Swim, Bike, Run…(sort of…like a turtle…)

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After a great weekend celebrating friends, family, and birthdays I had the chance to compete in the City Island Triathlon. It was an odd distance for me with the swim and bike a bit longer than a usual sprint. .8 mile swim in a river, followed by the a 14.5 mile bike, and a 3.2 mile run — my goal was to just finish under 2 hours (transitions and all). I knew I could do the swim in under 20, I knew I could do the bike in under 45, and I knew I would fall apart in the run. But last night as I broke down my results I really broke down mentally along side them.

…I was 3rd in my age group heading out of the swim and spent barely a minute in transition and that included downing a Gu…

…I climbed up to 2nd in my AG by the time I got off the bike and again about a minute in transitions…

…then came the run and I dropped down to 9th…

I am a slow runner and have gained weight that I know doesn’t help any of the 3 disciplines but seeing me drop so hard in the run hurt. I am an OK swimming, a stronger rider, and a horrible runner – and that needs to change. I know I am capable of a podium finish and one day I want to look back at this post and remember how far I have come.

Up until that point I was running on a high!! Despite a long delay for the swim start I had a great swim. I always have a slight panic attack in open water swims where even with goggles on you see nothing but brown (yuck). After some deep breaths, mantras, and back strokes, I got myself in gear and just followed the red bouys down the river.Not seeing any of the next waves swim caps around you is always a good sign!  I felt strong coming out of the water even though I used my legs too much and not enough of my arms (always a swim goal of mine to save my legs). Not swimming for a year will do that to you! Heading on the bike I was passing people left and right and mentally really strong. Coming into T2 and seeing my bestie and little bestie on the side of the transition area helped! Then I headed on the run and made it maybe .5 miles before my shins and calves cramped HARD. From there it was a slow march to the end. I finished 1:49 – 11 minutes ahead of my goal – but I wouldn’t have done it without the help of a teen tri-team member named Emily. She helped me run-walk-run to the end! At the finish her dad was standing there running along the chute cheering her on (because he had finished well ahead of us) and I couldn’t help but think of me and my dad — he was just like him. I told her to be proud of the fact that her old man kicks her butt and that even at 28…I still have not been able to beat mine!

The best part of coming into the finish chute was seeing even more first and little besties there! Kyle, Addi, Doug, Caro, Leslie, and Baby J were the icing on top of my first tri in almost 2 years – and so were the cinnamon roll pancakes we had afterwards.

High: Getting back into tri racing and having my friends there with me

Low: the run

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You’ve got to re-start somewhere…

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This year has been a rough one for little ‘ol triathlete me. I’ve fallen out of shape, gained back weight that I worked hard to work off, and slowedddddddddd down to a painful speed. My passion is back and a combo of running/biking outside again and morning gym workouts will get me back there but I really wish I could rub a magic genie in a bottle and get back to my lowest “race weight” if you will. It doesn’t mean I have not competed or workouts out this last year – I just have not had my heart in it and my body took notice.
Yesterday I ran the Parks 10k – the furthest I’ve run this year. Boy oh boy was it the wake up call that I needed! My only goal was to not finish dead last and I did that…but barely. I was using run-walk-run before I even hit the first mile marker and my shins were screaming by mile 2. This is a race that I could have done in my sleep a year ago. So what’s changed?
1) I stopped seriously running. I am talking planned out routes with intervals some days and maintenance miles on others. 
2) I have done little to no weight training. I have not gotten my butt into the gym and I need to.
3) I stopped learning. I used to be glued to info on form, nutrition, pace, techniques…but I could not tell you the last time I bought a Runners World magazine. Actually it was at the airport a few weeks ago…but that was the first one I have bought all year!
It’s gonna take time to get back down to by goal weight and form…but if I don’t stick to my plan I’ll never get there. If anything, the 10k I ran this weekend reminded me that we all have to start somewhere (or re-start…).
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Getting back into the swing of things…

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Back when I started blogging in 2013 the #SweatPink community and this little slice of the internet helped me reach goals I never thought possible. This little blog helped me lose over 30 pounds, helped me run PRs, and helped me find my strong. Since my last blog I’ve ridden multi-day Bike MS rides for the MS Society, competed in my first Olympic distance triathlon, conquered my first open water swim…and have fallen a bit off the wagon!

