50 days from today, I will be on a plane to Hawaii. Hallelujah!
My husband and I are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary, and going to Hawaii is a first for both of us. Excitement all around.
But I’m really writing this post because I want to closely document my fitness progress over this 50-day period. I want to do this for a couple of reasons: first, because I’m curious to see how much change can happen in that amount of time; and second, because I think regular check-ins are a great way to stay on-track with your goals.
Let me back up, though. I don’t want to give the impression that my fitness journey has been fueled solely by an upcoming vacation, or that it will end once my feet hit the sandy beaches of Maui (Can you tell I’m counting down the days? Did I mention I live in Seattle?? Bring on the sunshine!).
No. I set things in motion long before Hawaii was a done deal.
I’ve told you my story before, so I won’t go into all that. But basically, I reached the end of my rope. I constantly felt tired, sluggish, unmotivated, unattractive, depressed…the list goes on. These are ugly feelings, people.
I decided it was now or never. I WAS going to be the “real me” I felt was trapped inside the sedentary, unfit me. So I got to work tracking my eating habits and hitting the gym. I’m proud to say that I’ve lost a total of 20 pounds since starting in late October! And damn does it feel good.
Not just because my clothes fit better actually fit. In fact, I’ve gone down a few pants sizes already. But also because I have energy! Motivation! Passion! I feel happy and lively for the first time in nearly five years. FIVE YEARS. This is a huge deal.
So you can see, this is not a short-lived “get bikini ready” fitness stint. This is a lifestyle change—and I’m absolutely loving it. Of course, looking better in a bikini is definitely a bonus! And yes, a motivator.
That’s why I think documenting my eating habits, gym routine, and progress between now and May 3rd will be beneficial to my journey. Just because it’s a lifestyle change with life-long objectives doesn’t mean short-term goals and milestones aren’t helpful. They are.
Seeing changes in your body is extremely motivating. It’s easy to lose sight of your progress (and become discouraged) because changes occur slowly over a lengthy period of time. That’s why milestones are so great.
As for measuring progress, strength and improvement in my workouts are indicators on which I personally place a lot of value. Your goals may be different. Pictures can be a wonderful measurement tool as well; they can also be very motiving! And though scale numbers can be useful, too, they can also be deceiving. For example, you may be gaining muscle while losing fat—your body is changing for the better, but the numbers on the scale aren’t moving (or maybe they’re even going up!).
Unfortunately, I didn’t take actual measurements (i.e., inches) when I started on this path a few months back, which is really a terrific way to track changes in your body. I wish I had, but oh well. Instead, I use clothing sizes and fit to gauge how things are going, and that’s working great for me so far.
For the sake of transparency and kicking off this series, here are my current stats:
- Height: 5’ 5”
- Current weight: 138.5 pounds (was 159 at my highest)
- Current pants size: 4 (was 8-10 when I started in October)
My goals are not super specific for this particular milestone. I want to feel confident in shorts and swim suits as well as participate in activities without feeling like I’m dying! I have a way to go still, but I’ve come a long way, and that’s something.
In future posts, I’ll get some better photos together and document the details of my workouts—likely these will illustrate progress better than my weight and clothing size at this point in my journey.
I won’t be ditching fitness in Hawaii, either. I’ll continue to be active during my vacation; in fact, my husband and I have several hikes and activities planned. Of course, I do plan to indulge some while away (I love food!), but I’ll refrain from going hog wild. 🙂 And when I return, it’s back to the gym. Like I said, this is a lifestyle change.
So, over the next 50 days, you’ll see a series of blog posts from me as I share my workouts, meals, progress, challenges, setbacks, and thoughts along the way. In striving for long-term health, setting milestones can really help prevent you from getting derailed. Here’s to my next milestone: Maui!
Do you break up your journey by setting short-term goals? What kinds of milestones do you use, or have you used in the past? Please share in the comments!