How I lost 30 pounds (and plan to do it again!)

Summer is coming, and everyone is working to shed those extra few pounds put on during the winter “fluffing up” season.  I always seem to work harder when I know someone is watching, so I once again joined Weight Watchers and even paid for personal training sessions at the YMCA.  So far it’s been a rough start.  I’m not sure if it’s my age, or the newest Points Plus program at Weight Watchers.  I previously did Weight Watchers before my wedding back in 2001, and I lost 30 pounds with the program.  

After joining Weight Watchers in 2001

I then joined the staff at Weight Watchers for 2 1/2 years as a receptionist and a leader.  It was a great way to stay on track, and I truly loved working for them.  I ended up leaving the job after moving and having a child.  I didn’t lose all the weight from child number one, and then after child number two…….. (you can guess).  Now, I am back to needing to lose the 30 pounds again.  Of course we all know the magic to losing weight; tons of water, eating less and healthier, and getting some form of exercise.  It’s easier said than done (as many people can attest to).  Weight Watchers helps me, because I have someone to weigh me in and keep me honest.  I am definitely one who “cheats” on my diets or gives myself excuses for starting tomorrow.  The nice thing about the new Weight Watchers Points Plus program, is that it definitely focuses more now on eating healthy and lifestyle changes than just losing the weight quickly.  I’m sure this is the better way to go for more successful maintenance.  The only problem is I like quick fixes, so now I know I’m just going to have to wait to take off the weight.  In the long run it will be better for me, but in the meantime I’m not sure I will be very comfortable at the pool club this summer.  I guess that’s just something I’m going to have to get over.  I also know that at age 36 I will not be losing the weight as fast as I did at age 26.  Darn!  That’s what happens when you get older I guess.  My new goals for this stage in my life are going to be: get healthy (by eating better and exercising regularly), enjoy life, and be happy with who I am.  No more obsessing on the numbers; just gauge my success on how I feel.  Pool club, here I come (now to find a bathing suit to be as flattering as possible so I can be as comfortable as possible)!

Just starting Weight Watchers again in 2011

 

* No more “after” pictures, just hopefully liking myself more in pictures as time progresses.  Have you had any weight issues?  What do you find is the hardest thing about maintaining or losing weight?

Kristin Wheeler

Why Runners Get Hooked

People are always amazed at how much I love to run. But it didn’t start as a love affair….it started more as a silly boyfriend you date solely because he has amazing eyes. There was only one thing I loved about running in college, and that was that it gave me a maximum workout in minimal time. Sometimes, I hated every step. I don’t remember any run being over five or so miles, and most were more like three. I have to admit, though–that even early on, there had to be that post-run endorphin thing that I got, perhaps even subliminally, because nothing else is going to get you out in the freezing sleet and snow in rural Ohio, even if it is a “good workout.” Although I was athletic in high school, running was never a part of the game.

Typical Ohio day...

Typical Ohio day...

My running started to evolve a bit as I ventured out to Arizona for graduate school. Suddenly, I was mapping new routes.

Typical Arizona day

Typical Arizona day

I found some new friends to run with, and I entered a 10k. Shortly thereafter, I entered a half-marathon, and some duathlons (running and biking), and then, finally in 2000, my first marathon. I still wouldn’t say I loved running, I wasn’t even sure I liked it. But I am a creature of habit. I thrive on discipline and routines, believing that these things actually allow me to be more spontaneous. In my masochistic mind, working hard makes the playing more fun, and then being spontaneous seems like a deserved reward.

My first marathon was everything it shouldn’t have been. Any normal person would have thrown in the towel. To start with, it was an inaugural race. This is a bad idea because the race directors have had no time to figure out what “works”. I will tell you what didn’t work….the route. It was on a rural course where we sometimes saw no one for miles. People got lost. They ran out of water. Farmers were cutting alfalfa. I had an asthma attack due to said alfalfa. Then I got rocks in my shoes and re-tied them too tightly. Then I felt my feet bleeding. Then I threw up. Then I shuffled, hot, tired, sweaty, and yes, triumphant through the finish line….about a half-hour later than my projected time. And yet,  I wanted to do it again.

I now have 8 marathons, 6 or 7 half-marathons, 2 ultras (longer than 26.2), 6 triathlons, 3 duathlons, a dozen or so other distances and 3 or so bike races under my belt. Marathons are my fave….ultras are even better….and trail ultras? Don’t even get me started.

I still don’t always love it. There are days that 4:30 am is just too stinking early. The hills seem to have gotten bigger overnight, every step feels like small tree trunks have been attached to my ankles, and I look at walkers and think, “Hey, walking seems nice….I can carry coffee if I walk.” However, more often than not, even on the days I think I will have a bad run, about half way in I remember why I do it. I remember why it is important to work hard, because hard work reaps benefits. The benefits for me are those days when I simply cherish the sound and cadence of my steps, when I can focus on praying without distraction, when I get to catch up with a girlfriend and no one is asking me for a snack, when I get to solve the oil crisis and the rest of the day seems to unfold before me, limitless with its’ possibilities. At times I am in awe of the beauty of the landscape before me, of the sun rising in the desert as I am alone on the trail, seemingly alone in the world; of the wind whipping my ponytail and the feeling of accomplishment I get when I put in 12 or 13 miles and most people have yet to rise. And don’t get me started on the endorphins. They are my Zoloft and my Prozac and my drug of choice….these indescribable little feelings that leave me smiling and content, even if I am spent.

So I would venture to say that this love affair has been a long time coming. But now, it is more like the boyfriend you love because he is good for you. He makes you feel better, he may not be perfect every day, but he will never turn on you. You love him for everything he does for you, not just one thing. He may not be easy to catch, but not much that is, is worth the chase.

How about you?  Are you an avid runner…or maybe you’re just getting started and you’re having trouble staying motivated.  I’d love to hear how you got started, your favorite race,  or any questions you might have.  Leave me a comment below!

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