Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How to Change Your Body

No, I am not talking about plastic surgery here.  If that's what you are looking for you have come to the wrong place because I don't really believe in that kind of stuff.  (Although, you can do whatever you want and I do feel there are certain circumstances where it is completely acceptable).

I'm not talking about some magical potion either, although I do wish that there was something that would make me taller! I'm a shorty!

What I'm talking about are the things that we do that can change our bodies, for better or worse.

Yesterday, you found out or it was reconfirmed that I was a competitive swimmer for about 12 years.  For quite a few of those years, at least 8 of them, I swam 8 times a week.  How is that possible when there are only 7 days in a week?  I swam two mornings, five evenings and one Saturday morning practice every week (except summers) for a long, long time. 

It paid off, in more ways than just my swimming times.  I was healthy, I was happy and I was in shape.

That all changed when I went to college.  For numerous reasons I really started to hate swimming once I joined my college's team.  You can't really blame me though, I had only had a handful of coaches and assistant coaches in my life and my team was basically my family.  Once in college, I was not one of the "favorites" and the coach definitely didn't take my needs into consideration.

I wasn't swimming 8 times a week, I was swimming 5 or 6 times a week.  The practices were different from what I was used to and I, as much as I tried not to, hated my coach as well as the sport I used to love. 

 I'm the second one

After two years on the team, I quit.  I remember driving Mike (he's one year younger than me so he finished out his second year of swimming at college without me, but then later quit because of co-ops) to the college the morning that physicals were taking place and I was still going back and forth on whether or not I wanted to swim one more year.  In the end, I didn't.

My body had already started to change, but after quitting swimming it just got worse.  It got really bad after Mike quit swimming too.  We became sedentary and complacent in our lives and we still ate the same amount of food as if we were swimming multiple times a week, but we weren't.

 Not in shape!

I definitely gained a lot of weight.

After a few years, I became fed up.  I worked hard to lose weight, some ways were healthier than others, but I kept yo-yoing for a few years.  Finally, I lost the weight and have kept it off now for 3 or so years.

 Mike's graduation day, just one year after the above photo

I still didn't do it in an entirely healthy manner, though, and after our wedding and honeymoon I knew that I wanted to make a permanent change.  Which is why we started running!

Now I am going about changing my body in a healthier way and I'm not done yet!  I like the muscle definition that I am starting to see, but I have a long way to go before I am "done".  (Are we ever really done?)

I'm really enjoying the Amazing Arms n' Abs workout that Ali found and I hope that I will have a six-pack after all of these crunches and ab moves!  I also hope to try Crossfit sometime, mainly because I want this tank top though!

What are you doing to change your body?

36 comments:

  1. I suck - I exercise but need to eat better. I love you in that green dress :D so pretty. I love doing all these ab workouts and pushups but I am most excited to learn how to eat well!

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    1. Haha you don't suck! Believe me we are far from perfect, just look at my recipe page! We are slowly making changes (and have definitely already made a few in terms of how much we eat).

      Thanks! I hate wearing dresses so this is definitely a rare occasion.

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  2. You look great!!!

    I'm running, strength training, etc. Slowly, but surely. ;)

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    1. Thank you!

      You'll get there, it takes time. The most important thing is that you are doing something about it!

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  3. Holy cow - you guys are young. Graduating in 2009? LOL I'm glad you made your healthy changes young. It is harder when you are juggling marriage, kids, jobs, and the aging process. You'll never regret the healthy ways that you change your body. That workout calendar on Ali's blog looks awesome! You guys just might inspire me to take it up. I swear my arms bother me on the bike more than my legs some days. Weird!

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    1. Haha, yea we are pretty young! We've been together for along time though, 8 years in September and married for 2 in July.

      Mike was mentioning that his elbow felt weird the other day after our ride. Strange!

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  4. I,also, have had struggles with weight in the past. Once I started running(22 years ago!), I have been able to keep my weight and body in decent shape. I know many of my runner friends are very aware and cautious of eating too much, but with our almost daily exercise, we can run and eat well! Keep up the good work, Jamie, your body and mind will thank you for it!!

