I’ve Lost 10 Pounds and Damn I Feel Great!

Filed in Health, Weight Loss by on December 31, 2017 0 Comments

I was certain Halloween would be my downfall.

I’d gain the dreaded 5-10 pounds and I would be like everyone else–resolving to lose it come January 1st.

But then it didn’t happen.

So when December rolled around and we took a family trip to Costa Rica, followed by Christmas, I thought, “This. This is when it will happen.

And while I did gain a couple of pounds in Costa Rica, by the time we came back, I lost what few pounds I had put on due to no more “easy-to-much” traveling carbs.

This is that time of year when all progress for eating healthy and losing weight gets thrown right out with the trash with the hundreds of candy wrappers from late-night munchie sessions and the holiday cakes, pies, and treats.

It’s been 5 solid months and the results are clear.

I, Serena, lost 10 pounds….am no longer overweight…and haven’t gained it back.

I know…I know…10 pounds doesn’t sound like a lot.

But it’s the difference between being mistaken for pregnant or not.

It’s the difference between hating looking in the mirror and twirling around to give your butt a glance because–GASP!–the curves are in the right place.

I’ll admit that I have been popping into the hiding spots where hubby stashed the candy from greedy little hands (ages 11, 7 and 6).

But this year, something was different.

While I indulged a bit in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (my fave!) and popped a handful or two of Peanut M&Ms while composing blog posts, the taste for candy just wasn’t there this year.

You see, I had resolved that Halloween wouldn’t be my downfall. I had come too far to let that happen.

It Started With the Army 10-Miler

You know how you stick your foot in your mouth and make a promise you can’t back out of?

That’s what happened to me May 2017 when my friend, Thrift Store Pete, was telling me about trying to rally his two daughters to run the Army 10-Miler with him, scheduled for Sunday, October 8, 2017.

The offer bubbled onto my lips and I heard myself say, “Well, I’ll do it with you!”

Wait–why did I just offer myself up?

Back in 2010, after a painful completion of the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon (for which I hadn’t trained, but completed in 2 hours and 18 minutes), I vowed that my long-distance running days were over.

I had no desire to do that again.

My Son Sparked My Love of Running

Fast-forward 3 months and summer was in full swing.

Each day my 5-year-old and I would drop off his two older brothers off at the camp center, we’d pass by the local high school track.

Kojo would suggest, “Mommy, we should go there again!”

It has been probably years since we’d once stopped at the track and kiddle playground at the school. But he’d remembered it and enjoyed it. Each time we’d try pass for any reason, he would suggest we stop.

Well, one summer day, after camp drop-off, we did.

I wasn’t even prepared, with jeans that rode down my butt each time I jogged alongside Kojo, with Birkenstocks.

But something happened that day.

A man working out with a woman stopped me, putting some weights in my hand, and instructed me on how I should carry them around the track and later invited me to work out with them the following day.

I was intrigued…How much did this cost? Why was he singling me out? Wasn’t I just thinking that a personal trainer would have been nice?

What did I have to lose??

So the following day, I came prepared for the beat-down, and let me tell you….I was literally sore for a week. It hurt to even over in bed!

The exercises were simple, yet clearly effective…I felt like someone had beaten me up!

I was THISCLOSE to not returning, but the fact that he expected me to be there the following day, I returned.

And the next day, I returned again.

And the next.

Before I knew it, Kojo and I were going to the track daily working out with Coach Kevin, or running 1 miles…working up to 3 miles…and then 4…..then 7 miles….

It Took Forever To Lose Weight!

But the weight wasn’t coming off fast enough.

I blamed it on my mid-30’s metabolism.

My eating habits were decent. My craving for sweets decreased.

And even now, 4 months after I started running 5 days a week, I have “only” lost 10 pounds.

Now….don’t get me wrong, 10 pounds is nothing to turn my nose up at.

As you can see in this picture, the results are astounding, and this isn’t even the difference of 10 pounds (I didn’t note the dates); this is the results of less than 10 pounds!

So clearly, under 10 pounds is significant!

 

 

But the results have been soooo slow. Even so, I don’t let that slow me down.

The fact that I can now fit in jeans that I have owned since 2004 (or older!), makes me feel wonderful!

 

No more do I have to suck my stomach in.

No more do I have to feel insecure about how I look in my clothes.

And no more do I dread the thought of running a half marathon.

In fact, each day, I run after dropping the kids off at the bus stop.

