This is the week of my birthday, so I've taken some time to reflect on the gift I've given myself this year - a happier, fitter, more confident me. Incidentally also smaller.
Just about 5 months ago, I accidentally discovered that I'm horribly allergic to wheat. I cut it out entirely of my diet, and aside from a few unintentional exposures, almost immediately was no longer suffering from severe daily headaches, was no longer constantly exhausted, and generally physically and mentally felt much better. Two weeks later I happened across another of the many pleasant side effects: weight loss. Having tried and failed before to lose weight (I could maintain, but not lose), I finally gained some hope, and the journey began.
Fast forward to early May. A good friend asks me to do a women's triathlon with her in July. Me, a very unfit person who was quite literally afraid of exercise, running in particular (due to the fact that I routinely suffered miserable migraines whenever my heart rate got too high - strange, I know, but I'm telling the truth). I said yes
without much hesitation. I'm so proud of that girl for being willing to look her fears in the eye and take them on, because it was all worth it. If you get a chance like I did, take it!
Unfortunately, I didn't do much in May besides tackle my fear of running and bring my endurance up to almost a solid minute of running. Humble beginnings. Through June and July I trained and I trained hard, improving my fitness by leaps and bounds even through shin splints, setbacks, and feeling like I might die in brick workouts.
It was far from easy, but I was getting stronger every day and I daresay it was exhilarating. In just under 8 weeks I went from barely able to run for 60 seconds and hating every moment to running 5Ks and actually enjoying it, greatly improved my swimming time and distance (I started as a decent swimmer and became an excellent swimmer), and biked for distances I never thought possible before.
Sadly, I gashed up my leg two days before the triathlon, which made it painful to walk and especially run. Even with this handicap and having to do the entire race in cold pouring rain, I finished with a respectable time and came in 5th in my age group.
I'm now looking forward to improving my time at my next one in September.
But let's not forget the weight loss. In about 5 months, I've lost nearly 19% of my starting body weight, going from a size L shirt/size 14+ pants to size M shirt/size 8 pants. This corresponds to a change in BMI from on the brink of obese - 29.9 - to a decidedly normal one, at 24.3. The total weight loss, as of my last weigh in is, ~37.6 lbs. Pretty great gift to myself!
I also leave for college next Monday, so I'm excited to see what that means for the next part of my weight loss journey!
Carrots all around?