Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An Experiment in Personal Growth

As proud as I was to lose my twins baby weight, I must admit I have put 10 pounds back on this year.  Add to that, my stomach  muscles are in rare form (diastasis recti) and there are other areas of my body needing a lift, tuck, and tone!  A cheap and accessible fix is running and I've lost weight before running.  Its a great idea, except I HATE to run... or exercise.... or sweat.  I decided I was going to do it anyways.  Will power in many areas isn't my strength so this was going to be an all around experiment in personal growth!

A failed start about two months ago due to some foot issues brought me back to a point of decision to begin again the last week of September.  I searched for some new runner tips online about breathing, body positioning, and how to start a running program.  For someone like me who is out of shape and doesn't like to run, I found a program that has been very doable.  I am currently in week three of the training program and am proud of what I've accomplished and the dedication I've had to my new project.

Most days I'm pushing my two year old twin boys in a stroller but really enjoy time to myself on the off day. Here is the training schedule I'm using and run at least 5 days a week.  (I can't remember where I found the information, nor can I find it again.)  I use my cell phone to time the intervals.

Walk 5 minutes to warm up.
Week 1:  Run 1 minute, walk 5 minutes, 5 times for a total of 30 minutes
Week 2:  Run 2 minute, walk 4 minutes, 5 times for a total of 30 minutes
Week 3:  Run 3 minute, walk 3 minutes, 5 times for a total of 30 minutes
Week 4:  Run 4 minute, walk 2 minutes, 5 times for a total of 30 minutes
Week 5:  Run 5 minute, walk 1 minutes, 5 times for a total of 30 minutes
Week 6:  Run for 30 minutes

There were many reasons I hated running, even as a kid.  I was so out of shape that it was uncomfortable, shortness of breath due to being out of shape, asthma, side stitches, muscle cramping, etc....  I looked up information on breathing techniques to help with the shortness of breath.  Proper hydration and stretching can help prevent muscle cramping along with not running on a full stomach.  You can find a lot of great tips in this article plus more on their website.

Women's Health Magazine web article  "101 Greatest Running Tips"

In my first three weeks of running I lost 5 pounds on the scale and my clothes are fitting better, I'm gaining muscle, and I can physically see the toning results.  As great as those are, I must say there are several more affecting other areas of my life.  I normally run in the morning shortly after breakfast and find that is a great way to start my day.  The physical activity and fresh air get me moving and working right away and I find myself getting more accomplished each day.  Running has been a great stress reliever and also gets my children out for some fresh air too.

Even in these early stages, I'm already learning to enjoy running even though it is challenging and pushing me past my exercise comfort zone.  Seeing myself attain each small goal towards my ultimate goal is encouraging and rewarding.  I never thought I'd see myself as a runner and now once I reach my running 30 minute straight goal, I'll set a new one- like a 5k!  These achievements, in an area that previously seemed impossible, are raising my confidence.  Now I'm striving for goals in other areas of my life that always seemed too lofty- like in business.  Crazy how one small change can be a catalyst towards improving my whole day, my outlook, and other personal goals.

If I can do it, so can you!

-Melissa

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