Monday, January 27, 2014

The Short Version of a Long Tale

Vision, values, character, and disciplines developed in the spring-time of life serve even into winter. Whatever the age, it is not too soon to prepare for the rest of life. Looking ahead, giving thought, pondering what I know of God, His will and ways, t

If you saw my blog post yesterday, then you saw this picture. It was right before I ran the 5K at the Nashville Zoo in chiiiiiiilllly temperatures. (There are two pairs of pants on, a tank top, long sleeve shirt, and hoodie. Plus gloves.)

If you had asked me a year ago if I saw myself running a 5K I would have laughed. I am SOOOO not a runner. I am so not a sports person. I do NOT like to sweat. : ) But something had to happen. The photo below was taken December 14, 2012 and it was time for a change.

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I was physically "healthy" - cholesterol was fine, my bloodwork all came back fine at a recent physical - but obviously I was very out of shape. I was tired of tired. Tired of my clothes not fitting well. Tired of being winded going up and down stairs and not being able to keep up with my kids.

I have not done anything fancy. No paid program. No premade meals. The only outlay of funds has been for groceries which I was buying anyway - I just changed what I bought and what I ate, and some passes to the local rec center. And there has been a lot of prayer because it was not easy. I got tired and discouraged. A lot.

As far as the apps I used, I used My Fitness Pal and a free Couch-to-5k Program. That's it. Once I finished the 5K program this spring, I just tried to keep up with running 2-3 times a week and sometimes I made my "quota", sometimes not. And, when I ran, aimed for at least one mile - two miles was a really big deal when I went that far. When I ran the 5K that was the first time I had run over three miles and my one goal for the race was to run the whole thing without stopping. And I did. I was shaky and exhausted when it was over, but I did it!

Over the last year, I tried running several different times during the day, but by far the best and most consistent time for me is to get up at 5am and go run at the gym EARLY. I do not love it. : ) But I can get there and get back home before anyone is (usually) awake, get a quick shower and have about 45 minutes uninterrupted before the first one rolls out of bed. Getting up to run might be the hardest part. I just have to tell myself, that if I get up and go, then it will all be over in the next 45 minutes and I don't have to think about getting up and running again for at least 48 hours. Sometimes that helps. : )

A little over one year + one month later, I am so thankful for the past (hard) year. I am in better shape that I have probably been in my whole life (truly!) and I am hopeful that I can keep this healthier lifestyle up long term. A great incentive for me was when I realized that when I hit my goal weight, I had lost more weight that my 10 year old weighs - wow. A sobering reminder of how out of shape I was! My husband and my best friend were huge support systems for me and I'm so thankful for how encouraging they were over this past year.

I will never have a flat stomach. (Hello four c-sections and big babies). Or be the smallest size there is. And that's okay.

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Soli deo gloria.

13 comments:

  1. You look great! You are an inspiration! I need to follow your example. So much of what you wrote, I could have written! So proud of all you've accomplished!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your story Stephanie! It is a huge encouragement for those of us who feel caught in the mama groove. What an accomplishment to do all this without supplements or programs!

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  3. Steph, your determination has been inspiring and it is truly amazing that you are running now....:+)....Meagan & I are signed up for the women's half-marathon in september if you want to join us even crazier people.

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  4. I am SO proud of you, Stephanie! And I certainly hope you feel proud of you too!

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  5. Congratulations for sticking with it!

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  6. Way to go!! You look so great! And your story is so inspiring.

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  8. Ah Stephanie! You are an inspiration. It is SO hard and yet you prove that it can be done. I need to do it.

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  9. You are gorgeous, Stephanie. I'm inspired by this. A lot.

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  10. You are inspiring to me. I needed to read this today -- congrats!

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  11. You know how happy I am for you and how proud I am of you. You inspire me!

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  12. I THINK IT'S SO AWESOME!!!! Clearly you have worked hard and it's apparent. You have always looked lovely, but I know how you feel in just wanting to be in your best shape and be healthy to keep up with family and kids. It's a good thing to fight for and you've done well! Congrats!

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Thanks for commenting!