Monday, September 21, 2009

Your Fitness Story

We all have our stories, and they're all really different. At some point we've all had a big road block, where we've had to dig really deep to get to the next step.

I'd love to hear yours...

I'll share mine with you as well.

As a kid, we played outside. Never were we allowed to sit a watch TV for hours on end. We also had chores that needed to be done. From about 11 to 17 I played sports. My favorite sport was swimming, I would swim lap after lap after lap until I had to get out of the pool. I was awesome at the backstroke, then one meet didn't go so well, I counted the flags wrong I crashed head first into the wall, practically knocked myself out in the water, and well mentally couldn't get over it, and never swam quite so well again.

I also played soccer, but we didn't always have a girls team, a group of us got to play on the boys team for a year, but in terms of degrading us, they made a special period for us (that didn't really count toward the game) That didn't go over too well, and didn't last more than a season. We finally got a girls team my senior year, we weren't great but we were good enough for a first year team. That was a memorable experience, a charter member. After college I was a bartender for a bit, it was always strange mixing up a drink for my high school soccer coach.

Lastly, I was on the track and field team all through high school. I threw discus and ran 110 hurdles, that's a combination of two events for sure. I wasn't awesome but I was good enough.

When I got to college, swimming was always on my mind, but I never went after it, looking back I probably should have. Instead, I got a little lazy, and the most exercise I ever did was the 3 whole classes I had to take to fulfill my PE requirements. Reassuring I know, coming from someone who wants every woman to feel confident and empowered by their fitness capabilities.

After college, I battled with myself for about a year over some minor eating disorders, and my new addiction to running (perhaps this is why I dislike it so much now.) At my 5'10" frame I was a whopping 155, anorexic and almost frail. I encountered some other problems along the way, but slowly and thankfully shifted out of that mindset and into a much healthier lifestyle. There were a lot of ups and downs to overcome and conquer, but once I realized the importance I knew I had to stick with it, that and I wanted to.

Enter real strength training for the first time in my life. (Because all the strength training I did in high school was bogus at best, with no program to follow and no goals in mind, I wasn't educated at the time.)

I love this stuff, I would give up strength training for anything at this point in my life. When I finally started training the right way, I saw amazing transformations. I was strong, I was lean, I was realizing what it was really like to be fit as an adult. It wasn't about crazy fad diets and long cardio.

Combination full body movements, paired with other combination full body movements, for effective and quick workouts that not only make me stronger and leaner, but also allow me to skip traditional cardio workouts. Have I mentioned that I love this stuff! (You will too if you don't already, I promise.)

I didn't get in to every detail but I will as time moves along, you'll hear about all of my mistakes, what my workouts are like now, they crazy fad diets I've tried, the success of well balanced nutrition, the confidence that strength training brings to you, and so much more.

Tell me what your fitness story has been like.

What do you struggle with?

What has been the key to your current success?

Where do you want to improve?

Together, we'll get there and stay there.


mike laff said...

Hi Pam - liking the new design. My fitness story started a little before working out with you. Like many people my activity level dropped off after having kids. I attended a health fair and got my initial numbers in November 2007. 5'7", 184 lbs, Body fat 22.5%. I checked in every few months and the numbers kept dropping...2/2008 175lbs, body fat 19.2...unfortunately I was still 5'7" tall LOL. 7/2008 164 lbs body fat 16.1%. My weight today is the same as a year ago. I might be able to drop body fat with more aggressive paleo diet but I am mostly happy with where I am. Thanks to you and Jason for giving me the foundation to continue. I like keeping the numbers...there is an old saying..."if you can't measure, you can't master." It works for me.

Pamela MacElree said...

Good stuff Laff! Nice pattern, and the best part is you've stayed consistent for over a year! That's what so vital about making a commitment to a lifestyle rather than following a radical fad diet.

erica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
erica said...

Wow, Pam. This is my favorite blog entry that I've ever read of yours so far. I really appreciate the honesty. You said "Reassuring I know, coming from someone who wants every woman to feel confident and empowered by their fitness capabilities," but I DO find it really reassuring.

Sometimes I meet people who have always been super fit, and it's never been a struggle for them. They were always active, always lean, raised on healthy foods, etc. I can't relate to them, mostly I just find them intimidating. Your story is incredibly easy to relate to, especially as a woman who has gone through many, many similar things.

I will try to be brief with my fitness story: I always loved exercise as a little girl. It was the 80s, I had the outfits with legwarmers and I watched the morning tv shows and videos with Jane Fonda. My dad was an avid runner and I used to emulate him. I had some equipment called "Get in Shape, Girl!" (Remember that?) I was really, really into exercise as a kid. My family used to get me to show off the muscles in my legs.

I got chubby as an adolescent, but then lost it all very quickly and unhealthily. In high school, my idea of "health" (aka thinness) was skipping breakfast, barely eating lunch, and exercising in my bedroom for hours after school. I got the National Physical Fitness awards in gym. I was a cheerleader during this time as well, and we actually worked pretty hard. But there was an image to uphold, and these problems got worse in college, on and off.

I felt like I "made peace" with food after college, when really all I did was to stop with that messed up behavior and give myself the green light to eat whatever I wanted. So I gained a lot of weight. (Went to a traditional gym and did "cardio" during this time).

About 2.5 years ago when I finished grad school, I decided that I needed another goal. This new goal was to be my health. I took up running because it was free and I thought it would be easy. I ran a 10K after just a few months. No one was training me but myself. But I needed something else. I always knew that I wasn't genetically predisposed to be a runner, and I felt like I could be really strong if I was doing strength training. And that's when I met you guys and the rest is history! I still struggle a lot, but who doesn't?

I'm very glad that you are part of my fitness story.

Pamela MacElree said...

Aww, thanks Erica! Its good to hear success stories like this. You've made a lot of changes since we first met. It's awesome to work with you on a weekly basis.

Diana said...

Pam, here is my ahha! moment and then the follow up...