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August 2010

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8/2005 - Skinny in the summertime - 130 lbs. SOMEDAY AGAIN VERY SOON!!

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12/2005 - Bikini-clad hot mama in Mexico! 128 lbs. Can't wait to wear this again!

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"What sacrifice really means is giving up something of a LOWER nature in the present, to receive something of a HIGHER nature in the future." Words of wisdom from one of my favorite mentors, natural body builder Tom Venuto, author of eBook "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle" and "The Body Fat Solution".

I am a 43-year-old mother of two boys, 18 and 14, and stepmom to two boys, 23 and 11. I am married to an accomplished marathon runner and triathlete who is light years beyond me in terms of fitness and endurance. Growing up I was always the skinny girl who could eat whatever she wanted, but I was also very inactive and hated to sweat. But even after having two kids, my body was able to bounce back and whatever extra weight I carried was in my hips and thighs, not my belly. In my late 30s this all started to change and I finally started to have to work to look good.

I have always been quite lame at any physical activity and most of the times I have quit because I was always the slowest, most incompetent in a particular physical activity (hmmmm.... you think this negative attitude had something to do with it???). Working out was not pleasurable for me because I way too worried about people thinking I was slow. I found it hard to work out with others because I would be struggling and left behind. So I became a "lone wolf" exerciser.

I was in real estate and my income pretty much disappeared so I deciding to stop working, go back to school for something more recession-proof, and to focus on training to run a marathon. I didn't particularly enjoy running, I guess I was just trying to prove that I could do it. I completed my first marathon in May 2009, although it was in 6 1/2 hours, and I was in last place. At the time I looked at this as a failure (rather than looking at is as "feedback" as Tom Venuto says), in part because my husband didn't seem very impressed with my efforts (or at least I thought that) and I was frustrated that I never lost a single pound after all that training (although I overlooked the fact that I was eating a ton).

After the marathon I stopped working out altogether, suffered from depression, wasted a few months on anti-depressants, and I ended up gaining 30 lbs, all from inactivity and eating crap. I felt that I would never be able to live up to my husband's idea of a "true" athlete. So I just gave up and sat around feeling sorry for myself and complaining that I couldn't lose weight. It was excuse after excuse, and today I look back and am astounded that I hit rock bottom like that.

Early in the summer of 2010, I finally started to emerge from my fog and realized that I had to just get over it and do it for me, not my husband. Plus, my health is my greatest wealth, and in order to have my health I have to take care of my body. I don't have to be a triathlete or a super-fast runner. There are plenty of things out there I enjoy doing, and eventually I KNOW I WILL get stronger.

I realized that I really enjoy riding my bike, and started going for regular bike rides. I took a critical look at my diet and started making little changes, like cutting out pop, drinking much more water, and trying to eat only when I was hungry. I started reading more books and articles, and doing positive affirmations and visualizations. The Gabriel Method by Jon Gabriel was my first inspiration and I was further inspired by Tom Venuto and his "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle" program.

The first few months (August - October 2010) were my most active months ever in my entire life, and I lost about 37 pounds. I finally incorporated regular strength training into my workouts. I ate much better, drinking tons of water, rode my bike 75-100 miles a week on the average, walked, and even started running again. I did a couple of bike tours, some 5ks, and half marathons. I tracked my progress in tremendous detail and set written, measurable goals for myself too. This journeyno longer seemed like such a sacrifice, it became a WAY OF LIFE for me.

In November 2010, I went on vacation and somewhat fell off the bandwagon a little. I tried to stay active during a particularly brutal Michigan winter, taking up cross country skiing. But over the winter I gained back about 17 lbs. Once the snow melted I gradually started riding again in May. I am down 7 pounds, and have managed to stay pretty active in 2011 but am still heavier than I want to be. Plus, I have not been tracking my workouts. After nearly 9 months of being off Sparkpeople, I decided to come back to help me be more accountable. So here I am!

Member Since: 8/22/2010

Fitness Minutes: 7,027

My Goals:
My short-term goal? To INCINERATE 25-30 lbs by the end of 2011. Beyond that? I will INCINERATE more body fat until I reach my goal of 15% body fat, before I turn 45 in May 2011. Target weight is approx 125 or whatever feels right when I get there. I am doing all this by leading a more active life, making better food choices and drinking water. I hope to also inspire my kids to do the same.

My Program:
I absolutely LOVE riding my bike, either my mountain bike on dirt roads or my road bike on paved roads. I try ride at least 15 miles a day, but try to get out for a long ride (30-50 miles) on weekends. I have done one 75-mile ride this year and plan to tackle 100 miles next month. I also like walking and running. I like Chalean Extreme and Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training HIIT strength training program. My original inspirations in 2010 was Jon Gabriel's Gabriel Method. It taught me to incorporate lots of positive affirmations and visualizations into my program. Tom Venuto's "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle" program continues to inspire me every day of this journey.

Personal Information:
I am from Linden, MI.

Other Information:
Things I love:

Gabriel Method Evening Visualization

Tom Venuto's BFFM program, and his Inner Circle reports and podcasts.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - currently following Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training

Riding my road bike and mountain bike.

Running road races with my family.

Jeff Galloway-style run-walk philosophy

Chalean Extreme workout DVDs

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