26 June 2013

Tecrin gets fit: one year in

Okay, so it's one year and a bit. Whoops!

One year ago, on the 17th of June 2012, I made a Big Decision. I had made a few before in the previous year: I made the Big Decision to quit my job at the bookshop, I made the Big Decision to start freelancing as a translator, and on the 17th of June 2012, I made another Big Decision. I don't even quite know what brought it on, but what I do know is that on the evening of that day in June, I had had enough of what I was doing with my life and needed a big change that I had complete and utter control over, unlike my work Decisions: I decided to get fit!

Don't mind my grumpface. It was cold!
In 2010, I was probably at the very height of my weight. I don't know how much I weighed at this point, but I remember at one point having the scales tip over 115 kg. They may have even gone up past that! And I looked the part, too. Very unhappy with myself, in June 2011, I signed up at the local gym, got a summer subscription and spent at least two days at the gym each week. That may not sound like a lot, but it was definitely a step up from the zero exercise I was getting at that point. I got a simple workout routine assigned to me by a trainer, and slowly went from pushing myself out the door to actually looking forward to working out. It wasn't often that I felt like that, mind, but it happened from time to time.

Awful picture is awful. Jeesh, Stef, who taught you how to dress, monkeys?!
A year had past, and despite working out at least twice a week and trying my hardest at the gym, I couldn't see a lick of difference. This is me in June 2012, days after I made the Big Decision, at my official starting weight of 112,5 kg. I upped my gym time to 3 times a week, and started to really pay attention to what I was eating. As it turned out (and as I already knew but didn't have the willpower to change) I was eating a bucketload of crap. Unhealthy, fat, sugary muck, mostly. Days could go by without me eating a single piece of fruit or vegetable. I drank almost nothing but sugary drinks, juices, lemonades, sodas. I cut out all these sugary drinks, and switched to water entirely. I changed to eating actual breakfast, instead of eating biscuits and drinking coffee.

After about 2 months in, I could slowly start to see some changes in my face. That felt amazing!
After about a month, I learned enough about healthy food to start eating better properly. I started counting calories on an app on my phone to better keep track of the unhealthy food choices I was making, started incorporating healthy dinners, better lunches than instant soup and crackers or sandwiches layered with cheese and ham, or peanut butter, or Nutella. I learned to not finish off every last bite in the pan, that it was okay to throw away or freeze the food we hadn't eaten during dinner. Tim slowly warmed up to the idea of eating healthier and better, too!

As time ticked on, I became more and more of a gym rat: I spent at least 2 hours, 3 times a week at the gym, I started running (and ended up in physical therapy because I'm a dolt with weird muscles), I started to incorporate more weights into my workouts. At the end of 2012, I was down well over 15 kg! I could go shopping with my mother and actually fit into stuff in the regular section! No more shopping trips that ended in tears and despair! I even fit into jeans from a shop I used to love! The body image issues I talked about in my opening post a year ago still reared their heads every now and then, when I couldn't see any progress or had a shitty day and ate everything in sight. But I was slowly learning to come to terms with it!

It was 2013... And look at that! A shape, that can be described as more than just 'blob'!
In February of 2013, I got my first gym routine that was based heavily on heavy weights. It was amazing! Such an eye opening moment to realise that I loved lifting weights so much! I even started bench presses, that made me feel even more bad-ass. After working up to the weights room though, I wanted more. With help from my trainer at the gym, I weaned off the cardio to a basic warming up and cooling down, and as of May 2013, I got a real, heavy weights routine, with deadlifts, bench presses, barbell squats, kettlebell swings, barbell rows and clean and presses. I think I can safely say that I have become fairly addicted to working out and getting stronger! I recently even joined in a gym-wide timed circuit challenge and wasn't happy with my first time, so I did the circuit a second time and beat my old time by almost a full minute! The rush of personal victories that can only come from your own strength and ability is amazing, and I love it every time I put an extra plate up on the barbell or pick up a bigger dumbell.

I found support in the ranks of the members of Fitocracy when I needed it, it turning rapidly into my favourite online hangout, paired with a great group of ladies in a Ravelry group I'm a member of (Cheerclub! Fistbump!). I also found support in my family members and of course Tim. I even managed to drag my mother to the gym with me and got her to pick up some heavier weights a few times. She loves it!

Approximately 1 year difference! The sign is my trainer's way of being ironic. Burpees. How I hate them. Ugh!
After one year, I think I can say with honesty that I am damned proud of myself for the progress I have made so far. Am I done? Are you kidding? I just got started! I am going to keep working to better myself, learn more about nutrition, healthy living, get stronger, get healthier, and work like a machine to turn myself into the best version of me there can be. I can't wait to see what the next year will bring!


  1. Well done for you!
    (I don't like burpees...plus I really want to laugh when we have to do it :-D

  2. Congrats!!!! You should be proud..look at you!!!! I am happy to see a story such as yours because it goes to show that we don't need surgery to get us into shape..we just need to eat better, and move more...You look really good!!!!

  3. You look fantastic! congratulations

    I have fallen off the wagon of late, but you've reminded me how addicting exercise can be, and how good it makes you feel! inspiriting!