My fear was that come Halloween, with the mixture of poisonous treats….cold weather….and a crumbling resolve…I would fall back into those horrible habits of bad eating, laziness, and excuses.

Instead, I have proven that I am disciplined.

The routine is Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until about 9:15 a.m., I run.

If I am too tired, head hurts, or if running just feels “off” that day, then I walk my 3.25 mile trek.

That rarely happens, though. It’s generally me out there pounding the pavement, getting it in, feeling exhilarated by the cold, the incline of the hill a challenge that I look forward to conquering, and motivated hip-hophip hop thumbing in my ears.

 

 

I realize that I have a lot of people to thank for motivating me to get to where I am now.

I am thankful for running into Pete that day and him bringing up the Army 10 miler. If I hadn’t bumped into him at the thrift store, I never would have abruptly volunteered to run with him!

Race Day, Army 10-Miler 2017.

 

The day of the race with Pete and his daughter, and me. – Army 10-Miler – Oct 8, 2017

 

I have to thank Kojo because without his enthusiasm for running, I am doubtful we would have ever stopped at that track. I may have even decided to tell Pete that I wasn’t going to be able to run with him. GASP….But it’s true. I may have backed out. 10 miles seemed insane at that time.

 

 

And if Coach Kevin hadn’t stopped me that day on the track, I may not have been motivated to keep coming back. But because he, and the other folks, were counting on me to join them, I didn’t give up.

When my muscles felt like they had literally been punched a hundred times with a baseball bat, he kept pushing me to keep going.

 

 

And without Ryan and his son Iroh, who we had met on the track that first day, if it weren’t for them, Kojo may not have been motivated to come back each day to race them.  We would see them nearly daily on the track and seeing familiar, friendly faces helped us keep up the routine.

 

 

We began to really enjoy running. So much so that when Ryan and Iroh told us about a local “all comers” track meet, the kids and I registered and went!

It was embarrassing being beat by teens and old folks alike, but the fact that I ran a mile in 7 minutes and 25 seconds (considering I have never practiced or competed in that event–not even in high school), I felt accomplished and strong!

Not to mention that the kids and I had the most wonderful, adventurous day!….

 

 

…followed by All You Can Fill unlimited Slurpees on 7-11 Day.

 

 

I Lost 10 Pounds and I Feel Awesome!

It’s funny how you don’t have a real grip on reality sometimes.

When I look back at “fatter” pictures of myself, I see where I had let myself go.

But in my mind, I didn’t feel fat. I mean, I knew I was carrying around extra weight since I couldn’t get back to my 150 pre-pregnancy size. And clearly, I had to suck in my gut.

But the drive to lose weight wasn’t compelling enough because I didn’t think my weight was “that bad.”

At 175 pounds, I wasn’t healthy. I hate plenty of pizza, cookies, cakes, and extra helpings at times.

But now, at 165 pounds, my appetite allows me to only eat when I am really hungry, and while I do indulge in sweets here and there, they don’t consume me.

I don’t feel guilty when I crave chocolate cake and share the piece with my boys.

I make running (or walking) a habit in the morning so that I don’t even have to think about it; it’s just what I do.

 

 

This weeks, temps dropped well into the teens and it would have been easy to use that as an excuse for why I couldn’t go running (or at least walking).

 

But each morning, I layered up, did at least 30 minutes of walking if running wasn’t a great idea, and continued to make morning exercise a part of my routine.

What’s Next?

I’ll continue to walk/run through the winter, but will gladly welcome the spring.

I’d like to lose another 8 pounds of fat but really focus on adding some muscle. I just haven’t figured out the best strategy for doing that yet, or when it will happen.

If You’re Struggling With Losing Weight and Making Exercise a Routine

Once you’ve got the routine down, it’s easy to go along with it because it’s just what you do.

You don’t have to think about it any more. It becomes second nature.

But to get there, you just have to decide to do it daily.

And it has to be something you look forward to.

It doesn’t matter what your reason is.

Maybe you enjoy the time away from the family listening to talk radio or a good audio book.

Maybe there’s a cute guy or girl you pass by every day that makes it worth leaving the house on time so you don’t miss them.

It really doesn’t matter what the reason–just find one that makes you look forward to it every day and then use that as motivation until the motivation becomes more about you and less about the external world.

You can do this, too.

About the Author ()

Serena Appiah is a wife and mom to 3 boys in the Washington, DC metro area who enjoys writing about family, finances, and raising children.

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