For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Fitness Journey--The Big PIcture of It All

Yesterday I posted on FB and then copied it to my blog about deciding to do something different one day and going for a walk, which was a killer one mile that day and is an easier 3.5 miles less than six months later. I have been thinking about blogging about my fitness journey, but honestly, it feels odd for ME to blog about fitness and weight loss. BUT, who knows? Maybe if folks see that an average person like me can do this, they will realize ANYONE can do this.

First, let me say up front, I am not a hardcore workout person. I am not a hardcore fitness person. I am not looking to be a size 4. I do not starve myself. I'm not into any of that. I've tried that. About 4 weeks of insane is my limit. So if you are looking for fast and furious results or a super muscle body, I'm not your girl. However, if you want weight loss in real life, here my story.

Long story short, I have been seriously overweight for about 20 years. In high school, I was always told I needed to lose weight because I didn't fit those evil little tables they had, so even though I was 133 pounds and a size 12 and all muscle, I felt fat. Then I got married, had babies, ate out due to unhappiness and boredom and honestly got fat.

In the last 20 years, I've tire the diets. As I said, they last about 4 weeks, and then I feel horrible. My body aches. I'm starving. And I say something akin "boo this".

So what is different this time? Last summer I built a covered deck, and in the process of carrying boards, climbing ladders, and all the hard work, my strength increased. By the time I was finished, my stamina had increased from tolerating 2 hours of hard work in the morning to 6-8 hours of work a day, and that was in July and August. Plus, the back pain I had endured for years was gone. By the time I finished the cover of the deck in October, I had a new project of renovating a house. Most of the inside work was done by someone else, but I did the outside work. I moved large landscape rocks and built fences and tore down a wooden playset and fort and did a boat load of manual labor...and loved it. Not only that, but all the cardio pulled the pounds off pretty easily, which was great!

But, I knew I wouldn't be renovating a house forever, and I didn't see myself working on a construction crew, so I contacted personal trainer Adam Napper at Lose Inches, LLC, and met with him. My desire was to have a structured work out plan in place by the time I finished my "unstructured workout.

The first thing we discussed were my goals, and I told him I had simple goals:
1. I want to be a size 12 again. Much easier to do a lot of things in life, and much easier to alter my pants, which is a big deal since my waist and hips are not fashion proportional. Plus, I like skirts and want my legs to look good.
2. I want to do 5Ks again.
3. I want to like how I look in the mirror.
4. I want a lifestyle, not a number. I know what the tables say. They say I should be around 140. When I was in college, I worked out and became incredibly tone, not athletic toned but slimmed down tone, and I was a size 4 and weighed 150 pounds. I'm not concerned about the tables. I'm concerned about being happy with how *I* think I look. He understood.
5. Whatever we do has to be sustainable for the res of my life. I refuse to do what I see so many people do where they lose weight, hit a goal, and go right back to the previous lifestyle and gain it all back. Nope. This was not about weight loss. It was my life, and whatever we did had to be sustainable for however long that life lasts.

I explained my limitations with my knee and concerns with my back, and we spent a month figuring out what worked and what didn't. I'll talk more about specifics in other posts, but I have to give huge compliments to Adam. He was GREAT at protecting my knee and back and encouraging me that beginning is a big deal, even when the beginning was as small as mine

By the time I was finished with the house renovation in January, I had my plan in place to step into the gym. At that point, I had lost around 10 pounds and a whole size in pants, and it was time to decide whether to keep going or not.

I chose to go for a walk.

It was shocking to me how hard that mile was after spending weeks working 5+ hours a day carrying heavy things, building fences, and so on, and it hurt. My knees hurt. My thighs hurt. I ached so bad, BUT I did it again because this time I decided I really wanted a particular lifestyle more than I wanted to be comfortable.

Besides walking, I was doing weights. Adam understood that I am not the kind to do eight million reps of easy weights. I want strength. I want muscle definition. I don't want to look like a boy, but I know my body, and heavy weights tone it and shrink it faster than those kazillion rep light weights. Plus, frankly, I do not have the attention span for all those reps. Nope. I wanted change, and I wanted it in a short amount of time, so during our month of planning, we figured out the top of what my body could handle, and that is what I did three times a week.

I was really getting into a rhythm when I got sick in February and spent the next 2 1/2 months fighting bronchitis and pneumonia. Needless to say, there was no toning or walking during that time because breathing took precedence. I finally got back into the gym the second week of May and have been walking Semper everyday and doing weights 3 times a week. This week I am finally once again at my pre-sick levels on weights and distance. Actually, I'm about a mile further on distance.

So in the last six months, I've worked out about 4 of it. I've only lost 25 pounds, but my jeans have shrunk three sizes. I've added pictures. I don't know if they really show the difference, but even without needing new clothes, I can tell a difference in how my body looks in the mirror and how it feels when I do things, like cross my legs or climb stairs. Obviously I still have a long way to go before I am where I want to be, but I am a lot closer than I was in January.

I'll give you more information on what I am doing and why and what works for me and what really doesn't work for me in other posts. For now, I'm tired from my workout, and I am going to go soak in a hot bath.

But before I go, let me assure you, I am not some super person with some super diet or super anything. I'm just a person who wanted a life different than I had and made some decisions to make it happen, and I'm still on the journey.

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