Name: Karen Pilote
Before: July 2006
Weight: 150 lbs
Body Fat: 29-32%
After: April 2007
Weight: 130 lbs
Body Fat: 10-12%
Why I Got Started
Over the years we realize many life goals; grown children, business success, reasonable health, good friends. The forties can bring a time of personal satisfaction, peace and sometimes, a sense of complacency.
At this stage in life we have often battled so much that it almost feels that we "deserve" to coast a bit. Working as a personal fitness instructor/trainer/health club owner I've spent many years in the health and wellness industry.
My work as a trainer; motivating others; co-owning a fitness facility and its administration took focus away from my own health and wellness needs. I found my personal fitness declining. I was coasting.
In July of 2006, after being caught "on film," I realized just how far I had let others' needs overshadow my own. A summer or two living the "good" life, inevitable mid-life changes, and plain old denial brought me face to face with a fit-yet-fat version of me.
It was simply time to put myself first again, walk the walk and lead by example.
How I Did It
Walking! I walked 4 miles, 5 mornings per week, first thing in the morning. This time allowed me to focus, plan, visualize and ease into the mind-set necessary to accomplish the transition and take control of my body.
As well as walking I began weight training consistently three times per week. I made incredible gains, physically and mentally, yet I needed a better understanding of the nutritional needs necessary to build muscle/burn fat.
Over the years of teaching many aerobic classes I had great cardiovascular health yet carried too much body fat. I pored over articles in Oxygen magazine and pieced together the dietary information that could make a difference in my transformation.
I learned, bit by bit, but it was frustrating. Then I started to use articles from bodybuiding.com and I lost 15 pounds by December 2006.
Initially, I focused on fueling my body with the proper food at regular intervals. I started training with an associate, a bodybuilding specialist for guidance, motivation and accountability.
I continued to walk in the mornings for mental focus and added daily cardiovascular workouts targeted to my specific intensity needs.
As my body and resolve grew stronger, my workouts evolved and intensified. I continued to refine my diet, always noting how my food intake affected my energy levels.
My thought process: "What fuel do I need to consume for the next two-three hours of activity." I set a compelling goal worthy of making sacrifices for; a competition slated for early April 2007.
Suggestions For Others
Preparation: it is imperative that your kitchen, your gym bag, your workouts, your alternate plans are well thought out. Time is valuable and it is expensive to live this life. Invest in yourself, embark on this road, believe in yourself, and accept no options.
You go to the gym, you work like an animal, you eat properly and you get plenty of rest. It's that simple. The choices that are made every minute of the day contribute to overall success and reaching the goal.
It's not one big decision to start down the road but millions of decisions made while traveling to your goal. There will be doubts, wavering, temptation and second guessing: "Is this all worth it?"
You must have a strong internal image of yourself having already achieved the goal; you've got to feel it, smell it, hear it, embrace it in the tough times, because it's mostly tough.