We are inundated everyday with fast food, packaged food and the easy life. For everyone that has shared a little knowledge here and there I want to pay it forward and maybe one or two things I share will help someone else.
My journey to be healthier is a long one and there is more to go. Getting healthy became more of a priority when I quit my day job to do Sawaya Consulting full time. I started going to the gym regularly and picked up yoga as well. We were variously committed to our gym and yoga schedule.
In 2011 Steve and I started doing work with a local gym and as part of that we started working out with a personal trainer once a week. That increased to twice a week and Steve lost some serious weight. In 2012 I bought a Groupon (remember those?) and started Antigravity Yoga. Steve soon joined and our lives fell into a gym and yoga routine.
Early in 2013 it was time to change gyms. The search for a new place led us to a humorous, torturous morning with a man we now call “shorty shorts”. We met him at the gym one night and he had us come in for a session. We were really looking forward to it. Then we showed up. This seemingly professional trainer was in the smallest booty shorts and skimpiest tanktop I’ve ever seen on a man. He beat the crap out of us (both of us ended up sick on the floor at one point) then stuck us on the treadmill for 15 minutes. Never again.
Then the heavens opened and we walked into 212 Fitness. Well, ok. We were stopping at Rite Aid and forced ourselves to walk in. We survived shorty shorts, we could at least stop in. We took the intro class, we did a free week, we signed up for three months. We went to our first workout. I’m still surprised I finished it. 200 jump ropes, 100 mountain climbers, 50 squats, 100 mountain climbers and 200 jump ropes. I finished last. But I finished, in no small part because a girl in the class encouraged me to keep going. Then things started to change.
I have a workout buddy who is 5-10% better than me at everything. She makes me add another 5 or 10 pounds. She makes sure I don’t take a barbell to the face. She tells me I did a good job when I slog my slow butt across the parking lot. She entered me into the body fat loss competition.
She just informed me one day that I was doing it. I told her I was too busy. She said she didn’t care and that I was doing it. So I did it.
I can workout, I love it. If you’ve talked to me at all since April 2013 you know how much I love 212. The people, the space and most definately the owners Josiah and Jamie.
I also love cake and whiskey. Mayo and fries. Hot dogs and hamburgers. The worse it is for you the more I love it. I come from a hungry tribe and we love to get together and eat. Then have dessert. Then pie with a side of pie.
Josiah casually mentioned he offers nutrition counseling. Since Mer had signed me up for the body fat loss competition and it lined up with final weigh in being the day we left for Costa Rica I signed up for nutrition counseling.
Let me tell you, some of the best money ever spent. I upped my workouts to four times a week, followed his plan to the letter and here I am. Lighter, happier and healthier. When I went for final weigh-in at the UofU the technician was blown away that I’d lost 5% in 6 weeks. She told me I must have a very good program. I got a little misty in the eyes when I saw the number (those of you that know my math skills know I had to pull out my calculator to triple check that it was really 5%). Same great feeling pulling on the smallest size pants of my adult life a couple weeks later.
10 Things I Learned that Might Help You
This has been a life-long struggle for me and for my family (see: pie with side of pie). Doing the challenge really taught me a few things and I hope something helps you.
- Find a tribe. The gym and people at 212 kept me motivated and accountable. From the closed Facebook group to seeing people in class it helps to be around people with similar goals.
- Lift heavy. Get yourself a burly workout partner that will kick you into shape. You need to exercise anyway, no matter your goal. I’m up to 150#s on my dead lifts. Nay too shabby for a geek.
- Stay motivated. This is my iPhone lock screen (pre-ios7/non-parallax here) and I literally make myself read it before walking into any place that has food. I follow inspirational people on Facebook and Tumblr.
- It’s all in the food. I’ve eaten approximately one hen house in the last 7 weeks. My loss, even with 4 days at the gym plus yoga would have been minimal. It’s the food. Sorry. Truth hurts. I’m still mad about it.
- Become a party pooper. No alcohol, no sweets, no bad food. Plan ahead, shop for three days and don’t deviate. Not once. All those little moments add up—either in your favor or negatively on the scale.
- Avoid situations you aren’t strong enough to overcome. The second week in I had to skip going out to breakfast. I would have shived someone for a hashbrowns. By week 7 I went to a party and easily avoided alcohol, eclairs and BBQ.
- Don’t try to fake it. You cannot do some favorite foods in a healthy way. There is no healthy Oreo.
- There is a link between food an anxiety. I’ve only found a few things to support this but I will tell you, if you have anxiety and you eat clean the thoughts that gnaw at your soul will quiet down. I was the happiest clam you’ve ever met eating this way.
- This is forever. Exercise and what you eat is forever. There is no “now I’ve done it!” There is only “I met my goal!” And then you get a new one. Your new one may be to keep attending the gym regularly, but there is no “done” moment until you drop into a pine box. My next goal is to be my wedding weight.
- Listen to your trainer. You don’t know better. He does. You do your web design or your accounting or whatever you are good at and let him do his thing. Pay the money, follow the plan and let your results be your answers.
If you want to talk about any of this with me I’d love to!
I could not have done all of this and stayed strong without the help of my friends and family.
- Thanks Steve for doing this with me and supporting me. And telling me again (more specifically this time) where you see my weight loss.
- Thanks Kira for eating the same plan and joined the workouts while you were here. Thank you extra for always being as excited I was with my numbers and progress.
- Thank you Karen and Melissa for keeping me on the plan and for planning around and providing options for my nutrition plan.
- Thank you to the 7 am crew at 212. I was intimidated as all hell the first time I met Mer but she’s been a great partner.
- Most of all thank you Josiah for pushing me along and putting together such a great plan and a great gym.
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Update: January 2014
I originally wrote this back in August 2013. It’s now January and I’ve successfully kept the weight off (I’m down 21 pounds as of this morning). I’m doing another round of super strict eating which awesomely again coincides with a trip to Costa Rica. If you want to learn more about 212 click here, check out this super good looking model, or join our Facebook group that I formed as a support system for anyone trying to be healthier, it’s called Leans, Greens & RDLs.
What are your goals? How can you be healthier?
Update: April 2014
This is a picture that accurately depicts one year to the date of what clean eating and going to my gym can do. We often celebrate our wedding anniversaries in Las Vegas and this was taken before we went to dinner in 2013 and 2014.