Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 Reflection (It's a long one)

So here we are at the end of December and I've been waiting all year to write this post.
The past 12 months have been monumental for me, life changing is not too extreme to use to describe my year. My boys are way too important to me for me to be unhealthy. Everything I do is for them, so this was the year I wanted to make me the best I can be so that I, in turn, can be the best for them - they deserve it!
This is what I looked like in January, 12 months ago (it's taking a lot for me to even post these, but I took them for a reason, so read on):
I was (at least) 30 pounds overweight and felt awful. I've been on the chubbier side of healthy (and at many times FAT) for most of my life, but several years back I lost a pile of weight and knew I needed to get back to that healthy life style.

The boys helped me make a chain link - 30 links long; one link for each pound I wanted to lose. I changed colors every five links just to change it up a little and to try to make the 30 pounds I needed to lose a little more manageable. I started and ended the links with yellow - the first 5 symbolizing the fat that was going away and the last 5 symbolizing gold medals!

On the 2nd of each month, my trusty best friend (and husband) helped me with my measurements (I measured arms, bust, waist, hips, thighs). I kept track of my weight daily (and still do) on a dry-earse board in the bathroom. Jeremy saw my weight everyday. It was good because I kinda felt accountable to him and on days my weight went down, he always complimented me (on days my weight went up, he either didn't say aything or would say something like, "we had a really salty supper last night, I'm sure it's just fluid retention." That's the kind of support that everyone needs.
The combination that I've been using to lose the weight isn't rocket science - it's the simple mathematical thought of
Therefore, my input had to be LESS than my output
my output had to be MORE than my input.
Diet and exercise.
I've been following Weight Watchers points system (I didn't join WW, just had some of the resources and followed those) and started exercising (being the spoiled person I am, I have access to a state-of-the-art fitness facility @ work).

My workouts consisted of treadmill, eliptical, and other cardio exercises (including some jogging intervals) from January - March, resulting in about a 20 pound weight loss over those 3 months.

Me somewhere around my 20-pound weight loss!
April 2, 2010, I decided that I was going to complete a 5K on May 16th. That gave me 6 weeks to get myself in good enough shape to make it those 3.1 miles without falling over.
My first attempt out running was not pretty - my lungs burned, my stomach ached, my head pounded, my spirit destroyed - I thought it would be easy. Ha! I'd come to find out that running is as hard as hell. Even to this day, there's no 'easy run' for me. I kept pushing forward and eventually ran 3.1 miles (with some walking intervals) in 34:00. So I decided to set my first 5K goal @ 32:00 or less.
May 16th arrived and I was so nervous for this race. It was very cold out that morning and I didn't really know what I needed as far as clothing. To my fault, I under-dressed, wearing just shorts and a short sleeve shirt. I probably needed pants and a long sleeve shirt. About 1 mile into the run, my legs were so freagin' cold I couldn't feel them any longer. 2.5 miles in, I started getting nauseous. I crossed the finish line in 30:03! Way under my goal time. The thought that crossed my mind as I crossed that finish line? Damn, I missed the 30:00 mark by 3 seconds, I'll do better next time. Even though I felt like throwing up at the moment, I knew I was hooked on running.

1st 5K - crossing the finish line
 My cheering squad
 To my total surprise, a medal! My 1st 5k - I placed!

The 5ks kept coming - you can see the list of races along the right side of my blog.
Every race has been different, but the one that that always seems constant is that I end up doing better than I think I'll do.

One highlight through all of this was vacation in Ocean City, MD. I actually took several bathing suits with me and LIKED putting them on, and didn't mind wearing them or people looking.
Here's a recap from vacation and how I stayed on my healthy journey:

Photos of me from vacation

 (It took a lot for me to post this because I'm usually trying to cover myself up while in a bathing suit. Check out my beautiful running shorts leg tan)

In August and September, I ran my best 5k times 26:38 and 26:25 earning two 1st place finishes in my age category and fueling my fire for more races and maybe bigger races. On August 2nd, I started thinking about trying a race with a bit more distance - 10k - that's 6.2 miles......

October 2nd, 2010, I ran my first 10k race in Hollidaysburg. My goal was to finish somewhere around 63:00, but I came in around 54:25 - - - - -crazy! Another 1st place age category finish. Awesome!

I have 1 more 5k in a few days - it's a New Year's Eve Twilight run through Lakemont's Lights on the Lake display - should be fun.

One last major feat I hit was being able to run 10 miles. Just before Christmas break started last week, I kick the treadmill's butt by running 10 miles in about 96:00 (that still keeps me under the 10:00/mile pace).
A quick summary of 2010 for me:
Between 33-35 pounds GONE!
Seven 5k races (plus 1 more in a few days) and one 10k race under my belt
Ability to run up to 10 miles at a time (OK, I only did this once so far, but I can still say I did it)
A new set of clothes (in a much smaller size) :)
Ability to manage stress much better
A healthier attitude toward my health
Made some new friends through running
All around happier

My LBD (little black dress) - size small!

 Being silly with Jackson (this was at the Oct 30 5k)

Coaching Jackson's soccer team

My motivation, inspiration, my everything:

So the next logical thought is:
What's in store for 2011?
That will be my next post (that's my way of saying, "I'm not sure yet!")

Thanks for reading.


Hetrick family said...

So much I LOVE about this!!!

I am so glad you took the time to keep such a detailed record of your accomplishments!! You have so much to be proud of. I LOVE that you are taking care of YOU, but that ultimately it is all for the boys. There isn't much--or anything-- a mother's (or wife's) love can't achieve. So proud of your life change. I mean, yeah, the weight loss is super impressive, but the life change is the hard part!! Three cheers for Amy--Hip hip HOORAY!!!!!!!!!! I am really hoping I get to witness your first 1/2 marathon first hand!!! I'm pretty excited!!

Angela said...

Your weight loss journey is amazing and inspiring! Congratulations on your achievements!