Fitness Results, FINALLY!

Until my sophomore year of college, I had never stepped foot into a gym. The only reason I started working out is because the brand-spankin’-new fitness facility was built right next door to my dorm building.

It’s as if the universe and my tight jeans was sending me a not so subtle sign. Get in the gym, you lazy SOB. You have no excuses now. 

So, I went. I tried my best to mentally prepare myself to get serious about fitness.

I’ll never forget the first time I stepped – okay, stumbled – onto an elliptical. I set it to Level 2 (because I’m a born champion) and got to work. My legs were on FYAH! I was sweatin’ like a sonofgun and felt like I was really going to town.

Then, I looked down. Nine minutes had passed. I think I trucked on for another solid minute before throwing in the towel. Literally, I threw my towel.

But then next day I went back and tried again.

Over time, things have gotten easier, and I’ve continued to challenge myself. I moved up to running. Lifted a few weights. Took a few classes.

And those are the results I’ve seen. My results have been stamina and endurance. I’ve never lost a significant amount of weight (because I didn’t have to) and I’ve never seen a difference in my shape.

Was that ever discouraging?

HELL YES! Sometimes I’ve felt discouraged when friends lose weight, chisel abs, and buy new, smaller clothes. We always want what we don’t have, right?

That said, I’ve always known and appreciated that fitness looks different on every body.


Fast forward to last night: I was making dinner and Cory said, Your back and shoulders look really strong. 

What’s that you say?!

Like the uber tool that I am, I immediately ran to look in the mirror. I was shocked. I saw muscle!! Muscle I never had before!

Finally, FIVE YEARS after starting my fitness journey and a month after stepping into a BodyPUMP class (three times a week), I have seen my first real physical results.

For some, this may not be a big deal. But for me, it is! Especially because I have that whole Muscular Dystrophy thing going on. So, I’m proud of myself. Plain and simple.

*Please know that I am not trying to be vain by posting this. If you read this blog regularly, you know that’s not my style. In over a year of blogging, this is my first “serious” fitness picture. (Mainly because I feel weird putting pictures of my bod on the internet.)*

Anyway, this just goes to show that this whole fitness thing does work. Maybe it takes longer for some than others (ie: ME) but this feeling is worth it! :)

Stay happy and healthy, my friends! Have a great weekend!

Let’s chat: What I love most about fitness is _____________. Challenging my body and the feeling of accomplishment that it brings. 


  1. says

    Hi! Just stumbled across your blog from… I don’t know where (internet meanderings) and I love it! Great work. Anyway – I know exactly what you mean! I took BodyPump for almost two years before someone commented on my arm muscles, and I’m pretty sure I looked at them like they had three heads – but then I looked in the mirror, and was shocked at what I saw. I had tone! Definition! Real live muscles hiding in my arms. And it was an awesome feeling :) So keep it up!


    • Colleen says

      Hey Lindsay!! So glad you stopped by! :) YES! I totally looked at Cory like he had three heads hahah. So glad I’m not as crazy as I thought!

  2. says

    Love this post!! Congrats!!! I totally wrestle with muscle envy, hell i ran a marathon and didn’t lose weight or see major body changes! I saw some 40 year old lady at barre this morning with a total 8 pack, I still have zero abs, but I love this post bc you are right, fitness looks different in everyone and it keeps me happy and not crazyyyy. You are lookin buff girl keep up the inspiring posts!

    • Colleen says

      Those 40-year-olds with major muscle get me every time!! I’m like “Whhaaat?! Hoooww?!” But thanks for the nice words! See you Sunday for some serious food punching 😉

    • Colleen says

      Thank you! I remember at wine fest I noticed for the first time how KILLER your arms are. I thought “I WANT THOSE!” So, thanks for the motivation :)

  3. Fran says

    you go girl! Funny story I just took a picture like that this morning. My arms are looking almost as good as yours :)

    • Colleen says

      FRAN! I see your facebook pics, girl. You look AMAZING!! Fabulous! (I’m also glad you took a similar picture. Makes me feel MUCH less tool-y 😉 )

  4. says

    I am super jealous of those muscles girl! I am in a bad rut where I feel like I don’t know how to life aka leaving me not wanting to lift. I wish I could get some arm muscles and finally see a change in how I view my body. I think being stronger would help me feel better about it.

