Getting Started: The How

In March of 2013 I was at my wit’s end.  I had finally reached the “I’m ready to make a change” phase and was tired of the talk.  It was time to do the walk so I signed up for an 8-week weight loss challenge through my employer and used it as something to hold me accountable.

The first weeks I started out by watching my diet and by going to the gym on my lunch breaks.  In the first week I was happy to have lost 4 lbs!! I couldn’t believe that my body was actually responding to my efforts.  I then decided to amp things up and double up my efforts by doing P90X in the evenings.  I could feel myself getting stronger with each workout and loved the fire that had been lit inside of me.

I lost a total of 18lbs during those 8 weeks, but still had a way to go to meet my goals. I felt like I could do anything and at the end of the challenge I didn’t want to stop.   I continued on with the P90X program and soon decided to incorporate running.  I was hoping to sign-up for a few fun summer 5k races to keep me on track.

Screen shot 2013-10-25 at 4.26.44 PMResults from the early phases of running/p90x

I’ve never been a runner, but I have always had it in my mind that one day I would complete a full marathon.  It’s something that I had long dismissed and placed at the bottom of a very long bucket list, but something happened that reminded me of my goal.  My best friend decided that she would be signing up for the Walt Disney World Marathon in January of 2014 and that she would begin training for it soon.

I’d already been “running” for a couple of months and realized that I had no reason not to sign up.  In June of 2013, I bit the bullet and registered myself for my first ever marathon.  I was thrilled and nervous all at the same time, but mostly I was proud of myself for committing to accomplish such an incredible task.

Training wise, I continued on with P90X and began the 28 week training plan (provided by Disney via Jeff Galloway) in July.  Since the start of my training, I’ve logged close to 300 miles, completed one half marathon, lost nearly 30 lbs, and run distances I never knew were possible.

Screen shot 2013-10-25 at 4.22.19 PMResults from P90X/Marathon Training

I’m still training with P90X and 3 runs/week, but I’m more mindful of what I’m doing to my body.  I’m really trying to avoid any injuries and exhaustion and do take breaks when I need them,  BUT I always make sure to complete my runs for the week.  The P90X workouts get put on the back burner if I begin to feel burnt out or overworked.

It’s been a long journey and I still have many miles to go, but firmly believe that “you can do anything you put your mind to””.

Screen shot 2013-10-25 at 4.43.54 PMleft January 2013, right October 2013 after finishing my first half marathon

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Getting Started: The Why

I initially started this journey because I was fed up with the excuses. I knew I was stuck and that something needed to change, but I dragged my feet.  I dragged them long and hard.

Why was I holding myself back?  What was I afraid of?  Was I afraid that I would fail?

The truth?   I didn’t realize I was in that bad of shape and hadn’t notice that I had gotten so big.  I thought that I hid my weight well and that the excuse of being a new mom was enough to keep others from noticing.  Boy, oh boy, was I wrong.  I was in flat out denial.

I didn’t think others would take notice because I was only within 12 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight (not a healthy weight either).  What I didn’t realize was that my body wasn’t carrying the weight so well anymore.  I was lumpy fat, not fit fat.  This reality bomb really hit me after seeing photos from a couple of my friends’ weddings (see below).  Have you ever played the game “one of these things is not like the other”?  I was the “thing”.

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August 2012–218lbs+(we didn’t have a scale)

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October 2012

How had I let myself get to this point?  How did it happen?

Plain and simple, I justified every action with an excuse.  I could eat that extra cookie because I “needed” the calories to produce enough milk to continue nursing my son.  We “needed” to order take out because I was too exhausted to cook a healthy meal.  I couldn’t go to the gym or exercise because I would lose my supply.  The list was endless.  I would continuously set goals in my head and plan on starting next week, but the following week would come and nothing would stick.

Come January 2013, I didn’t even bother with resolutions, I felt defeated and figured I couldn’t stick to anything until I was ready to wean my son.  My number one concern (err excuse) was not being able to nurse him because of a lost supply.  I didn’t want to feel like I was neglecting my son.  Sadly, the truth was that if I had continued down the path I was heading down I would have been neglecting him.

By his first birthday he was well adjusted to walking (he started at 8.5 months) and had nearly mastered running.  I remember chasing him down our hallway (our very short hallway) and getting winded.  It scared me.  I had the realization that some day soon my son would be fast enough to get away from me.  What would I do if I couldn’t catch him?  What if he wriggled away and ran in front of a car because I couldn’t react quickly enough because I was too out of shape?  I needed to do something so that I could commit to being the best mom I could be.

I didn’t want to be the “fat mom” anymore.  I needed to be the healthy mom.  I wanted to be the healthy mom.  I wanted to get my life back.  I also didn’t want to plan on a second child until I had dropped the extra weight.  I’ve read too many articles about how moms who don’t lose the baby weight within the first 6 months were more likely to not lose it and to continue to gain with each subsequent pregnancy.  I could not fathom being any bigger than I already was and I didn’t want to become a statistic.  I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it for myself and for my family.