Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2 Months on the Couch, Bad Idea

After a week of staring at the lighted sign across the parking lot from my favorite coffee spot and perusing the pages of the Biggest Loser Fitness Program, I finally worked up the courage to walk back into the gym. It’s amazing how much progress one loses in fitness after sitting on the couch for 2 months!

My legs and arms are spaghetti. I hurt in places where I never knew muscles exist. I smell like stale sweat. But, as pretentious as it may be, I am still proud of myself.

When I first stepped on a treadmill almost 2 years ago, I walked a 24 minute mile. I couldn’t do a single girlie push-up. I was wearing a size 20 in stretchy jeans.

2 months ago I was jogging a 12 minute mile, doing 3 sets of 10 military style push-ups, and a full size smaller than I am today.

Now I’m able to jog a 13 minute mile. I can do 3 sets of 5 military style push-ups. I am wearing a size 12 in non-stretchy jeans (laying on the bed, wiggling into spandex-stretch jeans, and nearly convulsing as I roll and jump myself into the sausage casing, I can pull a 10!).

So, I’m a little fatter, a little slower, a little weaker, but I’m a heck lot further than where I’ve been and I’m determined to never go back.


  1. Excellent! When you're young, getting in shape and losing is faster, so it is good to keep it off. At my age, I go on a diet, and my husband loses weight!!

  2. Great job!

    The most important thing is knowing you can do it. Even if you did gain it back, you can know that you can control your destiny.

    I had a similar experience, except I was very stubborn about losing the weight. I had been going to graduate school and working full time, so I was always sitting or sleeping. I was stubborn about dieting because I am generally stubborn and because I really didn't want to be a slave to the expectations (i.e. the expectations that I be thin.) Oddly enough, I started walking because I thought it would help relieve stress and help me sleep better. Eventually, as I walked faster, I felt compelled to run. I became addicted to it because of the meditative aspects. I have never felt at such peace as when I was running. And then I entered races because I loved the idea of running with a lot of people. So I ran and I didn't cut down on the calories at all, because I love food. After about a year and a half I had lost just over 100 pounds. That was almost ten years ago. It was painless, well except for a couple of knee injuries. I have kept most of it off.

  3. Thank you Chris and Christine for the words of encouragement!

    Christine - 100 pounds! That's amazing! I've often thought of getting myself ready to enter races for the joy of being able to say that I CAN do it, but every time I get up the nerve to set that goal, I let it slip out of reach. It's really inspiring to know that someone's been through it successfully.

  4. I'm really proud of you for what you have accomplished! Size 20 to a size 10/12 is fabulous! You can totally get back where you want to be in no time! Good for you. :)

  5. Samantha,
    I always set my goals low and exceed them. Does that sound backwards? It probably is, but it seemed to work. My goal was always just to get to the gym and I told myself if I didn't like it then I could turn around and go home. My goal with races was to not be last. Anything better than that was good. But, I would always check the results to see where I was compared to the top 5 in my age group. One time I checked and I was surprised to find my name in the top 5! Just goes to show you, success can sneak up on you when you're not looking.

  6. I swim and do the same thing as Christine does -I just have to get to the pool and into the water, and tell myself the same - if I don't like it, I can leave. It works!

  7. It sounds like you are on the move!!!!

    Stopping by from SITS!

  8. Keep up the good work, have you ever considered becoming a vegan????

  9. Hi Chris - I find myself talking myself into working out in the same way!

    Hi Zoe - I am a vegetarian, although not completely vegan. My biggest problems are bread and sweets. Chocolate is pure evil. One of the things I've found, which is sort of counter-intuitive, is that when I was a meat-eater, it was actually much easier to stick to a diet because it was easier to adapt diet programs and menus to what I was eating. Now, I find that I'm much more hungry and fighting my hands as they reach for cheese and chocolate.

  10. Sorry Christine, I didn't mean to overlook your comment! Starting small is definitely something that I need to work on. Thank you for the comment! I'm one of those people who throws herself head first into a new initiative with gusto, focusing on the end goal, which is why I probably tend to fizzle out of the energy to push forward. It's sounds like you have really done well keeping the smaller goals in perspective.