This really has been echoed in the past by a lot of attempts to get in shape that really failed miserably. The main factor in my failure was doing little to no cardio (eh, who am I kidding, it was just no cardio). As well, I didn’t have a gym so I thought that if I did a billion sit-ups and push-ups a night I would be in shape, but I couldn’t even manage to keep that up regardless. So, last year, literally Jan 1st 2010, I decided that I would start going to the gym and working out. The results have been pretty incredible in a year — or at least, I think so. The real motivation were the comments I kept getting from friends and family describing me as “able to drink a lot of beer” or “having a lot of fun in college” when they pointed at my stomach pudge. Gross. Well, I guess, thank you family because it worked and it was actually in a good time frame, considering I joined the Navy soon after. Mentally, I had already been mulling over the option and so it helped me get the routine started.
Initially the January through April period I had just bought a lot of stuff to do at home because I was embarrassed about going to a gym. One, I looked pretty awful, and two, I had no idea what the equipment did or how to use it. I had never been to a gym, never ran on a treadmill, or did a lat pull down. And, my gym at the time was provided as part of my tuition at Trinity University, so that meant I would have to see close friends, most of whom I felt where completely ripped and would think I was a fool. I realize now that most people who are working out actually really like helping other people and giving pointers. After all, getting in shape is kind of like a club. We’re all addicted to it and we want to get more people to join in.
I opted to take bi-weekly progress shots to help me get motivated as well, and that was, at first, horrific, and later, much more pleasing to reflect upon. The first time I went to the gym I got on the treadmill and tried to do a mile at 5 MPH, which was impossible. I couldn’t breathe and thought I would die. Yes, I’m serious, I was that out of shape (thankfully though, I was only 218 lbs at my fat kid peak, so it wasn’t awful on my frame). I still remember the moment I did a ten minute mile. I felt like a champion — and I told a friend who quickly noted that she could do that in middle school. Wow, I was a total joke.
Through a mixture of weights and cardio, however, I am now, almost a year later, in the best shape of my life and really content with my progress. (I can run 7 miles a day easily and I’m usually doing around 40 miles a week, with a day off for just lifting and rest.) The process of getting here kind of sucked. Protein shakes and targeted exercises, lots of pushing myself to limits I couldn’t even imagine being able to go. It really does suck. But if you push through it, I guess anything is possible. The hardest part of it all was starting and then staying motivated.
I’m actually not sure what I should do next. Get a six pack? I actually think those are kind of gross. I wouldn’t mind getting larger pecs or arms, but I feel like being bulky isn’t really good for the Navy. And although the Jersey Shore says being a juice head is a good goal, I’d rather be slim and trim. Currently, I’m about 170 lbs of raw steel and sex appeal. I can always make better my best and I never plan to let it rest, so it looks good for the future. All this said, I still eat fast food at least three times a week. There is nothing in this world that will ever stop me from eating delicious 99 cent chicken sandwiches from Jack in the Box. I could eat this 3 times a day every day, and, in college, I usually did.