Yea. In college I did nothing. Nothing athletic that is. Sure, I went to class, I was on the radio board, had a radio show with my roommate, worked on the newspaper, had a couple internships, and hung out with my friends. But, healthy eating? Sports or at least intramurals? Nope. What was that? LOL! I didn't gain the Freshman 15. I gained the College Experience 35. Yea. 35 pounds. Sadly, I didn't really notice it until the end of my college career when my size moved towards the 22 range. I could accept going from an 18 to a 20, but for some reason the 22 was a tipping point.
After I finished my last semester in December 1998, I decided to go to Weight Watchers to lose the weight. And that's when I found out I gained 35 pounds in 4 years. I was floored and vowed to NEVER.EVER. be that weight again (SPOILER: I have never been that weight again.)
I hate exercise. Still am not a huge fan, but I know I can't lose the weight without it. And so, over the last 12ish years, I have worked the WW program and worked out. Before it would be going to the gym and working out on the treadmill, bike, or taking a class (when I was losing weight before getting married). Right before hubby and I married we joined a new gym and I used the treadmill, bike, and elliptical. Before we married in 2001, I lost 45 pounds and weighed less than I did entering college.
Then for years I yo-yoed up and down. After getting married, I gained a bunch of the weight back (but never getting as high as I was after college.). Usually I would gain about 20-25 pounds back, get mad and go back to WW to lose it. By the time we moved to Central PA in 2004, I had lost 55 pounds since Jan. 1999. And then I gained that 25 pounds back. Ugh.
In 2008, my friend asked me to be in her wedding. I was a little surprised, but honored. Then some personal things happened and the wedding moved to Vegas and only one attendant. No worries. I was excited to be going to Vegas for a wedding! I decided to lose 30 pounds before going; I had 6 months. And I got close. I got 25 pounds before hitting Sin City, which isn't awful. And I tried to keep going.
Yea, not the best photo....
But, I will say this wedding and trip really made me focus more on eating healthy and exercising. I had started running a little bit in 2007, but 2009 was the year I ran my first 5k (Baltimore Women's Classic). I started running longer distances. I didn't always eat the healthiest, but I ran more. I really do believe this is was tipping point of realizing I didn't want to be fat. I wanted to be in shape and healthy.
So, over the next couple of years I started running longer distances, which helped me lose weight. Then in 2011, I ran my first half marathon. I didn't do too much in terms for changing my diet, which explains why I didn't lose the weight I thought I would. LOL!
I signed up to run another half marathon the following fall and between the two I had lost 20 pounds. I thought I would do soooo much better. I thought the weight would be the key.
Best I could do. No real photos of me from the race.
But, when I finished the Philly Half, I felt really bad. My stomach was killing me and my body was just screaming. I knew that if I were to do this again, I needed to be in "better shape." Which boggled my mind in a sense since I had now run two half marathons. Doesn't that mean I'm "in shape?"
So, in January of 2012 we joined the YMCA. I made a commitment to lose the last 20 pounds I needed to reach my goal. I made a commitment to "get in shape." I hit the gym 2-3 times a week, kept running on Saturday mornings, attended group classes, and signed up for personal training. And what happened? I ran the Shamrock Half Marathon in March 2012 feeling the best I have ever felt. No stomach issues, no pain. I felt like I could have ran a few more miles when I hit the finish line!
And now I'm thinking I'm "in shape." But, am I? When does a person reach being "in shape?" Is there a certain amount of weights one can lift? A certain distance they can run? A certain weight they must achieve? What is the elusive definition of "in shape?"