All about finding “new normal” for Get Fit contestant

Ten professionals and 10 teams are competing in the 2015 Get Fit Challenge. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Follow along on Facebook and then find out at the In Business Expo & Conference on Oct. 21. This week, IB checks in with Sara Tetzloff, PR & social media account executive for Hiebing, who is competing in the individual challenge.

I’ve always been active, whether riding my bike through the countryside where I grew up, playing sports in school, or running post-college. However, whenever time was short and the stakes were high, fitness was always the first thing to fly out the window.

My relationship with food is another story. Despite great efforts to eat healthily, I often seek comfort in salty snacks and decadent meals as an attempt to numb negative feelings. Let’s say I’m no stranger to shame eating half a bag of nacho cheese-flavored tortilla chips on a bad night. The struggle is real.

Then, after a dark moment about six years ago, rather than running from exercise and to the drive-thru, I literally ran. I signed up for 5Ks, completed half-marathons, and took comfort in boot camp classes in between training days. I focused on nurturing myself with food rather than hiding behind it. I lost 40 pounds and kept it off successfully until pregnancy three years ago. I stayed very active throughout my pregnancy and lost the baby weight super fast — so annoying, right?

As my husband and I navigated parenthood, the weight started to creep up despite weekly boot camp workouts. Plus, I struggled to get back into running post partum due to pain in my knees and hips. However, the cart really derailed as we both landed dream jobs when our son was about six months old. I lost the ability to work out during the lunch hour and I allowed shame to keep me from the gym.

I was afraid that taking time away from my son for fitness would make me a bad mom. I was so focused on making a good impression at my new job that I worked every night once my son went to sleep. I felt guilty spending what little time was left for my husband away from him. Within 18 months, thanks to stress eating and no gym time, I regained the 40 pounds I worked so hard to lose years before.

I needed to do something to get back on track, but I felt overwhelmed by the amount of work in front of me. After reading about the contestants in last year’s Get Fit Challenge, I was inspired to throw my name in the hat and get the motivation I needed to get back to the gym, fit back into my old wardrobe, and feel more confident.

(Continued)

 

Since April, I have been making careful, sustainable changes I will feel good living with once the challenge ends in August.

Exercise

  • Twice-weekly HIIT workouts at Harbor Athletic Club with two incredible trainers, Jamie and Becky. They push me to be my best and offer great tips on how to stay active and eat healthy.
  • Stay active with my son rather than watching him play from the park bench. And yes, that includes running around playground equipment, jumping on trampolines, and playing chase at a moment’s notice.
  • Use small moments of otherwise idleness to squeeze in exercise at home, even bopping to the beat of a kiddie playlist during bath time or planking during commercial breaks when my husband and I are catching up on our favorite shows.
  • Add physical activity at work. I use my standing desk periodically throughout the day, schedule walking meetings with my boss when possible, and work on my posture to engage core muscles.

Nutrition

  • Ordering lunch less. Like a lot less.
  • Eating salads several times a week and actually trying to like them.
  • Eating FitFresh meals post-Harbor Athletic Club workouts.
  • Drink more water. I even bought a nice glass water bottle that makes water taste so much better.
  • That said, I allow some wiggle room when it comes to special events and some of my favorite foods, like great cheese, chocolate, and the occasional Diet Coke

The biggest struggles I continue to have are preparing enough food to bring to work, remembering to take breaks to eat at work, and fitting workouts around my husband’s and my difficult work schedules. It’s awesome that Harbor is providing the individual Get Fit contestants with free small-group personal training classes twice a week, but since I live in Sun Prairie and work in downtown Madison, the location is really inconvenient and it takes more work to get to class. But it’s totally worth it!

The workouts are my favorite part of the challenge, which is what keeps me motivated. Even when I’m feeling on the fence about attending, once I get there the class ends up being one of the highlights of my day. I feel stronger, more energized, uplifted, and sleep sounder.

I’ve lost 10 pounds so far and know it’s only the beginning. I’ve rewarded my success with some new workout clothes and I’m looking forward to reintroducing running into my workout routine now that the weather is nice.

Check back at the end of August to see how I’m doing on my goals.

Meet all of the competitors here and see who wins at the In Business Expo & Conference.

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