I'm Lisa and this g i r l c a n r u n . Swizzle.
I love to look & feel my best. I also LOVE to eat. I mean, it's a problem how much I can eat. Or, it's a gift. Maybe a talent, really.
I quickly realized that my love for food, a good cocktail and great company didn't always agree with my waistline. Enter: one scraggly notebook, several post it notes EVERYWHERE and about 8 billion google searches, and you get the genesis of this site.
In the last few years, I think I've finally figured out what it takes to eat well and look great - not that I do it all the time, that's a whole other story......
I've never been athletic. Not even a little bit. I didnt play sports, watch sports know sports - zero interest. The closest I came was watching gymnastics or ice skating - which I am ashamed to admit, I didnt think were sports anyways. I know, shame on me.
I never watched what I ate either. For as long as I can remember, I think I've always been just slightly overweight. Let me put it this way. I was always more of a DJ Tanner than a Kimmy Gibbler. I was/am 'top-heavy,' which my high school bestie said was the reason for all my "curves" (shall we say). She'd say, "you need some cushion to support those things." Ah. Friendship. At the time, that gave me some comfort. I was a size D in a sea of A-cups. When you're 14 - you hate that. (Meanwhile, in your 30s, you love it)
So, flashforward to around 2006. I'm 27, 5'4-1/2" (yes, i added the 1/2") and about 170 lbs easy. At the time I didnt feel overweight, but I am easily heavier than the average American woman. I dont know what happened exactly, or why it took me to 27 to realize, but I wasnt happy with myself. The closest I can think of, is that I got a promotion, started travelling for work, and started coming into my career. I felt slow and sludgy and wanted to feel strong and confident. You hear people say "Dress for Success." I didnt want to just "dress" - I wanted my outward appearance to match my inner strength. Trouble is, I had no idea how to do that.
My neighbor started taking yoga. I started going with her, twice a week. But I didn't change the way I eat. So, I gained some flexibility, but didn't lose any weight. Plus, it was expensive. I wasn't doing something right. Hmmm. Ok, time to google it. I needed cardio, I need to watch what I ate, and I needed consistency. Great. I don't know how to do any of that either.
Around the corner from my house was an all ladies gym. Ah. Relief. No way was I comfortable enough with my Fats McNasty self to be in a gym full of men, especially not knowing what I was doing. I took a small tour, saw some treadmills and thought, "ok, I'll just come here and walk on that thing for an hour everyday after work - that's cardio." As I was leaving, I saw what they called a "grooooup claaaass" - whaaaat? What is this group class you speak of? Ok, for those of you laughing, stop it. I had never worked out, and didnt realize that the Jane Fonda classes were offered in a gym setting too, and they weren't just for at-home video.
I jumped right into those classes. Forgot that treadmill with a quickness. 5-6 days a week. 1 hour each time. Cardio. Strength training. Repeat. I changed a few things I was eating, which wasn't too shabby, seeing as how I didnt know anything about nutrition. And BOOM, I dropped 15 lbs.
That year, I had to do a community activity for work. There was a sign up sheet at the gym for a 5K. I had made some new girlfriends at the gym, and asked "'what's a 5K?" Seriously, stop laughing. I didnt know what it was. "Oh, it's a run? How far is it? Oh, only 3 miles?"
Only. 3. miles. Famous last words.
I didn't prepare. No practice, no nothing. In fact, I think I even had a few glasses of wine the night before. Good Job Lisa.
So, this girl ran her 1st 5K - the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, June
2007 in 38:30 minutes. I felt great when I finished. I also didnt want
to do that again. Ever.
For the next couple of years, I maintained that weight. I ran the Race for the Cure with those amazing girls from the gym every year, but that was the extent of my running. 3 miles per year. I found that if I kick-boxed & lifted at least 5 days a week, I could eat (or drink) whatever I wanted to, and maintain that weight. I explained it to myself, "why restrict yourself, life is too short" or "i like my curves" Translation: Yep, slightly overweight, but fit. Sounds like it should be an oxy-moron right?
