Why I Got Started
There is a motto that I have always lived my life by:
just do what you can to better the situation."
This simple sentence is what got me started. Instead of complaining to my husband about how out of shape and unattractive I had become, I decided to take a stand to better my health for myself and my family, especially my son.
It is important for me, as a mother, to instill in my son the importance of a healthy lifestyle. After all, what kind of role model would I be if my son saw his mother sitting on the sofa eating chips all day being nonproductive.
How I Did It
When I was pregnant, I knew I was eventually going to get back into shape. It was just a matter of motivating myself and doing some research. The first thing I did was subscribe to a couple of fitness magazines. I then chose Jennifer Nicole Lee as my role model and followed her story.
She replied to an email I sent her and her words alone were motivation for me. I have it taped on my computer monitor. I hung pictures of her on my walls in my home office, kind of as a blue print as to what I wanted to look like. Secondly, I went on the South Beach Diet for two months and dropped my first 20 pounds just by eating right.
I could not workout for approximately 4 weeks due to having a c-section. So I relied heavily on eating right. Once I received the okay to workout, I hit the gym for 5-to-6 days per week and still do. I dropped 53 pounds in eight months. Not too bad!
What Supplements I Took
When getting back on track, I decided to go natural since my goal was simply to lose weight and get toned. Because my weightlifting goals have changed some, I added EAS MyoPro Whey Protein Shake immediately following my workouts in order to repair my muscles. That is my treat.
I take 30 grams (one scoop) with some fruit to make a smoothie out of it. I love the way it taste. I will workout sometime just so that I can reward myself with a shake afterwards.
Sample Week Of My Diet
When it comes to my diet everything is measured to my body weight in order to maintain portion control. My meals are clean but fun. I am the concoction queen. I am always trying something new. I try to balance my meals with the right amount of carbs, protein, and fats which makes it difficult at family gatherings. It is always a mental struggle not to give in too much.
- Meal One:
Egg whites with chopped peppers and onion with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Extra lean turkey bacon
Coffee (of course)
- Meal Two:
Or a handful of nuts
- Meal Three:
Large salad with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Or fish and a small fruit
- Meal Four:
Whey protein shake (immediately following my workouts)
Or on non-workout days
Tuna fish on pita, no mayo
- Meal Five:
Extra lean ground turkey or fish
Vegetables, with extra virgin olive oil
Maybe one glass of red wine
I also drink several bottles of water a day, at least 80 oz. total.
Sample Week Of Training
My workouts always consist of a compound movement and an isolation movement for each major muscle group. I do between 5-8 sets for large muscle groups, 2-4 sets for smaller muscle groups, and anywhere between 8-20 reps, except for abs.
I do 3 sets and a minimum of 25 reps, then I stop counting and do as many as I can, but I do not allow myself to do less than 25 reps. I change my workouts every 2-to-3 weeks; however, a typical workout consists of the following:
Day One: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes, & Calves:
- Lunges, or presses
- Leg extensions
- Stiff-legged lifts
- Leg curls
- Standing calf raises
- Seated calf raises (concentrating on both muscles of the calves)
- 30 minutes of cardio
Day Two: Chest, Shoulder, Triceps:
- Incline db press
- Flat db press
- Decline flyes
- Flat flyes
- High cable crossovers
- Pec deck flye
- Military presses
- Front and side raises
- Upright row
- Bent over raise
- Over-head extension
- Close-grip bench press
- One-arm side push-up
Day Three: Back & Biceps:
- Behind-the-neck pulldowns
- Seated rows
- Straight arm pulldowns
- 21s with EZ bar
- Preacher curls
- Incline hammer curls
- Forearm curls
| What Are 21's?
One of Arnold's favorites. Using the curl as an example, you would do 7 full reps followed by 7 half reps from the starting position to half way up followed by 7 half reps from half way up to the top of the movement. All of this counts as one set.
First 7 Reps
MPEG (297 KB)
Windows Media (88 KB)
Day Four: One Hour Cardio:
15 minutes on 4 different machines to break up the monotony.
Day Five: Same As Day One.
Some type of total body workout using bands instead of dumbbells.
My day to rest and spend with my family.
Suggestions For Others
STICK WITH IT! Remember - consistency is key. It took time to put on the weight; it is going to take time to remove the weight. You are not going to see results over night, but if you put your heart and soul into your workouts you will see great benefits. You must do it for yourself and no body else.
Stick to a clean diet of protein, fruits and vegetables. Watch your carbohydrate intake, but do not eliminate, just eat "good" carbs. And remember to EAT - eat 5-6 small meals per day, every 2-to-3 hours.
Drink plenty of water to flush out your system.
Do not deprive yourself. It is okay to be self-critical, but do not beat yourself up. If you give in to some temptation, enjoy it (in moderation) and pick yourself right back up and start again. Learn from your mistake and remember how you felt so that you do not make the same mistake twice.