|My fitness story began 11 years ago when I joined a fitness club and was able to get myself fit with running (indoor then outdoor), weight training, and a little cycling and swimming thrown in for good measure. I joined a running club and gradually built up endurance and speed. A year later, I caught the road-racing bug running 5k and 10k, and soon after that I caught the marathon bug as well. I progressed to a point where I considered myself an experienced runner having completed six marathons from 1995-1999. I raced competitively during that time and won several age group awards. However, after my last marathon in 1999, I noticed my clothes becoming tight, and my weight began to climb. Although I continued running and weight training, I started to feel I was fighting a losing battle, and my work schedule would not allow me enough time to train.
I work as a pediatrician in a new and rapidly growing practice, and my schedule is often very busy and sometimes very stressful. Finding time to exercise, weight train and choose and prepare healthy foods to eat seemed almost impossible with the constraints of my work schedule. I joined the Loma Linda Lopers briefly in 2002 but found little time to train during the week. With little time for exercise the following year, my weight went up to 225 lbs, and I found that even 36 inch pants were a tight fit. I decided to try training with the Lopers one more time. I participated in most of the Sunday morning runs for the 2004-2005 season, but often had difficulty keeping up with my pace group and I needed to walk more often than I would have liked. I was able to make some progress, but I still weighed 218 lbs, and still wore size 36. In March, I opted not to try the LA Marathon, and decided instead to look for help in the form of a personal trainer. As luck would have it, I didn’t need to look too far to find one. Among the leaflets and flyers available at the Gentry Gym on Sunday morning, I found a flyer for Karla Adams, personal trainer. I was particularly interested in Karla’s program since she had trained runners and was an ambitious runner herself. “Great!” I said to myself.
We were able to schedule a consultation and then set up a training schedule. We discussed my training goals and I started my training program in early March. Next, Karla provided me with an individualized nutrition plan. The plan featured a very low fat intake, avoidance of “processed” carbohydrates such as foods made with flour (natural carbohydrates like potato, sweet potato and rice were okay), and a high intake of lean protein. At first glance, it seemed hard to image how I could possibly comply with a plan that asked me to make large changes in my dietary habits, but then I thought, “hey, I’ve been trying so hard, for so long to lose these extra pounds, look at how much more I could have been doing!” If the nutrition plan caused any cravings at all, they were gone by the second week and by that time I had already lost about 6 lbs from my initial weigh-in at 218 lbs. By the 3rd week I was getting used to the nutrition plan and was happy to be making progress. I set an ambitious goal weight of 170 lbs and a pant size of 32 inches. Karla consistently challenged me with increasingly intense weight training sessions while at the same time providing me with all the encouragement and motivation I needed to improve. Of course, when an exercise seems too easy, I often hear a voice saying “10 more”, or worse, when I return for the next set I find an extra 20 lb “present” has been magically added to the apparatus when I wasn’t looking. Seriously, I have found Karla’s approach of giving her clients the necessary tools to improve their own fitness and health very effective; and I have observed the joy it brings Karla when her clients achieve their goals. In my experience, Karla works with each client as part of a 2-person “team” and she is totally dedicated to leading her clients to achieve their personal goals.
As for me, after 4 months of training, my running has improved to a point where I feel I am becoming competitive again, I fit very comfortably into size 32 pants, and I receive compliments every day about how healthy I look. And all this was accomplished with my busy work schedule. My current weight is now 169 lbs and I have increased my running miles to prepare for the fall racing season. I continue to follow the same nutrition plan with allowance made for additional calories for long distance running.
Sport: Long Distance Competitive running
Training team: Loma Linda Lopers
Goals: Weight loss, run faster
Goals achieved: Lost 50 lbs, increased running speed
Recent Race Results:
Mission Inn 10k, November 14, 2005 54:10
Carlsbad 5000, April 3, 2005 20:17
Run through Redlands 5k, May 1, 2005 19:36
Loma Linda Home Run for ALS 10k 2nd Place overall 40:42
Rock’n’Roll San Diego Marathon June 5, 2005 3:30:11
Sendai International Half-Marathon July 10, 2005 1:30:26
America’s Finest City Half Marathon, San Diego Aug 14,1:23:11
Long Beach Half Marathon October 16th, 2007 1:21:23