Sunday, January 16, 2011

YEAR 3 WRAP-UP: Another Year of Decreasing the Amount of Space I Take Up

It has been three years. Already. Unbelievable. So much has happened in the three years since I made a promise to myself (and decided to share it with anyone and everyone on the internet) that I was finally going to commit to losing the weight that I had been meaning to lose for so long. I remember writing that this was not some half-assed attempt at fulfilling a New Year’s resolution, but a commitment to change my life, for good. So, how has that panned out? To make a long story short (you can read all my blog entries for the LONG version): year one burned off 27 lbs., year two 22 lbs., and last year/year three another 24 lbs. (and 4% body fat)! So, you know, only 73 measly pounds. Gosh, I’m such a slacker!

Here’s the updated stats chart:
In all seriousness, I am fucking ecstatic. Elated. Beside myself. I am really pleased with the progress I have made. I put in a lot of hard work and have definitely seen it pay off. I’ve got more muscle and less fat (which means more definition, I think I am developing back dimples!) and I feel great.

So what did I do in 2010 to drop another 20+ pounds?

In January I got my ass back in the gym. After the horrible realization that I had put on 7 pounds over the holidays, I knew I had to get my shit together. I made it to the gym (or did something active like a hike, 21 out of 31 days in January). I also got back on track with my diet. Not some stupid fad diet, my life diet (eating clean, natural, and organic whole foods and being vegan). Over the holidays I slacked off and started eating more vegetarian than vegan, which basically means lots of cheese and baked goodies. No bueno for the waistline.

February was more of the same  (18 out of 28 days). It wasn’t until mid to late March that I was able to get back down the svelte 195 lbs. I was before November of 2009. It was also in March that I added in the weight training to my gym regimen. Nothing crazy, mostly lift classes at the gym (I’m not really one to use the machines on the floor, as I tend to get bored easily). April (17 days in the gym) had me maintaining my schedule of going to the gym on a regular basis and adhering to my diet.

It was also around this time that I realized that if I was going to make any progress, or continue to, I could no longer use working as an excuse to not hit the gym that day. And so I started going to the gym after work, especially on days that were relatively easy days. I have to believe that this was a big part of my success this year. If I had just played the “I’m too tired after working 12 hours and just want to go home and crash” card I would have only made it to the gym a couple times each week.

May (15 days, but I was sick for a week), June (25 days), July (at least 15 days), and August (a lot, I stopped keeping track), more of the same. I just kept pushing through doing my mix of cardio and lifting. I feel like a broken record sometimes, but that is what determination is I suppose.

Starting in September work became crazy (and it stayed that way until the end of the year). However I was on roll, the pounds were disintegrating at a steady pace and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. I started going to the gym before work if I had to. I managed to make it to the gym about 20 days out of the month, and I worked just about 25 of them. At the end of September the local 24Hour Fitness closed for remodeling (it was WAY overdue) and after a bit of weighing out my options, I made the choice to join a new gym. With the new environment, new classes to check out, and new eye candy as motivation I managed to hit the gym quite frequently (October = 20 days, November = 25 days, and December = 19 days) all the way through until the end of the year (and have stayed on track since the start of the new one). So basically, I spent a lot of time at the gym or being active in 2010.

Along with joining the new gym I also started doing something I never thought I would do. I have never enjoyed running, in fact some people might characterize me as “anti-running.” I was the kid that took forever to “run” the mile in school because I would end up walking most of it. And to be honest I never understood how someone could enjoy the act of running; the bullshit about a “runner’s high” was something I never bought into. I can swim forever, and have actually experienced that after about 30 or 40 laps I feel like I can keep going ad nauseum (I currently do 120 laps = 3000 meters = 1.85 miles on days that I swim). However, with a little convincing I decided to train for a 5K.

At the start of November I got on the treadmill and ran for the first time. My goal was just to go until I reached that magical distance, just to make it 5K (just over 3 miles), while jogging at the very least. The crazy thing was that I did it. At a pace of 5.5 MPH (and a slight incline to make things interesting) I ran my first 5k (on a treadmill in the gym). I was shocked to realize that I had been selling myself short for so long. I decided to keep running at the gym a couple times a week to make sure that I could easily run this thing and not make a fool of myself.

On the morning of the 5K, Thanksgiving to be exact, I got up early and did some stretches, had a very light breakfast and got down to the event with just enough time to meet up with some family members and friends, and chat for a minute before the start of the race. Funny thing is, I ran the whole way, no problem there, passing slower runners the entire time, and ended up being the first in my group to finish (this was a huge surprise to me). I ran the 5K in just under 28 minutes. That was a pretty awesome feat and I felt like a million bucks!

Since then I have found a new love (okay, I don’t know that I actually LOVE running but I know that I do enjoy it) for running. I have since upped my distance and speed and am currently running 6.5 MPH on the treadmill and can easily go for an hour straight. When I run outdoors I try to do at least 5 miles and to consistently come in under my last run’s time. I was warned by one of my friends that I should be careful, as running can be addictive, and I am definitely seeing that to be true. But I like the challenge of going harder, faster, and longer.

2010 was another great year. I stuck to the commitment I made to myself and continued to move closer toward my goal. I am now dangerously close to having the body that I have desired for so many years. One that is healthy, and not too horrible to look at either.


P.S. I have had a crush on Ben Cohen for a long time. I thought I should finally add some pics of that adorable man to the blog. He is kinda perfect: cute smile, muscular but with some padding, and a little hairy. Yeah, I want one like that.