MY Weight Loss Journey
Ok, y’all. We’re about to get real. Although lengthy, this post is about my journey to getting healthier, happier and lighter (in more ways than one). Get ready to find out my heaviest weight and my current weight (28 pounds down!), my struggles and my triumphs. I am a firm believer in being confident in your body, no matter the size, but it’s important to be healthy too. This is just the beginning for me. Enjoy, and I’d love to hear about your health journeys! Leave me a note in the comments on how you stay healthy and happy!
Rock-bottom (for me):
I gained the freshman 15 in college, and then some. To be fair, I was relatively muscular and lean in high school, having played soccer, touch rugby and softball all four years. I went from being active every day to only working out occasionally from being on the intramural soccer team. But what really let to my weight gain was my first job. I worked at a company for 3 years during which I worked an average of 75 hours/week, had only about 3 months/year of “non-busy” hours, and spent those 3 months studying for the CPA (and failing). Not surprisingly, I gained upwards of 20 pounds. I left after almost 3 years, and went to a company where I had normal hours, I could work out again, had the luxury of weekends off! Unfortunately, it was the freedom and my not knowing what to do with it, that contributed to another 20+ pounds over the next 2 years. I tried to handle the weight gain by working out at The Bar Method. Bar Method really works if you are consistent with it: 3-5 workouts per week. I was going only twice a week or so. I wasn’t watching what I ate. And suddenly without really noticing it, in early 2016, I weighed in at my heaviest: hovering around 185 pounds. I mean sure, I saw myself in the mirror and knew I had gained some weight, but in pictures I never thought I looked that big, or unhealthy. It was as if when I looked in the mirror, I saw someone slimmer than they really were. I’ve tried to lose weight before: I would work out vigorously for a month and then burn out and take 2 months off and end up worse than before. I would eat really well for a few days and then reward myself and suddenly 2 weeks go by since I last ate really healthily. My doctor even had my blood tested for pre-diabetes, which luckily I wasn’t at yet. And yet, I still couldn’t make myself lose the weight.
Exercise – Running with Aaptiv:
On January 1, 2016, I woke up and felt refreshed. It was a new year and I was going to make it a good one. I was flipping through Facebook, laying in bed, when I saw an ad for Aaptiv, which looked to be some sort of coaching running app. I clicked on it, signed up for the free week, changed my clothes, and went on my first voluntary run in a long time. Wow. What a difference. I thoroughly enjoyed having someone in my ear, telling me how fast to run, encouraging me through sprints or letting me know when to slow it down. They pick the music and time it perfectly with each job/run/sprint. I only had to filter the range of how many minutes I wanted the run to be and voila, there were so many runs I could choose from. They have beginner, intermediate and advance classes. I felt like everything had been set up for me, all I had to do was put one foot in front of the other.
Exercise – San Francisco Giants 10K Race:
Almost immediately, I was running twice a week! I threw Bar Method back into the mix, twice a week on weekdays after work, and then ran both days on the weekends. I had finally found a consistent, reliable routine that wasn’t too tough, and wasn’t too intense. I kept this steady for several months. After a few months, I signed up for my first 10K! Not just any 10K, the SF Giants 10K! My favorite team! You get to end the race ON the field? And walk around the field afterwards? AND get to explore the dugout? Sold. Who cares how many miles that is, I’m doing it. I got fitted for new shoes and inserts, increased the number of days per week I’d run, bought a FitBit Blaze to track my heart rate (LOVE!) and come race day, I ran all 6.2 miles of that 10K without stopping! After the race, I toned down the running as I didn’t want to burn out, so I increased the number of Bar Method classes I took to 3-4/week. Steady, steady, steady. I slowly felt better and better about myself. I felt healthier, but I was too afraid to weigh myself in case I was just building muscle and not losing fat.
I traveled to Austria and Malta over Christmas to visit my parents, who are knee-deep in their lifestyle change of eating no carbohydrates. It has worked well for them. Turns out, when I ate that way for 2 weeks too, I ended up losing a few pounds over Christmas. That’s never happened before! When I got back state-side, I finally weighed myself. Boom. Down to 170.0 pounds. How awesome! I lost nearly 15 pounds with slow and steady progress. Since it had been a year since I started the workout regime, I decided it was time to work on the diet part. I watched what I ate for two months, and while I did lose a couple of pounds, it wasn’t as much as I thought it would be. I was down to 166 pounds by the end of February. I decided to do something about it and joined Weight Watchers. After all, if Oprah can lose weight, so can I. Weight Watchers has given me the tools of portion control, choosing healthy alternatives to snacks, and you can still eat pizza/pasta/whatever you want, but just in moderation! Fast forward to day, and I’m down to 157.0 pounds, as of this morning!
Exercise – Barry’s Bootcamp:
In recent months, I’ve added in a few new workouts to my routine. I started Barry’s Bootcamp (holy moly!) and while it’s probably the hardest workout I’ve ever done, I really love it. I’ve already seen such an improvement in my sprinting work. My first class, which I took on March 4, 2017, when I thought I would die, I was sprinting at a maximum 7.5 speed on the treadmill. Last week’s class, only my 8th class, I was sprinting at a 10.0! Granted it was only for 30 seconds, but still. I never thought I’d reach those speeds. I have developed muscle definition in my arms, shoulders, quads, hamstrings, and even a tiny bit in my abs! I’ve also signed up for the same 10K this year, and hope to improve my time of 1:08 to under 1:05, with a pipe goal of under 1.
I still have a bit to go with my weight loss journey. I want it to be a slow and steady loss, so that the changes are life changes and that it’s something I can maintain without having to adjust anything. Losing weight is theoretically easy: eat healthily, exercise regularly. Obviously, easier said than done, but take one step at a time, build a routine, and build even more from there.
I feel good. I feel confident. I feel healthy. I couldn’t have gotten to where I am now without Aaptiv, Bar Method and Barry’s Bootcamp. They have each physically, mentally and emotionally changed me for the better. I can’t wait to see where I am in another year’s time. How do you stay healthy? Let me know in the comments below!