Count Down to Bikini Time (Yeah, right!)

Being a housewife that sits around all day eating Bon Bons I've gained more than I care to admit  a few pounds. What? Don't you sit around all day and eat Bon Bons too!?! Yes, that's the stereo-type given to the stay-at-home housewife.

I'll have you know, I've not eaten even one Bon Bon since being a housewife. Hmph!

A year ago this past March, I decided to join the local YMCA with my best friend. We started out fairly slowly, mainly because going at a faster pace would have literally killed us! For weeks we felt like a walking bruise. We tried out pretty much all the classes they had to offer with the exception of spinning and boot camp; neither of those classes sounded even remotely fun to us.

The class that we found we enjoyed the most was Pilates, which we affectionately renamed MoLates because our instructor's name was Mo. We attended that class every Tuesday and Thursday. To watch Pilates one would think it wouldn't be that hard, but it was. Crunches, which are called Pilates 100 (because you do 100 crunches), and planks seemed to be the hardest for us. When we did the planks and side planks we always had to have one knee down to help us with balance. If we didn't, our wrists felt like they would break under our weight and our arms would quiver.  

But, on week six when our instructor told us to go into the side plank something happened. All of a sudden, I realized I was doing the side plank the correct way with no knee down. I turned to look behind me and realized Michelle was doing it too. We both said a little WOOT! out loud and our instructor bragged on us in front of the class. All students enjoy a little pat on the back every now and then.

That was a turning point for us. It was then that we knew our bodies were stronger and we had Pilates to thank for that. We started seeing a difference in the way our clothes were fitting. The scales weren't showing a huge weight loss, but we were losing inches all over.

It was during this time that we joined a weight loss challenge that lasted 8 weeks. We worked out 4 to 6 days a week. We added a body sculpt class to our workouts and some days we did Zumba, Turbo Kick or just did the treadmills. We were on a mission! And, it paid off. Michelle ended up winning second place and I came in fourth place.

I really wish I had a picture of when we very first started at the YMCA because this before picture was after I'd already been working out for 6 weeks. You'll just have to imagine me with about 8 extra pounds and about 2 more inches everywhere.

And, here I am after our 8 week weight loss challenge. I was very happy with the results. I had dropped 3 sizes and lost a total of 27 lbs. since joining the YMCA. Fifteen of those pounds lost were during the challenge.

After the challenge was over, we slacked off from going to the gym 5-6 days a week to going just 2 to 3 days. We maintained our losses fairly well until November. It was during that month that I had a hysterectomy. And, being the best friend that Michelle is, she didn't want to work out without me. Okay, maybe that's an excuse, but we really didn't find working out very much fun without each other.

Normally after a surgery you are released to resume normal activities in six weeks. BUT, because I'm so darn lucky, I woke up from surgery with a hernia at my incision site. That meant that I would have to have another surgery only 10 weeks later. It took longer than the prescribed 6 weeks to heal completely. The surgeries took a toll on my body and mind.

I tell you all this to say that I gained back 12 pounds during my recovery time. I've already lost 5 of those pounds, but I still have more to go. I'd like to lose at least 20 more, plus a few more inches.

I know what it's going to take and I'm dreading it. I'm dreading the pain. Oh, the pain. And, I know it will be painful because recently Michelle and I showed up for Body Sculpt and within the first 5 minutes we were looking at each other and mouthing the words, "We are going to D I E!" Not only did it hurt during the class, but it hurt for a full week after. It was quite depressing realizing how much strength we'd lost during our hiatus.

Housewives, I'd like to challenge you. You see, I don't like to suffer alone. I'm considerate like that. I'd love for you to join me in getting in shape. I know most of you won't actually be joining me at my YMCA, but I'd like to encourage you to start some form of exercise regime. And, if you'd like an accountability partner I'd be happy to work that out for you. Shoot me an email if you're tired of being overweight and unfit.

Yes, we know what it's going to take..... Bring on the pain!

~ Mrs. Albright

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