Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You're only as good as your next healthy meal

April 11, 2012
One month after I began
November 21, 2012
Eight months after I began

Second to how I lost weight, the most common question I get from readers is about running.  I thought I would do my best to answer everything in a post. I've always been fascinated by runners. Not just recently, but always. One of my very best girlfriends used to run cross country when we were kids and I always admired her for that. I couldn't because by middle school, I was already morbidly obese.  When we had to do laps in gym class, I was the kid that would be walking and getting yelled at by the teacher.

Anywho, I regress.  In January 2012, I met Enz from Downward TrENZ and she talked to me about running and how it had enriched her life.  We decided to take a Learn to Run clinic through the Running Room and we started that clinic on March 9th.  I weighed 230 pounds when I started running.  I completed the LTR clinic, then signed up for the 5K clinic.  After completing the 5K clinic, I started teaching the LTR clinic and I'm just about finishing up my second session of teaching LTR with my gal Beverly.  Over the summer, I ran by myself and was able to get myself up to 12K,which is my farthest distance to date.  I currently run 40+K per week and am training for my first half marathon which will be March 3, 2013; 6 days shy of my running anniversary.

Running has changed my life.  I am happiest when I'm running.  Although I procrastinate on my long run days, I have never come back after a run and said, "I wish I hadn't run today".  Just this past weekend, I didn't want to go out on Sunday morning to lead my 5k clinic run. I bitched and complained the whole way because it was cold and snowy.  After the run, I looked at my clinic participants and thanked them for coming out but also confessed that I wasn't feeling it that day...until I actually started running.  There is absolutely no better high (for me) than the way I feel after a run. Dare I say it is better than sex!  Okay, maybe not, but it's definitely a very close second!

I learned to run using the LTR program through the Running Room.  Couch to 5K (C25K) is another program that lots of new runners use.  You can download the app on your phone and it prompts you when to run and when to walk.  There is also the Ease into 5K program which is similar to C25K and comes with a downloadable program as well.  All good tools if you want to learn how to run.  I'd suggest a LTR clinic through the Running Room if you're a social person.  It's always nice to run and chat with people who are into the same sport.  I'm not going to lie.  It was hard and I wanted to quit many times when I first began.  But I persevered and it was totally worth it.  I can't imagine not running now.

If I could offer any advice in regards to diet and exercise, find an eating plan you can stay on forever and a physical activity you enjoy and can maintain.  I LOVE running and know that I can do this for as long as my body will let me.  I went for my second massage today and had my quads stripped.  It wasn't as bad as I anticipated and I only wanted to shank my massage therapist a couple of times.  He said he couldn't wait to strip my quads with his elbows.  WTF?  It sort of sounds sexual, but trust me it is so not.  I don't find elbows particularly sexy.  Especially when he's using those elbows to dig into my glutes.  That hurt like a mother...

Another reason why I love running is because it's changing my body so much.  My legs are getting more muscular by the week, my stomach is firming up (shoulders back and stomach in works yo!), and I'm finally losing some of the outer thigh fat that's been stubbornly hanging around.  I also eat a lot more than I ever have and I'm losing sizes.  Not necessarily pounds, but sizes.  In the photos below, there is only a 4 pound difference.  In the photo on the left I'm wearing snug size 12 jeans, in the right, size 10 jeans that fit comfortably.

September 16, 2012
Size 12
November 27, 2012
Size 10

Although I'm going to continue going for my weigh-ins and I will still visit Dr. Stephen for maintenance, I know that for me, the scale really is just a number.  My body is changing regardless of what my weight says. I'm continuing to maintain, but jeans I couldn't get over my hips and button two weeks ago, fit me like a glove now (see photo above right).  I'm going to fit into a size 8 when everything is said and done.  That is my goal.  I've never been a single digit size before and I believe I can get there and maintain that size.  After all, I don't have to eat any different than I'm eating now because on the most part I'm maintaining now.  The running will continue to firm me up, and I'll continue to eat the low carb, low sodium, low fat diet that I have become accustomed to.  As a runner I need to eat well so I can  perform my very best.  I need that high.  And I'm only as good as my next healthy meal.