I have been thinking about adding nutrition and fitness posts to my blog for a long time now based on my experience and research. I have lost 55 pounds over the course of 2 years by eating clean and exercising regularly and am ready to share my experience here!
I was (and still am) not so confident about posting "before" photos of myself on the blog, but I feel as though my experience can help others (and seeing 'before and afters' are my favorite part of these kind of posts!)
Let's start at the beginning:
Throughout my childhood I was super skinny, and most of my adult life I've been a healthy, average size. I never had weight issues until I went on a medication that caused my metabolism to slow times (what seemed to be) a million. Over the course of three months, I gained 40 pounds. This weight gain lit a fire under my butt and I started upping my 1-2 day/week exercise schedule to 4-5 days per week of cardio, both on the elliptical machine or spin class. I lost a few pounds, but nothing significant.
July 4, 2009
I ultimately decided that I needed to go off of the medication in August 2009 for several reasons. Once I did, the weight fell off. I was almost back to my pre-medication weight after about 4 months by keeping the same lifestyle of doing cardio 4-5 days/week and eating ok (I definitely didn't care as much about what I put in my body then as I do now).
I got engaged in September of 2009, and wanted to really start pushing myself to lose more weight and tone up for my wedding. I started going to group fitness classes using weights and I loved the results. My gym introduced Le Mills Body Pump classes in 2010, and that's when I really started to get more of a grip on my fitness goals. I went to Bodypump 2-3 days a week and did cardio on my own as well 1-2 days a week. The pounds fell off. On my wedding day, I had lost 60 pounds from my heaviest weight. Since then, I've gained 5 pounds of muscle.
Photo credit: lovingfit.com
About Bodypump: Bodypump is a one hour workout using weights the entire time, with no rest and high repetitions. You work your entire body during this workout: legs, glutes, biceps, triceps, back, abs, and chest.
Before I was introduced to weight lifting, I thought the way to lose weight was to log in endless hours on the treadmill/elliptical/bike, which I did for a long time with little results. I've learned that weight loss and fat loss are completely different. Aerobic exercise does burn fat, but it also burns muscle (read more about this topic here). Lifting weights not only encourages fat loss, but replaces the fat with muscle and increases metabolism 48 hours after weight lifting.
In addition to one-hour Bodypump classes 3-4 days a week, I do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) 1-2 days per week for an hour if I'm being good! HIIT consists of 2:1 interval work, for example one minute of sprinting and 30 seconds of walking, repeated several times. HIIT increases your metabolism, and doesn't burn through muscle like consistent cardio does.
I do need to work on increasing HIIT, as I do get a little lazy sometimes!
As for my diet, I eat very clean, however I am not restrictive with my diet ALL the time. When I go out with friends = bring on the yummy appetizers and dessert! Since I am strict with my diet 90% of the time, having cheat days and occasionally eating whatever I want works for me. When I say "strict", I don't mean that I'm starving myself by any means. I mean that I do not regularly eat fried food, sugar, an excess of carbs, soda or red meat. My typical meal usually includes high protein and lots of vegetables.
This has become my lifestyle, and I have never felt healthier in my entire life. I still have goals I want to reach and am not "done", and never will be.
Finally, here I am today:
April 19, 2012
I am looking forward to sharing my favorite healthy recipes, workout tips, and updated running music lists etc with all of you!