I wanted to lean out. In the summer of 2009, I did just that. I cut all the crap out of my diet. No processed foods. All fresh fruits and veggies. No drinking. Ugh. That was tough. Within 4 weeks, I dropped 10 lbs. I was tight. And it felt good. I thought, "I can't believe I waited this long to do this"
I maintained that level of fitness for awhile, but it wasn't easy. And eventually, life happens and you gain a little back. I couldn't always make my meals ahead of time. Or I'd eat out with work for lunch or dinner meetings. And if it was a dinner meeting, that was a double whammy for me - I worked out in the evenings. So a dinner meeting meant no workout. And then there's the time with your friends, or family. Relationships. So while I didn't ever get back up to that 170, I did gain a little back. For me, I know I wouldn't teeter totter with my weight if I was focused and dedicated. I proved that to myself in 2009. But I I know myself well enough to know that it doesn't come naturally to me. But I want to be healthy. And I do love to look and feel great. And eat. Oh and I cant tell you how warm apple pie with cold vanilla ice cream tastes with a smooth glass of good bourbon. Hello 1000 calories, nice to see you too.
So I kept fitting in those workouts when I could and took up running full time in 2010 with my main dude FP. We ran a 5K every month. I had to have something on the calendar every month - in the cold, rain, hot summer sun - whatever - or I might just skip that run and instead sit in the dark, shades drawn, and devour an entire Anna Maria's medium pizza, extra cheese, extra sauce (ugh, I'm not proud). With a race always around the corner, I had to run. Nothing I hate more that trying to run a race, and you cant... It's painful. Old people are passing me. Strollers are passing me. My lungs hurt, my legs hurt, ugh, my eyebrows hurt. Plus, FP just wakes up and hits a 26 min 5K. I'm so jelly of that. I'd train and train, hit 32 min. Really. But I digress... He keeps me motivated. I gotta try to catch him every time.
I never considered myself a "runner" - I could barely break a 30 min 5K, sometimes I had to walk, I never ran a consistent amount a miles per week, or ran with one of those water belts or compression socks, or even knew why people wore compression socks. I didn't eat a runner's diet. I had only recently learned what type of shoe to wear as a wide footed, flat footed, over-pronator (sexy yes?) At the races, the serious runners would be in the front with all their gear on. I'm in the back, in my 'spring break 1999' shorts, 2 sports bras and a wife beater - So yeah, I never thought of myself as a runner. FP said, "Why not? You run right? You're a runner"
I learned more about technique. What to do / eat leading up to a race. I got better gear to help me run in the elements. FP & I continued doing a race a month into 2011, mostly 5Ks again, but adding in the Kripsy Kreme Challenge, a few 4 and 5 milers, and the Warrior Dash. And I'm addicted.
So here we are 2012. This year I will be good to me. I want to be healthy and fit, look fantastic in my clothes, occasionally enjoy that greasy pizza, apple pie or smooth bourbon AND run my best race ever. So how does a regular girl, who is lazy, likes to eat, and has zero focus accomplish this? She writes it all down for the world to see and holds herself accountable. (Well, that and she plans a trip to Mexicanaville where she is determined NOT to be rolled off the plane)
I am a runner. And in 2012, I'll hit 1000 miles. I'll run my first 10-miler and my first half, all while trying to balance work, family, love and life. I can't say I'll retire the scraggly notebook or the ten thousand post-its around my house, but I will put it all here. And together, we can share serious tips coupled with funny stories on how we get there. I'll share recipes that are getting me through it, my favorite workout routines, the playlist I'm running to this week and products that I LOVE that work for me that may work for you too. Not to mention what's going on in life - if I was able to run/workout or if I missed it - which I do. What I'm reading or watching. What's doing with FP and what's doing with YOU. We'll talk about it here on g i r l c a n r u n - I hope you'll join me !