Saturday, June 11, 2011

how fitness changed my life

so anyways, no cute kid stories to share.
Frankly, they're driving me a little nuts today.
Has school really only been out two weeks?
Because I've heard "I'm bored" about one too many times,
along with "I'm hungry" and "(insert name) is bothering me"

So how do I deal?
What is my stress reliever?  
Here is my story.

Several months after Amelia was born, which was in January of 2007, I had a routine doctor's appointment.  I stepped on the scale and I was in shock.  I went home and went straight to the computer and signed up for  I committed myself and made major changes to my diet.  Within a couple weeks, I felt so much better.  Less fatigue, more energy, overall happier.  At the same time I started weight watchers, my place of work was having a Biggest Loser contest.  At the end of 12 weeks, I had lost 35 pounds with diet changes alone.  I won the contest.  My confidence was increasing.
I decided it was time to add in exercise.  A good friend of mine joined the local gym along with me and we started our early morning (4:00 a.m.) workouts.  Again, I was 100% committed to making this change in my life.  I pretty easily lost another 25 lbs over the next three months.  I remember going shopping with my mom and I picked up a pair of jeans to try on.  I ended up having to go down 2 sizes to get the pair that fit.  Another time I was shopping with my sister in law and tried on a sleeveless top.  Her response was "holy crap, look at your arms!"  It was really hard to get used to the compliments and I felt a little strange in my new body.
But as time went on I felt much stronger and able to accomplish any challenge that came my way.  I started running and a year after starting my weight loss, I ran my first 5K.  That was the first of many.  I continued my early morning routine and it just became a part of my life.
Last year I trained for and ran the Rock and Roll Half marathon in Chicago with my best friend.  The thing I love about fitness is that once you meet one goal, there is always another goal you can work towards.  
Lately, I have been part of the OXF classes (O'Connell Extreme Fitness) and it is changing my psyche in even different ways.  I can do things I never thought I'd be able to do and I love being pushed beyond what I've always thought my limits to be.  
Over the last four years my overall disposition has changed in several ways.  I have a lot more confidence in myself and what I am capable of.  I look at almost every problem from the angle of how I can solve it and make it into a learning experience.  And most importantly, I work hard to be a positive person who has a positive impact on whomever I come in contact with; whether it's my kids, coworkers, friends, patients, etc.  
And sure I have bad days and bad moments, lots of them actually.
But it's how I deal with those things and react to them that has changed.
And I attribute this evolving attitude to my fitness has made me a stronger and better person in so many ways.
Along with all this, sweating like crazy and getting my heart rate up is the best way to beat down stress and clear my mind.
So I may be away from the kids for an hour or so every day to exercise, but believe me, everyone is happier because of it!
I am looking forward to new challenges and even more knowledge of myself and who I want to be in my future.
Another great thing that has come from all this is that my kids are learning to be healthy.  My oldest is very health conscious and works out all the time.  He eats fairly healthy and take vitamins regularly.  The younger kids are slowly adapting to less sugary snacks and they will at least try vegetables.  They eat whole wheat bread and pasta and look at fruit as a treat.  They love to run and play and even did some yoga alongside me today.  
So there it is, a little about where I am now and why my workouts  are so important to me:))

(p.s. it's hard for me to say so much about myself, and despite not really wanting to publish this post, I'm going to do it anyway......leaving my comfort zone a little tends to make me a bit of a stronger person)

"to keep the body in good health is a duty.....otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear" ~~ Buddha


  1. Wow Alissa! Your story kinda sounds like the start of mine. My goal is to run the Memorial 5k in 2012 at Festival! So I get everything you said here!!! It gave me hope that my goal isn't that far off. Your journey has been followed by many, whether you know it or not. YOU are an amazing woman!!! Thanks for the encouragement your story has given me.

  2. Great story, Alissa. Thanks for sharing it on your blog. I have always admired your positive attitude towards exercise. It has honestly been a good motivator for me. Keep up all of your hard work. You look amazing!

  3. What an awesome accomplishment! Sounds like a triathlon might be in your future.