your system. Changing your lifestyle is really hard when you have collected friends and taken to activities that mostly revolve around drinking and spending money you don't have (different blog for a different day). I wonder how much more money and how many less lbs I would have if I counted up all my trips to Vegas over the last four years. Thinking about it makes my head spin. But of course I am not going to cut off all my friends and completely quit drinking. Not that I couldn't, but moderation is the key. So, I cut waaaaaaaaay back on the amount I was drinking and switched what I was actually drinking (Vodka/soda - the only calories are in the vodka - 50 per 1oz shot). That along with eating the right things most of the time and hitting the gym a few times a week was doing something, but not enough.

In December, JB let me borrow his body bugg. It's a device that you wear, always except showering and sleeping, that counts your calories burned and steps taken for the day. This tool accompanied with the website used to log your food and upload your bugg data, shows you what you are taking in and what you are burning and helps you to set goals and reach them. I started the day after Christmas 2008, still around 150 lbs, and around 25% body fat. I used it diligently for about 2 months. I was eating 1600 calories a day and burning 2200 at least. I was really good with my eating and was getting to the gym 3-4 times a week. I fell in love with Turbo Kick Boxing and JB fixed my running form so I could actually run for longer than 15 minutes and not get tired. Slowly but surely I started to see a change. I weighed in at 143 and was down to 23% body fat on May 22, 2009 and just last week in So Cal, took these pics:





I was half kidding while posing on the beach, but when I saw the pics, I felt like my hard work after all that time had finally paid off! Not to mention I can almost run a 10 minute mile!! This coming from a girl who failed PE her freshman year because she loathed running. Now I am one of those people that goes jogging after work in my neighborhood and does ab videos and squats and lunges in the living room if I can't make it to the gym. I enjoy working out now and I get frustrated when I can't go for days at a time. I find places to fit it into my schedule and even turn down invites if it means I have to skip the gym. I have turned time with friends into gym dates instead of happy hours (most of the time). And JB and I have gym dates at least once a week and love working out together. I admit, there are times that I slip, have bad days, whatever. Tonight for dinner I had chicken and mac 'n' cheese. But I don't get defeated or beat myself up about it and I get back on track the next day. It's almost like more motivation, at least that's what I tell myself ;)

JB likes to think he is mostly responsible, and I give him partial credit, but not as much as he thinks he deserves. I probably could have done it without him, but he made it a hell of a lot easier and way more fun. Makes me love him even more!

I am not exactly where I want to be yet, although I feel I am in a great place. There's something about having to get all of your pants taken in that makes you feel like you have accomplished something. Next up is a fitness boot camp. A coworker and I have signed up for the July session. Three days a week at 6am. I am going to hate and love every minute of it. I feel like that might just get me to where I want to be. That final push over the edge.

Stay tuned...

2 comments:

Melissa said...

So proud of you!!! Good job!

James said...

GOOD JOB!!! Now it's my turn

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