It’s a Workout Wednesday…

Hello World!!! eyes always do weird things in pictures...

As I was getting ready to teach a class last night at the gym, it occurred to me that I should share how I went from the girl who always placed last in those awful and humiliating physical fitness tests I was forced to take each spring of my childhood to the woman who teaches weekly classses at the gym and looks forward to training for road races each summer…

Like many major decisions in my life, I was motivated by vanity 🙂 … The year was 1992.  I had graduated from high school earlier that year and was now a proud freshman at UGA (Go dawgs!) Although I was homesick, I had managed to find comfort in the dining hall…At home, my mother never really fed me and my brothers baked goods as that was not her specialty. But now that I was on my own and armed with a meal card, I indulged in cakes, cookies and pies galore particularly as one of the dining halls was next to my dorm….And since a vending machine was nearby my room, I often indulged in Baby Ruth candy bars with a can of Coke as a pick-me-up for those early morning classes…And for a mid-morning snack, I downed small bags of salt and vinegar chips from that same vending machine…My girls and I frequently devoured slices of pizza at midnight before, during and after late night study sessions…And after church on Sundays, my roommate and I got down at our local Ryan’s Family Steak House….

Three months later, I was 20 pounds heavier, and my father began calling me “Big Mama…” It was especially troubling as my roommate who ate along with me had not gained any weight…It must have been all of that exercise she was doing as a member of the Army Reserves…My other girl didn’t gain any weight either…she was just one of those naturally skinny chicks….(i was soo jealous…) But I continued to eat and gain weight anyway…

The summer before my junior year, I saw myself in one of those surveillance videos at a supermarket…Before I saw myself on the video, I thought I was looking hot…I had on one of those full-body, shaped linen dresses that were in style at the time…I just knew I was just looking voluptuous…but I had to face the truth when I saw the video…I was beyond voluptuous…I was fat…

So when I started school in my junior year, I had a plan…I had to take one P.E. class to graduate so I decided to go ahead and finally enroll in a class…all of the walking classes were full so I had to take a running class….Thankfully, UGA had a diet program similar to Weight Watchers. I decided to enroll in the program at the same time that I took the running class. In the diet program, we learned how to count calories and plan nutritious meals according to what was served at the dining halls…I learned that with moderate exercise combined with eating 1345 calories and 37 grams of fat each day, I would lose that 20 pounds or so that I gained…

I huffed and puffed in that running class, and I was sooo slow that sometimes the teacher had to run with me because I was sooo far behind the other members of the class…And I monitored each morsel that passed through my lips and tallied up all of my calories and fat grams for months….And it worked, by spring quarter, I was fine as wine…And I had a new found appreciation for exercise…Our teacher told us at the beginning of the class that he wanted to inspire us to continue to run and exercise for the rest of our lives…at the time, I never imagined that could happen for me, but it did…I have never stopped working out….And by the grace of God, I will be working out even when I’m old and gray….

Now, I’m not as skinny as I used to be…In fact, I’m not skinny at all…I have discovered since then that what you eat not how much you work out is the most important factor in long-term weight loss…but I still love working out…To celebrate 10 years of working out, I ran a marathon (26. 2 miles) in 2004…True to form, by the time I finished, the finish line had been packed up and most of the runners were gone…but I still did it…I trained with the Jeff Galloway Training Groups. I don’t know if I will ever do a marathon again, but I do manage to run a few road races each year….And each year, I run with a Jeff Galloway Training Group…I cannot describe how alive I feel as I run on those brisk Saturday summer mornings…

If you’re in Atlanta, the 10k training program starts on April 17! I’ll be there…will you?

After...again, my eyes always do weird things in pictures...

Any thoughts?


~ by jackieholness on March 24, 2010.

3 Responses to “It’s a Workout Wednesday…”

  1. Definitely won’t be there (aside from the fact that my knees are screwed up from years of cheerleading on hard surfaces with improper shoes, I hate running :-)), but I congratulate you on your success. I am not one of those who can eat whatever whenever. I constantly struggle with my weight and find myself – once again – working overtime to lose the lbs I picked up during the holiday season. Each time around, I get a little better (with keeping it off), learn a little more. Hopefully, this time is for good. It truly is a lifestyle and I haven’t quite mastered taht concept. Congratulations again and good luck on the run!

  2. Yeah, I have problems with my knees from time to time too…yoga and certain stretches help with that issue…As far as your eating is concerned, it’s a universal issue – even the most fit people I’m sure are tempted by good food…Are you a member of a gym?..I have found that I’m motivated to work out if I am part of a group…preferably a fit group 🙂

  3. I joined the Y near me … like the environment a lot more than the gym. People actually come to work out :-). Also discovered that I need to get “out” – home videos etc don’t work for me. Will definitely incorporate more walking, tennis etc once the weather consistently warms.

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