My Fitness Journey

Posted Apr 4 2011, 12:01 am

Having been born and raised in Iowa during a time when everything – and I mean everything – was fried in bacon grease, it’s kinda a wonder I wasn’t heavier as a child.  I wasn’t insanely over-weight, mind you, but a definite chub-chub.  As I grew older, and got interested in boys, I would “play” at losing weight.  These attempts were largely futile because at that time I, as well as much of the country, lived under the mistaken belief that all you had to do to lose weight was stop eating.  As a freshman in high school, I did manage to lose about twenty pounds.  However, in order to do so, I didn’t eat more than a thousand calories a day and most times, far less. Something that extreme, at such a young age, had disaster written all over it.  Fortunately, anorexia didn’t take hold, but unfortunately when I started eating normally again, my body horded the calories, making any future weight loss just that much harder.  This is a phenomenon called Feast or Famine which I’ll discuss in a future post.

Kay.  Fast-forward to my mid-twenties.  I was working as a stagehand, living with my future husband and still a good twenty pounds heavier than I wanted to be.  It was also about this time when I discovered a thirty minute fitness show on Lifetime called “It Figures” with Charlene Prickett.  For whatever reason, I started working out with this show.  Maybe it was Prickett’s down-to-earth attitude or maybe it was the fact I could actually DO the workouts.  In either case, I was hooked.  At first, I worked out maybe a couple of times a week.  Soon I was up to Monday through Friday.  Then I started taping the shows so I could work out on the weekends.  I also began to watch what I ate, choosing fruits and vegetables over burgers and fries.  I lost those nagging twenty pounds and got down to a dress size I hadn’t seen since my freshman year in high school.  And I was healthy doing it.  No starving.  Talk about an epiphany.  My entire attitude toward exercise and dieting evolved.  I stopped “dieting” and started making healthy lifestyle changes.  Ones that have stuck with me through the following quarter century or so. 

So that’s my fitness journey in a nutshell.  What about you?  What are the fitness challenges you’ve experienced and/or conquered?  I’d love for you to share.  Post a response or email me at  Have a stellar Monday!



40 responses to “My Fitness Journey”

  1. I’m embarrassed to admit I read this while eating leftover pizza. Spring Break has made my grocery shopping wonky, but I went today and got my healthy fruits and vegetables. Even made a salad for my lunch tomorrow!

  2. lbailey says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Abigail. Leftover pizza is the total bomb! Make sure you add a little protein to that salad so it stays with you longer into the afternoon.

  3. Elisa Beatty says:

    And I was eating a hot dog….(not my usual fare, actually, but quarter grades are due Tuesday, so no time to cook). My husband had Babette’s Feast playing, so it was doubly awful to be having ‘dogs. (We did have blackberries with them, though, so that’s *something.*)

    Maybe you can help me get back on track with this blog!! I’ll definitely be coming back!

    • Lynda says:

      Thanks for stopping by! I can totally relate to having to eat but having no time to cook. (‘Course, it’s my honey-hubby who’s the chef!) As a vegetarian, I’m not tempted by your “dogs,” however, they truly aren’t THAT bad. Cut ’em up to put on a bowl of prepackaged salad – dressing on the side. 🙂 There are lots of fast and easy shortcuts you can use when your time is too tight to cook. I’ll be talking about them in the future. Hope you day is grand!

  4. Hi Gorgeous Lynda,
    Congrats on the blog launch — I’m very excited about your fabulous idea, and I definitely need motivation from my Unsinkable roomie sista! I’m a former aerobics instructor who has loved working out all my life, but who, in the past six years since the over-fifty hormones have hit, has fallen prey to horrible eating habits. Calories sabotage my 5x/week work outs, and a true sugar addiction makes me act like a junkie some days. So, I’m always looking for great inspiration to boost the willpower and get back to my slimmer days. Happy to have you as part of that plan! Good luck with the blog — I’m with Elisa–I will keep comin’ back!

    • Lynda says:

      Lizzie, baby! Great to *see* ya!
      Over fifty and hormone hell? Ya, I’m there. I’ve found that the “workouts” I did in my thirties, didn’t work in my forties. And, of course, what worked in my forties did nothing for me now that I’m fifty+. Isn’t life challenging enough for us? I’m mean reallly.
      At the risk of stealing thunder from a post I’m writing for next week, check out Then email me privately and we’ll chat.
      Love ya!

