I started hiking a little over a year ago at a little trail down the road we call Telegraph Pass. I went with my good friend Heidi on a Saturday morning in March 2011. Little did I know that this little hike would begin a new chapter in my life. At this point, even the thought of exercise made me tired! I thought about it a lot. I did TONS of research:
The more I knew, the more prepared I’d be! Right??
I refused to buy new clothes until I started losing weight, because I was determined not to be overweight (for me) forever!
We live in a place where people are very active. Whenever you leave your house on any given morning, there are at least 20 people between our house and the main road through Ahwatukee that are running, biking, walking their dogs, walking their kids, etc. I noticed that there were always tons of people at the trailhead down the road, and wondered why it was so popular. There is even a sign that says “no parking in neighborhoods for trailhead.” So I thought to myself, “This must be a fun place, I should check it out sometime!” I noticed that a lot of my new friends in the area were always either coming from or going to the trail when I saw them. So I mentioned it to Heidi one day, and she agreed to take me there!
I was so out of shape that I couldn’t even make it to the top! I made it about 2/3 of the way up, and told her to go ahead. “I’ll be right here!” I said, lol!
I’m a pretty stubborn girl, so that next Wednesday, I decided that I was going to make it to the top no matter WHAT! No matter HOW many times I had to stop, I was going to make it all the way this time! Well, I probably stopped 4-5 times, but I made it! Something about the way I felt after I got to the top, and got an awesome workout, kept me coming back. Pretty soon, I was hiking 3-4 times per week, going to Piestewa (Squaw) Peak, Camelback, and even exploring the rest of South Mountain.
The pounds just started falling off! It was amazing! All of the time I spent on the couch thinking about ways to lose weight without having to get off of my ass were such a waste of time! Here I was with a new way to be active and have fun at the same time. Not to mention, clear my head from work, and everything else that I had going on in my life.
Eventually, after getting into pretty darn good shape, I started running on some of the trails. I would do a combination of hiking and running almost every time I went.
In October, 2011, I volunteered to give flu shots at the 2011 Phoenix Aids Walk with my company, Walgreens, who was the title sponsor.
My colleague giving shots with me was signed up to run the 5K. As you can see (that’s her on the right) she did great! The atmosphere and excitement was contagious! From that moment, I wanted to sign up for a race. I almost randomly signed up that day, but someone had to run the flu shot table!
I got online and found the Women’s Running Magazine 5K. It was a month away, and it was perfect for me! So I signed up, ran it, and loved it!!
My first race! I even got a finisher’s medal! From then, I was hooked! I did the Mesa Turkey Trot 10K:
And the 12K’s of Christmas, and had planned on doing a half marathon in January. I started having knee pain, and ended up not doing the half because of it.
Since January, I have been in PT for my issue, and am a lot better now.
I can’t believe it has been a year already! I am SO happy with running and hiking now! I am signed up for my first half-marathon in May. I really hope I can do it! I have trained up to 7 miles so far, and plan on getting to 10 miles the week before.
The whole point of this post is to express how amazing I feel since I have started hiking and running. I never thought I would get into this kind of shape again. Ever! It did not happen overnight. It has been a complete lifestyle change. Along with the hiking and running, I also started eating better. I was always a very “bi-polar” eater. I would eat realllllly clean and healthy for like 2 or 3 days, then just absolutely sabotage my diet; and decide to start over “Monday.” I have learned to incorporate moderation into my habits. I let myself have fro-yo without feeling bad about it!
Who has a fro-yo addiction?! I DO!!
So here are some before pictures(don’t get me wrong, I felt beautiful at my wedding, but I was NOT healthy!):
I want to hear your stories! How have you improved your life through exercise and diet? What does exercise do for you? Are you totally addicted to running? Hiking? Biking? Swimming? How much weight have you lost since you started? Tell me ALL about it! Oh, and what’s your favorite fro-yo?