Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Look Back on a Year's Journey

Today is one year.

One year since I took my first class at Burn Athletic.

One year since I left the class, called my mom and cried over how little I could do. How bad I had let it get. How angry I was that I let a job control my life and, subsequently, my health.

One year since I started to be proud of me again.

When I started at Burn, it had been a year since I left my former job as a consultant. I worked long hours, especially during grant season. At one point, I was eating all three meals at my desk and drinking venti quad-shot lattes to make it through 65 hour work weeks. But for the year before I started at Burn, I'd been working 37.5 hour work weeks. I'd started running with Aaron some and trying here and there to get back in shape. I honestly thought that the weight would fall off and life would go back to normal. Nope. Turns out that your body at 30 is a different beast. Nothing had worked and I was fed up. I knew I did better in classes, so I signed up for a free class at Burn Athletic and went.

It was sad. Half of what I used to be able to do, I couldn't. I didn't even have workout clothes that fit because I'd gained that much weight. I cried after that first class because I was so embarrassed. But the instructor was so encouraging, told me I did a great job and remembered me when I went back. And I kept going back.

February 2016 - no weight loss, about a month after I started
At first it was two classes a week. I started gaining strength back and it felt good. I was increasing my weights in my circuit classes, I was doing better with running. I was feeling better. My weight wasn't hardly moving, but I could feel a difference.  I started taking pictures so I could see the difference in my body since it became very clear I wasn't going to see a lot of difference on the scale.

March 2016 (forgive my sink) - about 5 lbs down
Once I felt like I had a decent amount of strength back, I took an m'bala class. I had taken yoga a few times at the Y, but that wasn't enough to give me the foundation I needed for m'bala.  M'bala was fast and it was hard. So I stopped taking the classes when I learned that Burn was going to do a Foundations of Yoga class.  I wanted to have a better handle on yoga before trying to add cardio and weights!

July 2016.  Now you can start to see changes! -  about 7 pounds
I'm not going to say the class was life-changing. That seems a bit over-dramatic. But it was a big turning point for me. I finally learned yoga. I learned how to do poses correctly, the meditation behind yoga, and was able to start pushing myself in the regular hot yoga classes and in m'bala.  I also met my friend Laura.

From there, two classes a week went out the door. I was up to three classes a week and Aaron and I discussed doing the unlimited monthly membership. It was $99/month and I was determined to make it economical. I went to four classes a week and then started doubling up on some days and ended up with 7 classes a week. In November alone I attended 28 classes.

August 2016. This is when the Fabletics obsession began! - about 10 lbs down
In September, my gym did the Whole 30 diet for 14 days. We called it Clean 14. We did it together. That was amazing to have that kind of support system. Up until then, I'd lost about 10 pounds total. I'd lost a ton of inches, but only 10 pounds. On Clean 14, I lost 7 pounds! It was a huge boost for my self-esteem and for keeping me on my journey.  Aaron and I are doing it again this month and two of our friends are joining us this time.

End of September 2016 - after Clean 14, 17 lbs down!
Never did I ever think that I would be this person. I'm the person that goes to the gym almost every day. I get cranky and feel fat when I don't. I had to rearrange my drawers to fit all my workout clothes. I enjoy cooking healthy and while I still have a love affair going with Cookout and sweet tea, I can find healthy balances elsewhere.

I've found strength in yoga. I've found yoga to be a safe place, somewhere I go to challenge myself in a healthy way. The other night, my thighs were particularly tight and I started cramping up when getting into some of my usual poses, so I modified. And it was okay. No one cares if you don't do any inversions that night or if you fall out. In fact, I think I get encouraged more when I do fall out of a pose. With yoga, I get to escape whatever is going on that day and just be.

December 31, 2016 - 15.2 lbs total
I feel like a badass when I run. I can run 2.5 miles! That's huge! Also never thought I would be able to say that.

Mostly, though, I've finally found myself again. She got lost. She did her best to survive and got lost for a while. But I found her. And we're kicking butt and taking names.

So, after a year, here's where I am:

Pounds lost: 15.2.  I was at 19, but then I gained 3.8 back over the Christmas/New Year holidays.

Inches lost (starting in September, I didn't measure before then):
  • Arms - 1.0"
  • Bust - 0.25"
  • Waist - 2.0"
  • Hips - 1.5"
  • Thighs - 1.0"
Sizes down: 1 (14 down to 12, XL tops down to L, sometimes M)

My first picture and my last picture. While I might have gained some weight over Christmas, I'm not going to argue with how far I've come.
It's been a year. A hard, but incredible year. I started with one class and went from there. I hope I keep on keeping it up! If you're on your own journey, look back to where you started. Be proud of you, of all the hard work you have done. No one sees the tears on the way home, hears the things you tell yourself to get one more rep in, or feels the pain in your muscles the next day when you get up and go again. Only you do. So if you aren't proud of yourself, who is going to be? Other than me, I'll be proud of you, too!

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