My 2011 New Year's resolution was to get in shape. This resolution was different than my normal go-to resolution which was to lose weight. While resolving to lose weight is a valiant notion, year after year this goal got me nowhere. This year I decided it was time for a change. Instead of judging my progress on the scale, I would judge my progress by how my clothes fit. Instead of going on a "diet", I needed to change how I ate for life. As a fairly successful home cook I was used to healthy and fresh cooking. My problem was I had gotten to a place where my healthy choices were fewer and far between than my unhealthy "splurges" (more about cooking later, this post is about exercise, not cooking!) I just needed to get back on track. And instead of just expecting to lose weight by diet alone I would judge my progress with - surprise, surprise- exercise!
It is now June 1st and I feel I am well on my way to my New Year's resolution! When I started down this road in January, I was a size 10/12 and about 137 lbs. My physical activity level was... well, to be honest, zero. I started small, 20 minutes on the elliptical 4-5 days a week. After a couple of weeks, I was able to increase my cardio time to 30 minutes on the elliptical. Gradually, I added in 30 minutes of weight lifting 3-4 times a week and 45 minutes of Pilates 2-3 times a week. For a while, I did circuit training with 15 minutes of cardio followed by sets of crunches, squats, and lunges and then repeating the whole routine 3 times. My current routine is 30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical, followed by about 30 minutes of strength training. My strength training consists of crunches, planks, lunges, squats, and some free weight lifting. I am following all this up with 30 more minutes of fat-burning cardio. My hard work is definitely paying off though! I am down to 130 lbs and just bought a pair of shorts in a size 6!
This may seem like an extreme workout. Let me say that most (ok, 90%) people do not have the time for this! I will just say that I do have the time for it right now and I haven't felt this healthy since I was 18! I can successfully report fewer headaches and stomach aches as well. My healthiness is spreading to Jerame as well. Jerame and I have started a new Saturday morning tradition of running a mile across the street at the high school. As part of my quest to judge my fitness, I decided I wanted to see how fast I can run a mile in. A couple of Saturday's ago, Jerame and I woke up at 7 am and headed across the street. My first mile time was not what I hoped and also helped me realize that I still have a long way to go! Oddly enough, I found this to be an exciting challenge which I will conquer! My PR running the mile was my sophomore year of high school. I finished in 7 minutes 26 seconds. I wanted my time to be comparable to this. It wasn't! My first mile time was 9 minutes 23 seconds. Ugh! My second mile time was 9 minutes 21 seconds. I have since come to terms with this, consoling myself with the thought that there are many more Saturday's to prove myself.
I must say that I am extremely proud of myself for sticking to my resolution. While I by no means consider myself a flaky person, I can probably count on one hand the number of resolutions I have stuck to. I am just glad that this is one of them. Here are my progress pictures!