It is always rewarding to see a client integrate exerciseinto their daily life AND change their eating habits (these two things go handin hand when trying to obtain optimum health and well-being), but this clienttook it a step further. Amy, who wasalready on the road to achieving her weight loss goal, decided participate inthe New York City Triathlon--a HUGE undertaking for anyone, but an especiallyimpressive feat for someone who started off struggling to run one mile at atime!
When Amy started training with me she was just beginning totake control of her diet and exercise choices. Weight Watchers was her go tofor keeping her food choices in check, and choosing to work with a personaltrainer ensured that she would be breaking a sweat at least a few times a week. Her excitement about making thesechanges was not only apparent, it was palpable. She was so excited and willingto try new things. She stayed positive,and almost never complained. Plus, shedid the homework I gave her! (Sometimes that is like pulling teeth..;)) Shestarted to see results from her hard work right away. In the first 6 months she dropped 15lbs.
It was August 2010 when Amy competed in her first sprinttriathlon. This is a shorter version of the Olympic Tri here in New York City. She looked at the race as insurance. Training was necessary to avoid injury,discomfort, and even embarrassment on the day of the race. So the pressure was on. All of a sudden it was not just about losingweight, it was about reaching a specific goal by a nonadjustable date. This iscalled SMART goal setting (Specific, Measured, Achievable, Realistic, andTimely). What a fun and effective way tostay motivated!
Needless to say, Amy kicked butt in the sprint tri, andright away decided to go for the real thing-- The NYC Triathlon. This racestarts with a one mile swim (in the Hudson River). Then it moves to a 24 milebike tour of the city, and ends with a 6 mile run in Central park. She had her work cut out for her and only ayear to train for it.
Amy trained so intensely for this race that the poundsseemed to be melting off of her. Besidesworking out twice a week with me in the gym, she started running 4 to 6 milesregularly. Plus, she added in her swimand bike training. Towards the end shestarted doing bricks, which are bike rides followed by a run. (the term “brick”was given because your legs feel like bricks when you start to run) Keep inmind, Amy had trouble running one milewhen she started training with me. Herprogress was astounding.
On August 7th Amy completed her first New YorkCity Triathlon! Her hard work paid off. Shemade it through in about 3.5 hours, and looked great doing it...;) I was soproud of her. She not only took controlof her diet and exercise routine, she became a triathlete as well. Good thingsreally do come in threes!
Take a look at these photos. BIG difference!
Amy before we started training
August 2010 - down 15 lbs.
August 2011 - down 35lbs.
Amy's awesome progress:
2 inches from arms
6 inches from hips
4.5 inches from bust
8.5 inches from waist (uh..WOW)
3.5 inches from thighs
Dropped 6 dress sizes
Body fat %dropped from 31% (overweight) to 24% (ideal)
See what Amy has to say about her experience…
--What triggered your decision to make this healthylifestyle change?
I was just fed up, literally I guess. I didn't evenfeel like myself anymore. I felt gross and depressed. It was bad.
--What healthy eating tips can you share that you foundparticularly
helpful or effective?
I like the 90/10 rule. Healthy 90% of the time, treatyourself 10% of the time. I have also really completely changed the way I thinkabout food. I now eat for nutrient, not just calories. For example,I use to eat a lot of diet food like 100 calorie packs, but now I eat fruitsand vegetables like it is my job. It is so much better for you to eatwhole foods, plus you feel more satisfied in the end.
-- Besides weight loss, what changes in your body/mind haveyou
noticed since you have started exercising regularly?
Through thejourney of the last year and a half, I have really completely changed the way Ithink about my overall health. I can honestly say that t is not about a numberon a scale or the size of my jeans, it is about leading a balanced healthylifestyle. The means that I workout because it gives me energy and makesme feel good to push my body. I eat healthy because that makes me feelgreat too. But sometimes having a glass of wine and dessert is important,so I do that too. But the biggest change, is that this time (I have lostweight many times) I am not in a rush to get to my goal. My goal is notreally a number, but rather maintaining my weight and living a balanced healthylife.
-- During the triathlon where there any moments you wanted to throw in
the towel? If so how did you push through to the finish?
Yes, I definitely wanted to stop running in miles 3 and 4 inCentral Park when the hills were really steep. It felt like one bighill. I just kept telling myself not to give up. I knew the"pain" was more mental because I had trained and knew my body couldfinish. So my thoughts included...."slow and steady""strength" "you're a triathlete" "you are totallycapable" "you can do anything for a few more minutes". Mytrainer taught me the last one :)
--What advice would you give to those who want to make asimilar
change but have not taken the leap yet?
I have to borrow from Nike on this one....Just do it! Don't talk yourself out of it, don't make excuses, or worry that you are goingto fail...just do it. And then have patience and trust yourself. You can absolutely do anything you want....even a triathlon.