Thursday, January 25, 2007

One Year of Fitness!!

Today is the one year anniversary of when I took the steps to become fit and healthy. A year ago I was very fat, very out of shape and had no energy. I was in a very deep state of denial of how bad I really was, but as I've mentioned before, turning 34 was a smack in the face. My Father was 34 when he was diagnosed with diabetes, and there I was fat and addicted to sweets and white bread and following very close in his footsteps. I made the choice to not carry on down that path - I could change things. I could be better.

I did not consult a doctor for advice due to my deep level of shame, but I found an online diet community and shared everything with them - these strangers who also have the same troubles, issues and struggles. Through them I found inspiration, strength and also courage not to follow the easy solutions of starvation and pills; something very tempting when desperate for change. Now, I'll admit, it is a Pro-Ana website but as I've discovered, not everyone there is anorexic, and no one could ever say I am anorexic. Actually, I'm a compulsive over eater. If anything, reading the very sad stories of some of these women and girls, how they suffer and struggle and despise themselves gave me the power to not make those same mistakes. I would like to think that by being someone who tries to eat healthy (damn my sweet tooth though, it always lets me down) and exercise, to accept the weight loss as it comes, even though it's very slow I could also inspire them. That this is not going to be a diet, but a way of life. To accept that it took me 10 years to get from a size 10 to a 22, so it's not going to be quick or easy to lose all that weight.

A year ago I took my measurements, here they are:

Height - 5'8" (okay, 7 and 3/4, but gimme a break)
Weight - 238 lbs/17 stone/107.9 kilo (size 22)

Measurements(in inches)
neck - 15
chest - 38
upper arm - 15.5
waist - 40
hips - 48
thighs - 28
calves - 17

And here's what I looked like:
malk-julie 006Sept 03

Oh dear. Yup, I look like I was stung by a bee. Awful. The picture on the right was taken in December for our X-mas cards. I refused to post them. The jeans shot was taken in August 2003, I had recently bought those jeans, a men's 38X32, and as you can see they are extremely tight. I was also about 4 weeks pregnant with Shorty and miserable. By December 2005 those jeans were too small for me.

Six months of exercise and those jeans were falling off me. Aug 06 And today they don't fit me at all, but I keep them as a reminder. I also keep the big bum picture in my wallet as a deterrent for buying junk food.

I think the changes in my face have been very noticeable too. Here's a series:

malk-julie 006Feb 06May 06Jan 25 2007

The last one was taken this morning. (I need some bronzer).

Fitness wise I have progressed in such ways even I could never have imagined. Of this I am the most proud. I've gone from early workouts that lasted 45 minutes - 25 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of very light weights, to two hour sessions of 60 minutes of high impact cardio and a rotation of weightlifting exercises where I currently do 30kgs on legs, 20kgs on arms and chest, and I can squat 140lbs. I'll burn around 1000 calories per workout, 4-5 days a week. I can also run for three miles in just over a half hour and I'm training for my first 5K and 10K sponsored runs.

My measurements are now:

Height: 5'7" (Yes I've shrunk, I blame falling arches)
Weight: 203lbs (in a plateau since Oct. 05) (size 16)

neck - 13.5
chest - 36
waist - 35
hips - 40
thighs - 23.5
calves - 15.5
upper arms - 13

That may not look too impressive for a year's worth of hard work, but do understand I've gained a lot - a lot - of muscle over this time so the numbers will not look dramatic. I'll have to get the Hubs to take a picture of me in my gym kit so you can see the differences yourself. I admit I have about another 40-50lbs to lose, my goal weight has had to be changed from 130lbs up to 145lbs. This is because I used a body fat monitor a couple weeks ago and it showed that my base muscle weight is 130lbs, so I've had to increase my target.

I am in no hurry to reach those targets, I let my body tell me what it needs. Right now it's crying out for more exercise - my body loves it. It also likes to eat - a lot. I struggle with portions and cravings. It was far easier to quit smoking than to give up sugar. Actually...I've not really given up sugar. Bad bad Lyvvie. Thankfully, I don't have any sagging loose skin so I assume these plateau times are adjustment times.

