Why I quit running and got the results I always wanted
I Realized that a runner’s body was not my goal
First of all, I was never a HUGE runner. The biggest race I ever ran was only a 5k. But, I did have to work my butt off to get up to that and it was something that I was super proud of! The year Josh and I got married, I ran that 5k distance 3-4 times a week, got my time down to an 8 minute mile, and went from an 8 dress size to a size 6. I also weighed about 116 lbs.
While I was super proud of all those accomplishments, and I was happy that I had gotten skinnier, I wasn’t quite satisfied with the body that I was getting. I remembered in high school having to squeeze my pants over my butt, and I was pretty proud of my curvy figure back then. But now it seemed that I had misplaced my curvy butt one day while out on a run. After seeing picture of myself from behind, I thought to myself, “Huh…. where’d my
butt go??” I also noticed that I was significantly weaker. And being the kind of girl who likes to say, “I got it!” that didn’t really fly.
I began to look around at the other girls in the gym…
…and to be very honest, the ones to whom I thought, “Fitness goaaaals…!” were not the ones spending 50 minutes on the treadmills. They were the ones who weren’t afraid to go where all the huge men were bulking about with their sleeveless shirts and protein shakes.
I began to incorporate more strength into my daily cardio routine.
After a three mile run I would do some pushups, wall sits, lunges, and then call it a day. I noticed a little bit of firmness in my legs but no where near the goals I had in mind. Meanwhile, my husband had been weight lifting and doing bodyweight workouts this entire time. In doing some research he found numerous articles on fitness websites making claims such as this:
“While cardio burns calories and fat when you’re performing it, high rep strength training has what is known as high EPOC or “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption.” This is a fancy term for saying how long your metabolism is elevated after exercise.
Studies show that a well-designed strength program can elevate your EPOC or metabolism for up to 38 hours after the workout. In other words, you continue to burn calories long after strength training. Whereas once you stop cardio, the calorie burning stops as well.”
(Quote taken from Bodybuilding.com)
After few weeks of nagging me to join him in the weight room, I decided to suck it up and give it a try.
My biggest fear when beginning strength training was that everyone would look at me and judge how much I couldn’t lift. When I told Josh, this is how that short conversation went:
Josh: “I don’t know about girls… But guys aren’t looking at how much you’re lifting.”
Me: “You mean you didn’t see that pretty girl over there lifting like 200 pounds…?”
Josh: “Nope. I just saw a girl lifting. Not the weights she had on the bar.”
I can always count on him to be honest.
And that first day I only did squats and deadlifts with the bar. No added weights. And yes, I was sore the next day.
I’m now up to squatting 100 pounds AND close to weighing 130 pounds and have never been happier with my fitness level.
Top 10 reasons why I love strength training:
- It’s a heck of a lot less boring than cardio.
- For me, a more interesting and varied workout = way more motivation to actually get out and go to the gym.
- I finally started seeing the results I wanted.
- People stopped telling my “You look great for having a kid” and started stopping at “You look great!”
- Exercise induced asthma + too much cardio = wheezing suckiness
- Healthy muscle soreness is one of the most satisfying feelings I know.
- The hubs and I have another hobby to do together and talk about.
- My son will have awesome memories of a fit and active mommy.
- I can do strength training in my own home, when the baby is awake or asleep, and never have to leave the house if it’s not a good day.
- I feel confident, instead of intimidated, when I walk in the gym. Or anywhere.
- I FEEL great! (Sorry, I couldn’t fit all the pros into a list of 10).Lovely ladies, if you’ve been wanting to give strength training and weight lifting a shot but have been toointimidated or not sure where to start, please, give it a try! Trust me, it’s only scary until you try it for the first time!