So I’m starting back up again and sharing my journey along the way. Keep an eye out for swim/bike/run training tips, cross training workouts, inspiration, delicious and probably not very health recipes, and more! I’m no pro – just sharing my love for swimming, biking, and running while holding myself accountable through this little slice of the inter-webs.
SO what’s up next for me? The 2016 Reston Century!
 This is probably the most difficult century I’ve ever ridden. It’s late August HOT, incredibly hilly, and for most of the ride we rode in packs…FAST packs…think crit racing tight and fast. Hopefully my dad will be back to run with me (and possibly push me up a giant hill or 10) but I’m stoked for my next century…and the post-century nap.
Stay tuned!

Race Recap: MCM 10k

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Marine Corps Marathon weekend in Washington, D.C. is one of my FAVORITE weekends in the city. Flags line the streets, signs are up all over the place, the expo is huge, and and runners from all around the country head to our Nation’s capitol to take part in “The People’s Marathon.” It’s different than other marathons…there’s no huge prize purse, the winners are often members of our Armed Forces, and the course is one heck of an emotional roller coaster. Each year the organizers offer a 10k (the last 6.2 miles of the full marathon) and that’s right up my alley. Perhaps one day I will get to full marathon status…but I’m sticking with my 13.1’s for now!

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This year I was lucky enough to run with my bestie Christy (check out her blog here), Amanda, and her bad ass dad. We met bright and early at 7:00 AM on the National Mall and headed to the security check points — and the weather was already pretty warm! Thankfully, we didn’t have to use any of the mile long porta potty lines and were able to line up in the 1:20:00 finish time zone easily before giving a round of hugs to our cheerleader Matt and starting off. Up in the sky, Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter parachuted down with the FASTRAX sky diving team carrying a 7,800 square-foot American flag as the National Anthem played down on the ground. How can you not get emotional? The cannon *yes…cannon* shoots off and the music starts pumping as we make the long trek down the shoot and get ready for this beauty of a course:

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Just a few weeks ago Christy and I set our new individual 1/2 marathon PR’s at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon and some medical problems sidelined me for much of my training time that followed. So training for this was…well…non existent! It consisted of a 2 mile run about 15 hours before the race to make sure I would be ok…but more on that in a later post! Stay tuned! So I turned to Christy at the starting line and asked her what her game plan was. She said she was shooting for a 13 minute mile, so I asked her if we could shoot to stay just below that and push it!! She agreed to my craziness and the next 6.2 miles were AWESOME! I could not be more proud of her (and thankful that she didn’t kill me)!!

About a mile and a half into the race we were passed by the leading hand-cycle from the FULL marathon course with his police escort and everyone cleared a path and cheered like crazy for him. The inspiration on this course if my favorite part: people running with photos and signs of their loved ones, single and double amputees, soldiers running in full combat gear, veterans of all ages! By mile 3 we grabbed our first drinks at the aid station and at mile 4 we ate our energy (a Gu for me and ShockBlocks for Christy) before heading into the final stretch. We were consistently hitting just above a 12:00/mile pace just like we wanted and at mile 5 we ran into Sgt. Carlos Torres who I read about after last years MCM 10k in an photo that because quite famous. Check out his story HERE. We chatted for a bit and thanked him for all he’s done before continuing on.

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A porta potty stop put us a minute or two behind where we wanted to finish…but we still came in at 1:20:31 at a 12:58 pace…2 seconds below Christy’s goal!!!!!! We sprinted up that final hill and were SO excited to see our favorite cheerleader (Matt) waiting for us at the finish. After getting our medals and taking out obligatory photo with the Iwo Jima Memorial we met up with Amanda and her dad who finished just a few minutes behind us. OORAH!

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IMG_4980Pictured from left to right: Mr. Brian (Amanda’s bad ass dad), Christy, MEEEE, Amanda

The energy around this race is absolutely electric. We left the medal area and made our way to the snack bags and then to our cheerleaders. The MCM does food RIGHT! Our bags had water, chips, protein shakes, fruity snacks, granola bars, bananas, and more! YUM! Then the delicious watermelon festival people were at the finish line as well and you know I ate two of those 😉 delicious!

Every time I run this race I carry with me those who have served, currently serve, or are getting ready to serve with. My USNA brothers from Christy’s family like Matt (who supported us today!), Coleman, Ross, Jener, and Hunter are in there…Max’s best friend Evan who is deployed in Afghanistan right now was there…my cousin Eric was there…all of our veterans…they’re all with me when I run this race! I love it! So thank you to all of sacrifice everything to keep our great country free. God bless you! This one’s for you!

