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July 31, 2015

My Fitness Journey, Lesson Ten

Preplan your Workouts


Fail to plan, plan to fail. Preparing your workout before you walk into the gym is key to efficient workouts and seeing results. Everyday at the gym I watch people go from machine to machine not knowing what they are doing or what muscle group they are working on. Typically these are the ones that end up getting in my way because a machine looks 'fun'. Don't be that person! Also, be sure to constantly be switching up your workouts often to keep your muscles guessing and to ensure gainz (yeah, I said it...)

Almost everyday I visit Bodybuilding.com to create the best workouts before I walk into the gym. Bodybuilding.com has been my biggest resource for nutrition, workouts, motivation and advice. I highly recommend book marking their site and going here (click here)  to prepare your workouts based on muscle groups. Find one that you think is best, write it down, and follow it. You won't get bored by switching up your workouts and will have fun trying new moves!

July 30, 2015

My Fitness Journey, Lesson Nine

Patience


Learn to love the journey and trust the process because it is a long, slow one.

It look me over three weeks to be able to see any change in my body and I saw very little movement in my weight on the scale over that time too. After making such a drastic change to my diet and lifestyle, I thought I would be able to see results immediately. I completely understand why so many people give up so quickly when it comes to working out and dieting and it is because you can go so long without any changes. But don't give up! Even after 8 weeks I still get frustrated that I am not getting stronger or that I can't fully see my abs yet... but I know it will happen. I have the patience, strength and determination to keep going and to get results!

July 29, 2015

My Fitness Journey, Lesson Eight

Track your Progress


We all get hung up on the number that appears on our scale. Yes, it is important but muscle does weigh more than fat so you will want to track your progress with something other than your weight. I started taking photos from the front, back and side so that I am able to visibly see a difference in my body and compare side by side photos of my results. This has been a huge motivator for me and helps me visibly track my results and see my goals.

My recommendation is to weigh in and take photos ONCE a week so that you are able to compare your results week over week and stay inspired by the change. 

July 28, 2015

My Fitness Journey, Lesson Seven

Drink your effing water


Drink your effing water and drink lots of it. Every day I drink at least a gallon of water and I highly recommend the same for you. Not only does it curb your appetite but it will also speed up your metabolism. Be sure to always carry a water bottle with you and stay hydrated. If you are not a huge water drinker, trick yourself by drinking green tea or adding fruit (lemons, oranges, berries, etc.) or even vegetables (ex: cucumber, I think that's the only vegetable people add to their water).

Drink up, buttercup!

July 27, 2015

My Fitness Journey, Lesson Six

Set Achievable Goals

Photo from NPC News Online
In the beginning of my journey my goals were to look like all those fit gals above. It was my goal to compete in a NPC Bikini competition, so I found a trainer who works specifically with men and women who are training for these fitness shows. About a month into my journey, I started talking to my trainer about competitions and how long it would take me to get a body like that and how soon I could compete. Then he opened my eyes to the real world of competitive bodybuilding and fitness competitions. I remember my jaw dropping to the floor when he asked if I was willing to do steroids. WHAT?! People still do that? And that was just the beginning of it. Along with steroids, many of these athletes are using fat burners, lasix / diuretics and many other "supplements" to achieve those bodies. Turns out, bodies like that are NOT natural. I was so mad at myself for having unrealistic goals and for working so hard to achieve a body like that not knowing what was involved.  

From the day I started to where I am now my goals have completely shifted. I have given myself a target weight of 117 lbs and to be able to see definition in my legs, arms and abs. It is my goal to be healthy and strong and find a plan that is both achievable and sustainable that I can maintain over a long period of time. This is obviously much more realistic and healthy.

Set goals and hold yourself accountable. Just make sure your goals are healthy and achievable. 

July 26, 2015

My Fitness Journey, Lesson Five

Isolating

(Image by Ruche, Pinterest)
Sometimes we forget how much our social gatherings revolve around food and drinks. We catch up with friends and family over cocktails and snacks all the time - that's just the way it is. Can you imagine anything different? I wish we would catch up more over an evening walk or game of tennis. 

When I started this journey, I promised myself that I would not let this diet and lifestyle get in the way of my life. In the beginning, I would go to breweries, bars and restaurants and just sit there with my water while others were consuming delicious drinks and meals in front of me. I didn't find it too strange since I was still engaged in the conversations and enjoyed spending time the company I had, but then everyone would tell me that I am 'no fun' and ask why I bother going out... so I stopped. 

During the weekdays, I continued to feel isolated by gym after work while my friends were doing happy hours and dinners. Although I am still working on finding a balance of having a glass of wine every once in a while or changing my workout schedule to avoid isolating myself and pulling myself away from social gatherings. It is important to make note that by changing your diet and lifestyle you will run into roadblocks like this. Work hard on finding a balance right away that will help you achieve your fitness goals while still connecting with friends and family. Otherwise, you will find your health and fitness journey to be very isolating and will give up quick.

