Kelly the Culinarian: Welcome to my OTF #TransformationChallenge

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Welcome to my OTF #TransformationChallenge

Hi mom, I hope you like this.

Pre-Ironman me
Current me, at the #FLFC19 Preview
My fitness routine has changed significantly since my last Ironman. And if I'm being honest, I floundered for a while. I trained for and finished Circular Logic verrrry slowly in 2018 and then chilled for a few weeks, trying to decide what to do next. After my experience with Spenga, I wondered what other fitness trends might be out there that would appeal to me. And after years of steady-state cardio, I was ready to do something that made me look better in a bikini instead of a tri suit.

Enter Orange Theory La Grange.

Last April, I signed up for an intro class and got my ass handed to me. I'm a three-time Ironman finisher and I was unattractively sweating from the word "go" and got worked over in an hour. I signed a six-month contract on the spot and reasoned that the more I went, the cheaper it would be. The six-month membership was still cheaper than an Ironman entry fee and I knew my body couldn't do a third year in a row of Ironman training.

Day 1 of the #TransformationChallenge
What's kept me coming back is that in an hour, I'm done. There are tons of classes daily and they include weight lifting and cardio. The quest to get 12 minutes in the orange and red (z4/5) of your heart rate is a powerful enough incentive for me to keep pushing through the tough parts. Also, because it's constantly varied, I'm not usually that sore or worn down.

Now what's keeping me going is the Transformation Challenge. OTF La Grange invited me to participate and cover my fees in exchange for my honest opinions about the experience. It's an eight-week program in which participants have to make it to three workouts per week during six out of the eight weeks. There's a pre-, mid- and post-program weight in and the person who loses the greatest percentage of weight wins a cash prize. Mostly, it's about camaraderie and mutual suffering. OTF La Grange split us into two teams with at studio assistant monitoring us weekly with small challenges along the way. We started Monday, and the first challenge was to track our food.

My body has definitely changed since I started in the spring, but my diet has just gotten worse. I like beer and tacos and chocolate. I travel a ton for work now and my meals aren't always up to me (and if I fly 7,000 miles to a place I'm going to eat the local delicacies). So for the duration of this challenge, I'm tracking my food via FitBit and focusing on quality protein and lots of vegetables. I weighed in at 141 and my goal is to drop 10 pounds. This would put me close to my pre-Ironman weight and would go a long way in helping me fit into my dress for the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity.

Basically, I want to see what would happen to my body if I could couple a less crap-tastic diet with solid physical activity in my peak fitness zone.

Follow me on Instagram, where I'll be chronicling my workouts and meals, and check back to how far I can get on my journey to be the best me.

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