Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You Mean This Actually Works?

I've been consistently working out since May 26th of this year. I've been doing at least 30 minutes of cardio (mainly running... earlier on it was more walking) followed by 30 minutes of strength training (mainly a stability ball workout), at least 3 times a week. I've cut back a lot on soda and try to drink a lot of water. It was a bit painful at first, but now I actually kind of like water. Weird huh? I've also tried to eat a bit less and eat more healthy, but nothing too drastic. I was aiming for something sustainable. More of a lifestyle change.

I'll admit in the beginning it was slow going. I didn't lose any weight for the first month or so. I haven't lost the typical "one pound a week" until recently. I've averaged out to about a pound every two weeks. But I have seen consistent progress, which is more of what I wanted anyway.

I'm 5'6" and at my heaviest I was 150 pounds. I know this doesn't sound like a lot to most of you, and it's really pretty good on average. But, I was starting to morph into a body I didn't feel comfortable in. My clothes were getting too tight, a few extra rolls were popping up here and there, and I couldn't do the things I used to be able to do without a lot of effort. I'd gained about 25 pounds in the last 5 years. Not healthy.

My initial goal was to be physically fit and not worry too much about losing weight. And that's still my main goal. If I end up being 160 pounds of pure muscle, that's just fine with me. But so far I've lost at least 8 pounds. That's almost a whole Gracie! Tonight I took my measurements again for the first time since I started running. I couldn't believe the difference! I've lost 3.5" on my waist, 2.5" from my stomach, 1" on my hips, 1" on my arm and 1.5" on my chest (not necessarily a good thing... but I can live with it :D ).

As soon as I saw my body start changing it just gave me more and more motivation to keep doing it. I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something. Something hard. Something I've never been able to do before. Most people probably wouldn't be able to see the difference in how I look, it's not that drastic yet. But I feel so much better about myself. And with every single little improvement in my fitness, whether it's running a little farther, noticing that extra muscle definition, or my clothes fitting better, I get more and more motivated. I want to eat healthy, I want to go out and run, I want to drink that extra glass of water because I know what will happen if I do.

I know this whole story sounds really cliche. I guess I'm just really excited about all this. And also, I wanted to offer encouragement to any of you out there that are in the same boat I am. A lot of the stories I hear tell about people losing 100 pounds in the same amount of time I lost my 8 pounds. It's always going to be difficult and more often than not it's going to be slow. Much slower than you ever anticipated. But keep it up. The rewards will come.


Seth said...

Nice job sweetie... looks like all your hard work is really starting to pay off! :-)

Budsly said...

That's awesome!! I've been there, and it's interesting how your mindset changes. It must be all those endorphins? I'm sure you'll have no problem keeping it up. It seems when I got to that point, everything became easier. Good job.

Cathy and Tim Hanson said...

wow that's awesome Karen. I've been wanting to do something like that for awhile but I don't seem to be very motivated. I'm happy that it is working out so well for you. I will have to follow your example

heidi said...

K--I'm so excited FOR you!! And the part about finding it EASIER to be motivated, the longer you stick to your healthy lifestyle program, doesn't strike me as cliche, because I really haven't heard many people say that before. It truly is encouraging to know that you don't feel more burdened and bored as you do this, but more encouraged and empowered.

I LOVED the bit about your main goal being to "be physically fit and not worry too much about losing weight." And how you could weigh 160 of pure muscle and be proud. It's SO HARD to not make a fetish out of the "number." But it's such a great example to other women, to just want to live in a body that's strong and healthy, and taking a little side pride in clothes fitting better. (I can SO RELATE to the little thrills about better muscle definition. Makes me feel so buff to make actual muscles.)

What you've done is impressive, and maybe the most impressive bit is how non-extreme you are going about it. Small changes that are consistently reinforced. So sensible!

I'm really glad you did this post. :)


Holly said...

I'm so happy for you! Congrats on a job well done!