Workin’ on My Fitness

For the past three or so years, I’ve been trying to lose weight. But really, aren’t we all? Well maybe everyone except for Skinny E from work. But she’s a runner, so she probably has some crazy fitness related goal like “I want to be able to run 500 miles instead of 400”. Whatever.

Anyway, I used to look like this:

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This was May of 2010 on a trip to Myrtle Beach. I knew when I was on that trip that once I got home something had to change. I was sick of feeling uncomfortable in my body and self conscious all the time. I love clothes and shopping and it was really frustrating to not be satisfied with the way things looked on my body.

So I did a couple things. First, I tried the South Beach diet. I completed the first round, which if memory serves was about two weeks with no carbs. I lost weight. Then I tracked calories using Lose It! and I also did Weight Watchers Online for awhile. I took up yoga and started going on walks. I ended up losing about 20lbs and I’ve maintained that loss for the past couple years.

This is what I looked like in May 2011 (one year later):

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Yes, I DO love this color.

I’ve been lamenting over losing “the last ten pounds” since the last picture was taken. I’ll get on kicks where I’ll track what I’m eating and then someone will invite me out to dinner or a birthday party will come up and I’d un-do all my hard work. It was a perpetual hamster wheel where I was just maintaining. But I wanted more.

Last spring I started running. I  n e v e r thought I would be a runner in a million years. This last December I ran my first 5k. Running continues to be a staple workout and I’m trying to work on improving my speed and distance.

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I am fully aware this is not a good look for me.

A few months ago two of my best friends and I (holler H & G!) sort of stumbled into a major health kick. All three of us track calories, bought heart rate monitors and are working out at least 4-5 days a week. We’ve been sharing successes and failures, cheering each other on when we’re doing great, and motivating each other on days when we just don’t think we have it in us to get off the couch. This support has made a huge difference. Where I was never able to keep myself motivated for more than a week or two at a time, I’ve been consistently eating better and working out for just about two straight months now. I feel fan-fucking-tastic.

I haven’t actually lost much more weight, but I feel stronger and thinner. I’ve gone down a pants size. I feel healthy. And I am loving this feeling. I love my workouts and I HATE having to miss one. I love running now. Lucky for me I live near the ocean and running along the water just does something to my soul.

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And the endorphins! You guys, they’re real! My mood is about 800 times better after a great workout. Hell, it’s still like 500 times better after a shitty workout.

I wish I’d started this sooner. I always thought it would be too hard, or I wouldn’t have time, or living this way wouldn’t be sustainable. Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. It’s not hard, I don’t suffer, and not only is living this way sustainable, I KNOW I’ll never go back to being that unhealthy girl I was before.

I mean, I’m not a psychopath about this. I have dessert. I go out to eat. I just make better choices. I watch portion sizes, I cook at home far more often, and I savor every bite when I do indulge. Like, I went  to Shake Shack last weekend and I  pulled out all the stops. But I also worked out like a mofo last week to prepare. It’s all about balance.

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Worth it.

It doesn’t matter if you want to lose ten pounds or 60 pounds. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to lose any weight at all. Being healthy is just plain good for you. You’ll feel fabulous, I promise.

If you’re on Instagram, my friends and I have started the hashtag #slamminbysummer to keep each other updated (ok, really just to humblebrag like crazy, but still). Feel free to join in on this fitness fun!

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