One small step

This process has been driven primarily by small steps. The first was in 2010 when I joined AmeriCorps NCCC and got exposed to the idea of PT and fitness as a worthy life goal and daily activity. That lit a fire in me that has never quite gone out, even when it was raining pretty hard on me. In early 2011, I set a goal to start running, even if it was just a 5k, and that May I ran my first with friends. The rest of that year I continued my (albeit irregular) running routine, but soon I was ready for more. In all of this so far, the word ‘diet’ was not in the plan, and it still isn’t, except technically it is.

In 2012 I kicked running up a notch by signing up for my first 10k. Along the way, I ran my first 5-miles and I felt on top of the world! That 10k was in October, and right about then I got into Nursing School (starting Jan 2013). The success I felt after running 6.2 miles really fueled the fire. And something else happened around then – my friend Rebecca introduced me to her personal trainer and I reached out to get myself on her schedule. You see, everyone in the nursing program assured me that I would gain weight as a result of my studies, and I was determined to prove them wrong.

As 2013 began, I added 2x/week training sessions along with school. I probably came in and worked out 1-3 times per week on my own during that phase, sometimes running, sometimes using the weight training techniques I learned from Lara. But the real turning point off in the distance was the half-marathon I signed up for. Lara and I set a goal that I would train primarily to get myself ready for the half in September.

So Jan-May, I focused on weight loss and toning, and though it was looking like the numbers on the scale were going down (lots of compliments), I didn’t lose more than 10-12 pounds. I lost another 8-10 over the summer. In that phase, I was running a LOT on my endurance-building schedule, and Lara and I gradually switched to yoga.

The half marathon was my biggest success to date! Ran it in 2:45:10, felt great afterwards, and all it made me want was more. But that half marathon was 10+ pounds ago…so what has happened since then?

Well after the weekly distance requirements subsided, I found I needed new goals over and above the maintenance running I’ve been doing. I’m signed up for another half in March, but I wont really start that training ( over and above what I normally run) until mid-November. So with these months in the middle, I decided to do a little experiment…

I’ve balked at the idea of dieting ever since the traumatic experiences I had with it in high school. It felt like a punishment, and any progress I made never lasted. But I know now that I was going about things all wrong. This time, with months of fitness progress under my belt, I decided to go about things differently. I started by just using an app to track my food. That’s all I committed to doing. But in that first week, I became a lot more conscientious (in a good way), and I just to happened to lose 3 pounds while doing it. Without depriving myself! So now I am, shall we say, addicted to the success. I’ve lost 9 pounds in the month that I’ve been tracking. And it’s no big deal for me to do it. By that I mean, I am not stressed or burdened. I kind of find it fun. I’m enjoying analyzing my food and nutrients.

But here’s the real punchline of this story. Since my weigh-in with Lara back in January, I have now officially lost 30 pounds! And since my highest weight recorded (late 2011), I’ve lost almost 45 total. I still have at least another 30 pounds to go, but I don’t even care because I know all along the way I’m just going to keep feeling better and better.

This has been a process marked by many small steps. And look how far I’ve come! I’ve come so far I think I’ve forgotten the way back to where I used to be. Because my progress has been so gradual, I have a good feeling this progress won’t be lost, except in the sense that I will keep moving forward and reaching new goals. By the time I’ve lost another 30, I think I could talk myself into training for a full marathon!

PS: It’s been a VERY busy week. Highlights include volunteering at a homeless shelter, goodbye party for Teri, a freaking 100 on my first exam, and the fastest 7-miles I’ve run to date (11:15/mile).

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