Saturday, February 13, 2010

My progress so far

It's been a while since I've really updated my status in my journey for fitness and weight loss, and, since I've been feeling good about it today, I figured now was as good a time as any.  I'm 22 lbs below my pre-pregnancy weight, and I fit into a size 12 pair of jeans.  My size 16's used to be tight.  I lost nearly all of the "back fat" that really bothered me, and my face has really thinned out.  Yay, me!

My husband has been behind a lot of my motivation.  He's 65 lbs less than what he used to weigh, and about 75 lbs less than his peak weight.  He started with Crossfit and pulled me in.  I have to admit, my attitude has never been the same since I began attending Crossfit classes.

Crossfit is a style of exercise that combines a lot of gymnastics training and Olympic style weight lifting with basic calisthenics.  All the movements are functional, and designed to build a physique that is strong with lots of endurance.  I think the best way to describe it is that it's like a boot camp style workout without any of the abuse.  Encouragement and smiling faces are all that you get at Crossfit.  The trainers at my gym are wonderful.  No matter what the exercise is, or how impossible it looks, their attitudes are always that I'll work up to it and conquer it, not that the harder movements are beyond my capabilities.  I've never felt that way before.  I've also never thought I'd be close to a handstand or that I'd ever even consider running a 5K.

My attitude has certainly changed.  I still really want to lose the weight, but my focus has shifted somewhat.  I'm more interested in running farther and faster, doing more pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups, and building the endurance to hike, swim or bike all day.  I want to be able to walk on my hands and do a cartwheel one day.  I feel strong after my workouts now, not just tired.  I feel tough and capable of handling anything, much like I used to feel in JROTC.  That's the part of physical training in high school ROTC that I miss the most.  I remember crawling under barbed wire on my belly in the dirt, a fake M-16 in my hands as I crossed a field with simulated gunfire overhead.  It was painful and awful as I went through it, but as I stood up, dirt in my mouth and nose, muscles sore and cramping and eyes watering, I felt like I could have conquered the world.  I felt so alive and so capable at that moment.  I know now that there were a lot of things wrong with what I did, looking back.  The desensitization to violence and war left me with issues that took a few years out of high school to heal.  But the feeling I got from those exercises really gave me confidence in myself and my body.  I missed that, and, up until recently, had no idea that I could get that feeling back without all the bad stuff. Crossfit to the rescue!

Crossfit has really changed the way I work out, and my attitude toward working out.  I used to think I wouldn't be motivated to exercise if I wasn't going to be doing something fun like hiking, bellydancing or climbing.  I also used to think that I couldn't get any meaningful exercise in without putting in an hour or more three or four days a week.  Now I do exhausting workouts 5 or six days a week that are almost all less than half an hour including warm-up and cool down.  I still fit some yoga and bellydance into my week, and hiking will always be my first love, but I see me regular workout as tools to help me do whatever I want with my body when it's time for fun.  I used to think the idea of me skiing or snowboarding was laughable.  Now I can't wait to try them.  I have a confidence in my body that I haven't known in a long time.

I still eat what I want in smaller portions, but at least 3 dinners a week are lean meats and veggies or salad.  I still refuse to eat fake sweeteners or fats, and I have cut the sugar in my diet down to just the necessities.  I love dessert, and I need a drop or two of agave nectar in my coffee, but spaghetti sauce needs no sugar, and I can't believe that I ever ate things like baked beans, chocolate chip pancakes, or catsup.  Only dessert needs sugar, damnit!  I also can't eat pre-packaged foods the way I used to.  Years of "detoxing" from all the crap and preservatives in the stuff you can buy at convenience stores has changed my taste buds.  I used to LOVE Ho-ho's.  Not the crappy Little Debbie knock-offs, but the real Hostess Ho-ho's.  I could eat two packages of those for lunch in high school.  I thought they were divine.  So, I decided to be nostalgic and eat one on a recent road trip back to San Diego.  Ugh!  I couldn't get through the first bite.  It didn't taste like the creamy, chocolatey cake roll I remembered.  It tasted like chemicals and plastic.  I felt wasteful, but I threw the whole thing out.

I eat more fruits, veggies and eggs than I ever used to.  I have a dessert everyday, but I have a small one that I savor and really enjoy.  Yoga still makes me crave whole, nutritious food like nothing else I've ever done before.  When I'm done with half an hour of yoga, I can't imagine eating pizza or cookies.  I just crave yogurt (plain, of course) and hummus and fruit.  There's something about quietly listening to my body that makes me feel that way.

I'm at a plateau now, stuck at about 146 lbs, but I'm okay with it.  I'll just stick to working out and feeling good, and I'm sure a few pounds will start to drop off eventually.  Pregnancy is the only thing that worries me now, but I think I have the tools to keep me fit through my pregnancy and ready to go after the baby's born.  Now I just need to work on getting pregnant...

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