A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Fitness

Thursday, May 31, 2012
In October, I embarked on a health and fitness campaign that was designed to change my lifestyle. Not a "diet," not a "plan" - a change in how I live.

I began strength training 6 days a week. I increased my cardio from 1 hour a day four days a week to 1.5 hours a day 6 days a week and 1 hour on the 7th day (my day of rest). I watch my caloric intake without being too obsessive about it. And so far I've been pretty successful. I've lost about 40 pounds. I'm stronger than I've ever been in my life, and I can see my muscles gaining definition underneath the subcutaneous fat. It's getting harder and harder to get my heart rate above 130 during cardio. Success by any reasonable measure, I would say.

But that's not the hard part for me. I've always been able to lose weight. It's keeping it off that's a problem.

So in mid-April, more than half-way to my goal, I decided to take a break and try to MAINTAIN. I decided to do so through May, mostly because we had a series of house-guests and trips, and I wanted to be able to enjoy those things without obsessing about what I was eating. And now, seven weeks after beginning my maintenance hiatus, I weight .6 lbs more than I did on April 9th. Dudes - that's a rounding error. Success!

And here's the weird part: Monday, when I was visiting family on the East Coast, I went for a morning walk. And I COULD NOT get my heart rate over 100 - the combination of exercising at sea level and my new-found level of fitness was conspiring. So I did something I never thought I'd do again: I RAN.

Please note that for many, many years, I swore that the only reason I could think of to run anywhere was if I was being chased by Giant Squids. Running sucks. Running BLOWS. I still hate it. But I did it, and for the first time in months, I didn't have trouble getting my heart rate above 130. Of course, the next day, my hips were completely stove up (although my knees appear to be okay), so I paid for daring to expand my physical horizons.

And now it's time for me to finish this up and move on. I think I need to lose about 20 more pounds, although I really have no idea what the actual value is. I just know in my mind how I want my body to look, and when I get there, I'll go on the maintenance plan that worked for me over the last seven weeks. But in the meantime, I'm going to tentatively add running to my program twice a week as a jump start and see how it goes. If my knees start to protest, I'll have to re-evaluate, but for now - I'M A RUNNER. So weird.

12 comments:

The Mechanicky Gal said...

Wow. I can only shake my head in amazement. But also, I am stoked that you can do this. Go you!

vince said...

Congratulations!

Stacey said...

Congrats. I think. This reminds me that hard work is always rewarded by more hard work. yay?

John the Scientist said...

You can run with my wife the next time you are on the East Coast.

Janiece said...

John, I'm not running with your wife. She runs marathons, and shit, and I'm certainly not up for THAT.

Megan said...

I'm impressed. Good for you.

Laur said...

You Go Sister, run like the wind and then catch your wind. You are honor and you are respect and you are driven. Having said that, and I respect all of that, take care of yourself. You will get there, just don't hurt yourself on the way, ok? You've got a marathon in you, it just can'tbe rushed, but it is there. Stay healthy, breathe, train well.

Janiece said...

Laur, there's not much chance of a marathon in my future. I'm running for 20 minutes twice a week (in addition to my current program). That's a long way to a marathon. Plus, you know - RUNNING SUCKS.

Rachael said...

Woohoo! :)

Janiece said...

Don't be smug, Rachael. It's very unbecoming, you know.

::snort::

gatewathealth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Janiece said...

*TONG*