Success – I’ve Achieved My Goal to Be Healthier and More Fit!

Salmon Lisa Sullivan

Image above by Lisa Sullivan. Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Well…I did it! I have become healthy and fit…and I’m not stopping either. 🙂

This journey really began just over a year ago when I embarked on a quest to complete a Couch to 5K program. If you remember correctly, I made it through 3 weeks of it and then my knees just wouldn’t let me run any more. So, I stopped and I didn’t really pick anything else up until January 2014. BUT, it was always on my mind to do something to get me healthier and fit. In my last post, I talked about how I attempted to do so as the new year turned its corner, but once again, my knees gave me trouble. This has not been an easy journey.

I could’ve easily given up. I could have. The thing is –

  • I wanted to be able to reach the top of a hill while hiking with my husband without gasping for breath.
  • I wanted to stop taking the easy way out when it came to eating fast food or pasta or Mexican and exchange that for healthier choices (not that you can’t make healthier choices with either of those; it’s just that I took the easy way out by ordering or making no matter what the ingredients were).
  • And yes, I wanted to lose weight, 20-25lbs of excess body fat I did not need.

It’s because of all of these things (and a few more “wants”) that I didn’t give up, but instead pressed on and found a way to make serious changes to my habits that would impact me positively.

Enter my becoming a client of Health Coach and good friend, Carrie Riggin of Carrie Riggin Fit.

I talked at length about why I had decided to work with her in my last blog post on getting fit and healthy. Now, I can absolutely 100% tell you my working with Carrie was the perfect choice.

Carrie spent time with me at the beginning, learning about my lifestyle and choices. She visited me in my home where she and I looked at such things as space to work out in, what was in my kitchen cabinets and refrigerator (and what I should not have in them too!), as well as she and I took a walk through the apartment complex and neighborhood I live in to get an idea of the gyms we have on site and the miles I could walk (or run) through each. From there we tailored a program that would fit my needs and lifestyle.

It helps to pay attention to what you’re eating and how much of it.

Changing my eating habits actually wasn’t that hard. I even learned how to cook healthier! She challenged me to keep a diary of my eating habits as well as journal of thoughts and notes along the way. I used the iPhone app My Fitness Pal to track calories, food and drink intake, exercise, water intake, and even my weight throughout the course of our time together. In fact, I love the app so much I’m continuing to use it. It helps to pay attention to what you’re eating and how much of it. Really.

Mac N Cheese Lisa Sullivan

Mac N Cheese with Greek Yogurt & Spinach

I cooked healthy recipes such as Baked Salmon with a side of spinach salad & humus (featured image), Macaroni & Cheese made with spinach and Greek Yogurt, and one of my recent faves – Cucumber Avocado Caprese Salad which I paired with a veggie burger. My dinners used to consist of whatever was easiest. Now, I really think about and plan for healthier options. I love it!

Cucumber Salad Lisa Sullivan

Cucumber Avocado Caprese Salad

I actually look forward to making sure I get in my 3-4x per week of exercise

Incorporating exercise was the hardest part of the program we created. When I started, I specifically told Carrie how much I loathed…not hated…loathed…exercise. I just find most so boring. I find myself counting the minutes until I get off the treadmill or finish that run or whatever. That said, I grew to love the diversity of exercises she suggested AND by the end of our time together I could say that I actually look forward to making sure I get in my 3-4x per week of exercise, especially the elliptical. I’m loving that apparatus. It kicks my butt!

With all of these plans in place and my execution of them, I started out with a weight of 155-157. I ended with a weight of 132-135. I still have about 3-5 more pounds I’d like to lose and maintain keeping off, but I have never felt so GOOD about my body as I do today! I am eating healthier, I’m enjoying exercise, and I can definitely see a difference in how I look too


I am the happiest I have ever been in the body God gave me!


And I can’t thank Carrie enough for keeping me motivated, encouraging my every step, and inspiring me to be a healthier more fit individual. She gave me the tools, but it was up to me to execute them.

I’m a little embarrassed to share this next photo but I really would like you to see the change. It is a split screen of me exactly one year ago (left) and today (right).

Me August 2013 & August 2014

Me August 2013 & August 2014

I can’t stress this enough – the only way you can experience the results that I did or similar is if YOU make the commitment to do the work and make the changes. YOU have to decide once and for all you are going to become more fit and healthy and then YOU have got to execute those changes – make healthier choices with your food & drink intake, actually exercise, even get the right amount of rest each night, etc. YOU have to make the choice and YOU have to make it happen. Period.

I still have a little ways to go, but I’m pretty happy with who I am right now. My next challenge is to follow up with my doctor about the pain I experience in my knees when I run or partake in exercise that is “knee-heavy”. The elliptical and stationary bike have helped a little as I have used both of those to concentrate on more strength in that area, but I want to know what more I can do…or if perhaps running isn’t in my arsenal of exercise options, though I hope it is at some point. I would still really like to be able to register for and complete 5Ks on behalf of charities I’d like to support. BUT, I’ll do what the doctor says.

Anyway, I encourage you. There are four months left in the year. It’s not too late to start a health and exercise program that will work for you…AND if you start now, it’ll put you in a good place when the holiday (eating) season rolls around too. 😉

To learn more about what Carrie provides (including online coaching), please visit her website – Carrie Riggin Fit.

Stay tuned here and on Twitter for more from me as the #LisaGetsFit hashtag continues on. Remember, I’m not done yet!

Speaking of which, it’s time for a healthy lunch and to hit the gym too! I can hear the elliptical calling my name. 😉


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