  5. Tina Joyce says:

    Hi Lynda! Loved reading your fitness journey. I’m about 20 lbs heavier than I was in high school (which was a long time ago). It’s easy to attribute it to getting older, but deep down I know that’s just an excuse to keep eating the way I’ve always eaten. I have a treadmill sitting in my bedroom, so I have no excuse. Time to turn it back on and get to work! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Lynda says:

      Happy Monday morning! Great day to take a walk on your treadmill, huh? 🙂
      Our bodies DO slow down the older we get. Sad, but true. Thus, our need for fuel slows down as well. (Doubly sad.) This doesn’t mean sacrificing EVERYthing, but it does mean making . . . choices. And a great “choice” to make is to walk for 10 – that’s it just 10 – minutes in the morning. Then you can choose to walk another 10 minutes during lunch. Finish off with maybe 20 minutes at night. Before you know it, this “choice” becomes a habit.
      Have a great day!

  6. Gabrielle says:

    And *I* was eating Pop Tarts–for dinner!! Like Elisa, I’m looking forward to reading the blog for inspiration. No pressure! 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      Pressure, Gabrielle? Hey, aren’t we writers??? 😉
      Pop Tarts for dinner actually doesn’t sound so bad. What kind? Hope I can “inspire” you to not eat those every night. (Just every other. LOL)
      Enjoy your day!

  7. Linda W says:

    Oooo, a fitness blog! Excellent!
    I found Weight Watchers in 2004 and proceeded to change the way I ate. I lost over 80 pounds in two years with moderate exercise and the right foods. I also learned the hard lesson that portions matter! LOL! I remember in my forties I thought I could just exercise the weight off. I lost inches but not many pounds, and I got so depressed.

    When my thyroid crashed in 2008, landing me in the hospital, I was more worried about gaining weight than anything else. Sad, huh? I did gain back thirty pounds in the 18 months it took to adjust my meds, but I’ve lost 13 again and I’m still in WW and still working at it.

    Yesterday I heard “It’s a marathon not a sprint.” That is so true about weight battles. 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      Hi Linda!
      Yes, it is a marathon, not a sprint.
      Love your story! I’m a former WW member. Lost the last of my “Willie” (aka pregnancy) weight through that program. Made me a true believer. Thyroid problems are tricky, but keep at your weight loss goals. I know you’ll get there. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Vonda Lea says:

    Just read your blogged message – very interesting. I’d just eaten a piece of chocolate cake made yesterday…wasn’t even that good…but I ate it anyway. You have motivated me! I shall, again, start eating healthy & get a little “move on.”

    HOORAY for you!

    PS-your blog is beautiful! Love the scrolly way your name is written at the top…but….left hand side, some letters off into the red, perfect otherwise. (I should comment? I don’t know how to blog or even answer a “facebook.” Ah, well. Later.

    • Lynda says:

      I’ve never, EVER eaten day-old chocolate cake that wasn’t really that good. Ha!
      Good for you on eating a bit less and moving a bit more. That’s all we can ask of ourselves – along with the occasional day-old chocolate cake. 😉
      PSS~Thanks for the comments on my site. Will look into those letters on the left side.

  9. judie says:

    Rew sent your blog my way, Lynda!! thank you for sharing. btw -i haven’t eaten breakfast, but had yummy tilapia w/brown rice & corn for dinner.

    • Lynda says:

      Oh, Judie! You didn’t “break the fast?” I’m gonna have to whip you with a noodle 🙂
      Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Seriously. Our bodies have been without food for close to twelve hours. Need to fuel it for the day. (The tilapia sounds devine, though.)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. What a great story, Lynda. With our sedentary lifestyle, most writers have to work hard to stay in shape. You’re an inspiration.

    • Lynda says:

      Nice to see ya, Clarissa!
      Being and staying in shape is tough enough. Add a sit-down job like writing to the mix and it gets even tougher. I hope to give y’all a few tricks and tips in future posts on how to make the whole thing a teensy bit easier.
      Have a great day!

  11. Alison Atwater says:

    Hey, Lynda! Great blog, and what a perfect topic. My biggest challenge is the steady stream of goodies people bring into the office–and sometimes I’m even the one bringing them! I’m a veg like you, but the problem is, donuts are vegetarian, and ditto with cake, cookies, cupcakes, danishes, Pop Tarts (okay, those are from the vending machine downstairs)… You get the idea! When someone sends around an email saying “We’ve got brownies–come and get ’em,” who am I to refuse? 😉

    The worst was the leftover wedding cake someone brought in on a *Wednesday*. Ick!! (Yes, I got a piece.)

