Today was the conclusion of my health club's 55 Day Weight Loss Challenge. I joined the contest with a team with four other Sole Sisters in early January. Over the past two months, we struggled together. We celebrated together. In the end, it was a fabulous team effort! We lost a total of 100.2 pounds or 11.3% of our body weight. I'm so proud of all of them! Weight loss is not easy, but we pushed each other along nearly every single day. I'm so grateful to my Sassy Slimming Sole Sisters (Kelli, Renee, Laura and Michelle) for helping me push past my comfort level...
I lost -24.9 pounds!
13.7% body weight
How? It's the most frequent question people ask me through this journey. The answer is two-fold and quite simple... Hard Work and Dedication. (Thanks Dolvett!)
#1 - HARD WORK
in the gym, around the track, in the pool, on the bike...
You need to burn more calories than you consume. And by burn, I mean sweat your ass off... not a casual jog around the park. Several times a week, I put in two-a-days (workout in the morning and again at night) to cash in on the magical "afterburn". The longer and harder you workout, the greater the post-exercise metabolism increase and the longer it lasts. During the final week of the weight loss challenge, I did two-a-days every. single. day. Exhausted, but I eliminated nearly 5 lbs over a 5 day period (making up for that week-long vacation!).
To give you an idea of my workload over the Weight Loss Challenge, I kept track of my key activities. Here's what it takes for me to lose 25 pounds in 55 days...
Ran 250 miles
Biked 235 miles
11 Spinning classes
Swam 18,500 yds or 10.5 miles
7 Yoga sessions
4 Elliptical sessions
Numerous circuit workouts
#2 - DEDICATION
to a healthy change in my food choices.
The biggest part of my success the last two months has been a change in my food selection. I'm a firm believer that for weight loss to last, it must be a realistic change. I can't expect to eat separate meals from my family. We are an old fashioned family that sits down around a table, says our prayers and eats together... every night. So the food aspect was a big challenge for me. No fad diets here. I'm in it for the long haul.
I focused our meals around lean protein and an assortment of fresh vegetables. I minimized carbs and switched to whole grain whenever possible. I completely cut out salt and soda. I have a sweet tooth and every afternoon, it ached. Sometimes I fulfilled it with fruit, and other times, I gave in to chocolate. The most important lesson I learned was balance and moderation. One aspect I had to balance was the checkbook. Undeniably, eating fresh and healthy IS more expensive when you're feeding a family of four. In the long run, it's a great investment, but still a challenge of current money and time to keep fresh foods in the house.
This latest weight loss success has made me slightly nostalgic. I started my weight loss journey in the fall of 2008 when I topped the scales at (gulp)... 230 lbs. Seriously, right? I was miserably obese with a depression that transferred to every area of my life. At the peak of my life with two baby girls, I was falling apart at the seams. My heart breaks when I think of the hell I put my husband and mother through. They truly are my life vests.
I started walking, then wogging and finally running. I quit smoking and cut down the alcohol. It began a gradual weight loss that changed more than just the number of the scale. Running changed my life. I fell in love with the run and how it made me feel. It was contagious, a healthy addiction for once. It made me a better person, a better mom, wife, daughter and friend. This is why I write about running - it is a passion, a love, that I believe has the potential to change everyone's lives.
Then & Now...
My journey continues... Keep on Running!