My weight loss journey has been about four years in the making, so you could say that it started slow. I began seriously working out my Freshman year of college (and by seriously, I mean that I was working out more than I had been before, which was never). During this time, I would run 1-2 miles on the treadmill a few times a week. That led to running every day after work that summer, which slowly led to running until I burned a certain amount of calories, which then led to trying to eat less calories than I burned while running. I was not eating enough to sustain normal health for someone who wasn’t working out two hours a day. So, with my running, I was really not getting enough nourishment.
I was addicted to weighing myself and, just like anyone else trying to lose weight, I was elated when the scale went down .1 pound. Success: I went down a pant size. However, I also was forced to become aware of a heart condition that’s symptoms were exaggerated by my sudden and unhealthy weight loss. To make it worse, after a couple months of dieting and exercising like this, I had only gotten to the point of weight loss where I was probably the only one who could notice it on my body. I was constantly physically shaky and mentally foggy.
Once I returned to school, I reverted back to a normal amount of exercise and an average diet. I was discouraged by, after all that work, how quickly the weight came back. I then realized that there was no point in going to extremes when it came to weight loss. I was also discouraged that, even after such extremes, I was really the only one why had yet to see my body change.
Although my body did not react well to dieting extremely, I eventually found a healthy balance with working out and eating in the summersbut, I always lost my resolution when I got back to school and wanted to socialize with my friends over dinner or drinks and not be working out constantly. I would boomerang my lifestyle from eating healthy and working out moderately when I was living at home to eating pizza at 2AM and drinking beers with friends when I was at school.
Since I’ve graduated, my routine has become much more consistent. I wake up every morning at 4:30 and go to a 5AM HIIT or Circuit Training class. I’ve stopped running to lose weight and have begun doing it to stretch my legs after sitting all day at work. I now take walks during my lunch break to burn a few extra calories and enjoy some time outside. And, on the weekends, instead of waking up early to go to my gym, I’ll hit a class at the Y or go for a walk or a run. My workouts are definitely still motivated by weight loss. But, I’m also loving feeling my body get stronger. Boomeranging had never changed my body and extremes only made me feel weaker. Now, I am able to run distances that I have never run before and do pushups and crunches, no sweat.
My weekday diet looks much different than my usual weekend diet. But, I try to balance my diet with my exercise as opposed to reacting to my diet with exercise. My lifestyle has changed drastically in the year after graduation (and my extended months of college doing the DCP) and, I’m excited to see what progress I will have made in another year.