Since completing my degree in 2009, my weight has been on a very slow but steady decline and my general health and well-being has been on a steady incline. I attribute this to being able to develop a regular sleeping pattern and having time to both buy and prepare healthier food.
At my highest weight, I remember hitting 170 lbs briefly. This occurred sometime during my college years, during most of which I was pretty consistently in the 160s. After I finished school and moved home, I no longer had to stay up until all hours of the night with nothing but a bag of chips and coffee to sustain me.
Although I tried to exercise somewhat in college (I went through running phases, a swimming phases, and a squash phase), it was never a priority for me and workouts were usually few and far between. In March of 2008), a few friends and I, tired of our sedentary lifestyles involving many hours straight of sitting in front of a computer screen, registered for a 5k St. Patrick’s Day run at the University of Calgary. I had trained a bit leading up to the race, but I soon found out it was not enough. I struggled to reach the finish line, but other runners’ encouraging words helped my along. I was proud of myself for completing the run, but I haven’t participated in another race since.
I slowly lost about 10 lbs over the next 4 years and by January of this year my weight was in the low 150s. That’s when I began eating vegan with an emphasis on whole foods. My diet was instantly much healthier and so I lost a few more pounds. As my weight-loss started to level off, I wanted to keep up the momentum. I was inspired by my boyfriend’s recent half marathon so I began running again.
First, I did a couple 5k runs on my trip to Calgary and found that running was much easier and more enjoyable than I remembered it being. This may have been due to having lost weight or because I didn’t have to worry about schoolwork – either way, I was feeling great! I figured that a half marathon was a reasonable goal with a few months of training and decided to just go for it! I signed up for a half marathon in September and I’m now in training week 10 of 16 and my runs are up to 15k long.
After reading Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training, I began to get a little concerned about injury as it seemed to be an inevitable part of running. I wanted to add some cross-training to my exercise regimen that would help me stay fit, use different muscles, and be easier on my joints. I realized that there was a hot yoga studio that I could get to easily. They had a really affordable introductory 10-day deal so I convinced Jesse and his friend to come with me for a couple classes.
Jesse and I signed up for the 30 classes in 60 days challenge. As of today I have completed 11 classes since July 7 and have 23 days left. It’s going to be close, but I’m really putting my nose to the grindstone now!
I am now weighing in around 135 lbs and more importantly I feel amazing! I had a personal victory when I crammed myself into a size 4 bridesmaid’s dress for my best friend’s wedding, which I took a leap of faith and ordered on the small-side early this year.
The maid-of-honour and I had compiled a slideshow of my friend and her now husband for the wedding last weekend. During the process of going through all my old pictures, I realized how noticeably my appearance has changed during my gradual weight-loss. I had never really felt negatively about my appearance before (other than the occasional moment of weakness) but I definitely never felt as strong, healthy, and confident as I do now!