Running it Off


Prior to the pandemic, I was averaging going to Orange Theory four to five times a week. Their HIIT workouts are addictive, and I was seeing results when it came to my fitness level. I was reaching my goal of becoming a better runner and being able to lift more weight, which if you knew me, I hate the most. I loved the atmosphere and the dedication that people at the studio had to achieve their goals. Plus, I had amazing coaches that kept me motivated and made working out fun.

Photo credit: Mari Rey 

As expected, I put on a few pounds since the pandemic started. For starters, I lost my workout community due to the isolation and I lost motivation. I also stopped putting so much pressure on myself to keep killing my body. After the first year of the pandemic, I allowed myself to slide back into old eating habits and engaged in minimal workout habits. I was also dealing with added stress from an incident involving my dog, Charles.


What started off as allowing my body much needed time to rest and recover, turned into the perfect storm of eating sugary (delicious) food, and indulging in baked goods. My weight gain became evident last October when I went to a wedding and the dress that I wanted to wear did not fit me any longer. I did not panic at the time; I had a backup dress and went on my merry way. Then…then there was an unflattering picture of myself that I saw that exposed the weight gain and I was not happy.


Months of telling the universe that I would get back on track, turned into a year of stress eating, laughing merrily, and putting on weight. Fortunately – unfortunately- I have been here before. In previous years, I had not loved my body and put on excessive weight that began to interfere with my lifestyle. This had to stop.


After giving myself a much-needed pep talk, I strategized how I was going to get back on track. It has taken a few months of trial and error, but if I can commit to going to therapy and maintain a healthy mind, I can most certainly do it for my body as well. The truth is, working out and staying motivated are not only healthy habits, but it is also a lifestyle that you must take seriously. If I could lose thirty plus pounds, I could easily lose ten.

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In the month of February, I began to run. I committed to running every day. In January I did a total of ten workouts, which is not bad, but it certainly was not going to do the trick if I wanted to shed the extra weight. So, I ran. To keep myself motivated, I created playlists to help me achieve my running goals. I find that a good playlist, even on my worst days, gets me in the right state of mind. My preference is dance/pop hits. There is nothing like a good beat to keep my pace steady!


Running was difficult for the first week. My body was not happy with me, but I was not going to let that stop me. I kept my legs healthy by using a theragun to massage my legs after every run to help break any lactic acid, drank water, and stretched to help with recovery. I also visited my chiropractor to keep my body aligned and healthy. I have now cut back my running to at least four times a week, and in total have lost eleven pounds! I am excited about my weight loss and am happy that I am feeling like myself again.

Photo credit: Mari Rey

The most important thing, for me, is not to be so hard on myself. There will be days where I will be excited to work out, and others where I will have to remind myself that I must get on the treadmill and run. I notice that on days I do work out, I feel the happiest. The way I approach weight loss works for my body. We are all made differently and must listen to our bodies when making any adjustments to our diets and workout regimens.


In addition to running, I changed my eating habits. I scaled back on overindulging on baked goods and sweets. That is not to say that I do not enjoy an occasional brownie, this means that I ration the amount I eat. I do not go out of my way to buy peach rings, I practice self-control. Sugar can and is addictive. It is not good for your body when eaten in copious quantities. I do not believe in extreme dieting; I believe in portion control.


A well-balanced diet and exercise do help, but this looks different for everybody. There are people that need to exercise every day to achieve their goals, others need to modify their diet and will see the weight melt off. Be aware of how your body responds to any modification you make to your lifestyle.


How you approach achieving your goals can lead to success. I approach losing weight as getting fit. I do not focus on what the scale says. I focus on what my body is telling me and what it is doing. I set goals for myself that are achievable and manageable. We often become discouraged when we set the bar too high and quit easily when we do not see results quick enough. Your health is not something you should rush to find a quick fix for. It is something you should value and have patience for.


So, if you are currently struggling with achieving your fitness goals or feel frustrated about not “seeing” results, hang in there. Good things take time to grow…or show, but the results are worth the wait.


Are there any fitness goals you have set for yourself? What are you doing to hit your goals? If you would like to know what apps I use to stay on track let me know in the comments below. 

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