What a difference a year makes.
At the beginning of 2012, my fitness routine consisted of going to yoga class once a week (occasionally twice, but not very often). Now, I love yoga. It calms and relaxes me, and I can always find a new limit to push my body to. It was the first fitness thing I did after K was born and I realized how extremely weak and unfit I had become. At that time, in the fall of 2011, yoga once a week was about all I could handle. But in 2012, it was not enough, and I slowly came to realize that.
At some point in early 2012, my friend Tori introduced me to Nerd Fitness. I read several of the blog posts, and I was intrigued by the concept that you could be a nerd and actually enjoy and excel at working out. A seed was planted. But I was not quite ready to commit to an all-out journey toward health. I had tried various diets and fitness plans before, but I never managed to stick with them, mainly because I wasn’t seeing results in my appearance. But even though I wasn’t ready to make a change, the idea was simmering in the back of my mind. I continued reading the Nerd Fitness blog posts. Slowly, my mindset was changing.
In March of 2012, I decided to start trying to make changes. I joined the Nerd Fitness forum community. I started doing the Beginner Body Weight Workout 2-3 times per week. I was not ready to go full Paleo/Primal in my diet, but I did commit to not eating bread unless I had made it at home.
I was extremely weak. I was doing my push-ups on the wall. I could barely hold a plank for 15 seconds. I could only do 2 circuits of the workout before I was completely wiped out. I was so sore the next day that whenever I started to sit down, my thighs would give out about 5 inches above the seat and I would kind of drop down into it.
I was addicted.
The support of all the lovely people in the NF community urged me on. I started doing a little bit of yoga at home in addition to my classes.
In May 2012 I started my first 6-week challenge, and replaced the body weight workout with lifting weights in the free weight room at the local gym. I was a little intimidated by the various bros, but I did it anyway. I loved it. Using the barbell made me feel like a badass. I got my sister Hannah to join me. She felt like a badass, too.
In June 2012 I took a leap of faith and started the Couch to 5k program. I had always thought of myself as someone who couldn’t run, because of my build. But my attitude toward myself was starting to change. I got a good-quality sports bra and started. It was hard. But I did it. And I kept doing it.
In August 2012 I ran my first 5k. My goal was to finish in under an hour, even if I had to walk part of it. I ran the whole thing (slowly). I finished in 48:01. My awesome brother Aaron ran the whole thing at my slow pace to encourage me. It was awesome.
Also in August, I joined a CrossFit gym. I had heard of CrossFit before. But my perfectionist attitude had always been “I could never do that. I would be really bad at it.” But I had done lots of things I’d never thought I could. I was deadlifting and squatting over 100 pounds on the barbell. I had run a whole 5k. Slowly my attitude changed from “That would suck. I don’t want to do that” to “That looks fun. I should do that.” So I did.
You know what? CrossFit is hard. I’m usually one of the last people done. A lot of the time, I’m the weakest person in the room. Old, perfectionist me would have given up in disgust.
I love it. I love pushing myself to do a little better than last time. I love getting to the end of a workout and knowing I absolutely could not have pushed myself any further. I’m groggy and grouchy on days when I don’t get to go.
At the beginning of 2012, I was doing yoga once per week.
At the end of 2012, I have:
- Run 5k 5 times in 5 months
- Increased my Deadlift weight to 195 lbs.
- Increased my Squat weight to 160 lbs.
- Lost 2 shirt sizes
- Lost 2 pants sizes
- And, my hip measurement is now smaller than my waist measurement used to be!
None of these changes happened all at once. I changed one thing at a time, and I didn’t always succeed. Some days I missed workouts. Some weeks I missed workouts. I was NOT perfect. But I kept moving. I kept taking one step at a time. I don’t know if I’ve gone a thousand miles yet, but I took a step. And another one. And I’m going to keep taking steps until I get where I want to be.
And by then, I imagine I’ll have someplace else to be. Where do you want to be?