July 25, 2015

My Fitness Journey, Lesson Four

Cardio is King

What is your cardio routine? Are you wasting time on an elliptical? Are you doing fasted cardio? Do you know what you are doing? 

Be more efficient with your time, every time, by jumping on a different machine.

Learn to LOVE the stair master. This workout is a beautiful combination of a leg workout and an intense cardio workout that will burn close to 500 calories in about 35 minutes. Yep, it's an efficient workout and you won't have to spend hours at the gym.

Fasted cardio in the morning before you eat breakfast is also a great key to fat loss. Start your day off on the right foot and do your body a huge favor at the same time by doing fasted cardio. Your metabolism will kick into high gear all day and you will feel so much better about yourself for doing it. Just from working out in the morning, I am much more disciplined throughout the day because I don't want to negate what I have already done. Hopefully this will work for you too!

My advice is to mix up your cardio routine by running (either outside or on the treadmill), biking, doing the stair mill, boxing or anything else you enjoy. Just don't waste your time on the elliptical or machine that makes you look like you are marching like a German soldier. By switching your cardio routine and doing it daily, you will notice a major change.

July 24, 2015

My Fitness Journey, Lesson Three

Know what to Eat and when...

What is the one thing you hear day after day when it comes to losing weight? Probably something along the lines of "Don't eat at night." Well, that's weird considering how much weight I have lost eating bagels and jelly, toast and peanut butter, yogurt, and protein shakes around 10:30 at night. The beliefs, articles, success and failure stories online are overwhelming because each story / article is contradicting the next one you read.

My success came with the following strategies, ideas and recommendations:

  • Eating 5 small meals a day, pacing them out about 3.5 hours apart. 
  • Think of food as fuel vs. food for fun. -Yes, these means no alcohol, no sweets, no fun...
  • Know your workout(s) for the day so you know how to properly fuel your body for the work out (either the workout you have coming up or the one you just completed).
  • Be sure to consume protein at every meal to stay full and lean. Keep in mind protein can be from a protein shake, protein bar, nuts, or lean protein such as chicken, turkey, white fish, shrimp, etc. 
  • Up your veggies and lower your fruits (because of the amounts of sugar).
  • Purchase a food scale so you know how much you are eating, don't just guess. I promise you, this will make a huge difference. 
  • Always remember, the success of your fitness plan will be 80% diet and 20% workouts.

July 23, 2015

My Fitness Journey, Lesson Two

Motivation


Step number one: Become your own biggest cheerleader!

It is difficult to find people on the same fitness journey as you. With friends, family and even my husband thinking my journey is 'looney', 'annoying', 'a waste of time' or any of the other thoughts and feelings they have openly shared with me, I have had to look for motivation and inspiration elsewhere. I started following BodyBuilding.com and other highly respected gals in the fitness industry, such as @michelle_lewin_ and @camilaguper to stay motivated and to keep going. By following them, I have also learned new workout moves and techniques to keep my workouts fresh and interesting. Turn to Pinterest, Instagram and other social media to find daily inspiration. Whatever your Fitspiration is, keep it close to you and continue to find new ways to inspire yourself.

@michelle_lewin

@camilaguper


July 22, 2015

My Fitness Journey, Lesson One

Every. Damn. Day

When you are not training for a physical event or working towards a personal fitness goal, we feel good about ourselves for frequenting the gym a few times a week and for passing on a cookie or glass of wine. But when you are training, every moment of the day counts. Every work out and everything you put in your mouth will have an effect on your body, so it is critical to make sure you are making the right choices every moment of the day and working out every single day. I have not had a REST DAY since I began my program, only 'light days' which mean a 30 minute workout on the stair mill (level 9) and no weights.

If you want results, you have to work for it, every damn day...

July 21, 2015

My Fitness Journey, 13 Lessons

What are you willing to do to get the body of your dreams? And most importantly, what are you willing to sacrifice?

For the past 8 weeks I have been working with a personal trainer and nutritionist, working my ass off to get my 'perfect body'. It has been very challenging, isolating, rewarding, liberating and many other feelings in between. For the next 13 days, I want to share with you my journey / struggle / triumph of losing about a pound a week and dropping 8 pounds in 8 weeks.

Throughout these posts, I am hoping to inspire, motivate and share with you the ins and outs of lifting and dieting that many people don't discuss. Follow my fitness journey and please ask questions along the way. I truly hope I can touch or inspire one. Or at least show you the truth of what intense dieting and training looks like.

But before we get into that, you must see this quick Amy Schumer clip that is hilarious and explains briefly what I am going to dive into.

Welcome to my journey!