It’s an easy word, isn’t it? Yet, in the middle of a cross-country move, I have been taking time to reflect on the almost 20 years we have lived in our current location. There are so many things to be grateful for – a loving, wonderful spouse, amazing friends and family, the heat from our furnace (trust me, it’s been a loooong winter in the Midwest!)
But, what I am most grateful for at the moment is my health.
A year ago, I made the decision to get healthy. For me, that meant dropping some weight and getting physically active again. Since then, I have lost over 110 pounds. I started adding a lot more protein shakes, fruit, veggies and water in my diet and cut out all of the non-value added stuff I had been feeding myself. (PS – if you haven’t read Mike’s post on weight loss, you should…he couldn’t be more right!) Read How Mike Lost 100lbs with MySwimPro >
More importantly, I committed to going from basically zero physical activity to doing something regularly.
I grew up competitively swimming through college in a Division III program. I lived half a block from my hometown pool and lifeguarded through high school and college. If I wasn’t in the water, I was probably nearby! At some point, though, I spent more and more time at work and less and less time on me. Over the years, I would get back in the water and be thrilled because I had forgotten how much I loved it. Then life would get busy again and I never made it a sustained habit. My eating habits were very much the same.
At first, the new routine was exciting! The first time back in the water, I swam 700 yards in 35 minutes and was thrilled to have lived to tell the tale! After a month, I started adding in a strength training group fitness class I knew I liked, Les Mills’ BodyPump, with *very* light weights, and would try and do both a couple of times a week.
After a couple of months of this, it was going well! I had lost 30 pounds and the food side of the equation was going well.
I had one problem. The pool. I was getting bored. I could feel my motivation slipping. I didn’t really know how to challenge myself once I got my basic fitness level up. I didn’t want to be bored or dread going to the pool, but it was starting to happen.
So, I did what everyone does… I went to the App Store! 😉 There, I found MySwimPro and gave it a shot. I hadn’t swum an interval since college, but figured trying something new might help. It did…a lot!
My first MSP workout was April 2, and I swam more in April than in January-March combined! I loved the variety of workouts available, and loved the Workout of the Day! With my increased fitness, I started swimming for longer. I added a walk after my strength training. Eventually I added in RPM, Les Mills’ spinning class, three days a week.
The weight kept coming off, and, as importantly, I could see my body composition changing. There were muscles I hadn’t seen since college and those pesky areas that wanted to hang around reduced (some 🤣). My aerobic capacity got better.
Since the beginning of 2018, I’ve lost more than 11 inches from my chest, more than 16(!) from my waist and 14 from my hips… for folks outside the US, that’s 28 cm, 41 cm and 35cm.
So, as I am getting ready to move to Arizona, where I’ll be able to swim outside year round, I’m excited for new challenges. I’m on week 6 of the IMX Pro Challenge training plan, and I’ve felt a difference in stroke technique and capability.
Did I ever imagine this time last year that I would be able to do a 400 IM, even broken and with fins? No way. Is it pretty? Not really, but it is an accomplishment, and it only gets better from here!
Thank you, to the MSP community for the motivation, guidance and support along the way. I love seeing the posts in the Facebook group, and Instagram is forcing me to create a bucket list of places I want to visit so I can experience an amazing swim! The journey isn’t over yet, and I know Team MySwimPro has my back.
Thank you, Karen for sharing your amazing story! We can’t wait to see what’s come in your future!
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