Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Fitness Journey

I have struggled with weight since I was in high school. It wasn't until I was in my 20s that I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which in addition to having a side effect of infertility, also has a side effect of extreme weight gain and difficulty losing weight. This made a lot of sense to me, but I was unwilling to accept weight gain and tried numerous diets. If I wasn't on a diet, I was gaining weight. When I was 30, I was diagnosed with Hoshimoto's Thyroiditis, which is an auto-immune version of a slow thyroid. It basically means that my body views my thyroid as a foreign object and produces an excess of white blood cells to attack it. A simple dose of synthroid isn't enough and my levels have to be checked and balanced several times a year.

To keep from gaining excessive amounts of weight, I did some crazy crash diet every year. I know, this is bad. Crash diets are bad. They make you lose lean muscle tissue and when you gain weight back, you gain fat cells. I know. I just wasn't willing to allow myself to get out-of-control overweight.

In the fall of 2005, a friend of mine called and said, "Hey, Jen, you want to walk a half-marathon with me?" My response? "Why?" Seriously, that's what I said. I couldn't imagine why in the world I would want to walk 13.1 miles. She convinced me, though. She and I both lived in the Phoenix area, but live a long way apart (an hour's drive, at least). We decided we would train with our shorter walks on our own during the week and then meet on Saturdays in a central location to do our long walks. I thought it would be a nice way to hang out with my long-time friend once a week.

To do a half marathon, to walk a half marathon, in a race designed mostly for runners, there is a time limit. For this race, it was 4 hours. That meant I would need to walk faster than a 17-minute-mile pace. I was walking much slower than that, so during my training to increase my distance and my time, I started to get addicted. I did my first half marathon in January of 2006 and my second one in February of 2006. This walking thing had really gotten to me and another friend and I decided to start training for a full marathon... walking! I did my first full marathon in San Diego in June of 2006. It took 6 hours and 33 minutes. It was challenging. It was painful, but I did it!

To date, I have done 17 half marathons and 4 full marathons.

Long distance walking not only helped me to control my weight (not completely, but some), it also gave me free space in my head. There's just something about being out there for over an hour on casual training days, that turned off the busy thoughts in my head.

While walking helped to control my weight, I still struggled with it. It was in June of 2012, that a friend told me about a product line called Advocare. I was turned off at first. "Oh, brother, what are you trying to sell me?!" Well, I tried it, and couldn't believe the amazing difference it made. They have lots of different products for weight loss/maintenance, but the MNA vitamins/supplements helped to control my appetite and I not only lost weight, but was able to maintain it!  I have been taking Advocare products for two years now. I never stick with anything that long, but this stuff works and I can't imagine ever stopping.

 I am not in business with Advocare, but people can order products through me. I'll include a link below, if you want to check it out. Be sure to click on the Shop section and go to the Trim section for weight loss products.

 I share this story and I will share more about my fitness journey because long-distance walking, combined with Advocare, combined with healthy eating has made it so I have not roller-coastered in weight for the past two years. This has never happened before. At age 50, I have finally found something that works for me and I'm never going back.

If you're interested in hearing more, check out my video linked at the bottom of this post.

Advocare: https://www.advocare.com/120625655/default.aspx

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