    • Colleen says

      Thanks, girl! I really don’t know how to lift, but BodyPUMP has made all the difference. Are there any gyms near you that offer that class, or something similar?

  5. says

    I love this post! There’s nothing wrong with being proud of something you work hard for!! If i were you, I would feel the same way!

    And what I love the most about fitness is sweat. Kinda gross, I know, but I love the feeling of being super sweaty after a good workout.

  6. says

    You look amazing! I started weight training this year and I have never seen results like this before. I would say what I love about fitness is feeling powerful and strong – physically and mentally. Working out is the best gift I give myself, it’s awesome! :)

  7. says

    Congrats!! I totally get where you are coming from. I got really into Body Pump last summer and took it 2-3x a week. I remember looking at pictures of myself from a concert in August and being like holy crap… I have biceps. It really is an amazing class, and such an accomplishing feeling when you see results!
    What I love most about fitness is the feeling I have when I’m done with a workout- it can’t be beat!

  8. says

    Maybe this makes me a huge tool, but I LOVE posting pics of my changing bod as I’m shedding the pounds and toning up, but bring on the insults! I’m all about boasting these days, because fitness is a personal accomplishment and I’m proud of the results I’ve seen and the health benefits I reap on a daily basis. You have every right to brag and to write about whatever you like, boo! Keep on keepin’ on — you inspire me every day as an emerging fitnessista, as a blogger, and as a person! I’d love to see more posts like this.

    • Colleen says

      Anne Kendall, I adore you. I love that you love to post progress photos! I think it’s awesome!! Thanks for the encouragement! :)

  9. says

    Colleen this is the BEST POST EVER! You go! Your bod looks fab:)
    I have to say though…not seeing physical changes doesn’t mean you weren’t getting health perks for the last five years. Your heart appreciates you and you can’t see that!

    • Colleen says

      Thank you, my friend!! YES you are absolutely right! That’s what has kept me motivated: inner health! That’s the most important thing, anyway :)

  10. mom says

    Wow, great job so proud. Muscular dystrophy wants you to “make a muscle, make a change” and you have in every way.

  11. says

    Okay cuz, I am so jealous, I use that shake weight and nothing noticeable has happened. I guess I need to do more. I keep thinking the problem is the myotonic dystrophy and my muscles just get weaker and weaker as I get older but you keep inspiring me to get out there and push myself to strengthen my body. Your arms look awesome.

    • Colleen says

      Thanks for the encouragement, Becky! I am extremely fortunate in the fact that I haven’t really been affected by MD yet. I asked my neurologist if lifting weights was good or bad, and he said that as long as I could do it, I should! My dad doesn’t move/exercise that much, so now things are pretty hard for him. I’m just hoping that the whole “a body in motion, stays in motion” theory can apply to me :) Check with your doc before pushing yourself, but I bet he/she will encourage it!! :)

  12. Lissa says

    I was an athlete from 7th grade until junior year in college…nothing has ever given me muscle definition like body pump (and I only go ~1 per week!). Such a great class!

  13. says

    Look at those guns! Awesome job lady. I love Body Pump as well but haven’t been going to any classes lately. I should totally get on that.

    Sorry we didn’t get to meet-up at the derby. The lines were out of control and The Rooster Cart wasn’t there (which is where I wanted to eat) so we headed over to The Mill to grab lunch instead. :/ Hope you had fun tough!

    • Colleen says

      Thanks, Brittany!! Oh my gosh, the lines were insane yesterday. Hopefully we’ll run into each other sooner rather than later! :)

  14. Tiffany says

    Congrats! I know you’re excited. The first time I seen my arm muscles is when Justyn told me “your arms and shoulders are as big as mine”. LOL! They’re definitely a muscle us females tend to forget about.

    • Colleen says

      Thanks, Tiffany!! I agree, I totally forgot about those muscles. I bet your boxing has sculpted some pretty mean guns! 😉

  15. says

    Wow, those shoulders look awesome! Like you, when I exercise, I don’t lose any weight. I see an increase in stamina and endurance, improve sleep, and better mood.

    For weight loss, for the majority of people, the focus has to be diet.

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