Thursday, March 13, 2014

Throw Back Thursday:How did I get here?

57 days...the countdown to swim time is on! I received and overwhelming positive response in regards to bringing back Operation Red Bikini, had I known so many wanted a Spring challenge, I'd have initiated this two months ago! Group support is a phenomenal way to ensure goal achievement. When I think about all of the times I have been most successful in any fitness related goals, it's been because of outside support. Let's Throw it back...

It's January 2011, I'm 60 pounds over weight. I hate my body and haven't the first clue how to go about fixing it.When I first began working out, my close friend Madeline coerced me into joining her gym. Insert terrified, self conscience, over weight, and over whelmed in an area where I knew diddly squat. Still, I'd go the gym, do my cardio *elliptical slave* and then I'd eye the weights and think I have no idea what I'm doing, time to bounce! 

After losing about ten pounds, I felt confident enough to try a group class. I grew to love the social atmosphere a class provided. I started meeting new people, getting inspiration from others, and developing an accountability schedule. If I missed a day on my typical schedule, someone was going to notice and ask why I'd missed. I loved that. I loved feeling like I belonged with a group. I loved feeling like someone cared if I was successful or not, I loved feeling like I wasn't alone in my goals.

Getting Active April 2011- We biked 13 miles in the woods that day. I was last of the group and sore in places I didn't' know I had, but dang it felt good!

June 2011, I'm getting married! I'm incredibly confident and I felt beautiful on my wedding day. 

Down 35 Pounds for my wedding. HARD work paid off
After the wedding and honeymoon, life returns to new normal

I was struggling to figure out what normal meant for me. I was able to maintain my exercise routine, but my eating habits took a backslide. I gained 13 pounds in six months. 

January 2012,  and things started getting tough. I couldn't let my weight continue to bounce all over the place. Inspired by an upcoming summer trip to Mexico, Madeline and I sign up for personal training together. Our trainer wasn't afraid to push me, she saw something in me that I didn't at that time. She forced me to run, only a half mile as fast as I could, once a week. Man I hated it, but once I started getting better at it, I started getting braver. I began running to and from the gym for evening classes. 1.5 miles round trip.

April 2012
Our trainer also forced me to weigh in on Monday mornings, which kept me from falling off during the weekend. I lost that 13 pounds fairly quickly, but I wanted more. Our Mexico vacation rolls around, and I must admit, I was feeling good. Attractive, maybe even sexy. The feeling was like no other. I couldn't help but think, I wonder what more I can do? 

Cancun June 2012
I hit a plateau, and needed to change things up. At the time I thought I was doing everything I could do to lose weight. Restrictive diet? Check. Cardio and classes? Check. I didn't put much thought into the quality of my calorie intake only the quantity. Meaning, I'd let myself eat anything within my calorie count. Lean Couisne, breakfast bars, any amount of carbs, It didn't matter- calories in calories out...right? Fresh foods were just to hard to plan for, I hadn't a clue where to begin. Additionally, I felt I was pushing myself and much as I possibly could at the gym. At this point, I'm not a runner. Running was scary. Running looked hard. Running was hard. Running one continuous mile seemed as plausible to me as driving to China for a weekend trip. 

Driven by an overwhelming desire to see where I could push myself, I signed up to run and train for my first 10k. In all honesty, I thought it was 5k training, which I felt would be challenging however possible. I'd walk/run a 5k before- in 45 minutes. Standing at the counter at the gym signing up, I looked down and see 10k training schedule written across the run group materials. I was terrified, but too proud to back out. Now or never mind set took over. I start running, and life changed. Fitness stopped being about looking good - though admittedly it is a wonderful side affect- and more about let's see what this body of mine can do.

Post first 10k Cajun Cup 2012

First Half Marthon Rock N Roll NOLA 2013

The hottest & most humid race I've ever participated in- NOLA Jazz Half October 2013

Cajun Cup 2013- Ran 9 Miles to the start line for a total of 15 miles (Marathon Training)

20 Mile Training Run - LA Marthon Training

Training for the marathon was an incredible experience. I still can't believe I ran 20 miles. Less than two years previous to that run, I was scared of a one mile run, and I ran twenty. Hurting my knee while running the marathon was a learning experience. Knock me down, but I'm getting back up. There's no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream. 

I'm using this little Operation Red Bikini challenge to propel me forward. To get stronger. To get better. To see what this body of mine can do. It's continuously amazing me. Over the last year, I've gained invaluable nutritional knowledge concerning balanced macro-nutrients, how to shed fat, eating for performance vs eating for aesthetics and where my life fit into that equation. When it comes to nutrition, knowledge is power. I'm excited to see where my Operation Red Bikini Goals will take me this year. I want to find out just how strong I can be.

This morning March 2014

Stay tuned next week for more Operation Red Bikini part deaux details- Link up date, say Tuesday?

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  1. You look fantastic and your hard work has obviously paid off! A 5K is on my list of things to do - I'm hoping for this fall! I LOVE your husbands shirt....hahaha "I don't do marathons, I do marathon runners".

  2. I absolutely love your blog and definitely relate to your story (lost 35 pounds last year- want 20 more- kind of plateaued)! I am running my first 8k at the end of this month. first run ever and I am scared. I definitely have not trained enough! But, in January I couldn't run .5 mile without walking. Last night I jogged about 1.25 miles before walking a bit. It's great to see some progress.... I used to be so embarrassed to say "I can't even run 1 mile."

  3. I'm excited for Operation Red bikini Part two!!

  4. It's a date! I loved this post LA. Loved it. Sometimes it just takes a little looking back to see how far we've come and how strong we've become. Strong women (both physically & emotionally) "SAY HAYYYY!"

  5. You've came so far, girl!!!! Gorgeous wedding picture!

  6. I also love your wedding photo:-) Thanks for sharing the whole shebang!

  7. Great and wonderful post - so excited to participate in this new chapters of our lives :) I fell off the radar when we moved this past December and sort of missed your whole marathon experience, but your story continues to be inspiring to me and I cant wait to see where we go!!

  8. I love the quote of running to get to your dreams. So perfect! Already all in for operation red bikini. I have a cruise in less than 40 days!!

  9. I am also working on trying to watch macros - I went to and found I should be eating WAY more protein than I am... so I am increasing it as much as I can!

    I love seeing your amazing journey all laid out in one post! You have done incredible things and I cant wait to see the day you post about squatting 150... or even 200lbs! I know you can do it!

  10. congratulations to your hard work! great job!.very inspiring post.Keep loving your body, keep loving you because you are amazing!