Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Path to Fitness

I have been wrestling for days now on the idea of posting a couple pictures of myself on here to document my path to fitness.  The reason I really don't want to is that this post is about progress and with progress there is always a starting point.  For me, that starting point was a very heavy rock bottom.

At rock bottom five years ago, I weighed 217 pounds according to my home scale.  That is about 100 pounds more than my normal weight of 115 to 120.
Bathroom Scale Motivational Poster
It was really hard to write that number up there.  It is going to be even more difficult for me to post the dreaded before picture than it will for me to post any of the progress pictures.  I even chose a picture of a scale instead of the one of me below as the first in this blog post because I know the first one posted is the one that shows up on my facebook feed.  But I was just talking to Steph this week about how I still don't look at myself in the mirror on most days because I still expect to see a person over 200 pounds looking back at me and I don't want to see that person through the looking glass.

I need to get over that.

So, here goes nothing.  This is my before picture at 217 pounds in April of 2007.  Yes, sitting on the couch.
I actually started writing this yesterday, but I couldn't find a picture of myself at my heaviest weight.  I didn't want any pictures of myself looking like that.  Apparently I thought dressing in all black with stripes down the sides of my legs would make me look thinner.  Or maybe I thought it would somehow hide the fact that I had a double chin even when my head was leaning back.  I'm not sure what I was thinking because this was not too long after my car accident which impaired my memory and the two years or so following the accident are spotty at best.  I do know that black was my go-to attire until I hit about 150 when I finally started dressing in colours again at the urging of a coworker.

I started doing yoga again around when my daughter was about a year old.  I'm fuzzy on the timing but I remember she was walking.  I couldn't do most of the poses and many of them still hurt my back and most hurt my shoulder.  So I did what I could without pushing too hard; but I also gave up easily.

Here I am with my oldest son at about 155 pounds.

I tried to watch what I was eating better and kept doing the yoga and walking some but I didn't really challenge myself very much.  I did lose weight, but I didn't tone hardly at all.
By January 2008, I was 143 pounds.

Then, I moved to a place across the street from a high school where they had a running track.  I remembered the days where I would run and was thin.  I bought a pair of running shoes and started trying to run.  I say trying because I was mostly gasping for breath with my hands on my knees but in between that, I was either doing a very slow jog or walking really fast.

I started to lose more weight and finally tone a little bit.  But I was also going through a rough time in my life and I ate like crap.  My weight went up and down from about 135 to 150 for another year because I wasn't burning off what I was consuming.

I bought this shirt in early 2009 and it's a little bit big on me now, but I still wear it as a reminder of how tight it was when I first got it.

Motivate Yourself - Orange T Shirts
I finally started to watch what I was eating again and by October 2009 I was within 15 pounds of my goal weight but I was still not toned at all.

And then, I started dating, stopped exercising, yo-yo dieted and gained weight again!  I was back up to 148 in February 2012 and I decided I really needed to kick it into gear and finally get this dreaded weight off of me and I decided I was going to do P90X.

Then I got an infection in my jaw.  I could hardly eat at all.  Amazingly, in just a couple of weeks, I was down 14 pounds. diet really is the trick after all!!!

Once my jaw healed I started P90X.  I did almost 8 weeks, lost 3 more pounds and was down to 130.  Then I left the DVDs at a friends house.  She mailed them to me but they never arrived.  I got discouraged, depressed, moped around my house for 3 days and gained 3 pounds.  I did walk, but I did not work out.  Apparently I need both in order to keep losing the weight.

Finally, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and got back to working out because I had signed myself up for an obstacle course 5K run in July and I realized that time was running out for me to get into shape to be able to run it.

Then, last week I found out about Spartan Races and the same day I found a group on facebook for women only called Spartan Chicked.  My motivation skyrocketed with all the support of the women athletes of all sizes, shapes, ages and fitness levels.  I realized that I'm in better shape than I give myself credit for.  And the women on Spartan Chicked are too.  We are definitely our own worst critics!

I snapped a photo of myself showing my abs.  I am extremely shy about showing my abs because of extensive scarring.  I have two scars on my stomach that are each about 6 inches long.  One horizontal and one vertical. Then there are the 'baby belly' and the stretch marks.

Yes, I hear a lot of people say that I should be proud of my stretch marks, but I'm just not.  I can't seem to embrace that concept.

So, here is what I've been getting to all this time.  My progress photo at 130 pounds as of May 16th, 2012.  Five years after this weight loss struggle began.

The next time I post about weight loss, I will have reached my goal.  I'm almost there.  Working out every day, twice a day most days, running every other day and walking 5 days a week won't get me there alone.  I also need to watch what goes into my body and I need to not just work out.  I need to push myself past my own personal limits during my workouts.

Today, I did 100 crunches, 50 push ups and 25 chin ups before coming in to work.  I walked for 45 minutes at lunch.  Tonight I have a lot of errands to run, but I'll be baking banana bread for a friend, so while the loaves are in the oven, I'll have time to do something.  Maybe some squats, curls or jumping jacks.  Whatever it is, I'm headed toward a goal I've had for almost a decade.

I will get there.  
How am I so confident?
In my before picture, you see me sitting on the couch.
In my progress picture, you see me standing up.
Getting off the couch is the first step toward fitness!
I got this!

Until Next Time,


  1. Way to GO for snapping that picture of your Abs- I am still not comfortable enough to take a picture yet. I hear you on goals & pushing yourself. I feel like I am working harder now then I ever did- just waiting for it to all kick in - not so good with the whole patience thing.