This is POST 24 of my “fitness journey.” For backstory, see Post 1,
Post 2, Post 3, Post 4, Post 5, Post 6, Post 7,Post 8, Post 9, Post 10, Post 11, Post 12Post 13,Post 14, Post 15, Post 16, and Post 17,Post 18, Post 19,Post 20,Post 21, Post 22 and Post 23.
It’s been just over a year since I walked into Elemental Training Center and hired personal trainer and coach, Steve Bechtel.
On March 23, I weighed almost 160 pounds and was getting chubby and felt sluggish and down. Most importantly, I was tired of the regret I felt each night after another day passed in what became a 4-year slump where I didn’t exercise regularly or eat very healthy.
Today, I weigh 131 pounds and am down to 11.3% body fat. I feel better in every way. I can’t remember the last time I weighed 131. I bet it’s been 25 years.
But that isn’t as big of a deal as all the new energy I have. I can wrestle and romp with our three young sons and for the first time in a long time can consider a variety of endurance events.
I should go on record and say, as my coach says, “Results may vary.” I not only work out very hard, regularly, I also have made drastic changes to my diet. The most significant change I made to the latter was I gave up pizza, most bread, potatoes, rice and other starchy carbohydrates. Regular, high intensity working out, itself, is really hard. Making drastic diet restrictions is difficult in its own right. I have done both. This is because I not only wanted results, I wanted them as soon as possible.
- Also, as a result of my improved fitness and health, I:
• Hiked from the rim of the Grand Canyon to the bottom and back up in a day
• climbed the Grand Teton
• went on many 20+ mile day hikes in the Wind River Range
• competed in my first-ever skate skiing race
• did 19 continuous pull-ups (1 short of my goal of 20)
• deadlifted my bodyweight 39 times for a new gym record,
• am training for the Tahoe Rim 50-K trail run in July.
• am going to not feel as self-conscious wearing a swimming suit when our family vacations to Hawaii
The moral of this story is: If you’re not in good health, don’t wait another day to change that. I am so glad I didn’t hesitate another day. I can’t imagine having had one more year of mediocre health.
It’s hard. I know it is. I think probably the first two weeks are the hardest. Let’s say the first four weeks to be safe. I think if you can make it four weeks eating healthy and exercising regularly, it does get easier. I would imagine most people give up right as they’re approaching the end of the first four weeks, which could be right before the critical breakthrough when the good habits become formed.
For me, exercising and eating right is almost like sobriety. Every day that I’ve invested the work and good eating habits, is of great value to me. The longer I sustain this, the greater the accomplishment it is. If I turn my back on this, after one year of hard work, well, I will be disappointed in myself to say the least. As they say, I’ve tasted the Koolaid. I’m not going back.
I don’t want to sound preachy, braggy or like an expert. I’m anything but an expert. Heck, I’m just someone who got into shape during the last year. I’m not always strong. I can be weak like anyone else. None of this is easy and it’s seldom what I would call fun. But when I recall how I was feeling 13 months ago, and how I feel now, it’s crystal clear that the hard work and sacrifices, as difficult as they are, were overall easier on me than experiencing the regret that weighed on me for so many months for not taking the right actions to change my life for the better. Not taking action was harder on me than the actual actions. No matter how overweight or out of shape, for me, the physical work pales in comparison to the mental wrath of Shelli — the regret and beating up I can give myself for not taking care of myself.
It’s possible some of you reading this may have decided, many times in fact, that you were going to get more healthy and fit. But for one reason or another you haven’t really committed. For what it’s worth, I think deciding and committing are not the same thing. I know I made the decision to get healthy and fit several times, but for a few years never stay committed to it.This video and post touches on that.
I also should say I wouldn’t be where I am today without my husband, Jerry, who’s a fit physical education teacher and my strongest supporter. My kids also have sacrificed lots of Texas toast and Happy Meals on my account. My parents, siblings and friends — and the community at the gym — have all played roles in my fitness journey.
I can’t recommend enough the hiring of a personal trainer, at least in the beginning. The guidance I’ve received, and continue to receive from Steve is invaluable and a major reason for my success. If you don’t opt for a trainer, consider starting with a gym membership and check out the many classes ETC offers. There is something for everyone.
There are so many others in my community who are also reaping the benefits of good health and fitness. Watch for yourself some of their stories:
Joe Powell and Sharon Terhune
(Gym photos of me were taken by Mei Ratz, who’s an exceptionally good photographer and artist.)
Elemental Gym has a fantastic gym, some terrific programs and classes that will help you achieve better fitness. And, I might add, some great personal trainers: Steve Bechtel, Ellen Bechtel, Jagoe Reid, Sophie Mosemann and Lee Brown.