Most people start working out with some sort of goal in mind...I wanna lose 10 pounds, I wanna lose body fat, I wanna lose an inch or more off my waist...
I was no different. In the summer of 2010, I realized that my first year of marriage, while a very happy one, had included a significant decrease in the intensity and frequency of my workouts...and a significant increase in my consumption of pasta and late night nachos. We've never owned a scale, and I haven't ever been highly concerned about my weight...so my wakeup call came before a trip to the beach with my mom. I decided to throw on a pair of boardshorts over my bikini.
My husband had bought the boardshorts for me on our honeymoon in August of 2009...and here I was in August of 2010, unable to get the waist to fasten.
|The fateful board shorts...Maui 2009|
I kept calm (big deal for me, folks!), grabbed alternate swim gear, and enjoyed the beach...and then sobbed in Jared's arms when he got home that night. He was, as always, understanding, supportive, and wise. As the wailing subsided and I started listed all the changes I was going to start making to get back in shape, he told me, "I think that you are beautiful. I like how you look right now. If you want to do [x, y, and z], I think that's fine. But I want you to know I like how you look now."
|This guy is my hero|
Jared was not a certified personal trainer at that point...he was still finishing up his undergrad work in biochemistry. But he knew a ton about nutrition and fitness and often shared his knowledge with others. It meant the world to me that he supported me...but didn't go all Bob Harper on me and lay out a plan. In the following months, he offered advice whenever I asked for it. But he never once asked me, "So...don't you have to get to the gym?" or "Do you think you should be eating that?"
I started eating breakfast within 30-60 minutes of waking up...instead of two hours later when I got to work. I went from eating every five hours to eating smaller meals/snacks every three hours. I upped my water, protein, and produce intakes. I started a google spreadsheet to track workouts and progress (nerd - can't help it). I started lifting weights 4 times a week and incorporated some cardio as well, like running 5ks with friends!
|Pumpkin Push 2010 with Dana and Jessica!|
I got a little crazy last March and started this blog to post about my goals, experiments successes, and failures. I became FitFluential, and I'm even considering attending the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference in Colorado this summer! Yep, sponsored by ReFuel with Chocolate Milk. What's not to love???
I subscribed to magazines like Women's Health, Self, Shape, and Fitness. I got more and more excited about working out as I started to see changes first in how I felt (even how I felt about how I looked) and later in my body itself. I trained for and ran a half marathon...and then another. I've taken up racquetball, hot yoga, and CrossFit. Sometimes I run or bike to work...where I've gotten a standing workstation. I plateaued a bit, and so eased up on cardio, while ramping up veggies and sleep. (Sleep will do WONDERS for your fitness goals.)
In 19 months, I've lost 12+ pounds, 7% body fat, increased definition...and gained an inch in height.
That's right, folks. I've been 5' 1" since age 13. But at this year's official bodymetrics testing for work - where you are measured in your socks - I stood 5' 2". I had joked with a coworker before taking my test, "Oooh, maybe I'll be taller!" And from the added strength in my back and core, and consequent improved posture, I am!!!
Being fit and healthy is by no means the be all and end all of a fulfilling life. Jesus and Jesus alone can bring life and fulfillment. But He's used this new aspect of my life to help me fight my quitter-at-heart attitude, poor body image, and severe anxiety. And being an inch taller sure doesn't hurt.
Walking tall in spirit and stature!
You tell me: Why did you start working out? What achievements are you especially proud of? Did YOU know you could get taller by getting stronger?