Last Fall, I started this fitness journey as part of my own personal development. I decided to use this blog as a way to document my journey, keep myself accountable so I wouldn’t fall off the wagon, and as a way to share my tricks and tips. It’s never been about the numbers or proving anything to anyone, other than myself. It was about my own health, well-being and confidence. Now I want to share my year-end results.
In October 2014, I was a size 12 in pants. Sometimes a 14 depending on the style. I had bra bulge, back rolls, love handles, thunder thighs. And this was all after I’d already lost quite a bit of weight. I had a come a long way but in October 2014, I still had a big distance in front of me plus I was getting over a knee injury with weekly physiotherapy appointments. But once I got the green light, I started running again. I joined a cheap gym and hit the treadmill almost everyday.
By January 2015 I started spending a lot of time in the weight room to build up my strength. I also wanted to develop some muscle. As we all know the more muscle a woman has, the more calories she burns. By doing 20 – 30 min on the treadmill and another 30 min of strength training about 4 days a week, I started to see some results. I have a pear-shaped body so the most noticeable results were on my upper body. I saw muscle definition in my shoulders and also the bra bulge started to lessen a little bit. A good friend of mine got engaged and asked me to be in her bridal party for her wedding in August. When we went dress shopping in February, I fit into a size 12 dress.
In March 2015, I decided to do a 5Km run. I realized that having goals to work towards was a really motivating factor for me. So even though I was initially nervous, I knew that having this commitment would help me stay even more focused. I eased up on the strength training and started focusing a lot more on cardio. Not so much on my running speed, but on stamina. I invested in a knee brace, downloaded the Nike Running app, and alternated between treadmill and road runs. Once the weather warmed up and the trails were cleared of ice and snow, I alternated between trail and road runs. My goal was to do the 5km in under 30 min without stopping or even walking. I wanted to run the whole 5km distance.
By June 2015, I was feeling super motivated and more confident about my progress. I accomplished my goal of finishing the 5km run in under 30 minutes. Even though it was only a short run, it was an exhilarating experience. One that I would recommend to anyone looking to challenge themselves. I was glad I did it! It also super-charged me for a new challenge. I decided to really amp up the strength training to really bulk up on the muscle so I could become more lean and defined. I wanted a curved waist, slim back, and toned arms and thighs. I eased off the running (especially to give my a knee a break) and spent all my gym time lifting. It was around this time that I purchased the bridal dress for my friends wedding. I bought a size 10 dress.
During the summer, I started shopping like a crazy person. My summer fashion highlight was purchasing my first crop top. I also had to buy a couple new pairs of pants. I was super excited to try on denim in Top Shop. I bought a pair of super-soft skinny ankle grazer jeans in a UK 32 waist (size 10). I also bought so many new pairs of heels this past summer. Believe it or not, your feet also become smaller when the rest of your body does. I had to purge about two pairs of heels because they were now too big. RIP discarded shoes.
By August, I decided to ramp up even further. My friends wedding was August 22 plus my birthday was a week later. These two things gave me extra fuel. I started a strict eating regimen and increased the weight lifting. I started doing 20 lbs free weights. The heaviest I had ever done. I could see the results in my waist and my back almost immediately. A week before the wedding, I went to fit the bridal dress. Unfortunately my cup size went down from a 36 to a 34, but on the bright side so had my chest, back and waist. The dressmaker took in the entire bodice, including the waist. The bottom of the dress was flowy so I didn’t have to worry about that. I know it wasn’t my big day, but I really felt great in the dress knowing that I had worked so hard to look amazing it in. But on my birthday, all bets were off! I indulged in yummy BBQ, toast (yes having bread was a treat), lots of wine and oh yes, sugary birthday cake. Turning 36, surrounded by my family and in great health. It was the best!
As the weather cools down and we roll into winter, I’ll probably have to buy some new sweaters and more pants. But it’s really a nice problem to have. This Fall I’m also looking forward to posting about my new fitness goals for 2016. I’m also planning to share my eating plan and maybe even my exercise routine.
There is no “secret” recipe to success. There is no quick fix. A lifestyle of fitness requires discipline, motivation, time and focus. I’m so glad I decided to share my progress on this blog. Documenting my journey each step of the way has really helped me embrace this kind of lifestyle. I didn’t want to post once about it in October and then never bring it up again because I wasn’t actually following through. Thanks for that! Thanks for helping me on my journey.
Top image via CreateHer