Getting Fit: Before & During the Process [PHOTOS]

Soooo it’s taken me a while to post these pics but that’s because I don’t really like them.  But for the sake of blogging and sharing, I will include some less than flattering pictures of myself.  I mean, who am I? Beyonce? I kid, I kid.

I’ve been talking for a few weeks about how I have totally changed my lifestyle in order to lose weight, get in shape, and most importantly get healthier.  I’ve changed my diet and I’ve started getting very active.  I am currently training for my first 5K race and started lifting weights; I’m in the gym 5 or 6 times per week.  I haven’t lost that much weight (only about 9 pounds in the last 8 weeks) but I can really tell the difference.  I wouldn’t say the road has been easy but I would not say it has been very hard.

One of the major hindrances to my weight loss was breastfeeding.  What? You’re shocked? Me too.  I always thought nursing would speed up my weight loss. And it did…at first.  But shedding the last 10-15 pounds was not going to happen while I was nursing.  I was not about to stop breastfeeding in order to lose weight, though, so I waited until my youngest was done before I got serious about snapping back.  The week we stopped nursing, I lost 3 pounds — more than I had lost in the previous 6 months.  So if you’re nursing and not losing weight, don’t worry! You’re not alone!

Okay, no more stalling.  Here are 2 pictures of me that really opened my eyes and made me say, “No! I don’t want to look like this. I want to be comfortable in my own skin.”


These are the best I could find.  I’m pretty sure I was avoiding the camera like the plague.  The one on the left is from about 10 months ago.  The one on the right is older.

I’ve been trying to take a lot of pictures of myself along this little journey of mine.  I find that when I am discouraged and want to give up, looking at pictures of my progress is really motivating.  Here are a few recent photos


Kind of a big change, right?  Even though I’ve lost about 9 pounds recently, I would say the total amount of weight lost in the last year or so is more like 15-20 pounds.  I’m trying to become less obsessed with my weight and focus more on strength, endurance, and general fitness.  So here are some stats on that:

  • I have added 40 pounds to my maximum dead lift weight in 3 weeks.  I’m so proud of this because I was terrified of going into the weight section of the gym but now I’m pretty comfortable.  All the guys were very intimidating to me.  Some of them see me taking my barbell and tell me I can’t handle it.  That would have embarrassed me before.  Now it’s my pleasure to prove them wrong and shut them up.
  • Running a 10-minute mile is kind of slow to me now.
  • I have lost 6% body fat.  I went from 28% to 22%.  I would like to get it down to a little less than 20%
  • My resting heart rate is much lower now and when I stop exercising, my heart rate goes down much faster than it used to.  It’s much harder for me to get “in the zone” now because my heart is beating more efficiently.  (I love my Polar watch for monitoring my heart rate and calories burned.)
  • Burning 800 calories is an average workout for me now.  I used to struggle to burn 500.  A good workout for me is upwards of 900 or 1000 calories now.  And I’m not dying at the end either.

I’m pretty proud of my progress.  I’m not done yet but I wanted to show the process instead of just showing end results.

I want to stress that I’m not in a rush.  I’m being very patient with myself or at least I’m trying to be.  This is not at all about how fast I can get in shape.  I’m a mother of 2 young children, I’m a wife, I’m a teacher, I have a creative streak that I try to embrace.  I can honestly say I’m doing this for myself so I’m not trying to sprint to the finish line.

I will say that it’s hard not to get caught up in others’ opinions of me.  I try to congratulate and encourage myself.  Of course it’s great to hear that other people are noticing the changes I’m making but sometimes people just don’t notice or don’t want to comment.  I try to look in the mirror regularly and notice little tiny changes that no one else would see.

At the same time, though, I have lots of people supporting and encouraging me.  I have to give credit where it’s due.  If I didn’t have my husband, my mom, and my good friends saying, “Go girl! You can do it!” I don’t think I would still be sticking to my plan.  That support system is really important, especially when you fall off the wagon, which you inevitably will.  But keeping my goals in mind helps me get back on track immediately without dwelling on whatever crap I ate or that day I missed at the gym.

Okay, I’m done preaching.  I’ll end with what I tell myself all the time: I’m not trying to get skinny. I’m trying to get fit.  I’m trying to get to a place where I feel great physically and more confident.  Get your goals in order and start working toward them immediately!

15 thoughts on “Getting Fit: Before & During the Process [PHOTOS]

  1. So awesome!!!! Ever since leaving high school (where I was ridiculously active) I have struggled with my weight. Dieting off and on. Exercising off and on. As my golden birthday approaches in 6 months I am dedicating myself to getting healthy and feeling better in my skin… for ME!! You may not realize but your go-getter attitude is so inspiring and that fact that you’re being patient is so great. Most people want the quick fix and always ask the question, “How long did it take you to lose the weight?” but everyone’s body is different. Small, consistent changes make a huge difference and I definitely see the changes in you. You have stepped it up week to week and I’m so proud of you. Keep inspiring us!!!

    • Please keep me updated on your progress. I can’t wait to see what you do. Commitment makes all the difference.
      Thanks so much for your encouragement. It means soooo much to me!! We really need to hang out 🙂

      • Awwwww your motivation means a lot to me and I’m sure many others! I will keep you updated and yes we most certainly do need to hang out!!

  2. Shani, you are so inspiring. I’ve been annoyed with my weight now for the past year and I was about to give up and you kind of renewed the hope in me that I can get in shape. The hardest part though is changing my diet. I know that you can exercise all you want, but if you don’t eat properly it won’t matter much. Keep up the good work!

    • You know, I might do a whole post about diet. I struggled BIG TIME with changing my diet. I’ve been working hard at my weight since March but saw no real success until the last couple of months mostly because of my diet. Finding something you can stick with is very hard. Thanks so much for the kind words!

      • I think you should!! Until lately, when I heard ‘diet’ I thought boring salad and plain ol’ water but the truth is you can do many fun and tasty things with healthy, natural foods especially when you plan ahead.

  3. Cheers to getting fit! Your update shows amazing and such inspirational progress! I, too, used to be intimidated by the weight room for the same reasons. These men better move over, though, because women lift weights too!

  4. Great job! I actually lost the most weight when I was nursing. Gained 30 pounds while pregnant then lost 50 while nursing. It was by far always the best diet for me and workout…lol. But as soon as I was done each time the weight came back. I just did a post soon because I hate running but love doing Zumba and other aerobic dance and going to incorporate weights in there now. Keep up the good work you look great!

    • I was always able to lose the first pounds very quickly and easily. But nursing did not help with losing the last few pounds. Everyone is different, right?!
      Good luck with Zumba! My sister loves it

  5. Pingback: Hippie Girl Goes Paleo, Take 2 | Hippie Brown Girl

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