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Year-End Fitness follow-up 20+ inches gone!

I lost 11% body fat. I lost 45 lbs. I lost 3.5 sizes. Tons of inches lost!! (Waist - 6, hips -7, chest -4, and more...) 2013 was a successful year for fitness!

That's my number summary for the year. Everyone keeps asking me, and I usually just say "oh, it's going fine". It was better than I expected, but yet SLOW... Most of you know that I did several fitness challenges throughout the year - yoga, P90X, plank, triathlon and 100 miles. I did a half-marathon (again), I did smaller races (again). All were moderately successful (well minus the half-marathon that nearly gave me hypothermia). I had the most success with P90X as far as body fat percentage loss, but I couldn't keep up with it. My favorite is yoga, but I can't ONLY do yoga.

I still can't run a mile faster than 10:48. I still can't do a pull-up. I still can't do "real" push-ups. I still can't hold a plank for longer than 30 seconds. My knee and IT band still bother me occasionally. I still have tons to work on...

My body fat percentage is now at 26%, although I have a flabby tummy that just doesn't seem to want to go anywhere. My wrists and feet however -- weirdly fatless. I'm able to go into a store and buy a dress in a size that I haven't been able to buy in for many, many years and look good in it.

All this sounds so vain, and I don't like to talk about it. So why am I writing it you ask? Everyone asks me.... Seriously, people ask me all the time how my weight-loss and fitness are going and what are my secrets. I have no secrets. I have learned a few things, though.

1) Metabolism can be your friend or your enemy. My metabolism was terrible, mainly due to being diabetic. After working with an endocrinology specialist and getting it under control in May, the pounds started coming off effortlessly. I could have lost a whole bunch more weight, but I do like to eat.

2) Not all exercise is equal. I've exercised regularly for 10+ years. But I wasn't doing the right kinds of exerciese. I'm now doing 2-3 days a week of strength training, 3 days of cardio and 3-4 days of yoga. Yes, sometimes I work-out twice a day. I don't count my yoga as a workout any more for that reason. The strength training is what has made all the difference. I can even see an inkling of definition in my tummy on the sides under all that fat.

3) I still don't look like what I think I look like in the mirror. Body image is a funny thing that way.

4) I feel great. Absolutely great.

5) I have spent nearly the entire year being sore. Is it my age? Is it that I was really that out of shape? Either way, if I'm not sore I feel like I am doing something wrong. Except for when I started boot camp or P90X, I've never been so sore that I can't move. Usually I'll just feel a little bit of soreness when I bend over, or stand up.

6) Yoga heals the mind, body and soul. I started yoga in 2012, and hated it. I found my yoga home in April, and I haven't turned back. I have a long way to go in my yoga practice to call myself anything more than an amateur. I still can't do floor bow. I don't know if I'll ever be able to do it! Fixed firm is too hard on my knees and I can't get my butt to the floor. I'm almost able to lean back and grab my feet in camel. Almost... Progress. Sometimes I go for my mind, sometimes my body or sometimes my soul. It's all good.

7) I've learned a lot about myself, about accepting my body has limitations (knee) and knowing when to push.

So there's my fitness wrap up for 2013. I've yet to set my goals for 2014, but I will.


P.S. I should also note that I still have a ways to go. As my neighbor says, I'm pleasantly plump.

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