Race Recap: The Reston Bike Club Century

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Today I finally rode over 100 miles.

Today I got pushed up hills like a baby by my awesome and wicked strong rider dad.

Today I rode in my first organized ride.

Every year for the past 32 years the Reston (VA) Bike Club hosts the Reston Century and it draws 1,500 riders from all over the area. This was my dads third time riding this century and it was my first. Now that the pain is over and done with and the muscles are icing up, I can say I loved it!

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They offer 3 routes:

  • Half metric (35.7 miles)
  • Metric (67.4 miles)
  • Century (103.5) — or a little longer if you miss a cue card or sign (woops)

The biggest different for my between cycling and running is trying to remember that this is an organized ride and NOT a race. That’s does not mean that we are going slow by any means…but it does mean that I need to remember that each person that comes up to me is not trying to race me (you hear that, dad?!).

To save an hour of sleep in the morning I decided to spend the night at my parents house. We had a healthy power dinner of grilled chicken, brown rice, and a lot of spinach and veggies…oh and then we split a Lindt chocolate bar (woops). We were in bed by 7:30 pm and up at 4:00 am to start getting ready. Oatmeal and eggs over toast for breakfast with 2 cups of coffee for both of us! We arrived in Reston at 6:30 am and were on the road at the starting line at 7:00 am. Looking around at all of the DC Velo and pro-team jerseys I know that I was in trouble!

Throughout the entire ride there really were few spots where we were ever on our own out on the road. The first sections were a little crowded for my liking (eg. where all 3 routes were rolling together) but then it thinned out as different routers headed in their own direction. I was pretty proud of being able to keep up with the “big boys” for the most part. Mom met us at the finish line and it was great to see here there so proud!

A few observations:

  • Cycling is a very male-dominated sport. At every rest stop I would run into 1 maybe 2 other ladies and 20+ men. Let’s change this ladies!
  • The RBC did a fabulous job of staffing and filling the rest areas. Every 15-20 miles there were marked rest stops in community centers or parking lots. Each stop had mechanics from bike stores, water, gatorade, bathrooms, racks for your bike, maps, and tons of food (PB&J, muffins, breads, trailmix, vanilla waffers, rice krispy treats, bananas, oranges, cheese-its, power bars, fig newtons).
  • RBC also did a great job keeping riders safe! There were electronic signs saying “cycling event, share the road, etc), state troopers at major intersections, SAG wagons for those who needed to quit or got hurt, and my favorite was the motor bike that took the main front group we were in through a particularly confusing area so that we knew where to go…I felt like I was on the Tour de France). Everything was very well marked!
  • RBC (again) did a great job with their post-race party. The finish shirts look great and there was a delicious spread of salads, pastas, chicken, fruits, an ice-cream truck on hand to give out ice cream treats, and a massage company there to help role you out.
  • I was so proud to see so many riders out rocking their Bike MS jerseys. I spoke with each one I saw and thanked them for their help!

What I want to improve on:

  • I want to be stronger! My poor dad had to push me up some gnarly hills (check out those peaks in the map! I am sure you can guess the 2 “hills” that were the killers). Big strong riders were stopping on hills from cramps, pulling off to the side of the road, it was bad. Dad would not let me quit and kept coming back to get me, give me a push, or (literally) push me up the hill in our granny gears. I cried on those hills…they will be scars in my mind for a while.
  • I need to eat and drink better on rides. I didn’t eat as much as my dad did on the century (my total for all of the rest stops was: 2 half PB&J sandwiches, half a bag of pretzels, half a bag of cheese-its, half a bag of trail mix, 2 orange slices, a Gatorade snow cone, and 1 banana). On the bike I had 2 gu gels when I really struggled, 4 shock blocks, and over 10 bottles of water).
  • Stop drinking gatorade. As you know, I am a HUGE Nuun fan. 2+ years of drinking Nuun as my sports drink of choice reaffirmed how sugar loaded Gatorade is. I got sick to my tummy today from it. WAY too sweet and sticky.
  • Intervals. I need to dedicate a day each week to interval training to get those muscles built.

All in all a GREAT ride, full of hills (the should re-name is the Never-Ending-Hills Century), and I am so proud of us!

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Look at all of that food!

