Monday, July 22, 2013

Lifting Alone

I have a very modest gym. It consists of a weight bench, treadmill, some free weights and yoga mats... Originally my formal dining room was our gaming room. We had computers and office chairs and close access to the fridge. Then slowly we realized we were not spending as much time in there and decided to make better use of the space.

I love this space now! I have the freedom to go in there while my children are playing, and when my grand kids are over I can still keep an eye out on the little ones. I believe everyone needs a space to workout at home. There's no excuses when the equipment is staring you in the face to not use it. That does not mean to use it to hold clothes to dry on! If I'm angry, I can put on headphones, jump on a treadmill and walk the frustration out. Or like today, lift til my arms are shaky! 

While my younges napped, I strapped on my HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) and headed in there with my faithful workout companion Lil... My gift from my husband, a boxer/pitbull mix... My running buddy. She's only 5 months old now and she's in training. But ever since I've had her she loves to sleep while I work out.

Today's workout consisted of:
Flat Dumbell Fly, Dumbell Row (one arm and two), Bench Press, Shoulder Shrugs, Triceps Extensions, Biceps Curls, Seated Fumbell Press and Lateral Raises... 

These are all things you can do alone... (ok so the bench press should have a spotter but I risked it today). The benefit from lifting weights is amazing! All you hear about is how cardio is what burns fat. Well let me tell you... I wear my HRM for 2 reasons. 1. To see how many calories I burn (duh) and to see how high my heart rate gets with each exercise. You'd be surprised how lifting can get my heart rate as high as speed walking does at times. And that in turn means fat burn... I believe you need both to achieve a healthy body. Cardio exercises with weight training will actually result in a much more effective fat loss! Cardio raised you muscle metabolism during the activity and for a short time after, while weight training raises your muscle metabolism during and long after the exercise session... In some cases, it's been reported to raise the metabolism for several days! This makes me soooo happy.... Because I love to eat and this allows me to eat more! 

So get out there and lift some weights! You don't need a gym membership or an expensive one at home even. You just need to do it. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

How it all started...

I remember it like it was yesterday... 2 1/2 years ago I got a phone call from my Dr. that my mammogram came back showing some abnormalities and she was ordering more tests and an MRI. I cried all weekend. I had just had a baby a year ago, and had finally met and married the man of my dreams. For the first time in awhile, I did not want to die. I had not done much I was proud of in my life, but I was ready to change that and I wanted to live. So I woke up and decided I needed a change. How had I let myself go this far? I was always the skinny one... I found a Cooking Light cookbook and made a list. I downloaded an app for my phone that would help. "Loseit" was the first one I saw and I started logging all my food. I set a goal of a pound a week. I mean who wouldn't want to be 52 pounds lighter in a year? 

The more I went to the Dr's, the more my tests results were coming back bad. But each night, after a day of crying, I would make the meals I had planned. No excuses! 3 months later I had a lumpectomy of a mass the size of a golf ball. Thankfully God saw me thru that and everything came back benign. Life could now go on! And it did for a couple months, pretty smoothly. Then 4 months after that, my husband got some bad news at work. His contract was being changed and he was basically having his pay cut in half. How was I going to buy my healthy groceries? (because eating healthy costs more!). If that wasn't bad enough my ex decided to stop paying child support (yet again) with a deficit of more than $2000 a month, is was going to be impossible! Back to crying....

 All I had was my health! I started walking and praying... Alot! I felt better. I was still in control of something. I got creative with my cooking and meal planning. Then BAM! I injured my foot (plantar fasciitis) and couldn't walk anymore. Now what was I going to do? Why was this so hard?! I went back to concentrating on eating my calories MFP set up for me and guess what? I continued to lose weight! Then one day in the forums I was reading about Jillian Michaels and her 30DS. I could do this! Just modify any high impact with my foot! Low and behold it worked... 

One day I received a message from a friend telling me I needed to try Yoga. I had found a new passion... I not only had  an exercise that in a month had helped me tone and shape my body, but lose a whole pant size! All of the stretching had even helped to heal my foot. I was back to walking some and on the road to recovery!    

God has seen me thru this journey. He has given me the strength to never give up. My husband has received 2 promotions since that day and the state of Texas dealt with my ex. My prayers were answered. 

 Now I set out to lose 52 pounds in 52 weeks.... I  lost 51! Although I didn't exactly meet my goal, and learned so much more than that 1 pound could ever mean. I changed my goals to stop focusing on the scale as much and focusing on my health. I am still striving to eat cleaner and strengthen my body even more. Weight loss is a bonus! 

 I am trying to "Be the Example" to my friends and family! I want everyone to realize this isn't just about a number on the scale. It's about making a commitment to yourself. And keeping it no matter what!