i get a lot of emails with your questions about my weight loss journey, nutrisystem, life after nutrisystem, where i started with my exercise, how i began running, if i was a runner before, and how i am maintaining now.
i think it is important to share my story...
not because i think i have done something extra special,
but because i thought i could never be and do what i can do now.
it is not easy.
to be honest with you, getting here was the hardest thing i have ever done to date.
i had to change my life.
i had to change my THINKING.
but the one thing i know without question is that encouragement goes a long way, and if i can be your cheerleader for whatever goals you set for yourself, i want to be!
my story officially begins december 12, 2007 with this photo...
the image of how i looked riding around the cul-de-sac in my neighbors go cart, became the spark that ignited my realization i needed to make a change. i was shocked at just how far i had let myself go.
i decided that january 1st would be the last day i chose to live unhealthy and took this picture to document my starting point. in this photo i weighed 204 pounds and was bursting out of my size 16 jeans.
i started nutrisystem and bought a freestanding punching bag.
by mid february i had lost 15 pounds.
as the weather got warmer i started adding a few walks a week to my routine. it got me moving and my family really started following my lead by eating healthier and often exercising with me.
as the weight started to come off it became easier to move and i became more motivated to exercise. i started going back to the gym (we had the membership at the gym for 8 years, i went all the time when we joined, but for the last 7.5 years all i ever used it for was the pool in the summertime). when i started going in march i could only do 5 minutes on the elliptical machine and by mid april i was doing an hour.
at this point, i was going to the gym 3-4 days a week and i slowly started adding light free-weights and more machines into my routine. by late may i had lost 40 pounds.
i spent 6 weeks in Europe eating real food (like pastas, gelato, potatoes, etc) and didn't gain a pound (without a shadow of doubt i believe that the american diet is filled with so many preservatives that it is slowly killing us...just my opinion, don't go hate mailing me)
when i came home in july i decided not to continue on nutrisystem and to try to run. i had never run before, as a matter of fact i made fun of those that did, just thought that it looked like torture when i would see people jogging on the street.
i started running on the treadmill at the gym. i could only run one minute and walk one minute when i started and even that was killer. i slowly worked my way up to 5 minutes and progressed each week by challenging myself to run one minute longer or to burn a certain number of calories. eventually i made it to one mile and was so proud of my self. i figured if i could run one, why stop? so each time i would go to the gym i would purposely push myself a little further.
by late july i had lost 46 pounds and had gone from wearing size 16 gap long and lean jean to a size 6. (however i will preface that these jeans run about a size bigger so i was really a size 18 and was then and am now a size 8)
in late august, as a motivator, i registered for my first 5k race in october. my goal was to run the 3.1 miles without stopping. In the meantime a group running program was starting up at my gym in preparation for a 5k/10k race my gym was hosting in nov. we met 2 times a week for 8 weeks and would learn drills, practice our form, and RUN with a trainer. the goal of the program was to get you ready to run the race.
i ran the 5k race in october and quickly decided to stop training with the 5k in mind and begin training for the 10k (6.2 miles) in november.
bill ran this race at my pace with me as support and again my only goal was to finish the race without stopping no matter how slow i went. crossing the finish line that day is one of my greatest accomplishments! never in my life had i imagined i could run 6 miles.
the sense of accomplishment for me has been the motivation. i like that i only compete with myself and enjoy the time spent challenging my body to perform. my biggest hurdle has been breathing and building my respiratory fitness, as a former smoker (ok sometimes i cheat when i go out for drinks) this did not come easy and it still something i must continue to strengthen.
i try to run 3-4 times a week and much prefer to run on the street rather than the treadmill. i was introduced to this great site called mapmyrun.com. where you can well, "map your runs" and chart a course for whatever distance you want or find runs others have mapped out already.
i usually try to run two 2-4 mile runs and one 6-10 mile run a week and if at all possible i run these outdoors.
i have to date lost 48 pounds, 2 pounds shy of my initial goal set january 1, 2008. although i havent seen the number on the scale drop that much since the initial loss in july, i can see and feel the changes in my body. would i like to be a size 2? well yeah, sure! but realistically by living healthy and exercising, my body will tell me where it naturally wants to be.
this weekend i registered to run my first half marathon in Philadelphia, pa in late september. (holy crap, i cannot believe i committed) running a half marathon was my goal for 2009. I am trying to be true to my mantra and "live inspired!". if your in the Philly area and you want to run the race with me, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), i am slow, but determined!!
if i left out some things you would like to know more about, leave your questions, thoughts, ideas, etc in your comment today. chances are if you had that thought than someone else has too.
i hope that after you read this that you feel inspired to believe that YOU can do IT...whatever your IT may be, whether it is weight loss, exercise, continued education, joining a group, trying something new or simply charting a new course for your life.