June 2010, Weight Loss Journal
By Kristen Brooke Beck
Content Updated on
4 June 2010
Weight: 150 (lost 50 lbs. total since begining of journal)
Clothing Size: 12
One year ago I was 174 lbs. Just by going for daily walks and trying to move frequently throughout the day by doing housework and parking far from business entrances, doing strength training while watching TV, and paying attention to what I ate, I got down to 155, but then I couldn't get any lower. Eventually, I started to lose motivation by the lack of progress of both my weight loss and my energy levels. I started finding excuses for not exercising. I started handling my stress by eating... again. And the weight started to creep back on. BUT this time I caught it before it became a problem. This time, I decided it was time to step things up to a new level.
Environment and social groups can have huge influences on your motivation, so I decided to surround myself by people who wanted to get fit and healthy in an environment where there was nothing to do but exercise. I decided to join a gym.
I went to every gym within a reasonable driving distance to find one that I would enjoy going to. It had to be clean, bright, open, and filled with a variety activities. The people had to be friendly, not just the employees but the patrons, too. The kids program had to be safe and fun. And the price had to be reasonable. I finally found one that met all of my requirements. I agonized over whether or not I should join. Why should I pay money to drive to a building to workout when I can workout at home? Why? Because I wasn't working out at home. I wasn't motivated anymore at home. I was too easily distracted at home. Sure, I could have used a park as my workout location, but I always used the weather as an excuse. I could have worked out with friends, but honestly, I didn't want to go to somebody else's house to exercise either. By joining a gym and paying that monthly fee, I just had to show up to exercise. I had to get my money's worth. And the moment I walk in the door, I'm energized and ready to go.
It has been 2 months since I've joined up. I've worked with a personal trainer (a complementary session) and learned a few new exercises to keep me interested when I get bored. I've loaded up my music player with lots of my favorite songs that I just can't help but want to sing and dance to, so it gets me moving, and I'm sure everyone else gets a laugh out of watching me lipsync to songs only I can hear. I've meet some nice people who talk to me frequently. My children love the kids program and look forward to going. And even my husband became inspired and joined up. But most importantly, I can feel myself getting healthier.
I can now run over 1 mile. I would like to go back in time to meet with the asthmatic girl I was when I was growing up, the girl who hated running because it hurt her lungs and often sent her to the emergency room, the girl who thought athletes were crazy for wanting to torture themselves, the girl who never played sports in any way that would count as a workout. The only exercise I did when I was growing up was low impact aerobics that barely made you sweat, slow hiking, and weight lifting, none of which came close to the cardiovascular fitness required to run. When I first started trying to lose weight, when I first started this journal, I could only run for 10 seconds. That's it! That's just barely across the street. And now I run over 1 mile every Monday and half a mile two other times during the week. My goal is to run a 5k then build my way up to a 10k.
My energy levels have skyrocketed. I can get so much stuff done now before I feel tired. I used to get exhausted right away, but now I have stamina. My mood has improved along with my cognitive abilities, since cardiovascular exercise also stimulates brain cell growth and helps optimize brain function.
By using the weight at the gym, bigger than the little dumbbells I have at home, I'm stronger now than I ever thought I could be. It's so nice to not need help to do simple tasks because you're too weak. My big strength training goals are to do 10 pushups (not modified), which I haven't done since my early years of college, and 1 pullup, something I could never do before.
I've also lost a clothing size. My size 14 clothes are now too baggy, and I can fit into those medium sizes I'd never fit into again.
My kids keep hugging me and saying "Wow! Mommy, I can put my arms all the way around you now." They keep telling me how happy they are to see me getting healthier. My husband keeps telling me how good I look. And yes, I get complements and flirtation from men, something that hasn't happened since my first two years in college, which is a nice ego boost.
For the first time in over 10 years, I finally feel attractive again. I finally feel like me.
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