Sunday, May 25, 2014

Adventures in weight loss, part 1

I've never been overweight. My BMI has always been in the healthy range. But over the past few years, my weight has been slowly creeping upward. Too much junk food, not enough exercise. By last December, I had risen to 10 pounds over the weight I had been in college. I was still in the healthy BMI range, but this worried me nonetheless, and I started on a quest this year to drop those 10 pounds.

The two keys to this are to exercise more and eat healthier.

Following this advice, since Jan. 1, I have lost 7.5 pounds.

That's not a dramatic amount by any stretch, but I did give myself an entire year to lose the weight. Being almost to my goal by late May is encouraging for me, especially after I had to stop any and all exercise for 10 weeks because of a rib injury.

Here's what I've been doing. Let's start with the first part, to exercise more.

I used to be a runner. I was on my high school track and cross country teams, and after college I kept myself in shape and ran in 5K races. At my peak, I was running about 6 miles per day. That was before marriage and kids. Of course I wouldn't trade my family for anything in the world, but my physique has suffered. I simply don't have time to exercise the way I want to.

My daily routine since the start of the year is to first walk the dog; usually we go for a couple of miles or so. I don't push myself, but we walk at a good clip.

When I get home, I pull out my iPad and fire up my exercise apps.

The first one is for abs. Back in the day, I had a six-pack. Fifteen years and two pregnancies later, the six-pack is long gone. I'd like to get it back. This particular abs app has three levels of difficulty. I started at level 1, which got me 240 reps of moderate difficulty in about 12 minutes. At the start of May, I moved up to level 2, which is 320 reps of moderate-to-hard difficulty in the same time span. For a week, I couldn't move without pain. It's better now, but I'm still calling it my "abs torture" every morning. Maybe it's my imagination, but I think I'm starting to see the results.

App No. 2 focuses on the butt: leg lifts, bridging and lunges for about 12 minutes. Why? Mostly just for the hell of it. I need to burn calories, and this is as good as anything else. I'm still on level 1 here, not because it's difficult (it's not) but because I'm not ready to amp this one up until I'm more comfortable with the level 2 abs. I'm seeing the results of this one mostly in my thighs.

In all, my morning exercise routine takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

Next time: Part 2, eating healthier.


Kelan said...

It's so common that the demands of life push out fitness and taking care of ourselves.

Good for you though for identifying something you want and going for it! Keep the momentum going and you will definitely make major progress!

Thanks for sharing your story

Plum said...

Hi, Jennifer. First, congratulations on the progress you've already made. 7.5 pounds is no small feat, especially since your total weight gain was 10 pounds. That's a loss of 75%!

Up until last year, I was just over 315 pounds. Then I dropped 106 pounds by completely changing all my habits. My first change was switching to a high protein diet, balanced out with complex carbohydrates. This change alone helped me drop 48 pounds in the first month.

At the same time, I gradually started to incorporate fitness. 5 days a week, 1 hour a day. Both strength training and cardio. That's where I lost another 33 pounds.

After a while I added supplements and dropped another 25 pounds of pure fat (and probably water, too). The biggest help has been a product called BELDT which is major energy (and mood) booster plus fat burner. It's amazing for the price (got it here ). I'm also using Optimum Nutrition protein ( ) between meals to keep my carb-to-protein ratios balanced. In the beginning, I used glutamine to help recover from my workouts faster, but I sort of dropped it from my routine toward the end (can find link to one I used).

I still pretty much maintain the same routine, but it's fine because I enjoy it. It's not an effort to get up and go workout anymore because the pleasure that comes with it now is so ingrained I can't NOT get up and go workout!

Lee said...

Congratz on your weight loss and I like the fact you stuck to the two most important things in weight loss, diet and exercise. Losing weight is difficult for others but with hard work and dedication it can be achieved. Your story is inspiration to anyone struggling to lose weight.

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