Susan Lost 18 Lbs And Got Back To Her Life As A 'Cardio Junkie'!

As a self proclaimed 'Cardio Junkie' Susan always made fitness a part of her lifestyle until she came to a crossroads. See how Susan pulled herself out of her rut and became healthier and happier!


Vital Stats

Name: Susan Maxwell

BodySpace: suzmax

Susan Maxwell Susan Maxwell

Before:

Age:
41
Height:
5'8"
Weight:
145 lbs
Waist:
28"
Hips:
42"

After:

Age:
48
Height:
5'8"
Weight:
127 lbs
Waist:
26"
Hips:
36"

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Why I Got Started
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I joined a gym when I was 16 and other girls would ask me why I was there because I was so skinny. Even at that young age, I knew it was good for my health so I ignored them and kept at it. When I was 19 I started running. It made me feel good. I never played sports and always got chosen last on teams in school. This was something I could do that made me feel "athletic" and confident. I ran for 20 years until I ran a marathon and ended up with bursitis in my hip from all those years of running. After I couldn't run anymore I switched to cycling. As a cardio junkie I was determined to find something I could do.

I was always very thin until I moved to Wyoming from LA when I was 30. I decided I could eat Big Mac's, Oreos and Ho Ho's and still maintain my weight since I was running all the time. Boy was I wrong! I quit lifting for a short time. The weight started to come on rather quickly. At first I liked it, but soon enough I was sick whenever I looked in the mirror or saw pictures of myself. I read Body For Life and started lifting more and eating better. But I still wasn't where I wanted to be by a long shot.

As A Cardio Junkie I Was Determined To Find Something I Could Do
+ Click To Enlarge.
As A Cardio Junkie I Was Determined To Find Something I Could Do.

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How I Did It
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I finally couldn't stand myself anymore and I knew that I didn't want to keep hauling all that weight up hills on the bike. I thought if I could lose weight I would be faster. I decided to add an hour of high intensity cardio six days a week and restrict my calories to dangerously low levels. I didn't cheat once for 3 months and I lost 30 pounds. I had become addicted to losing weight and wanted to keep going. People would ask me if I was sick and if I needed help. My doctors talked to me about eating disorders. I had taken it too far. I was cycling non-stop and was overtraining.

About this time I found Bodybuilding.com and saw all of the women with beautiful muscles. I decided I wanted to look like them. I would spend hours on various profiles, studying their workouts and eating plans and asking lots of questions. I started lifting heavier and eating more. It was a real struggle mentally to gain weight and it took me a year and a half to get back to a somewhat reasonable weight. I feel like finding Bodybuilding.com and wanting to have a healthier looking body saved me from a downward spiral of more weight loss. I took a year off of cycling so I could get my head on straight again and gain some weight. I really focused on heavier lifting and limited cardio. I loved the way I was sculpting my body. Now I'm heavier and I'm cycling as part of my overall fitness plan. Don't get me wrong, I still work my tush off on the bike and I'll always be a cardio junkie at heart, but it's not the end of the world if my next ride's not faster than my last.

In the off-season, I find various cardio activities that don't bother my hip. Sometimes that can be a challenge, but if you want to reach your goals, you can't give up. You've just got to keep moving!

I Loved The Way I Was Sculpting My Body I Loved The Way I Was Sculpting My Body
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I Loved The Way I Was Sculpting My Body.

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Supplements
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Note: Supplement dosages and schedule listed below in Diet section.

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Diet
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Meal 1: Pre Workout

Meal 2: Post Workout

Post Workout Shake -

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

Meal 5:

Meal 6:

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Training
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TERMS YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW
Partial Reps - Performing an exercise without going through a complete range of motion either at the beginning or end of a rep.

Day 1: Biceps/Triceps/Cardio

Day 2: Legs/Abs

Day 3: Cardio

Day 4: Chest/Back/Abs/Cardio

Day 5: Shoulders

Note: I do more reps, lighter weight on shoulder work due to shoulder injury.

Day 6: Legs/Cardio/Abs

Note: During cycling season I only lift legs once a week, skipping Saturdays, and I try to get in a 2-hour ride. During the off-season I lift legs twice a week and do normal cardio on the elliptical, X-Ride, hill sprints or aerobic step.

Day 7: Rest

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Suggestions For Others
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Don't let anyone or anything stand in your way of reaching your goals. Some people make fun of what I eat. They say I work out too much. But I know I'm healthy and happy. Some days my hip doesn't want anything to do with squats or deadlifts. So I lighten the weight. If the elliptical aggravates it, I find another form of cardio. I can do hill sprints sometimes so I get to feel like a runner once again! When my hip acts up, I switch to something different. I have a bad shoulder but I'm determined to do unassisted pull-ups. So I don't give up. Where there's a will there's a way. In the end it's all about having a healthy body and a healthy mind and hopefully encouraging others along the way.

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