You heard me right: no couch potatoes allowed! I’m officially trying to run again and if you haven’t already picked up on it (or read any recent Facebook statuses or tweets) I’m doing the Couch To 5K program again!
The Journey Begins…
I first tried the program about 3 years ago and never finished it. Truth be told, I just couldn’t motivate myself to finish it. I didn’t even get past week three!…Or make it to week three I should say :P
I’m determined to finish it this time though! One of the things on my bucket list for as long as I can remember is to run a race. It doesn’t have to be a marathon or Iron Man or anything (some of my friends are hardcore and I admire them so much for it!) but I do want to complete a race and feel good about it.
Let’s Back Up A Second…
I realized when I first tried the program I was a lot heavier. And when I didn’t finish it, I stopped working out all together. Not good. I know the program is designed for everyone, no matter the size. But lemme tell you, the size did matter. I couldn’t even finish the first week without feeling like I was going to die and therefore didn’t feel motivated to continue with it because it just wasn’t fun.
Not only was my motivation at an all time low, so was my confidence.
Left: November 2010.....Right: May 2011
I guess I was naive in thinking I was heavier. I didn’t think I was and when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t really see it. But pant sizes, shirt sizes and that scale definitely weren’t lying. I had to finally admit to myself: I’m at the biggest I’ve ever been.
Engagement Photos April 2011
I had gotten good at playing with angles: having my photo taken from the waist up, turning my chin down, standing straight forward so no curves could be seen…anything to make it seem like I wasn’t as big as I actually was.
After REB and I got our engagement photos back, that was our wake up call. It was time to get healthy. We had a short time to look good (and feel good) for our wedding and we’d be damned if our photos looked anything like our engagement photos did.
It wasn’t just about losing weight, though. It was about making healthy choices, eating better, being more active and adapting an overall healthier lifestyle. We are in our late twenties and we aren’t getting any younger. Our amazing metabolism from ten years ago was long gone and we took it for granted then, so it was time to do the 180 and make it right.
In the job I had before my current one, I was traveling every two or three weeks living in a hotel for two weeks at a time. It was so easy to eat horribly on the road and think it didn’t matter. Not anymore. The first thing I did was cut my diet in half. I started eating around 1200 calories and hated it, but I basically disciplined myself to cut out processed food, exercise (do SOMETHING every day for 30-45 min.) and drink only water. When I got home from trips, REB and I would do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred religiously and we’d bulk up on protein while maintaining a relatively low-carb diet.
By the time our wedding rolled around, he was down about 50-55 pounds and I was down about 25 and 3 pant sizes smaller. The scale wasn’t lying then and it wasn’t lying now. We both looked good. I can honestly admit that. But more importantly, we felt good, better than we had in a very long time!
I wasn’t at my ultimate goal weight (I’m still not), but I had set up small goals…and I had surpassed the first one. And even though I didn’t feel like I was the number I was, I could tell that I was toned in all the right places. There was no need to turn the chin down, stand straight, or anything.
Our honeymoon came a month and a half later and we still adapted that healthy lifestyle after our wedding. We made the conscious effort to exercise daily, eat right (eating every 2-to-2-1/2 hours equaling about 5-6 meals per day) and even on our trip although we indulged, we didn’t go crazy.
Couch To 5K (Six Months Since Wedding)…
So now we come to the Couch To 5K. I felt like I could tackle this again. I’m already past the point from the last time I tried it and quit. Granted, I have gained back some weight since the wedding, I’m at least still on the healthy track! I’m about to finish up week 3 and yesterday I had a true milestone or PR of my own.
Usually I’ve been averaging about 2.25 miles when I’ve had to do the run on the treadmill (stupid rain), but I ran outside yesterday and when I was done and looked at my activity log, I couldn’t believe it!
True, my pace wasn’t that great (thanks, bum ankle), but I was scrolling through the distance-meter-chart-graph thing and at one point I was running between an 8.30- and 10-minute mile. I’m still slow and trying to figure out the pace that works best for me. It seems I start off too strong and then taper off and slow down near the end, so I want to get better about pace. But I’ve been trying to maintain good form and hopefully by the time the program is done, I’ll be better than I was during Week One! I had mapped out a run that would last at least 3.1 miles but the actual distance was something like 3.30 (had to walk home from the middle of my apt complex lol), but when the 5K training program for the day had ended, I had completed 2.78 miles! So, while I didn’t run the full distance, I continued to walk until I completed it just to get my body used to the distance.
But on my off-running days I’ve still be doing cardio and want to start up Jillian again to get my strength training back. I miss my toned arms and butt. Maybe one day my gut will disappear too…but baby steps :)
Almost One Year Later…
I think what pleases me most is that my endurance is better than ever. I don’t feel good if I don’t work out and I enjoy doing it now. I never thought I’d say those words. It’s not something I crave or anything, but I weigh out the options: do I want to feel flabby and gross, or do I want to do something active to at least help myself out? The latter usually wins.
I’ve been hovering over the same weight for a few weeks now and I’m only about 12-15 pounds away form my goal weight (well second goal weight. I still haven’t really decided if that’s going to be the ultimate goal weight or if I want to strive for something more) at this point. I’ve heard it’s always hard to lose the last ten, and I guess that’s becoming true for me. I’m not in a hurry to do it this time though. I’m trying to maintain that healthy lifestyle, cut out most of the junk in my diet, exercise daily and I know slowly the pounds will come off.
The Journey Continues…
It’s still a personal and mental struggle for me to look in the mirror and not see the girl from one year ago. I know with time that will get better, though :)
I can’t even begin to thank all of you (bloggers and readers!) out there who have similar fitness and lifestyle goals. It helps me a lot and I love reading about new workouts, recipes, power drinks, etc. that I should try. I also have to thank my friends for their constant encouragement and support!
Of course, REB. He’s on this journey with me and knowing we have those goals together makes it so much easier to work out and be healthy and do this together. He always encourages me, supports, helps me. and I don’t know what I’d do without him!
It is a continuing journey and I’m not sure it’s one that will ever end, but at least for now I’m in a happier place than I was. A place I can be proud of getting to because I really did work hard to get here.
Has your weight loss journey had its share of ups and downs?
What keeps you motivated?