My Personal Fitness Journey

I’ve been writing this blog for about two years and as my time at Galaxy is coming to an end, (I’m moving on to a new job) I decided to write a post about my fitness journey since I’ve worked here.

When I started working at Galaxy I was fresh out of college and was still in that college mode. So naturally I ate terribly, didn’t workout a lot and was carrying a lot of extra weight that I put on in those four years.

I thought when I got the job at a gym it would be sooo easy to get into shape and drop those pounds I added. Well I was wrong, very wrong. I actually gained weight the first couple of months because I had no idea what I was doing, I wasn’t doing enough and I still kinda went out and drank like a college kid. I knew that I had to make a change some how though because I wasn’t happy with myself.

I ‘tried out’ all of the personal trainers in the beginning to understand their styles and to help members choose the trainer for them. Here I was telling members and readers of this blog how to be fit and eat healthy and I wasn’t living that lifestyle at all. So I started working out with our trainer Lou in the winter of 2011 and haven’t looked back since.

But this is me before I started my journey, my last semester of college in Sping of 2010. Also this is soo hard for me to post! Eek!

Last semester of college at a fraturnity banquet I attended. Yes that is an adult beverage in my hand, one of the reasons I gained so much weight.

Phew okay now on to what I did to change my life!

Let’s just say that in the beginning it wasn’t easy. I thought I was relativily fit, I played tennis (in high school) and I went to the gym during college (mostly the first two years and then I was too ‘busy’ my last two years to make it regular.) Well I was very wrong, my first workout with Lou I got sick, then got yelled at for not eating properly before my session. I thought that a criossont and an iced coffee was an okay pre-workout meal. I was very very wrong. I got the riot act on what to eat and what not to eat. (I still get repremanded about this because sometimes I still love those bad foods! Here’s a little recap on what you should eat before!) After that first workout I realized that I can’t keep eating what I usually eat and doing what I normally do if I wanted to change.

Slowly as time went on things that were super hard the beginning got a little easier, so the weights went up and the time or speed at which I did things was longer and I started to notice small changes. I wasn’t breathing as heavy when I ran up the steps and I could do pushups with out being on my knees. I realized that maybe I could do this and reach my goals. It did take a while but the number on the scale started to drop as well!

Fall came and I had dropped a good amount of weight and I was feeling great! Then the ‘you should run the half marathon in May’ discussion came up. I always told myself I didn’t want to do it, mostly because I was scared that I couldn’t. I ran the Turkey Trot though and after that I was like ‘I can run forever I’m doing the half!!’ Well that is much easier said then done and even after I committed to the half I still thought I could do more. I talked it over with Lou and we went back and forth on what I should do and I then decided that if I’m training for 5 months then I’m not running the half I’m running the full Pittsburgh Marathon.

Fast forward to May of 2012 where I did finish that marathon and I was so happy that I did it and can’t wait to run it again this coming year. Was the training hard and were there times that I thought I couldn’t do it? Absolulty. I had to run 16 miles one day and I was by myself, but it was a beautiful day and I thought its so perfect out my run will be fantastic! That run was the worst run in my life. I was alone, running on a trail, bored and I didn’t want to do it. I texted the trainer who told me to do it anyway and to keep going, ‘it’s only 16 miles’ he said. I cried, I walked, I texted the trainer again, I told myself that I wasn’t running the full 16 that day. In the end I did push through and I did run the 16 because running that with all of the issues I was having would make me a better runner mentally. Because they do say that running a long distance or even losing weight is mostly mental.

Oh hi there it’s just Jess, finishing her first freaking full marathon!!

Sometimes it’s hard to see how far you have come and a couple months ago Lou had me put on a weighted vest for my workout. It happened to weight 40lbs which I just found out was the amount that I had lost thus far. If you ever want to realize how much you have accomplished carry around what you have lost. It was hard to believe that I had weighed as much as I had and didn’t realize how much of a mess I was. It was a real eye opening experience to do that.

I was dying at this point!

After running the marathon and losng 40lbs I still had more that I wanted to accomplish. Losing more weight, toning more, doing better on my next marathon and I will. Because of the support of my friends, family, my trainer Lou and the people at WAC/Galaxy I know that I’ll be able to meet my goals and most likely move past them.

So if you’re someone who has fitness or health goals and you’re scared you’ll never meet them. Don’t worry, you will. It just takes some time, some determination and the support of those you love to reach them.

There’s me now! 40lbs lighter!

I’ve had a great time writing for you all and sharing with you ways to improve to make your life healthier and more fit! I’m not sure who will be writing after me but I hope you enjoy what they write about as well and continue reading to find out information that will help you!

If you ever have questions for me or want to get in touch don’t hesitate! Friend me on Facebook, or visit my personal website!


