Friday, April 9, 2010

How it all started

"Fear is a great motivator"
-John Treacy, 1984 Olympic Silver Medalist

How do you start a "new lifestyle"?I knew I wanted to lose weight. I knew I had about 100 lbs. to lose. I knew it was going to be hard... and that I would never feel like I would be done. And the reason for that is because what I was starting was my new life.

First things first, know what you are getting into. I had a small idea of what I was preparing myself for, but nothing like what actually happened.

My husband and I started attending our gym... EVERY night. I would walk and then do small amounts of weight training. Back then, I knew I needed cardio, but wasn't sure how much.

Starting May 1, 2009 I started my 5k a day regimen. This consisted of walking 5k (3.1 miles) everyday with varying inclines on a treadmill. This was not hard, but it definitely pushed me to go further and further each day.

In addition to this workout plan, I cut out ALL fast food. This was a major adjustment since I was very used to eating at every fast food restaurant known to man. My favorites included In-N-Out Burger, Taco Bell, and McDonald's. I would eat at a fast food restaurant AT LEAST once a day, sometimes more. Unfortunately it was my ignorance and stupidity to believe that--1. this could possibly be good for my body and 2. the food they served was actual food. It is disappointing to learn about all the preservatives, processed "food"(if you really want to call it that) and just plain bad ingredients that most of the food I ate every day contained.

As the months went by, every gym workout became easier and easier and the pounds were melting away. I practiced out healthy recipes for dinner for me and my husband. Some worked... and some were just not good. But that is part of the fun. I cut my calories to 1,500 per day... which was about half of what I had been eating before. I was hungry... A LOT. But I also found ways to help with the hunger at first--eating an apple before your meal or drinking more water throughout the day.

I remember losing 18 lbs. and that was the moment I thought to myself "I can do this... no, wait--I AM DOING THIS". I could see myself for who I always felt I was on the inside... slowly coming through from what I refer to as my "swollen self". At my heaviest, I weighed XXX lbs. and it was so sad. I wasn't necessarily sad, but I did not look like the girl I felt on the inside. I knew deep down that I was able to change my exterior to match who I was on the inside, it would just take a trigger to get me motivated.

That trigger went off and I was ready to go! The 18 lbs. turned into 50 lbs. lost... and then to 75 lbs. lost. At this point, I had changed drastically on the outside.. and somewhat on the inside. I was ready for the next step. I started running.....

Running as cardio makes it hard to lose weight. When you run at an intense level, your body craves more energy in the form of food!!! Since I had cut my caloric intake to between 1,500-1,800 a day, it made it hard to have the energy to last long runs. I found foods like complex carbohydrates that would keep me fuller longer and also make my body work for the energy. I also made sure I stayed hydrated.

Last August, my husband and I ran our first 5k for Project Open Hand/SF Giants. My time was 35 minutes and 33 seconds. This was such an accomplishment for me. I had never been able to run in my life for more than a mile... and even when I did-- I hated it. Really. I enjoyed every minute of this run. The adrenaline rush is beyond anything I can describe!

My training for running consisted of 3 runs per week. I would run between 3-4 miles each day. At the same time, I started taking x-bike classes. I was frightened and sooo sore the day after my first class. It is one of the hardest gym classes I have ever taken. It was so hard that it made me want to do better at that too... I attend 3 x-bike classes each week now.

Our next battle was a 10k (6.1 miles). We signed up for the SuperBowl 10k at Sac State for February 6, 2010. My time was 1 hour 1 minute. I had definitely improved since my last 5 k! This was also a reassuring feeling because it also marked my 90 lbs. lost mark. I have 10 lbs. to go until I make my ultimate goal, but I know that I am focusing on my next fitness goal--my first half marathon and then eventually my first full marathon.

Today, I am focused on my Half Marathon on June 12th in San Francisco. This will be my first Half Marathon and I will be completing it with my husband by my side.

My training for the run consists of:
Sunday: rest day
Monday/Wednesday/Thursday: 5 mile run/30 minute x-bike class/strength training 30 min
Tuesday: rest day
Friday: strength training 1 hour
Saturday: 10-20 mile run (depending on where I am prior to the Half Marathon)

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