Weight: 274 lbs
Body Fat: 42%
Weight: 149 lbs
Body Fat: 17%
Why I Got Started
The turning point came after a trip to visit a friend in Virginia who had not seen me in several years. She did not recognize the girl standing in front of her. You see, I wasn't always this heavy.
I used to be active and slender in high school, but, after graduation the pounds started creeping on until finally by my mid 20's I finally maxed out at over 270 pounds.
It wasn't until after seeing the reaction of my friend for the first time since the weight gain that I finally decided enough was enough. I was sick of being fat and unhappy, made a resolution to finally do something about it and stop making excuses.
How I Did It
I an appointment with my doctor, thinking he'd suggest gastric bypass surgery. Instead, he told me to sign up for Weight Watchers. Within two weeks, I went to my first meeting and began to faithfully keep a journal of what I ate.
I dropped about eight pounds that first month. After I lost 30 pounds, I got on the treadmill and walked: first 15 minutes, then 20.
I added the incline feature and then 1-minute running increments until I was running more than walking. Now I run six miles every other day, and I'm thinner than I was in high school!
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I perform cardio 5 times per week for 30 minutes using a mixture of running, the stairmaster or spinning depending on what I feel like at the moment. Cardio is either completed early morning before work or after. I would prefer the morning but it depends on how much sleep I got the night before.
I do P90X 5 times per week 15-to-45 minutes. My company has a gym at work and we're fortunate to have a DVD player in our cardio room. So, I just pop it in for a healthy break up to office stress. I don't follow the fitness guide that is outlined with the P90X series.
The P90X system is a 90-day workout routine that uses a technique called "muscle confusion," a technique that prevents exercise plateauing by varying exercises over days and weeks such that the body has difficulty adapting.
The system includes strength training, cardio and stretching. Notably, in addition to pull-up and push-up emphasizing workouts, the system also stresses overall body fitness by including plyometrics (jump training), yoga and kenpo.
I pick the workout depending on what body part I feel like working on that day. The time also varies depending on what the days work load brings me. It's hard to find time to exercise, especially for those of us who work in an office.
However, studies show that people who enjoy a workout before going to work or exercise during lunch breaks are happier, suffer less stress and are more productive.
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I Pick The Workout Depending On What Body
Part I Feel Like Working On That Day.
I do weight training 3-to-4 times per week. I can't tell you that on Mondays I always do this and on Wednesdays I do that. The way my brain is wired doesn't allow me to have that kind of configuration. I've tried and it just doesn't work for me.
I have to be able to walk into the gym and perform what I feel. I do follow some structure when it comes to what body parts and how often. I never work the same muscle group within a 48 hour period and I break it up in to:
- Back & Biceps: 3 sets of 6-8 reps
- Chest, Shoulders & Triceps: 3 sets of 6-8 reps
- Legs: 9 sets of 6 reps
I lift heavy so each set is pushed to muscle failure. I use both machines and free weights. There are so many to choose from for each muscle group that I mix it up each time.
When it comes to legs I follow a different approach. I take 1 second during the lifting phase and 3-to-4 seconds during the lowering phase. I also split my routine in to threes: 3 sets of full extensions from top to bottom, 3 sets of lowers, which is lifting from bottom to mid point back to bottom and 3 sets of uppers, which is midpoint to top back to midpoint again.
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There are times when I start my day with good, healthy intentions and before I know it I've just had my second slice of pizza. The important thing is to accept it. I write it down in my journal and move on.