As a child and into my teen years I was active. I rode horses from the age of 4 until I left home to go to college. I ran track and played field hockey in junior high. In high school I played basketball and lacrosse. I could get out of having to go to gym class by either participating in a sport or going to the local YMCA. I chose to do both so I could get out of gym for half of the school year!
When I was fourteen I was at a competition and there was a chicken barbecue for all the competitors. I’d always eaten it before, but for some reason that day the sight and smell turned my stomach. I became a vegetarian then and there. It drove my mom nuts at first, but she soon began to cook more vegetarian meals for me and supported my decision.
Then came college. I was asked to play soccer as well as basketball. I decided not to participate in either sport because I wasn’t sure I could balance athletics and academics in a college setting. Cafeteria food choices were lacking for a vegetarian diet so meat re-entered my life. There was lots of boys and beer and partying involved for the next few years as well.
I didn’t exercise or play sports anymore. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and ate poor quality fattening foods at all hours of the day and night. I had never had a weight issue. I took being thin for granted. I didn’t give my diet a second thought.
I spent years on this path and finally about two years ago my weight gain was noticeable and started to bother me. In the fall of 2010 I began to re-evaluate my life choices, my lack of exercise, my poor food choices, who I spent my time with, etc. I had plans to change my life, after New Year’s. My husband bought me an exercise game for the XBox Kinect for my birthday. I used it regularly for several months. I made plans to do the biking portion of a local triathlon, my husband was going to run and our oldest daughter would do the swim portion. I didn’t change my eating habits and continued to enjoy several beers whenever I felt like it. The novelty wore off and soon I was back to the way I started in January.
Things remained the same for the next year. I would laugh if anyone suggested I exercise or eat healthier. Ha! I’d say. I love food, bacon should be added to every meal. Butter? Cream? Sure! The more the better. I love beer, give me a Yuengling every day please! I wasn’t happy with my life. My body was flabby, I felt old. But I wasn’t willing to make any changes.
In the fall of 2011, I decided that this time I was going to make a change after New Year’s. I mentally prepared myself to change my life and I signed up for Biggest Loser through work as a way to hold myself accountable. Plus, first place winner received a cash prize!
January 2, 2012 was the first day of the rest of my life. (Yea, yea, cliche I know!) I gave up beer that day. I weighed myself and took measurements. I began to write down everything I ate. At first I used a notebook but in February I joined MyFitnessPal and have been logging my food daily there ever since. I read a lot of articles on line and discovered the concept of Clean Eating by Tosca Reno. This made sense to me at the time (still does) so I eliminated all sugar and processed foods. It was a gradual process and I struggled and had set backs but I persisted and felt better in the end for sticking with it. I began to exercise again. I used the game my husband had bought me the year before. I began walking outside and on the treadmill my husband got for Christmas.
I lost friends along the way once I began this journey. People who just didn’t understand why I was changing my diet and gave me a hard time for my food choices. I’ve heard it all. That my food was “gross” or looked like “mush” and “how can you eat that stuff?”. But I stayed strong and did what I felt was best for me. It was hard, I’m not going to sugar-coat my journey. I felt discouraged when after a month of clean eating I hadn’t lost any weight. I decided to start jogging and using a kettlebell. The weight slowly began to come off, half a pound or one pound at a time. I think there was a two pound loss at one point, but overall it was a very slo-o-o-w process.
Soon people began to notice and ask what I was doing to lose the weight. I was cautious about who I shared my process with, it felt so personal and I didn’t want to be judged.
At the end of March the Biggest Loser competition at work ended, I had lost 15 lbs. during the competition and ended up in 5th place overall!
I discovered Spinning and quickly was hooked! I went to every available class that I could. When the owners closed up for the summer, I bought myself a road bike and hit the pavement!
I decided to register for a 6K in early May, again a way to hold myself accountable. Soon after that race, I signed up for several more races; 5Ks, a Mud Run obstacle course, a bike race, and two triathlons. I even ended up doing a Zombie Race at the end of the summer. Since I began this journey in January, I’ve lost 26 lbs, maybe more, I haven’t weighed myself since August sometime. I’ve lost 2 inches on my neck, 2 inches on my waist, 2 inches on my hips, and 4 inches on my bust. Again, this may be more since I stopped tracking in June.
My race season officially ended on October 6th with a Fall Festival 5K. I improved my time from 32 min in May to 25:52 min in October!
I put my bike away for the season at the end of September after my final triathlon. I’m back on the spin bike at least once per week, more if possible! I run 2-3 times per week, 3-5 miles each time. I’m working on increasing my distance in preparation for my first half marathon at the end of March 2013. I’ve picked up the kettlebells again, only about 1-2 times per week right now. Maybe Jillian Michaels’ 6 week 6 pack DVD will re-enter the picture soon too. I’m not sure, I kind of have a love-hate relationship with Jillian! I haven’t been in the pool at all since my very freezing open water swim during the triathlon on September 23. I’m not a big swimming fan and am trying to avoid the pool for as long as I can!
So that about sums it up I guess! Looking forward to a great season in 2013!