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There is a great running program out there called Couch-to-5K that many of my friends have successfully used to start running. I, on the other hand, seem to have gotten confused and instead followed the “Ironman Triathlon-to-Couch” program. How does someone who seemed so fit and healthy several years ago wind up barely able to move and not have enough energy and motivation to simply sit on the floor and play with her kids?
Well, to get to the end one I guess must start at the beginning….. the very beginning.
I was born and raised Standard American. A typical day growing up for me would be as follows:
You get the idea. I loved my mom more than the sun, moon, and stars but neither chef nor nutritionist was she. And of course, now being the ripe ole age of 37, I grew up in the age of cable television marketing, mass media misinformation, and love of convenience, so I know I am like many of you in my childhood.
When I travelled off on my own to college things didn’t really get much better. By day I ate college cafeteria food, which of course did NOT include any vegetable-like matter unless it came in the form of a sauce on top of a pizza. I worked in a bar in the evenings so at night I just continued my nutritional degeneration by drinking copious amounts of beer, wine, and liquor (sometimes all at the same time) and gobbling up every fried item I came in contact with. Needless to say, I not only added the Freshman Fifteen but continued to add weight on each year.
40 pounds heavier and feeling like complete doo doo I finally said “Enough!” in my senior year and decided to go on a …. diet. And what did one self-respecting college student eat while on a diet in the year 1999? She had microwave frozen meals from Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine of course! Yeeeah. That went terribly. While I did lose a few pounds on this endeavor I also was so ridiculously hungry that I wouldn’t have blinked at eating my own feet had I been flexible enough to do that.
Luckily I am not a complete idiot (sometimes) and somehow the idea of exercising came into my head one day. So I started walking. And walking. And walking. While I wasn’t quite Forrest Gump-like in my intensity, I learned how much better I felt when I did move around and like magic some of the excess weight started to fall off.
Eventually after a few detours I got into running, and then a few years after that I got into triathlon. And well, go big or go home, right? Why do a sprint triathlon when one could do a half Ironman? And when that half Ironman was completed, why not just go do a full Ironman*? Totally made sense to me. Now that I think back about it, I was nuts. But back then I was completely loving the carb-fest that endurance sports was. Pasta, bagels, pastries, cereal and french bread were on my plate quite regularly (but still no veggies). And I thought, “if I lost weight by running and doing triathlon, surely I could do an Ironman and eat whatever I wanted and not gain any weight, right?”.
Turns out that is true, but not without some serious negative ramifications. Unfortunately though, those negative ramifications did not rear their ugly heads until a few months after my second Ironman…
Stay tuned for Part 2 – How I was diagnosed with “Hypothryoidism”, my mom dying of cancer, my miscarriage at 12 weeks, and how I found Paleo.
*An Ironman is a triathlon that comprises of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 (full marathon) run. It typically takes between 11 and 16 hours to complete.
See part 2 HERE
See part 3 HERE