Put it in the books, I’m officially done with my first installment of the 12-week fitness program!
It certainly wasn’t easy and there were some days that I didn’t want to keep going, but I managed to stick with it, and somehow fell in love with the process. In fact, I loved it so much that I’ve continued with the motions and have extended my journey!
That first initial weigh-in hurt in the worst way, finding out I was at my heaviest I had ever been in my life. I knew that I had packed on a few pounds, but the numbers didn’t lie, kids: I had my work cut out for me.
I should disclaim for each month, I had set a list of mini-goals to accomplish. Mainly, it was to lose x-number pounds, increase weight lifting by x-number and run for x-number minutes.
At the end of the first month, I decided that I wanted to lose and keep off seven pounds, run for a solid two minutes and use 8-pound hand weights. I missed the weight goal margin by 0.8 of a pound and I immediately felt discouraged. Seven pounds shouldn’t have been that hard to keep off, but why was it? I had crushed all the other goals, but the weight wasn’t coming off at the rate I wanted.
In February, the plan was to keep it the same, this time pushing myself extra hard to lose 9.8 pounds, run for four minutes straight and up the hand weights to 12 lbs. Aside from two days at the end of the month, I went to the gym every single day and had recruited my friend in the journey! I felt myself getting stronger with each passing day, though the weight seemed to be a standstill.
It wasn’t a sprint, it’s going to be a marathon and I had to constantly remind myself that I had to stay persistent. It wasn’t going to happen overnight.
Though I couldn’t run the full four minutes, I jumped up to the 12-lb hand weights. On the scale, I had only lost 5.9 pounds, but I felt my body becoming more defined and more toned, which is why I didn’t kick myself while I was down.
I had always thought that losing weight just simply meant losing the pounds. The thought of being muscular turned me off and I didn’t want to get too buff. However, the more reps I did, the more I loved seeing my arms chisel out and my stomach becoming more defined, I quickly changed my tune and embraced the muscle.
Noticing a pattern, I realized that I wanted to set realistic goals for the month of March. I set the bar for 9.1 pounds for the month, but wanted to make sure I was doing techniques right and growing my newly discovered muscles. The stigma of being buff wasn’t at the forefront of my mind anymore, it meant that I was getting stronger and I wanted to be that strong, fierce girl I knew was once inside me.
All was great, until March 10, when I sprained my ankle.
When the injury happened, I was so disappointed because I knew it meant I would have to stop working out and that all the progress I had made would be lost. It was incredibly frustrating because I had no idea how long I’d be shelved over a fluke injury.
No way to start your 24th birthday than on couch-rest and binge-watching a season of Lost. Thankfully, I was better with a day of RICE and the sprain was a lot better than it could have been.
Deciding to give myself a full week to recover, I was eager to get back to the gym, anxious to see if the injury would impact my ability to work. I took a few days to get acclimated with the new hardware around my ankle, but felt myself get back to my old pace in no time.
Wrapping up the 12 weeks, I realize that it’s a lot harder to lose the weight. My goal was to lose roughly 20 pounds in the first quarter and at the final weigh-in, I came in 17.1 pounds lighter. As the weeks went by, I felt that I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted bi-weekly, but looking at side-by-side photos from January to now, it’s pretty miraculous to see the hard work pay off.
See for yourselves. The left photo was taken on the first day of the program and the right was taken on the last day.
My clothes fit better, I’m not as uncomfortable in my own skin and I feel the strongest and healthiest I’ve ever been. Not only has my physical health improved, but it’s really got me in tune with my mental health and social health. I find myself looking for health-conscious choices and don’t find myself snacking on crap as much as I used to.
To be fair, there’s still days that I want to call it quits, order up a large pizza and not move from my bed for days on end, but as a favor to myself, I don’t ever want to get to that point again. I do still have my cheat days and I still don’t make the best choices, but I’ll never let myself be her again.
Part of me misses the binge-eating and indulging, but now I indulge in healthy things, like Halo Top ice creams and protein bars.
By no means am I anywhere near the weight I want to be at, but I’m on the right track and have never felt this motivated before. Going to the gym has become an hour-and-a-half of work, pushing my body to new levels I didn’t know I could reach and I’m loving the process and the results.
I can’t wait to see what kind of noise I can make come July if I keep up with the regime!