*WARNING – long-winded post… there are some pictures though…*
It’s 11:20 pm and I just wrapped up a shoulders and core workout. Since I’m wired from the great workout I decided to read some of the blogs that I follow and I checked in at http://theorangemask.com/ where I read his post “My Current Fitness State… “. This reminded me that I had not given an update on my fitness journey over the last several months. Which, by the way, has resulted in some pretty good numbers and results…. so here it goes.
Way back in November of 2011 I was accepted to a 90 day fitness challenge with Fit 4 You. (if you would do me a favor and please like them on FaceBook here. Please help me get them to 1,000 likes. Also, follow them on Twitter @Fit4YouJax) This challenge would prove to be harder than I ever thought because it spanned over 3 major holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Nevertheless, I accepted the challenge and devoted myself to giving it my all! At 36 years of age, I had to do something to better my life and be a positive influence on my kids… and so the journey began.
I started the challenge at 231 lbs and a whopping 29.6% body fat…. ughh. For all you fitness geeks out there, this meant that I had about 163 lbs of lean mass and 68.5lbs of fat draped on body. All the obvious measurement were taken and recorded. You can imagine they were just as disappointing as the body fat number…. but the numbers would soon become the past!Working one on one with Eric Leister, owner of Fit 4 You, we met 3 days a week for about 45 minutes each day and I recorded my food intake with Daily Burn (twitter: @dailyburn) which allowed me to track every calorie, good and bad. Eric took me through a series of interval training sessions working multiple muscle groups with compound movements using mostly bodyweight exercises. As time passed, the movements got easier, but Eric kept switching up the routine, the order and the intensity of the movements. This constant changing hit every muscle group from every direction while keeping my heart rate up allowing me to burn as many calories as possible.
As one can imagine, spending that much time with someone, you are bound to open up yourself and connect with each other and now Eric is a great friend. He is someone who I know I can depend and will be there with words of encouragement if they are needed and answers if I have questions…. but I digress.
So…. fast forward to February 17th, 2012, 113 days after my first weigh in and we are at my last training session of the fitness challenge. To my delight, my weight has dropped 18.5 lbs. to 213lbs and my body fat percentage has dropped 6.3 % to 23.3%. Again for all the fitness geeks, that means that my lean mass was still at 163lbs. This meant that the 6.3% of body fat that I lost was all fat! While I did not add to my lean mass, I didn’t lose any lean mass either.
You may not think that 18.5 lbs is a lot for more than three months, but that equates to a touch more than a pound lost each week and the effect these 18.5 lbs had on my self-esteem is ginormous! You see, with those pounds being shed from my body, so too went the inches… I lost a total of 12.5 inches from all areas of my body. Starting the challenge I barely fit into a size 40 waste. I now fit into a 36 waist! My wardrobe was now either fitting correctly, or was too big and people were noticing! I walked taller, with purpose, and with a sense of pride that would not allow my head to hang.
A huge THANK YOU goes out to Eric Leister and Fit 4 You. You not only managed to change my body, but you changed my philosophy and my way of life! I now know that fit is for me!
With that said…. fast forward another 63 days and another 12.5 lbs down I am sitting at 200.6 lbs as of this morning. I have maintained my fit lifestyle and continue to workout at least 4 days a week, most of the time 5 days a week. My routine is as follows:
Doin' some core work at the gym.
- Monday – Chest, Triceps, and Cardio (at least 30 minutes of running)
- Tuesday – Back, Biceps and Cardio (at least 30 minutes of running)
- Wednesday – Active Rest Day
- Thursday – Shoulders, Core, and Cardio (at least 30 minutes of running)
- Friday – Legs and Cardio (at least 20 minutes on the Stairmaster)
- Saturday -Core and 3-5 mile run (weather permitting)
- Sunday – Active Rest Day
I have seen some very positive changes in my body since the completion of the challenge. muscle definition is taking shape due in part to a continued reduction in my body fat percentage as well as development of lean muscle because of the lifting 4 days a week.
My diet continues to improve trying to eat complex carbs early in the day and limit them at night. One strategy that Eric taught me was to “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a peasant”, meaning that I need to eat the more calorie dense meals early in the day and by dinner time be eating a very lean, low-calorie meal.
One of the major changes that I have made in my diet is doing away with carbonated drinks! This I think was harder that cleaning up my eating. However, after the first 2 days of headaches due to the caffeine withdrawal, it became easier with each passing day to drink something other than soda or diet soda.
I am at a good place physically, but most of all, I am in a better place mentally. I now put health and fitness first and only second when competing with family. Exercising is no longer a have to and is now a want to. I look forward to my gym time because it is literally time that I am giving to myself, both in the now and in the years I am adding to my life. I continue to learn and develop my routine as my body responds and am focussed currently on breaking the 200 lb threshold.
I warned you in the first line that this was a long post, but that is what has transpired in my life over the last 6 months. I am planning on posting updates and more image of my progress as I break though barriers and achieve goals that I have set for myself.
Thank you for reading and I will leave you with the same question that The Orange Mask ended his “current fitness” post with:
What is the current “State of your fitness” right now? What are your future goals? Where have you been? How has your diet changed in the last year? Do you try extra hard to look good for the summer?