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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Feeling Fit + Inspiring You!

It's about that time in the year when most people have forgotten their New Year's resolutions and let their shiny new gym memberships go unused. It's winter-slump time when everyone is tired of the cold and snow and ready for spring. I figured it was time for some inspiration! So here's a personal story about my own weight-loss journey over the past 6+ months...

Last May I went hiking in the Olympic National Forest in Washington State. It was an amazing trip full of new sights and experiences that I'll never forget. Unfortunately when I returned, I was kind of surprised to see what I actually looked like in the photos taken of me. I guess I hadn't realized how much weight I had gained while mourning the loss of my dad. Honestly, I had probably been slowly gaining for a while at that point, but the grieving process really took its toll on me.

And even though I've been a long-time hiker and very active overall, my diet was the problem. I was eating too much pizza and desserts. 

I'm not sure how the "diet change" took place, but when I returned from Seattle, I started eating salads for lunch every day. I found that I really liked red peppers and if I put half a red pepper in my salad, I enjoyed eating salads a lot more!

Once I started liking salads, I found myself eating a lot more veggies and no longer eating breads and pasta. It's weird when you start introducing healthy foods into your diet how the unhealthy foods become unappealing.

Within a month, I had lost 5 lbs. And then another 5 dropped off quickly. People began asking me if I was losing weight and my clothes became so loose I had to buy new pants - smaller pants! 

The weight loss invigorated me and I began to lift some small hand weights in my living room while watching t.v. At first it was just a few sets of bicep curls with 10 lb. weights, and then I progressed to a bunch of different exercises using 15 lb. weights. I alternated arm exercises with ab exercises every other day, while keeping up with my regular walking/hiking routine.

My body firmed up and continued to slim down. I felt toned, stronger and energized. It was amazing!

Why am I telling you this? Why am I sharing all these personal details?

It's not to brag. Believe me, I'm not the bragging type. 

It's because I want you to feel inspired. I want you to know that if you are struggling with weight loss and trying to get healthy, you can do it. It is possible.

I love hiking and being in nature. It's a part of my soul and something that I'll never give up. It makes me strong and free and independent.

But a healthy lifestyle isn't just exercise or diet. It's both. Combining them is the secret. It's the magic diet miracle everyone is always looking for. It's possible. You don't need an expensive gym membership or fancy equipment. You need to invest in healthy foods - and yes, it'll cost more, but you'll be eating less so actually it's about the same. Plus, when your health improves you're saving money in the long-run that you might end up spending on medical expenses for living an unhealthy lifestyle.

I had been feeding Charlie a homemade, healthy diet that cost more than what I was feeding myself. When I realized this, I figured it was time to invest in myself as well. Now we're both healthy and fit. And I can't wait until all the ice and snow melts away from the trails so we can get back out there and have some fun!


May 5, 2015 at 168 lbs:

February 18, 2016 at 135 lbs:


2 comments:

  1. Wow, your story IS inspirational, Heather! It's only in the past decade that I've had to watch my weight. A strange thing. My metabolism was always so fast. It sounds like we have a similar high point and healthy weight. When I was my heaviest, I quit drinking soda--regular and diet--and lost 10 pounds within a few weeks! I also went to a low-meat diet, and increased my fresh veggies and fruits. Healthy eating, walking, hiking, and gardening keep me healthy in spring, summer, and fall. I have trouble finding an exercise to stick with during the winter--I like your idea of using the weights while watching TV. I'll try that! Thanks!

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    1. I'm always less active in the winter months when it comes to hiking/walking, so adding the little bit of weight workouts has helped maintain the weight loss. It's amazing how adding a little bit of muscle really helps continue to burn calories, even when I'm not doing more aerobic activities. Hope it works for you too! :)

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