Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hard Work. Dedication.

I realized in my “bio” it says that I am interested in all things fitness and I haven’t made a single post yet about fitness!!!  Silly here’s the story of how I went from where I was to where I am.  All on my own (I’m kind of ridiculously proud of that point.  No trainer.  No weight loss plan membership.  Not even a gym membership.  Just me.  And the support of my darling husband).

Where I was:  Sedentary
I have never been an athlete by ANY stretch of the imagination.  In fact, I tended to kind of avoid things that would make me sweat.  And I also believed 100% that unless the “workout” felt like “work,” it was ineffective.

In college I was what is known as “skinny fat.”  I wasn’t overweight, but I wasn’t fit.  Then we moved to the heart disease belt, also known as The South.  Think:  Paula Deen.  We were in a new city, new habits, new routines.  Over the two years we were there, I gained 30 pounds.  I still wasn’t morbidly obese, but I was heavier and more out-of-shape than I’d ever been.  I’m not very tall (about 5’3) so that 30 pounds did not have a lot of room to spread out.

Then we moved back to The North.  This was right around the time the P90x craze hit.  So we got the system and I tried it.  I made it all the way through the program!  Did I get the crazy results that are on the infomercial?  Of course not.  BUT...I credit the program with changing my attitude about fitness and working out.  About halfway through the program a switch in my brain flipped and I started to WANT to be active.

Once I finished p90x, I started Couch to 5K.  Now, let me repeat what I said earlier...I am NOT an athlete, especially not a runner (I was the “couch” when I started).  But C25K changed me. It is a graduated program that steps your time spent running up and your time spent walking down by increments.  I ran my first 5k in September 2011.  Now I love to run and I am trying to get my endurance up to be able to run a 10k.

Do I workout EVERY SINGLE DAY?  No.  But I feel it (emotionally) when I don’t.  There are definitely days, though, that I would rather sit on my butt when I get home from work than run a few miles.  I figure as long as I’m working out more days than I am not, I’m good to go.

Where I was:  Unhealthy Food Habits
Hello, my name is E and I was a sugar addict.  Cake, brownies, pie, cookies, ice cream, doughnuts, candy, you name it...I craved it.  And why have just one when I could have a whole sleeve of Oreos? That would just be silly!

Contributing to my 30 pound weight gain was The Dirrrrty South food culture.  Here is a picture of a stand at a local festival where they are selling DEEP FRIED FRUIT. 

And that pretty much sums it up.  It also didn’t help that we were eating out four times a week.  New city=New restaurants.  New jobs=More disposable income.  A deadly combination for my waistline.

When we moved back, I took the change as an opportunity to take a good hard look at our eating habits.  The first thing I realized was that, while I didn’t have the willpower to just eat one cookie (or just one deep fried strawberry), I did have the willpower to walk past them in the store.  So I stopped buying junk food.  And since it wasn’t in the house, it wasn’t there for me to eat. Luckily, Z doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth so I didn’t have to worry about convincing him to go along with this crazy plan. Voila:  easy calories cut.

The second thing we did was to put ourselves on a budget.  We limit our restaurant spending to the point that we have whittled it down to about one meal out every month.  Then I got serious about learning to cook.  If we were going to be eating at home more often, it had better taste good.

We also started eating cleaner and more organic....but that’s a story for another day.

This is my story.  I feel like I have so much more to say about it, but in a nutshell...this is what works for me.  I guess what I’m trying to say is...IT IS WORKING. Without a trainer, without paying big bucks to a weight loss program, without having someone ship food to my front door.  It’s taken almost two years and it’s been very frustrating at times.  I still have goals that I want to accomplish in this arena.  But (I know...I know...everyone says this) if I can do it am doing it, so can you.

Have you had any health/weight loss successes?  Please share, I love hearing inspirational stories!


  1. I have never had weight issues, but since I had my son, it's become incredibly difficult to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I think I may try this couch to 5k program. I like that it's free and it gives me an excuse to invest in a jogging stroller :)

    1. Definitely try the couch to 5k. I've talked to a lot of people who have had great success with it. I don't have kids, but I imagine that it would be easier to do with a baby than finding time to go to the gym. Especially if you could get a hold of a jogging stroller.

  2. Love hearing your story E. You have always been an inspiration with your determination and love for life. This just adds to your awesomeness and I applaud you for what you have accomplished! I know you'll keep it up and can't wait to here where this path takes you. I have found by default that moving to another country has helped my waist line as the food is processed differently here and it isn't cheaper to buy junk food over the healthy fresh stuff. Also adding homemade smoothies to my (sometimes) daily intake helps provide the heal benefits I need in a fast easy way. Thanks for sharing and keep rocking girl. You look amazing!

    1. Awww...thanks ALM :-) You are so sweet. Glad things are going well across the ocean. What's your smoothie secret?