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(right) How I actually felt about dad after that ride/hills/telling me it was a “flat course”/convincing me I could do this

(left) loving my pops

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Riders enjoying the massage section and all of the great food

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Feeling strong after completing my first century!!

Final States:

Miles – 103.5

Kilometers – 167

Time – 6:46 (5 rest stops with about 10 minutes at each stop for stretching/restrooms/filling water/eating)

Lessons from a Newbie Cyclist

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I am SO excited to share some exciting news with my blogger friends: my cycling dreams are coming true!! Two weeks ago I got a Cervelo R3 and basically cannot stop staring at it. I am in love! This is my first “real” road bike and I can’t wait to see how I grow as both a cycling and a runner because of it.

So here’s the R3 (name pending…open to suggestions!)…

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We took her out on her inaugural ride that weekend and it was great. I met my dad at 7:30 AM at his house and we applied tons of sun screen, checked our bikes, and headed to the trail. My parents live near a long stretch of great riding called the Washington and Old Dominion trail and we headed out for a 70k (44 mile) journey.

I’ve done portions of this ride before with my dad on my hybrid bike but never this far. We passed Falls Church, Vienna, Fairfax, Reston, Herndon, and Ashburn before we turned around. I don’t drive that far out – let alone bike it! Once we hit our turn around mark I started to hit the wall. I struggled to keep up with my dad and we climbed over little rolling hills and, as he put it, I was in survival mode. My goal was just to get to our final destination. There was no more passing people or channeling my inner Tour De France.

Just when I thought I could not make it any further we stopped in at the Green Lizard Bike Shop/Café in Herndon and grabbed a cup of coffee. It’s a neat bike shop with a coffee bar right off the trail. The coffee hit the spot and I was back to riding with some energy again – woohoo! Dad took a look at my full package of Shot Blocks and two bottles of Nuun and pointed out that I needed to be eating those more and that I should be finished with my Nuun by now…and I had only finished ½ a bottle at that point. Fueling for a 3+ hour ride is something I need to learn more about! Thankfully my dad is as big of a Nuun fan as I am.

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When we got home dad made us poached eggs and toast for breakfast and we watched the Tour de France (of course) before tuning up our bikes. I’ve watched the Tour with my dad since I was 8 years old and he really got into cycling a few years ahead of the Lance Armstrong wave in America. It was only fitting that I got my first road bike on the first day of the Tour!

The following weekend (last Sunday) we did another 70k starting out in Herndon and riding to the end of the W&OD! My old man is kicking my butt…but I am keeping up with him! Long story short, my butt hurts from hours in the saddle, my shoulders are sore from holding myself up (and tennis), and my kit was stinky and covered in sweat to wash…but I loved every minute of it! Thanks dad!

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No, I did not ride in that shirt, I have a jersey and bib to match the bike of course!

Now I’m no cycling pro…but I did grow up with a dad who is one! My real cycling adventure has just begun and I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned along the way:

PICKING A BIKE

Take your time. I took 2 months of bike shopping, online reviewing, and test riding bikes with a very patient husband before I finally picked my bike. It takes time and a lot of patience…but you need to know what’s out there.

Watch the market. If I would have bought my bike 2 months prior to when I bought it (the first day of the Tour de France!) I would have paid an additional $700. Summer usually means sales! Watch out for holiday sales or dates when new models are being pushed out. The next model of the Cervelo R3 is being released so the current R3 was marked down. Same great bike and huge savings.

Get professionally fit. After buying the bike, we spent an hour on a roller and table with a fit expert who got everything set and ready to go from adding arch support into my bike shoes to tightening every screw. Nothing is more awkward than having to watch yourself riding a bike in slow-mo on a big screen TV…but it makes all the difference! If you buy your bike from a high-quality bike store like FreshBikes, your fitting should be free.

LEARNING TO RIDE

Yes, I already know how to ride a bike and have been riding daily for quite some time…but not on a road bike! I quickly got the hang of the areo position, clip in pedals, and razor thing tires, but I still have a lot of learning to do.

Find a mentor. Latch onto a seasoned rider who can take you through the in’s and out’s of riding. Luckily, my dad is my mentor and he just moved back to the US meaning we can ride together every Sunday morning. As my mentor (he calls me Weed Hopper, haha) he’s teaching me how to properly shift, change a flat tire in minutes, properly clean and care for my bike, how to fuel, and know the different between the good gear and the bad. Oh and he is there to yell at me when I walk on his hard wood floors with my bike shoes as well!