So there. You now know my secrets.


Anonymous said...


I am so happy you posted your stats---I actually remembered that this was your "fit-me-est" (?) anniversary, and if you didn't post about it, I was going to pester you! ;-)

I've been back on the fitness wagon for three weeks and need inspiration, and you've certainly provided it---you look GREAT!

I'm really tall and have to lose a lot to go down a size or two---I'd like to lose (roughly) 30 pounds, or even 40 to get to my old "set" weight. I, too, am not in a rush---I'd much rather lose it permanently than quickly. I have a lot of habits to change, though---in with the good and out with the bad.

If you had an online fitness group for motivation, I'd join in a heartbeat. I'm having trouble getting to the weight-lifting part...too intimidated.

Again, congratulations, and much admiration,


Lyvvie said...

I joined Project Shapeshift. Like I said, it is a Pro-Anorexia web site, but I am not someone who can starve. It's an excellent place for getting to know many people struggle with food balances and control. Thanks for the kindness and support Anonymous B.

carrie_lofty said...

8 inches off your hips and 5 inches off your waist -- holy moly! Fantastic job!

Doug said...

You hunka burnin love.

But I bet all your husband sees is the two inches missing from your chest measurements :)

Lyvvie said...

That's from the rib bit, not the breast bit - I'm still sporting an E cup. Perky ones too from the weights. ;)

(Although at highest weight, I was a FF cup, but they're shrinking in porportion)

Maja said...

Wow, that's great, you've worked really really hard. This may seem like a silly question but how much water do you drink?

Lyvvie said...

Heeheee Maja - not a silly question at all. I try and drink 3 liters of water everyday. I sweat quite a bit while in the gym and I definitely need it. I think it's the reason why my skin looks so good; in that last photo I washed off my face make-up because I looked too pale. If you go to Flickr you'll see what I mean. so I'm only wearing a wee bit of eye colour and lip gloss - my skin is naked. I'm cursed with rosy cheeks.

Blissfully Wed said...

Congrats on the accomplishments. You look great.


m_o_o_nspells said...

Good for look marvellous! I've gotta get back on the health-wagon myself...had a spell of doing really well last summer but then life got in the way.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Great job, Lyvvie! Jut think where you'll be next year!

Fermus said...

Very inspiring-but I suck at quitting smoking :)

AndyT13 said...

Congratulations! HHNT!

Regal said...

Congratulations! You are beautiful (before and after). You are an inspiration. I need to do something and will be coming back to read your blog. If you have any tips please feel free to comment on my blog or e-mail me. Thanks for sharing your deeply personal information. Happy HNT!

Robyn said...

Congrats! It's always great to do what we've set out to do! You should be very proud of yourself! HHNT!

Steven Novak said...


About four years ago I was ten pounds away from 300.

It took me a while but I've managed to change my lifestyle signifighatly andI I feel a lot better for it.

I know how difficult it can be.

Well done.


Chunks said...

Great Job Lyvvie! I admire the commitment that you have made for your Self. Amazing! And what a gift you are giving the kids...the gift of a healthy mama!

tornwordo said...

Lookin' good! Congrats.

Chicky said...

You are lovely! Your story inspires me so much...I've finally gotten back to the gym after I let the holidays derail me & in that time I've gained 8 pounds! That's a very short time to gain so much weight...makes me know that I HAVE to go back.

The hardest part...I the patience all of this takes...good for deserve the rewards of happiness that all of this brings.

EAP said...

Much, much respect to you for all that hard work and patience. Your focus on health and fitness above numbers is especially inspiring.


shoopska said...

That is truly brilliant. I mean, changing long, ingrained habits is bloody difficult, but then creating new ones that actually stick... now that takes some force of will.

So Lyvvie, your patience, damn hard work and perseverence are inspirational. As they say in these parts, fair play to ye girl!!

Sherazade96 said...

I can see you now!
You look gorgeous. :-)