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    1. Thanks!

      We still can't eat whatever we want though and although we are running a lot it's still good to be aware of how much you eat. Some days you don't need as many calories as others (long run days).

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  5. You are so freakin' awesome. You look fabulous and completely motivate me. My story is similar to yours. I'm finally back on track and absolutely LOVING it.

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    1. Aww, thank you! YOU are doing great too!

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  6. You really are a great example of making a healthy change Jamie, way to go!

    I love the changes that I have seen in my legs since I took up running but I really need to work on the upper half... Everything is just 'soft'!

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    1. Thank you Kristin!!

      I agree, my legs are definitely the strongest part of my body (always have been even when I was a swimmer) but now we are trying to focus on upper body strength too. I think upper body can be more difficult than lower since we use it less in everyday life.

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  7. I have a similar story with playing tennis in college, after college I gained some weight from not exercising! I just didn't like the elliptical like I used to love playing tennis. Until I discovered running!!

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    1. I think it is a common story for most high school/college athletes!

      I like the elliptical, but I agree it isn't as exciting as other sports/workouts!

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  8. I love that green dress and you look amazing! :)
    I'm loving weight training and seeing those results! It's nice to have "guns." ;)

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    1. Thank you Jenny!

      I want some "guns" too! My upper body is definitely weaker, which is funny since I use my hands/arms in my job, so I need to work on that more!

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  9. Good for you! Making healthy changes are hard at first...and then they start to seem so CORRECT! :)

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    1. Thank you!

      It is hard, which is why it took me so many years to figure out what we needed to do. We are loving our new lifestyle though!

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  10. You look amazing, Jamie! Thanks for sharing your story. For a long time I only ran, and it was great for maintaining a healthy weight. But it's only been the last year or two that I added in more strength training, and I'm realizing that is key to toning up. I still have a ways to go for a six pack or "guns" :) but I feel a lot stronger.

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    1. Thanks Laura!!

      I definitely have a way to go too!

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  11. Coaches can make such a huge difference, positive and negative. The coach is the reason I quite soccer in high school even though I loved soccer. SO glad you are on track and looking great! The past year or so I have added weights into my routine along with running to increase my strength and muscle tone.

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    1. They definitely do! It was hard for me to have a different coach since I had some pretty amazing ones growing up!

      Thank you! Adding strength is always a good thing! :)

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  12. I have always taken care of my body...almost to an obsession but I have been running for 46 years pretty steady and also over the years have done a number of classes, tapes, sports etc... I always hoped that you would be the same way and I see that I have been a very good role model!!!

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  13. This is awesome Jamie! I miss our swim "family" ... and I even miss Saturday morning practices :-) Keep up the great work!! - Andrea

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    1. Thanks Andrea! (I already commented on your facebook page haha) I really do miss our swim family! It was such a huge part of our lives for so long, good memories!

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  14. I've been incorporating more strength training into my regimen. I've heard so many amazing things and I am feeling pretty good these days!

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    1. Strength training is very important! I'm glad I'm adding more of it to my routine :)

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  15. I'm trying to eat healthier, but it's hard in college with all the temptations. But I really want nice abs!

    And it's so cool that you kept all that weight off!

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    1. It's definitely hard to avoid the temptations in college, I understand!

      Thanks, Rena!

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  16. Well done, I'm almost at my 3 year "kept the weight off" anniversary - woo hoo!

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    1. Thank you, and congratulations to you!

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  17. I know that even now I struggle with not eating a ton of food because I was so used to eating a lot in college when I played bball. Its tough, but its good you and Mike are being active and staying healthy. Now just to get Brian back on the healthy train. he eats well, but because of work just does not seem to find the time to exercise regularly.

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    1. It's so difficult!

      I hope that Brian is able to find some time to exercise sometime, I know how much he loved swimming!

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  18. I love this post Jamie and can relate on so many levels. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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    1. Thanks Suzanne, I figured quite a few people could relate :)

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