Build your strength. Now I am not just talking about building up your strength and time in the saddle…but muscles you might need to strengthen now that you’re biking. As a runner my legs are pretty strong. I hated those “thunder thighs” in high school, but they power me though my runs and rides, and now I love them! Want to know what’s not strong? My shoulders and my core! Immediately after my first long ride I turned to my dad and said, “I really need to look up some shoulder gym moves and do a whole heck of a lot more sit ups!”

Pick a ride. Just like with running, riders should find a race, tri, or ride to sign up for to help them train. Knowing that my dad and I want to ride a century (100 miles) at the end of August will help me wake up early and ride in this summer hear because I have something I am working towards.

Invest in good gear. The first thing my dad told me when I told him I wanted to start cycling was “well if you’re going to ride with me you can’t look like a fool out there.” What he meant was that I can’t be out there in running shorts and a baggy t-shirt…I needed to be aerodynamic. Your butt will thank you for a solid bib or pair of biking shorts and your speed will thank you for the tight fitting jersey with handy-dandy pockets in the back. Luckily my dad has a closet (really…) of bike gear that I get to inherit when he’s done with a piece. He also has 3+ of everything so I got his gloves, UV sun sleeves, helmet, skull cap, etc.

Learn to draft. Every watch professional cyclist riding wheel to wheel? There’s a science behind that and this weekend I have conquered my fears and am learning how to ride right up against my dad’s front tire. Heading into a powerful head wind? Well tuck in behind your dad and BOOM let him pull you. As we ride I started a little mantra of repeating “just let daddy pull you, just let daddy pull you” which we ride so that I don’t give up or get too far behind him. So I now know how close I should be and where I should be looking ahead. Next up: figuring out how to do it continuously and use it to my advantage.

Cross train. I love that running further and stronger will help my biking and that biking further and stronger will help my running. They are complimentary!

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Happy riding! Do you have and tips for this beginner cyclist? Share them in the comments below!

Guest Post: Transformation Thursday and Hypothyroidism

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Welcome to Finding My Strong Blog’s first ever guest series. Over the course of the next 4 weeks I will be adding two guest posts from a wonderful writer who not only happens to be my best friend, but happens to be finding her own strong this year. Her journey through cancer, weight loss, and Hypothyroidism is one you won’t want to miss! Christy is a professional counselor and Mobile Crisis Team Specialist living in Annapolis, MD. Between lifeguarding for six years and subsequently responding to crisis situations with local police, Christy has learned to handle adversity, keep her cool, and how to make a plan of action. Christy is a strong believer in gaining support and learning from others and hopes to pass on some of what she has learned along the way. Christy’s journey to finding her strong is ongoing and you can follow Christy on Twitter: @beachnative27, on Instagram: beachnative27, and even on Snapchat for motivational gym snaps: (you may have guessed it…) beachnative27. Now join me as we learn more about to to build strong and healthy bodies through Christy’s inspiring journey.

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Hypothyroidism… Heard of it? I hadn’t heard of this endocrinological condition until I was 19 and had to face what it meant in regards to my life. Basically it is a condition where your thyroid gland is slow and doesn’t produce enough of the thyroid hormone. The major issue here is that an underactive thyroid upsets the normal balance of your body’s chemical reactions and the more severe your thyroid impairment is, the more severe your symptoms are. Now the thyroid can have issues with being too fast or too slow and the graphic below covers the symptoms on either side of the spectrum… this post however, will focus on my experience of hypothyroidism.

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Hypothyroidism officially came into my life when I was 19, but it was actually wreaking havoc for years prior to my diagnosis. My slow thyroid is the culprit of mood fluctuations that I experienced as a child and as a teen. I would slip into severe depressions every couple of years, but did not know at the time that it was abnormal. These depressions included irritability, chronic fatigue, an immense lack of motivation for day-to-day activities, self-loathing, and thoughts of killing myself when things got bad enough. I grew up in an active and social family family and I am no exception. I have a wonderful family and a multitude of friends whom I did not want to alarm, so I learned to hide my depressions when they struck by gluing a smile to my face and excelling in school, sports, and in life.

