Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yo-Yo Fitness

Fitness and I have a love/hate relationship. I'm going to be super-honest in this post, in hopes that by writing about it, I'll gain some perspective. I am using weight for reference, because for me, weight (and how my clothes fit) is an accurate reflection of where I am fitness-wise. I know it's often said not to use weight as a measure of fitness, but unless I start doing something that makes me completely ripped and gain a ton of muscle weight, my scale is going to speak the truth. This certainly doesn't hold true for everyone, but it does for me. My ideal weight is 112 lbs and it has been for years.

Let's go way back. I've always been quite small. I came into the world at 6 lb 2 oz, and was a petite little kid. Pre-pubescence hit around age nine, and despite my mom having to buy me a training bra in Florida after seeing me in a bathing suit, (which lead to me trying to learn how to put on said bra in the back of a rental car - ha!) I gained a few pounds in the chest area but not really anywhere else.

Then I had a growth spurt, which made me the tallest girl in my class for about a month. My height plateaued at 5'3'', where I am today. In grade six I weighed 80 lbs and I graduated high school at 100 lbs. I was never much into sports, except for playing baseball in Little League and a few years of intramural volleyball (go Champlain).

The year I started physio school (university year three), I gained 15 pounds in the first few months, likely due to stress and my previous summer job having messed up my metabolism (shift work sucks). It took until the next fall to burn that off, which was done by eating more sensibly (i.e. not taking three desserts in meal hall).  When I graduated university, I was 105 lb.

My first year with a real job was also the first time I started working out regularly. I joined the local gym and went every day after work. I learned I liked the elliptical and stair master but hated treadmills. I also liked weight training but hated step aerobics. I think it's really important not to try to force yourself to do something for fitness that you don't enjoy, but to try lots of different things. I joined a learn to run group, but realized it wasn't for me. I was happiest at the gym, working out independently, where I could set my own pace, turn on my Discman (I'm that old), and focus on a healthy balance of weights and cardio. I bopped along like this for several years and kept my weight fairly steady at 112 lbs. There were times when I'd visit the gym almost daily, and times where I'd skip entire weeks without setting foot in the place.

Then one day, I decided to try a spin class at the gym and I fell in love. I gradually built up to doing three one-hour spin classes a week, which was great because that was definitely all the cardio I needed and kept my legs toned too. I could focus all my weight training on my arms, which is what I liked best anyway. I still stayed at 112 lbs.

I moved to Vancouver  for a few months in 2011 and walked everywhere. I even took to running on the Seawall occasionally and bought some rollerblades. Okay, I only rollerbladed three times, but I am still looking for a patient person to learn with me! Unfortunately, I had to be on prednisone during my time in Vancouver, which caused some weight gain and the sense of always being hungry. I was just under 120 lbs when I moved back to Nova Scotia.

When I came back from Vancouver, I discovered Beachbody programs. The first one I tried was P90X. I made it through the program but I wasn't very dedicated with the schedule. I'd skip days and even skip certain workouts if I didn't feel like doing that particular one. I also tried Brazil Butt Lift (hated it), Insanity (wanted to cry every day), Focus T25 (pretty good - finished it before Jamaica in 2013), and P90X2 (hated it).

Jamaica 2013

Last spring when our wedding was in sight and I need some serious toning, I tried P90X3. I was leery of it as I hated X2 with a passion, but wanted to give it a go. X3 turned out to be "my program". I got up every morning before work (which is NOT easy for me) and pressed play. I found it to be the perfect combo of cardio and weights with lots of body-resistance, yoga, and pilates too. I think I started at 115 lbs and ended up at 110 lbs for the wedding. Not a huge loss (nor was I looking for one), but I felt super-healthy and toned. I should also mention that I bought 12 Ultra Slimfast chocolate shakes that I drank just twice per week as a liquid lunch for six weeks before the wedding.

In Vegas

After the wedding, we moved into the new house, which was amazing and exciting, but not set up for me to continue with my work-outs right away. I felt like I needed to give myself a bit of a break, but my intended one-month break turned into several months. Throw Christmas and a wicked sweet tooth into the mix and it's a recipe for disaster.

As I write this, I'm almost in tears, as I told myself for this post that I would step on the scale and take a photo of what it said. So, I did ... three minutes ago.

I am right now officially the heaviest I have ever weighed in my life, and it's only four months after  the wedding, where I was so happy with my fitness! How did this happen? How did I gain eleven pounds in four months? Oh yeah, being lazy and eating junk. I should have known, as I'm actively avoiding wearing certain pants due to an uncomfortable waistband. I have way too much invested in my wardrobe to have to buy new stuff!

Last week, I started Piyo, another Beachbody program.  I think I will do Piyo and then another round of P90X3. I'm testing out Shakeology to see if I can tolerate it.

My goal is to be back to 112 lbs by July 17, 2015.

If you've stuck with me til the end, thank you for reading. I realize that I'm still well within a healthy weight for my height and that I certainly don't have a "weight problem", but right now I'm just disappointed in myself and wanted to be honest. The first step to making change is admitting it needs to happen, right?

How are you doing with your health and fitness?

Bye bye - I"m off to press play!

Glitterary Girl


Sarah said...

Great post. I have yo-yo with fitness and my weight, its always disappointing when you gain a few pounds. But I find when that happens its time for new beginnings and a fresh start which always feel good. Quite often life gets in the way. Good luck with your workouts. I am going to Vegas in a few months and need to start working out again! Thanks for sharing.


Unknown said...

I have never struggled with my weight, and I also have a number that I got too close to once that is too heavy for me! I tend to not weigh myself much, I can tell by the way my clothes fit. I'm lucky in that I love spending time on weekends outside, and out of the city, which helps, but isn't quite enough. I try to do something physical every day, whether a session on the elliptical, indoor climbing gym session, or yoga, or walking (not less than 30 min, or it doesn't count). I love food. So have to keep that in check through moderate portions, and never eating in the evenings after I have finished with dinner. One way I can cut back on a sweet finish is pineapple instead of.. chocolate. I am still weak when it comes to chips, and french fries, so those in moderation too. Good luck, sounds like you're OK!

Jen said...

Thanks Christel and Sarah! I love all the motivation I'm getting from people on this post. Your support means a lot :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for this post... keep posting like this and also motivate us for having a healthy life.
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