My aha moment took place about four years ago. My son was about 18 months old and I realized that I still had a good 15 lbs of baby weight left to lose – not too surprising, since I gained more than 60 lbs when I was pregnant with him. I was taking some community boot camp and yoga classes at night but was pretty lackadaisical about it – and I definitely wasn't pushing myself. That’s when it suddenly hit me that if I wanted to make a change, I was going to have to give 100% or I would be stuck in this same place.
My friend was over one night and we were talking about how an Anytime Fitness gym had opened up right near us, so we went on the website and I noticed that they offered Les Mills classes, and I think I may have squealed with excitement. Many years earlier, when I was living in Baltimore and getting ready for my wedding, I became hooked on classes like Body Pump and credit them for helping me become fit, strong and toned for my 2004 wedding. Actually, my “wedding weight” has always been my weight goal.
My friend and I signed up for a one-week trial at the gym … and the rest is history. I rediscovered my love for Body Pump and spin class. I came to appreciate the fact that they offered 5am classes for those of us who work full-time and have to squeeze in exercise whenever we can. It’s funny, people still look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I get up at 4:45am to workout. Why, they ask? It’s simple: after work, all I want to do is spend time with my kids, not have to rush to the gym. And it’s kind of a nice feeling, knowing you got your workout out of the way before your day has even begun.
As I slowly started to lose the rest of the baby weight (and began to approach my wedding weight) my confidence grew and I decided to tackle something I’ve always wanted to do: running. I started with a few 5Ks and was planning to run a 10K in the fall of 2011 when I discovered I was pregnant with my daughter. But rather than indulging and avoiding exercise, like I did during my first pregnancy, I tried to be more mindful with my eating habits and kept up with my workout routine, modifying it as my bump grew. After she was born, I gave myself a goal of finishing a 5K when she was 4 months old, followed by a 10K about 6 months later. For me, having something to work toward – besides fitting into my skinny jeans – was key.
Since then, I’ve run 3 5Ks – including my first-ever medal for finishing third in my age group in my fastest race to date (25:38!). I also met my goal of finishing my 10K in under 60 minutes and hope to do even better when I run my next 10K in a few days. This success has given me the confidence to believe I can finish a half marathon (or maybe two) in 2013!
And I believe cross-training with Body Pump, boot camp and spin class (along with my fellow "5am-ers, as we call ourselves) has definitely contributed to my running success. All those squats and lunges and sprints have made me stronger and fitter … and a faster, more efficient runner. And I am proud to say that I have officially reached my "wedding weight" 🙂