The game changed when my family moved across the country from San Diego, CA to Annapolis, MD and my depression hit hard. Suddenly I had to finish high school away from all my friends and I was angry. I stopped playing sports to take more AP classes and I got a job at the local movie theater to take up time on my lonely weekends. … The weight started to pile on. I was no longer running around all the time and burning enough calories to compensate for my increased emotional eating. I’d never been skinny, but I’d also never been fat… then suddenly I was 193lbs at 17 years old. At 5’8” I still wasn’t fat, but I was no longer my healthy self. Then the depression hit harder and I proceeded to cope by eating. My happy façade fooled people enough that I had plenty of friends and no one gave me a hard time for putting on weight, but by the time I graduated high school I weighed 227lbs. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that it was suggested that I get a thyroid test… a very easy blood test. Sure enough my results came back positive. I had some facts to face. The first and foremost is that I now take a pill called Synthroid every day to provide my body with the extra thyroid hormone that my thyroid gland cannot produce. I will have to continue taking Synthroid for the rest of my life to stave off the worst of my symptoms.

So what now? I was a college sophomore and I was hovering somewhere in the 230-240lbs range, taking a pill every day and miserable. Suddenly the majority of my mood symptoms vanished, but I was left to contend with my struggle to lose weight. I say struggle because having hypothyroidism makes losing weight approximately 4x harder than the average person (a fact provided by my primary care physician). For the typical person it is a matter of calories in vs calories burned, not for those with hypothyroidism. You have to work even harder to get your metabolism up to speed… because as you may have guessed by now, a slow thyroid means a glacially slow metabolism.

My goal is to be healthy and to be strong so I made a commitment to myself when I was 19 that I was going to turn things around. I got involved with my university’s lacrosse team (Go Saints!), I began taking part in group activities, I swam every day in the summer and I did lose weight. But then I’d gain it back if I slipped in my diet, even just a little. I learned then that this will be a struggle I battle every day, for the rest of my life. I had to find the fight within me.

At 22 I went off to grad school and my weight was an even bigger struggle because insane time constraints can make the poor health choices easier to make. At 24 I recommitted to myself and started running. I may not have been very fast and the weight may not have fallen much, but I dropped 2 pant sizes in a month.

At 25 I graduated with my master’s degree and my graduation present to myself was to join the 24 Hour Fitness gym here in Annapolis. I took control of my typical excuses by finding a gym that is close to home, is open 24/7, and it has a pool. I sweetened the pot when I decided to start working out with a personal trainer. He’s expensive, but he’s worth every penny. I began working with him about five months ago and I am still working to dip below the 200lbs line, but I have dropped 7% of my body fat and I have lost inches all over my body. My commitment to myself and working with a professional trainer has gotten me onto the right track to become healthy and reach my goal of getting the heck out of the 200s. It’s a struggle every day, but I have achieved so much more than I ever would have imagined when I was that hopeless, heavy 18 year old. I had to find my inner fighter and tell myself that just because I am faced with some extra hurdles does not mean that I cannot overcome them. I ran from the girl I was and hid in the food I ate. Now I run for the woman I want to be and I work out to make sure that she is as strong as she deserves to be.

A little trip down memory lane…

When I was young and then at my heaviest:

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Taking my life back:

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A couple fitness tips for people with hypothyroidism:

  • Commit to yourself and appreciate who you are
  • Develop a fitness routine that you can stick with and set realistic goals
  • Eat healthy meals 3x/day with two snacks in between (eating approximately every 3hrs will help kick start your metabolism)
  • Keep carbs to earlier in the day
  • Stay hydrated
  • Get others involved in your goals (your doctor, trainers, work out buddies, and moral support in general can be a big help)
  • Do your research to better understand your diagnosis and how to work with it

For those of you struggling with hypothyroidism or any other chronic health condition: do not give up on yourself… not ever. Weight loss is a challenge, but with the right support you can do it in a healthy and safe way. It is important not to compare your progress to those around you because your body chemistry is different and it is painful to watch sedentary friends lose weight while you consistently kick your own butt in the gym … at least it sure is for me. There are plenty of books and accounts out there for you to check out about hypothyroidism, remember that your experience will be unique to you as mine has been to me. I wish you all the best of luck in your fitness endeavors.

Laura’s Note: I am so incredibly proud of Chrity’s transformation. She’s a beautiful person inside and out — and a HUGE inspiration to me! I am also proud to announce that Christy has officially signed up for her first half-marathon this Fall. Join Christy and I (and Maxwell!) as we run the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon on October 5th and let us know more about how YOU are finding your strong.

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