Fitting In Fitness

Since my mother died when I was twelve years old, I have struggled with a weight problem.  All through high school, my Army service, my college years, and up until three years ago, I have been on a series of yo-yo diets.  As evidence of that, until fairly recently my wardrobe consisted of clothes ranging from size 6 to 16.

In October of 2007, something happen that made me rethink my approach to diet and fitness.  I had an abnormal mammogram.  Due to changes in our insurance coverage and a miscommunication with the diagnostic lab, I did not receive a clean bill of health until December 2007. 

During those two months of anxiety, I realized I had to change my life style.  In January 2008, I would celebrate my 43rd birthday, the same age my mother was when she died from breast cancer.  I was also a mother to a two-year old daughter, and the thought of my morality and leaving her made me take a hard look at my current health situation.  According to my OB/GYN doctor, I had many of the risk factors for breast cancer, I was at least 30 pounds overweight, I had a family historyof cancer, and I had never carrying a baby to a full term pregnancy.  I also sat at a desk ten hours a day, did no type of exercise, and had gained 20 pounds in the past year. Something had to give…

In the past, I had always focused on my diet, and eventually I always gain the weight back.  This time, I decided to focus on exercise.  I would try to eat healthy, but I would not go on a diet.

I started with the New Year’s resolution of running in an 8K race for St. Patrick’s Day.  My goal was to run, not walk the race and complete it in less than one hour. I started waking up at 5:00 am, and walking with our old faithful dog, a Shepard/lab mix.  It was so dark and cold that time of the day, I started running short stretches at a time just to keep warm.  After a month, I was able to jog thirty minutes without stopping. By Saint Patrick’s Day, I had lost ten pounds, but more importantly, I had completed the race without walking in 55 minutes.  

That spring I participated in several races, my time steadily improving, until I suffered a stress fracture in my left fibula.  After that, I joined our local rec center and rode the exercise bike, until I was cleared by my doctor to run on the elliptical.  Since then, I do the majority of my exercise on the elliptical.  With the addition of our youngest child, I stopped going to the rec center. I purchased an elliptical second-hand off of Craig’s List so I could exercise at home.

My weight loss was very slow, usually about one pound a week.  It took six months for me to lose 30 pounds, however I am proud to say I have kept the weight off for three years now, and I have given away all my “fat” clothes, there is no going back!

So, as part of our home schooling, I have “fit in fitness” into our daily schedule.  After circle time, and catechism, my oldest daughter watches “Super Why” on PBS kids and my youngest daughter plays, while I run on the elliptical for 45 minutes. At 9:30 am, we start back up with Saxon Math for my kindergartener and shapes, and counting flashcards for my pre-schooler.


About Mary @ a simple twist of faith

I am: a rookie at blogging, just started my blog in May 2010 when I became a full-time Mom. a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ, a listener of the Holy Spirit, and a Catholic. Pro-Life, , Pro-Woman and an adoption advocate wife to a wonderful husband for 12 years proud and grateful mother to two beautiful daughters ages 5 and 3. a coffee drinking fool, so I can keep up with my little girls a home schooling novice using my kindergartener as a guinea pig a runner, it keeps me sane and in my size 8 pants an avid reader , now of Beatrix Potter's books a former workaholic & fashion follower a lover of chocolate, and wine, and the finer things in life, although I cannot afford them anymore!
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19 Responses to Fitting In Fitness

  1. Sharon O says:

    Good for you. Weight loss programs can be challenging, discouraging or encouraging depending on the day or the week. It is so hard to keep at it and do the exercises and put it as a priority especially as a mom with little kids.
    For me my size is an issue at 5 foot if the charts are accurate they want my weight 30 pounds lighter than what the scale says.
    I don’t feel good when I am 105. Been there done that and it didn’t feel good. There was also a time of ‘almost anorexia’ at an 82 pound weight. (Our wedding day I was 85 pounds and age 18) short and petite.
    I wish you great success in your program and in your zeal to be healthier. Live weight loss site is very encouraging if you have never looked into it you might find it helpful. Take care and keep sharing your success story.

  2. Tammy Givens says:

    You should be very proud of yourself. Losing weight is very hard to do when your over 30 and even more importantly, keeping it off. I have to say, the thing that really got to me was the mention of your old faithful dog. I shed a little tear. Even though I only met him once, I still think of him from time to time. You are a positive role model for motherhood. I’m sure your daughters will grow up to realize what a gift you are. Be proud of yourself, because I think you rock!!!

  3. Thanks Tammy.
    I still do miss our old faithful and loving, Quincy the dog. He was our first “baby”, and the best dog I have ever known.

  4. Kyooty says:

    I put a lot of energy into trying to get my walking in every night but also eating correctly. The eating healthy can be challenging but I know if I don’t watch it? I can gain FAST!no matter how much exercise I do.

  5. Bridget says:

    I know this isn’t why you wrote this post, but I kind of want to give you a standing ovation. I’m always really proud of people when they make life-changing commitments like this. I have not. But I have thought about it, which (I guess) is a step in the right direction. I’ve been really motivated by one of my other internet friends, who has recently started eating better and exercising in earnest.

    So…Bravo, Mary! I’m so impressed and thanks for being an inspiration!

  6. Bozena says:

    I trully believe that not a diet but a life style make us feel and look healthier.
    Way to go,Mary!

  7. stephanie says:


  8. I just came across your blog from Conversion Diaries, and I have to say that your daughters are absolutely beautiful and also, this is so inspirational! It’s a beautiful way to sort of pay tribute to your mother’s legacy–that you recognize how important she was in your own life and strive to do the best to be healthy so you can continue to provide that to your daughters–and also, I’m just so inspired by your perseverance and your results! I’ve been exercising off and on lately but I’ll remember this to help myself get more steadily back on track. 🙂 You look amazing by the way!

    • Thanks Kelly! I appreciate your kind comments. I checked out your blog too, and admire you for starting a new book. I am a West Coast girl too, I was born and raised in Salinas. Some of my favorite childhood memories are visiting San Francisco, my Mom lived there when she was a young teacher just out of college. Golden Gate park, the De Young, the Natural History Museum, China Town, the list goes on…

  9. tricia says:

    you rock Miss Mary!!!

  10. Kudos to you!!!!

    I did not know you are a vet. I am, too!

  11. Brenda Gartman says:

    Mary, just read your blog for the first time. Just meeting and talking with you in May made me think you were pretty special. Now, reading your blog I think you’re phenomenal! Such organization and dedication not only to your children and husband, but to your own welfare. I’m very impressed. Since a suffering a back injury in May, 2009 I’ve quit exercising. My back is better now and I plan to start using my elliptical daily. Thank you so much for this encouragement! God bless you, your sweet husband and those adorable little daughters!

  12. Kim D. says:

    Mary, thank you for this post! So inspirational! Since the birth of my fifth child 2 years ago, and following two after-40 pregnancies, I have been dismayed to find that my body did not go back down AT ALL after my son was born! Yikes! So here I am, at the beginning of the journey that you completed in 2007. Thanks so much for sharing, so I know that I can do it!

    Also–something else we have in common–my dad died of cancer at age 43, when I was 18. I just turned 44 and it was so strange to have my first birthday older than he ever had!

    Blessings–Kim D. in WI

    • Kim, If I can do it, you can too! Just pick something you know you can do on a consistence basis. In the past, I failed because I had regimes that were too extreme and did not fit into my schedule. Do it for you, and for your children, you will be happier and healthier, and your kids will see a strong goal orientated Mom who values exercise and herself.

  13. Pingback: The Three Rs | A Simple Twist of Faith

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