Ever since I finished my Ironman almost a year ago my weight has been slowly creeping up. For most people the 5-8 pounds I have gained doesn’t seem like a big problem but it has really started to bug me. Even when I increase my exercise I still don’t lose any weight. I want the magic pill that will just make it start falling off but that doesn’t exist. So instead of a special diet I have decided to just count my calories. I have NEVER done this before; it seemed like so much work!
Enter the iPhone… I know I am not telling you about anything revolutionary but there are some great apps out there that make calorie counting easy (and a little fun). I downloaded myfitnesspal yesterday and I LOVE it! The simple fact of writing everything I eat down has me planing out all my meals with much more thought (and yes, I know this isn’t a new concept either). I was shocked to see it has me shooting for 1200 calories a day (I want to loose 1 pound a week). That seemed really low to me but yesterday I managed to finish the day at 1251 calories (pretty close) and if all goes well I will finish under today! Hopefully this is the accountability I needed to shed those couple of pounds. Eating has become a game that I can win just by paying attention. I think I can do that!
Like many of you I started exercising to shed some weight I picked up from 6 years of marriage and two babies. I had never needed to loose weight before. I had been lucky. But in fall 2005 I went on Weight Watchers and started running. I was 172 lbs when I started and my goal was 140. Weight Watchers worked great for me (I did the CORE system, not the points) and in about 4 months I met my goal weight. During this time I picked up running and subsequently fell in love with it.
Eventually the running for weight loss turned into running for pleasure which turned into running to do bigger and bigger things. I ran my first marathon in March 2007 and have since completed many half marathons, 5 marathons, three triathlons, and a half Ironman distance (70.3) triathlon. But it wasn’t until today that I actually started to think of myself as an athlete.
I have always thought of athletes as people who were professionals, or born with some athletic gift, or super special talent. That is not me. I swam in high school for two years because I didn’t want to do PE. I was on the crew team in college for a year but just because I thought those boats were so cool; eventually sleeping in was more important than 5:00AM crew practice. So even though now I have accomplished some pretty big races I have never considered myself an athlete. I hang out with athletes but I always have thought of them as different from me. I couldn’t put myself in their group.
So the other day I stumbled upon a picture of me with my youngest boy when he was 6 months old. I was shocked at how fat I looked (sorry to offend if I do)! I never though of myself as being heavy back then but when you see this picture compared to me now, it is shocking. So I posted it on the Dailymile I received two comments that really touched me.
Sarah said “You look like the athlete you are! :-)” and Stuart said, “yes, just what Sarah said…the inner athlete is shining through!”
Hearing somebody else say it really made it real. I guess I am an athlete! I can finally put myself in that group!
Before (February 2005)
After (February 2011)