TWLC3 – My Starting Point

Last year I participated in a fitness/weight loss challenge coordinated by Jenna at That Wife.  It was called That Weight Loss Challenge, and I joined as motivation to get into better shape, not necessarily to lose weight.  In the six months following, not only did I get into much better physical shape, I lost quite a bit of weight, and most importantly, I got “me” back – the me that is happy, carefree, confident, and outgoing.  I wrote a detailed post about why I was participating and my feelings about it, and at the end, I published another post talking about the success I felt at meeting my goals.

AFTER ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ BEFORE
The Results TWLC1 - The most dramatic change.

I have to admit, that since completing TWLC1, I have not been as diligent about what I eat and how I exercise.  Initially, I was blaming my inactivity on injuries that prevented me from exercising, but then I just had to admit that I’d gotten off track and it was my fault.  Fortunately, I have only gained a couple of pounds back since finishing TWLC1, and mostly I have lost fitness and gotten out of shape.  I did not participate in TWLC2 because I was super busy with school, still recovering from my broken foot, and just trying to figure out life as a full-time college student with kids.

That brings me to today (well, Monday, actually).  TWLC3 has started, and I am once again participating.  I am also not using it as a method of losing weight, rather as motivation to get back into a healthy lifestyle.  I mentioned my horrible family history in my original post last year:

Another reason I am determined to start this challenge is because I have a HUGE genetic target on my back that just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  My maternal grandmother was an obese diabetic who died of heart failure.  Heaviness and diabetes runs in my family.  My mom is diabetic – controlled with diet and exercise, but still – diabetic.  Last year, my younger sister was diagnosed as diabetic.  There are so many people in my family with health problems, and I have been lucky so far, but I don’t want to push the envelope any longer.

The end result of being in shape and fit is great; however, more importantly to me, is that I establish a lifestyle that will help my stay on earth as an active, productive member of society as long as possible.  I want to be able to hang out and spend time with my grandkids, dang it!  🙂

As with the first TWLC, one of Jenna’s requirements of participation is that each member submit four pictures of themselves – front view, side view, back view, and a picture of your feet on the scale.  This, for me, is once again the most difficult part of this challenge.  The last time, I wore sweats and a tank top for the before pictures and got all dressed up for the after pictures.  This time, however, I decided to use my swimming suit because I think seeing the difference in the before and after will be much more noticeable that way.

**Before I post these pictures, please remember that I am a person with feelings, and these pictures are VERY difficult to post.  If you’re a hater and want to be nasty, just go somewhere else.**

One of the biggest motivators for me last time was knowing that I had posted my pictures, goals, and timeline publicly.  That knowledge helped me keep myself accountable, and also helped keep me motivated to reach my goals.  I believe the same will be true this time, as well.

I have taken several additional steps this time to help me meet my goals:

  1. Todd and I joined Anytime Fitness, and I met with a trainer immediately to establish both a strength training and cardio work-outs and a schedule.  Having a partner to work out with is so much nicer than last time when I was all on my own for working out.  It’s another way to keep me accountable.  I am making it to the gym at least three days a week, but usually end up going five days.  The days I don’t make it to the gym I try to do at least something to keep active.
  2. I joined a group of women here called Team S.W.E.E.T. (Team Sexy Women Exercising Everyday Together).  We connect through a group page on Facebook (as does Jenna’s TWLC3), and it’s easy to find someone to work out with.
  3. I registered for my first Triathalon.  It’s a sprint triathalon (short distances), and is less than a month away, but since I’ve registered and paid the money, I know I’ll be working my arse off to get ready for it.
  4. I am registering for two events in the fall:
    1. The Color Run is a straight 5K fun run, and I’m using it as my first 5K and as a practice for the other one I entered.
      • The Color Run is a one of a kind experience that is less about speed and more about enjoying a color crazy day with your friends and family. Our events, are all about people of all different speeds, ages, shapes, and sizes toeing the start line.  Each kilometer of the event is associated with a designated color.  1k is yellow, 2k is blue, 3k is green, 4k is pink, and the 5k finish is a “Color Extravaganza.”
    1. The Warrior Dash is NOT a straight 5K fun run, rather it is a brutal obstacle course (that I popped off and said I’d complete before I turned 40 (I may have completely lost my mind)).
      • This 5k race is held on the most demanding and unique terrain from around the world. Participants will take on intense obstacles, and celebrate their feat with music, beer, and muddy shorts!
  5. I have explained to my daughters and family what I’m doing fitness-wise and how important it is to me, and surprisingly enough, they are keeping after me about making sure I am working out, eating healthily, and taking good care of myself.

With the TWLC3, we are doing weekly weigh-ins and measurements on Mondays, so my hope and plan is to publish a personal post about my progress, failures, and successes here Monday or Tuesday, each week, as well.