I started training in April 2012 (shortly after my youngest child’s first birthday) primarily to lose weight and to get in better shape. I love playing outdoors with my kids but was getting tired too quickly and not able to keep up with them. Over the past ten years it seemed I had gained 3-4 lbs. each year and my blood pressure had also risen each year. My doctor had recommended that I started exercising to get my blood pressure in-check, otherwise I would need to go on medication. I have a job where I sit at a desk all day and was eating out every day for lunch, not a good combination. For the longest time, I couldn’t find an exercise routine that both fit in my schedule and kept me motivated, until I found HAC’s Body Pump.
“I tried one class and was hooked, the combination of great music and excellent instructors made workouts something to look forward to each week.”
The first thing that I had to do was make the commitment to go every week, so I put the class schedule in my smart phone calendar 3 days a week (with reminders) to make sure I blocked out the time. Next, I had learned from previous workout attempts to not overdo it the first couple weeks, so I kept my weights light and just worked on form (and showing up). I found that if I took my gym bag in to work, and got changed before I left, it was one less excuse for me not to go to the gym.
“After about a month, I could really see some changes and could feel my strength and endurance building.”
I started to lose about 1-2 lbs. each week and seeing those results on the scale kept me motivated to keep coming back. I would keep notes on the amount of weights I was lifting in each segment of the class and kept a log of each time I could add a little more. Every few weeks I found I was able to add on a small weight to the bar. I have made quite a few friends in the class and the accountability of them saying “Hey, where were you last week?” does help to keep you going. This spring I joined the HAC 5K club. It was a fun way to meet new fitness-minded people and get guidance from experienced trainers on training for a 5K. We learned a lot of running techniques that I never would have learned on my own, and we had a lot of very unique workouts. I ran my first 5K two years ago and just barely finished with a time of 40 minutes. This year I ran seven 5ks and decreased my time down to 26 minutes. It was a lot of fun meeting with the group before and after the races to compare times and brag about new PRs. The combination of run training and Body Pump definitely helped me achieve my goals this year.
Diet was also a big change for me. I didn’t eat “diet” food, but I cut down on the portion sizes and cut out soda completely. Instead of going out and picking up fast food for lunch, I packed my lunch which consisted mainly of big salads with grilled chicken, fruits, and Greek yogurt. I also started eating breakfast, which I usually skipped when I was overweight. To date I have lost 40 lbs., and have kept it off by eating right and continuing to go to Body Pump weekly. I have recently added in RPM classes once or twice a week to mix it up, and run a couple times a week. My blood pressure is normal now for the first time in ten years. I was amazed when I lifted my son who weighed 40 lbs., and realized that not only had I just lost that much weight, but that I used to carry that much extra weight on my body every day. This summer was a milestone for my weight loss, because I made a major commitment to keep it off. I had to purchase all new clothes because everything in my closet was two sizes too big, and I got rid of all of my over-sized clothes. Now there’s no looking back. I owe a lot of my success to the people who have helped me achieve it. My wife Wendy has provided a lot of support to me by helping me eat right. I’d also like to thank the Body Pump instructors Susan and Tom, and the HAC 5K club trainers Kelly and Jen. I found it very helpful to have these great people as resources in case I had questions or needed help with my training. My next goal is to run the Delaware Half Marathon next spring. The great thing about running a new distance is you are guaranteed a PR!