So, snow day #2, and while I plan on getting actual work done (or at least housework and some grading), I finally got around to scanning.
I talk a lot about health and fitness (among other things), but it’s not like I’ve been this way forever. After trying out for basketball in middle school and getting rejected, I gave up on ever playing sports. I think running is about the most boring thing on the planet, and I think going to the gym is a waste of time because it takes me more time to get there than I spend there. If I just speedwalk the amount of time the trip takes just to get there, I would have burned the calories I would have burned at the gym. I love to swim, but I get serious sinus infections every time I start swimming regularly.
I also love food. My love of food is very different than it used to be, but I love food. I love shopping for it, cooking it, and eating it.
So, when people say the secret to fitness is “diet and exercise,” I understand why people cringe. However, it really isn’t that hard to find exercise that is convenient and fun, and once you’ve given up bad foods for long enough, you really do stop craving them. Or, you give into your craving and realize, eh, that just isn’t what I wanted/remembered it to be.
At my height of depressed eating, consumption of processed, high-calorie foods, and lack of physical exercise, I was 17 years old and weighed 240lbs. I had bad knees from genetics, but the weight strain made it even worse.
Though I lost 30lbs my freshman year of college, I still sprained my knee at the beginning of my sophomore year during kickboxing class. It was something that had happened countless times before (my kneecap started popping out of place on a frequent basis around puberty- yay, genetics!), but after physical therapy and doctors visits, I had two knee surgeries in college which allowed me to not have to worry about dislocating my patella while turning a dance move or landing a roundhouse kick.
Meanwhile, I went vegetarian, and after a summer of walking 10 miles a day and running around after little kids, I was 170lbs. That was a miracle to me. So, then, I had my eyes set on 160, something I hadn’t seen since middle school. Well…
Senior year of college, I gained 2 or 3 lbs, then my first year of grad school, I was up to 178. After that, Mike moved in and I decided to go vegan in Oct/Nov of 2007. Well, he freaked out about it, so, you know, I spent my first year and a half or so of being vegan baking cookies and cupcakes and eating lots of carb-heavy dishes that Mike would like and would assure him that me being vegan didn’t mean the end of our lives.
Then, in Jan/Feb of 2009, I was back up to about 195. I couldn’t believe myself. Fortunately, Mike had put on weight, too, and he was no longer of the belief that veganism meant we couldn’t eat out anymore or things like that. I picked up Eat to Live and started changing my lifestyle, not just my diet. By August of that year, I was back to 175, and we were both eating healthier. In my first year of teaching, I was able to stay away from the kitchen throughout the day and started eating fewer carbs to really align with E2L. That combined with the ridiculous amount of walking I do in my classroom (see, reform teaching isn’t just good for the students!) and back and forth to work, I got down to about 166 by June last year. Last summer, I did Power 90, and I saw muscles… MUSCLES! I could be muscular!
And now, even after a cruise with limitless food (okay, so my unlimited food was limited to the salad bar… sometimes being vegan makes life easier) and rich winter foods, I’m at 155. 155. I had a coworker tell me, “You’d never think it!” Meanwhile, I was thinking, “Yayyy!!” I guess the number seems high to others, but it’s definitely a success for me.
Fitting into some size 10s after once having to buy size 18 pants, that’s success. 85 lbs down, that’s success. Seeing my collar bone, that’s success. Seeing muscles, that’s success. And waking up with energy, being able to run up several flights of stairs and recover quickly, being able to jog a 5k the whole way through, that’s success. And every day when I finish a workout video, I feel successful, because I’m doing something for me and I feel good.
Not every day comes easy, and salads and steamed veggies don’t always seem more appealing than a big pasta dish. However, I find that the more often I make the healthier choice, the easier it is to make that choice.
So now, I’m going to go push play and work toward my goal of better fitness and a weight of 140lbs (just to say I lost 100lbs, really). I like being able to do push-ups when before I thought I would never be able to do them, just like I like working on my doctorate when I had never thought of myself working beyond a master’s degree. We are all capable of so much more than we think. You are, too.
Today’s workout: Punch, Kick, and Jam