Stop Getting Bored: Treadmill Workouts

So it’s Thursday, you know you need to get your workout in, more specifically cardio. What to do, what to do. You look around the club, seeing the elipticals, the bikes, a cycling class beginning, the jacobs ladder and then the dreaded treadmill. You hate running, you get bored running the same speed, same incline to the same music.

I get it, completely. I dispise running on the treadmill. BUT I then found some great treadmill workouts and I decided to give it a try. Why not? If I hate it I’ll get get off and go on a different machine. If I love it (whose kidding, if I can stand it) then I’ll maybe do it again and add something new to my workout routine!

Beginner Treadmill Workout (Click for a print version from Fit Sugar)

This workout is 40 minutes long and doesn’t go above a 5.8 speed on the treadmill. If the speed is to high or too low play around with it to make it more your fitness level!

Time Speed Incline
0:00-5:00 3.0 1.0
5:00-10:00 3.5 1.0
10:00-12:00 5.5 1.0
12:00-16:00 3.5 1.0
16:00-18:00 5.5 1.0
18:00-22:00 3.5 1.0
22:00-24:00 5.8 1.0
24:00-28:00 3.5 1.0
28:00-30:00 5.8 1.0
30:00-35:00 3.5 1.0
35:00-40:00 3.0 1.0

Intermediate Treadmill Workout (click for a printable version from Fit Sugar)

So you’re ready for something a little harder than the beginner workout. Try this 60 minute interval treadmill program with a mixture of brisk walking and slow running!

Time Speed (mph) Calories burned RPE**
00:00-5:00 3.0 17 1-3
5:00-7:00 4.0 8 2-4
7:00-9:00 5.0 16 4-7
9:00-11:00 4.0 8 2-4
11:00-13:00 5.0 16 4-7
13:00-15:00 4.0 8 2-4
15:00-17:00 5.0 16 4-7
17:00-19:00 4.0 8 2-4
19:00-21:00 5.0 16 4-7
21:00-23:00 4.0 8 2-4
23:00-25:00 5.0 16 4-7
25:00-27:00 4.0 8 2-4
27:00-29:00 5.0 16 4-7
29:00-31:00 4.0 8 2-4
31:00-33:00 5.0 16 4-7
33:00-35:00 4.0 8 2-4
35:00-37:00 5.0 16 4-7
37:00-39:00 4.0 8 2-4
39:00-41:00 5.0 16 4-7
41:00-43:00 4.0 8 2-4
43:00-45:00 5.0 16 4-7
45:00-47:00 4.0 8 2-4
47:00-49:00 5.0 16 4-7
49:00-51:00 4.0 8 2-4
51:00-53:00 5.0 16 4-7
53:00-55:00 4.0 8 2-4
55:00-60:00 3.0 17 1-3

Calorie Blasting Treadmill Workout (Click for a printable version from Fit Sugar)

Now if you really want to amp it up try this calorie blasting program! During this workout you can lose up to 500 calories! 500!! Did you know that if you did this treadmill workout 5 times a week you could lose 1lb! (1lb=2500 calories!)

Time Speed (mph) Calories burned RPE*
00:00-05:00 4.0 20 1-3
05:00-8:00 6.0 47 4-7
8:00-9:00 7.0 11 8-10
9:00-12:00 6.0 47 4-7
12:00-13:00 8.0 14 8-10
13:00-16:00 6.0 47 4-7
16:00-17:00 7.0 11 8-10
17:00-20:00 6.0 47 4-7
20:00-21:00 8.0 14 8-10
21:00-24:00 6.0 47 4-7
24:00-25:00 7.0 11 8-10
25:00-28:00 6.0 47 4-7
28:00-29:00 8.0 14 8-10
29:00-32:00 6.0 47 4-7
32:00-33:00 7.0 11 8-10
33:00-36:00 6.0 47 4-7
36:00-41:00 4.0 20 1-3

Take a Hike Treadmill Workout (Click here for a print version from Fit Sugar)

Now you’re bored with the mostly flat runs, I know me too! Try this hiking style workout where you’ll walk briskly and jog up steel inclines! Work those quads and booty!

Time Speed Incline
0:00-5:00 3.0 2.0
5:00-8:00 3.5 4.0
8:00-11:00 4.0 5.0
11:00-16:00 4.5 8.0
16:00-21:00 4.0 10.0
21:00-26:00 4.5 8.0
26:00-31:00 4.5 10.0
31:00-34:00 4.0 8.0
34:00-37:00 3.5 10.0
37:00-40:00 3.5 5.0
40:00-45:00 3.0 2.0

Well I’ve tried all of these treadmill workouts and all of them really give a variety of speeds and inclines to keep me occupied and makes time fly! Now after trying one of these workouts it still might not be your thing but search for new treadmill workouts online to get even more ideas to liven up your treadmill time!!

Also don’t forget to stretch!

3 Great Stretches for Runners

Ps I love running on the treadmill now! (well most of the time)