    • Lynda says:

      Thanks Alison!
      Ah, pastries. Not a single animal was harmed in the making – just an egg or two. 😉
      Don’t deny yourself the “goodies” at work, sister. Just make yourself work for them by taking the looooooong way to get to wherever they are. Maybe take the stairs four flights up then back down to the treats. Or go outside and circle the parking lot before going to the office next to yours. You get the idea. LOL
      Thanks for stopping in!

  12. Welcome to the Blogosphere!
    Wish I could say I learned early-on how to eat better, but it took age to figure that out;) I still falter — I’m a stress eater — but I try to watch fat grams and portion size and also eat more proteins.
    Great post! 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      What? Us stressed? You bet.
      And when stressed we want comfort – and lots of it – in the form of foods that produce serotonin in our brains. The “happiness” hormone. So, be kind to yourself. Being a writer ain’t an easy gig. LOL
      Good for you for watching the fat grams. More important, is watching the portion size. Eating protein helps you to feel satisfied longer which is a good thing, though it doesn’t completely banish the carvings. (Darn it!)

  13. Charlie LaFleur says:

    Hi Lynda,
    Great site. Congratulations. Looking forward to reading your insights and exploits.


    • Lynda says:

      Thanks, “Money Bags!”
      Charlie is the treasurer of our local writers’ group, The Unnamed Writers. And a snappy dresser, I might add!
      Glad you stopped by!

  14. As I am reading this, I am eating my three point strawberry fruit bar with carrots on the side. Weight Watchers is my best friend!!

    Congrats on your new weblog. Go girl!

  15. Great blog topic, Lynda! And I love the look of your site – so classy and a gorgeous color too!

    Now on to fitness. I bought a stationary exercise bicycle about 15 years ago. I used it when I first got it but then put it in a corner and didn’t look at it again. I finally started using it in December when I thought, why not read craft books on writing while I peddle rather than doing so while lounging on the sofa?

    Such an obvious thing. Duh. But, hey, my brain was probably sluggish from lack of physical exercise. I feel very happy/smug/content now that I’ve found a way to multi-task exercise and learning how to be a better writer.

    • lbailey says:

      Great multi-tasking indeed! I’m much too selfish to read craft books while exercising. I spend my Stair Stepper time reading downloaded novels on my Sony Reader.
      Thanks for stopping in!

  16. Katrina Snow says:

    Great blog, Lynda!

    I find my big problem isn’t so much what I eat, but the quantity of it, along with how little exercise I get. Early last year, I joined Equinox and was really faithful with it. In addition, I ate smaller portions of my usual foods. It worked well and by September I had lost ten pounds. Unfortunately, the lack of exercise over the holidays combined with all that great food put five pounds back on. Now this may not sound like much, but I feel like I’m always battling this same five or ten pounds!

    Last week I joined a different gym. The one that’s actually in the basement of the building I work in, and I’ve decided to go everyday on my “lunch” break. I eat at my desk and take a break later in the afternoon, so it’s been working out well so far. Tomorrow is day 5 and I’m still going strong. 🙂

    Thanks for posting a blog about this. It’s great to hear what other people do to stay fit and eat healthy.


    • lbailey says:

      Great job, Katrina!
      I so know what you mean about battling the “same” five to ten pounds. Once they’re gone, they need to stay gone! Ah, if only it were that simple.
      Stay strong, sista! You are on a roll!

  17. Suzanne says:

    Hey, Miss Lynda-
    Boy, you really got the ball rolling with this fitness blog! Lots of good info. Keep nudging us.
    I’d write a book on the topic, but I can say everything in one paragraph (no charge!): eat clean, exercise, positive mental attitude, be nice. Oh yes–and lots of sex!
    Love ya,

  18. Kay Swindle says:

    Whew, that was a workout just reading all that!
    Good Luck!

  19. Linda says:

    Thanks Kay!
    Glad you stopped by!

  20. Cate Rowan says:

    Mmmm. You had me at bacon grease. 😉

  21. Lynda says:

    Oh, Cate! Too funny, girlfriend. Thanks for popping in.

  22. Jen T. says:

    Hello, Center of My Universe!
    Great website and lov’in your blog! It is interesting to me to learn what makes people ‘tick’. Thank you for sharing and (I) will be seeing you at Fit Mil!

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