Anyway, I decided to go back to the beginning. How did I start this weight loss journey and turn myself into a "marathoner" and a "triathlete"?
I did enter a competition similar to the Biggest Loser Competition in my local town called the Gazette Healthy Challenge. With my weight being published weekly in the local paper, combined with team workouts, I was able to just edge out the competition to be the first women EVER to win; losing 41.5 lbs in 12 weeks on June 28th, 2009. I did this by eating healthy and working out two times a day (most days).
As far as the eating, I loaded up on protein and vegetables and practically cut out all carbs (except for brown rice, rice cakes, and mini bagels) and did not eat ANY dessert type food. The gym where we did group workouts at was 4.2 miles from my house. I began walking to the gym, working out with the team and personal trainers for an hour and having my husband pick me up. One day, I decided to run as far as I could to the gym and walk the rest of the way. In the end, I was running to the gym, working out with the team and trainers and running home. I was determined to lose weight, not necessarily win.
After the win and getting back to my normal life, I ended up gaining 5 lbs that next month (I also added carbs back into my diet). I realized that I would NOT be able to live like that forever, so I needed to find a different way to keep the weight off. And I did. I started running for REAL! Signing up for local races and finding people to run with. I also started P90X and have since completed 3 sessions of it.
It was in January of 2010, that I had my heart set on completing a marathon. Mind you, I have never even run a half marathon race, although I had run more than 13 miles. I registered for Marine Corp Marathon as soon as I could and had to focus on a training plan. Completing the marathon was probably the HARDEST thing I have ever done in my entire life. I continued to shed weight with the training plan and found an awesome running partner to keep me company and acknowledge my insanity.
After the marathon, I wanted a new challenge and decided in November, that I would sign up for a triathlon. I had to buy a bike, pick up my swimming again, and sacrifice my love of running. In April, I completed my first Triathlon. I am not sure if I am addicted yet... but my next Tri is on June 26th in Philly where I will attempt my first Olympic distance Tri.
I have to say that the journey has not always been pleasant. I have had many disappointments along the way, but do you know what kept me going? The determination that I never want to be overweight again!
Here are some tips:
1. Eat less more often. Small meals. And never deprive yourself of anything... deprivation makes you want it more.
2. Drink more water. I typically drink over 100 oz of water a day and that does not include water consumed while working out. Yes, of course you spend a lot of time in the bathroom in the beginning, but your body actually gets used to it and those frequent trips stop.
3. Get blood work done. Most women are B-12 deficient or have low iron counts or are severely lacking vitamin D. Many of these issues can hurt your weight loss. Get a physical and make sure your body is ready. I take a bunch of vitamins and have seen a world of difference.
4. If you make a bad food choice or skip a workout, don't say, "Oh, I will start tomorrow. or Monday. Or next month." Start at the next meal or figured out how to get that missed workout in. Delaying does no one good!
5. Find someone to do it with. Working with the team initially was huge in my success. Afterwards, I found and awesome running partner. Now I am in a Tri group that gives me such motivation. It is okay if that person is better than you or someone who is in the same place. Accountability will make success even easier.
6. Set mini goals with mini rewards. In the beginning it was a pedicure or a new workout outfit. I remember when I wanted to get under 130, I bought an expensive pair of boots. I stared at them... wanting to wear them, and when that day came, I was thrilled and PROUD!
7. When your weight starts to plateau, bump up your calorie intake. Sounds crazy, I know. But what has happened is that your body has gotten used to your exercise and what you have been eating, so you have to trick it. Do not up the calorie intake and increase your workouts... just calories, for like a week, maybe by 200-500.... then the following week go back! You will see the difference.
8. It is all about calories in verses calories out... sure you could eat a piece of cake and then work it off, but it better to fuel your body and be able to power your way through workouts.
9. Take pics.... boy did those motivate me. Here is my before pic.... it is really hard for me to look at:
10. Believe that you can do it. Don't give up. I did not start the journey thinking I would come this far... but you know what, I could not be happier! I have lost over 90lbs now... WOW! And this blog world has encouraged me, supported me and been a great outlet. I know some of you read, but don't blog... well, now maybe... you should!
DISCLAIMER: I TOTALLY give all the credit of my weight loss victory to God. This was the first time in my life that I truly gave it all over to Him... and the results speak for themselves!