Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-When Losing a Lot Isn’t a Bad Thing-

Hey there, fitness fanatics!

I hope this week has been incredible for all of you! It has been another amazingly-busy & awesome one for lil’ ol’ me! In addition to my schedule of clients and boot camps, I have been working on a few projects and also gave a presentation last night. I talked about cross-training to a group of beginning runners at Fleet Feet of Baton Rouge. I may write a post about this tomorrow! Just a sidenote – if you are looking for the BEST place to get advice on running shoes, as well as buy all sorts of great gear, Fleet Feet is it! I am a loyal supporter and send everyone their way! They are extremely friendly and have a great selection of shoes!

I am going to be bringing more “real world” stories from people who are living the fitness experience. I love witnessing the transformations that unfold as an individual makes the “journey.” The first person I would like to introduce to you is a man I have come to know through the wonderful world of Twitter. His name is Chris Delmar, and in addition to having a keen sense of humor and healthy brain, he has a newfound love of fitness. Chris and I have gotten to know one another via Twitter and Facebook going on three years now, and it’s crazy to say, but we have never met in person. It will happen one of these days. He will probably make me dust off my soccer cleats & have me run myself ragged on the field!

Anyhow, without further ado, I bring you his story.

The start of my story is familiar to a lot of people. In fact, it’s so cliché that they’ve invented a phrase for it: the Freshmen Fifteen. Once I got away from home, I had the freedom to do what I wanted. I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and how much I wanted. Needless to say, I did a rather poor job of it. I didn’t track my weight consistently through college, but when I entered my freshmen year, I weighed about 195 pounds. Three years later, I weighed 270 pounds. Bad diet, no exercise; two of the easiest way to pack on junk weight.

The worst thing is that at around this time I discovered alcohol. Well, not discovered as much as turned 21 and could buy what I wanted, but the premise stands. It was another way to add in unnecessary calories only it was easier because you mixed it with cokes and you drank it. Needless to say, becoming “my own man” wasn’t helping me be healthy. By the time I’d finished with all of my schooling and gotten a real job, I weighed 350 pounds.

If this were a movie, I’d have some sort of cathartic moment. Something that made me realize that I was in such terrible shape. Nothing quite like that happened, but rather I noticed I hated every picture of me that was ever taken. I couldn’t stand looking at myself…and then, about three years ago, my friend Nicole suggested I start working out with her.

We started with a commercially available DVD based product. I worked with this for about three months before it quickly taught me that I was not ready to try something like it. Hurt myself and had to wait for the pain to go away so that I could get back to working out. However, the increased exercise worked and I had lost 15 pounds in those three months.

From there, I decided that doing said commercially available product as much as they said to do it was not going to work for me, I modified what I did. I began to ride my stationary bike 30 minutes a day, every day when I got up in the morning and in the afternoon after work I would alternate between doing another 30 minutes of cardio or a muscle building/toning set that I’d lifted from the earlier mentioned commercially available product.

The key to me in seeing progress was not so much how much weight I was losing, but rather how well I was doing when it came to my exercises. At first, I challenged myself I maintain 15 mph for 30 minutes on the bike. When I could do that with no problem, I moved up so that I’d try to hit a certain number on the calorie counter on my bike (btw the counter is incredibly useless for accurately determining how many calories you’ve burned, I just used it for a gauge). Currently, my goal is to maintain 20 mph over 30 minutes (which I attain regularly, but not all of the time). That poor bike has probably been ridden from Baton Rouge to New York and back (metaphorically speaking).

About a year after I started working, a momentous thing happened: I met my future fiancée Stacy. I’m not sure what happened, but having her around changed how I approached things. I wasn’t just trying to do things for me; I actually had someone I wanted to impress. Thanks to her, I stopped drinking as much as I used to drink. Once that happened, the consistent workouts and the decrease in intake the weight started to come off. By November, I’d lost 40 pounds and then momentous things #2 happened: my friend Stacy (not the same as fiancée Stacy) asked if I wanted to come and play goalkeeper for the coed soccer team on which she played. This all would start in January of the next year and I told myself if I get my weight to less than 300 pounds (a 300 lb soccer player, look out!) I’d do it. Really wanting to get back into soccer, and having a friend depending on me, I busted my behind even more, and by the time Christmas rolled around I’d made it to 292 pounds.

That first season back taught me two things: 1) 290 pounds is not a good weight to play soccer at 2) I really love playing so I’d better lose more. So, I started jogging. By the time the coed season had ended in March, I’d lost another 20 pounds and I got convinced to sign up for the men’s over 30 league. By the time that league had ended, I’d lost yet another 20 pounds, and it was time for summer coed league. By the time that season ended (in August), I’d lost another 20 pounds (for those keeping score, I’m saying my weight is 230.)

So basically, this was a story about what I did to lose weight to feel better about myself, get the girl, and play soccer again. The best way to approach weight loss is actually to not worry about the loss of weight. Rather it’s to set physically attainable goals. Bike a consistent speed for a long period of time, make it to 3 miles in 30 minutes while jogging (I can do this now, I nearly made myself pass out by cheering after I did it the first time), or even just move up from lifting 5 pound weights to 10 pound weights. Injuries and hurts will happen.

My current goals:

1)     The big one I’ve had since I started: get down to 200 pounds.

2)     Run for 45 minutes without stopping  (soccer related, I’m up to 30 minutes)

3)     Do a pull up (I have never been able to do one)

So there you have it, Chris’ powerful story of transformation and LIFE.

Thank you, Chris!

You can learn more about him by visiting his blog: Random Musings of an Old Theater Employee 


One response

  1. ack! I nearly felt a tear when I read this line:
    “this was a story about what I did to lose weight to feel better about myself, get the girl, and play soccer again.”
    Chris is a good writer too! =)

    October 20, 2011 at 8:17 pm

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