My fitness journey actually began around August 1999. That’s when I got my own apartment a few months after graduating from college and began to not only cook my own meals, but eliminated all bread, pasta, rice, and sugar. The result was a twenty pound drop, but I had more than eighty pounds to go. I had gained seventy-five of those pounds my last two years of college. Stress, bad eating habits, numerous food intolerances, and a general lack of knowing how to eat contributed to this gain. At that point finding size 14 business suits that fit me were hard. I was beginning to dip into the “women’s” clothing department, a known euphemism for the plus sizes. When I was in high school, I typically wore either a size 6 or 8. Needless to say, not being able to fit into my clothing and generally feeling bad about how I looked made me determined to get the weight off for good.
It took me a year, but I learned along the way not only how to eat, but what foods to avoid, what exercises worked for me, and how to exercise in a way that you didn’t plateau. I did yoga, aerobics, worked out on the ellipical, and went out dancing for a good 3-4 hours of what amounted to HIIT (high intensity interval training) to various goth and industrial tunes every Friday night. The end result was going from a size 16 to a size 2, and I weighed in at 120 lbs. I have before and after pictures of me at that time. I still remember going to the mall with my parents when they visited, glancing in the mirrors and wondering who the girl was dressed in similar clothes to me. I did this for months. After losing over 100 pounds, I had NO idea what I looked like anymore and my mind hadn’t caught up to the reality. I literally didn’t recognize myself in the mirror.
I maintained that weight loss and kept in shape for about a decade afterward. Then life changes hit, my jobs began to take more out of me and after buying a home I couldn’t afford my usual yoga/Aikido/Tai Chi workouts that kept me together. Over time some of the weight began to creep back and before I knew it I had thirty pounds to lose.
In March ’10 I joined up with Beachbody with the intent of putting this all behind me. I signed up as a coach, which enabled me to not only get a discount on the products I bought but earn enough money on the side to pay for them–and eventually get certification as a fitness trainer. My first exercise program was Slim in 6, which I later paired with Hip Hop Abs. Afterward I did a round of Brazil Butt Lift, which gave me the core work I desperately needed–and the beginnings of ab definition as a result. My goal at that point was to get in good enough shape for the Insanity exercise program, which involved a series of intense HIIT workouts and was NOT for the timid. I started getting into running and tacked on yoga. After this plus a round of the 60 day Insanity program, I was all of ten pounds away from my weight loss goal. I was so pumped I decided to do a hybrid of P90X and Insanity, which worked out well for me.
Then the winter hit, and the holidays came. I had less time for the workouts and on top of which, the allergy-induced asthma that is the bane of my health kicked in mightily with the cold, dry weather and sinus infections kept happening on a regular basis. The end result was not only gaining back the weight I had lost but I did it in half the time it took to lose it.
Needless to say, I was not easily discouraged. The following year I began the TurboFire program and started to watch my diet better. With continuous tweaks (and a few false starts due to additional sinus infections), I eventually dropped ten pounds. Then I decided it was time to go back to my nutritional roots, and cut out the bread, pasta, rice, and sugar. I upped my protein intake and started eating more vegetables and far less fruit. I stopped eating out with my coworkers and brought in a bento box to hold my work lunches in order to maintain portion control.
The end result combined with exercise was awesome. I’m happy to say that I’m now down twenty-four of the thirty pounds, and am all of six pounds away from my fitness goal. Six! But I want to get there and both be and look healthier than I was. Back in the day I was a cardio maven and didn’t do much in the way of weight lifting and muscle gain. My time with Beachbody has taught me about the holy fitness trinity of cardio, strength training, and yoga: you truly need all three to build a good, well-rounded exercise program.
There are a lot of lessons I’ve learned along the way: how to make a huge fitness goal succeed, how it can fail, how you can put the weight back on after and what it takes to get back on track. And now that I’m so close to my goal I can smell it, I’m now ready to hold off on the cardio and start developing some good, lean, sexycurvy muscle–and finally fit into the last 8 or so jeans that don’t yet fit me.
My 90 days of classic P90X starts today. I’m beginning by posting my “after diet/TurboFire, pre-P90X” pictures to share with you all and look back on in comparison with the results I get when I’m done. And if this whole thing works out, I’ll chronicle my adventures with P90X2 when it comes out in Dec. I’ve already pre-ordered it, and can’t wait to get it.
As a side note, if people viewing this have done P90X and wish to give P90X2 a shot, here’s some useful info. If you buy it from my site, you get the following:
- * Free shipping
- * Two bonus workouts
- * No payment until it ships in Dec
- * Automatic entry into the P90X2 sweepstakes to win prizes
See my site at TeaAddictedGeek.com for more details. Once you’re there, just click on the P90X2 picture on the upper right. Note to fellow vegans: among the meal plans they’ll be including in the program will be one for us. I CAN’T WAIT.
All that aside, here are my official “post diet/TurboFire, pre-P90X” pictures:
I wore no makeup, didn’t suck it in–this is the real deal, no glamour shots here. I’m including it here mostly as a personal record, to remind myself of how far I’ve come and once I get to the point I want to be at, a comparison of where I was beforehand. It’s a good practice to do when you’re in the process of making fitness goals.
I’m about to go into my fitness room (which is my basement but hey, it works) and go push play. It all starts from there. I’ll report on my official day one afterward, and you’ll all get to find out if this P90X stuff is just hype or if it really works.
See you when I’m done!