Friday, 18 January 2013

I worked out for 52 weeks and all I got was...

...improved health, improved self esteem, increased fitness.  Not even a commemorative t-shirt!

Another week is in the books, and coincidentally this brings me full circle to 52 weeks of working out. 

I did my first workout on January 27, 2012.  7 minutes on the recumbent bike.  I vividly recall thinking that I was going to die.  I could barely get off the bike, my legs were so weak, and my face had adopted this alarmingly vivid pink hue that is usually only seen in Turner sunsets.  Let's just say that I was not the picture of glamour. 

But I did it.  And I did it again a couple of days later.  And the day after that.  And the day after that.  I was determined to work out 5 days a week, and I was more or less successful with this goal until May, 2012.  Sure, in March, 2012 I missed an entire week of workouts (I can't even remember why, at this point, but I am sure it wasn't a good reason).  But May was a disaster - I missed 9 workouts, and my hard-fought workout routine was in danger of falling apart.

Then I discovered the Gym-Pact app.  The premise of the app was that individuals could sign up (with a credit card), and make wagers as to how many workouts they would complete in a week.  If they completed the promised number of workouts, they would receive money for each workout made (usually around 50 or 60 cents per workout).  If they missed a workout, however, they would have to pay (a predetermined amount) for every missed workout.  So it is entirely possible that a person could wager $10 per missed workout and miss 2 workouts in a week and owe $20, but complete 3 workouts, and "earn" $1.50.  The idea was that people who missed their workouts paid into a pool of funds to be shared by people who made their workouts, split proportionately based on how many people were in the pool and how many "shares", or workout days, they had wagered. 

I am not going to lie to you, this app kept me going on my program at the end of May, when I was starting to develop some really bad habits.  It was only the thought of having to do an extra workout on the weekend in order to meet my wager than got me on the recumbent bike some mornings.  But you know what?  Eventually I had a new pattern of working out without missing a day, and I didn't need the app any more (which is a good thing, as it was somewhat buggy). Over the time that I used the app I "made" about $40, and never missed a workout.  It's a tough way to earn money, but an effective one. 

I have since developed great workout habits, and now workout 6 days a week.  I haven't missed a workout since May 25, 2012 - - that's 34 consecutive weeks of workouts, for those who are counting.  And now workouts are such an entrenched part of my lifestyle that I don't generally have to push myself onto the elliptical machine in the morning.  I may bitch and moan about it, but the workout is sort of a done deal, as I have so much momentum behind me with this string of workouts, that skipping a day is just not an option.  It really helps that I have my free weights and elliptical machine at home, so I don't need to try and fit gym time into my schedule. 

So what are the results?  Another week down, another 1.2 pounds lost, for a total of 89.6 pounds down to date.  I have 79.3 pounds left to lose in order to hit my goal weight of 165 pounds, so I am now firmly in the land of "over half-way". 

My BMI is now 36.1, down from 49.5.  It used to be that my BMI was so high that it would not even show up on charts - - they typically only go up to 40.  Now, not only am I on the charts, I am getting closer and closer to Obese Class I (at 35 BMI).  After that, it's just a hop, skip and a jump to being merely overweight (at 30 BMI).  It sounds like it's a long way away, that, but it's only about 40 pounds away, just around 200 pounds.

In the past 52 weeks I have lost more than 33 inches on various bits and pieces of me, like almost 9" off my bust, 7.5" off my waist, and 8.6" off my hips.  This has led to a drop of at least 3 clothing sizes, from a 26 down to a 20.  I am a mere 75% of the woman I used to be.

Looking back on the past year, I have learned how to eat healthier, in normal portions.  I have developed an active lifestyle.  I have become measurably healthier - - my fasting blood sugar has come down into almost the normal range, my back pain has virtually disappeared, and my asthma has stopped being noticeable. 

Where will I be next January at this time?  Hopefully close to my goal.  Weight loss through genuine lifestyle change is such a long term thing that the sheer scale of the task ahead can be overwhelming if you think about it all at once (sort of like the Total Perspective Vortex in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).  I like to keep my focus on the short term goals. 

Short term goal #1: lose 100 pounds - - I am just over 10 pounds away from this objective. 
Short term goal #2: get to 30 BMI - - this will happen at 203 pounds.

For now, in celebration of 52 weeks of working out, I will eat sensibly today and make sure to drink my water.  And perhaps do a little boxing tonight with the Nerd.  Yes, I am a wild thing. 


  1. Maggie this was a great post and just something I needed to hear at the right time....yeah I've missed some works and I'm trying to get on the wagon I did do my am workout and my lunchtime walk....but I too want to do at least 50 weeks of working out!!!! Keep up the great work!

  2. Aw! How awesome!!! Congrats, you're amazing!

  3. You are one determined lady! If you ever go into business for yourself, (if you're not already) I'd hate to be your competitor.

  4. Whoops...just read that you are a lawyer. Hope I never need one but if I do you will be at the top of my list.