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It really is work

06/08/2009

I’d love to be able to tell you that just changing my diet worked for me to lose the almost 100 pounds I’ve lost to date.  It would be magical to think that the pounds just melted off and never want to return.  But alas this isn’t a magical fairy world and I actually had to work to lose the weight.

I knew immediately that working out in some way, shape or form would have to be part of my new lifestyle because I like to eat way to much and I couldn’t cut that many calories while still enjoying food.  I started out by just walking around my neighborhood with my best friend.  We would take her daughter in the stroller and take turn pushing her.  I also used the elliptical and Treadmill at the gym I had joined.  After a few weeks I started to attend the step classes offered at my gym.  It was a teeny tiny gym but I loved the step class and the instructors. 

I also fell in love when I discovered FitTV during my summer vacation after finishing my last year of teaching.  I would do yoga or a cardio class every morning.  I liked starting my day with activity but it didn’t hurt that my day didn’t start until 8.30 or 9 am. 🙂

When I arrived at the seminary I attended I loved the free fitness room.  I had access to the Treadmills, Ellipticals, and weights whenever I wanted in addition to a big cardio room for Fitness DVD’s and the steps and everything included.  I spent a lot of time down there.  It was my sanctuary from all the craziness that was happening at times.

But I started to notice the weight coming back on even though I didn’t change my exercise habits.  I hadn’t yet realized that the eating of free unlimited food was the problem so I decided to up the exercise.  My trainer (supplied at the school’s gym) suggested I try running to up the intensity.  I started the couch to 5K in April of my first year and by Labor Day I was ready to run a race.  I ran my first 5K in under 45 minutes!  I was pumped and kept it up. 

However like I said before I injured my back.  Not more than 3 months after my triumph of my race (and two others) I was laid up with severe back pain.  My doctor suggested I keep up the fitness to hopefully help the pain.  I kept walking on the Treadmill but was extremely frustrated that all my hardwork seemed to be slipping away.

By the time I had surgery in September 2008 I had a hard time walking.  I was out of the hospital a week after surgery and immediately started Physical Therapy.  I was determined that back surgery was not going to stop me from being healthy and fit.  I admit that I pushed myself a bit much at first.  I hated my walker and started walking with a cane a bit to soon.  And when I started PT full time I was told by my therapist to slow it down and let my body adjust.  But everything he told me to do I did with gusto.  I even bought a step when my PT gave me exercises to do with it.  I was obesessed with improving and being back to where I was before the surgery.  My doc and PT both say that my recovery was because of my determination and my fitness before the surgery.

Now that I’m cleared by the PT and doctor I’m running again.  In fact I have run 2-5K’s and a 4 mile race and intend on running at least one more this fall.  And now I’m training for a 10K and hope to sign up for one this coming spring.  And I see my trainer twice a month and do her workouts at least 2 times a week in between. 

I know that I can’t go back and stop working out because all my health will suffer.  My back would weaken, I would gain weight and I would be miserable.  I love the endorphins and seeing how my hardwork is paying off.  It really is work but its well worth it.

Question: Did you start exercising immediately or did you add it in later?

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