My Fitness Journey: Week 2-4

Hello lovelies! I hope you all had a productive weekend. I spent my weekend doing the usual wedding planning, and I’m more than happy to take a break at this point. It’s been a long few days of writing out guests lists, researching centerpiece ideas, and worst of all, budgeting. It may sound like fun to some, but it’s been a bit overwhelming lately. It’s hard to imagine our big day coming together when it’s still in pieces. So all the stress has made my fitness routine even more important to me.

At this point, I’m about 12 weeks into this process. But for now, I’ll be recapping weeks 2-4 of this lifestyle change. If you missed my week 1 recap, you can find it here. At this point, I was adjusting well to my routine, and I found myself loving the process again. I’ve been active my entire life, so I’ve gone through a lot of phases where I was just sick of it all. I was sick of having no time for anything fun because I was dedicating all my free time to working out. I didn’t know how to balance it all, and it usually resulted in a hiatus of some sort. Luckily, I’ve learn when I need to cut back and reevaluate things, and it has really helped me stay on track. Here’s how things have been going:

WEEKS 2-4

Goal: Lose 20lbs in 16 weeks

Weight In:

Week 2: -2 lbs

Week 3: -1 lbs

Week 4: -1 lbs

Total so far: -3 

The Workout:

 At this point, I was still very focused on the importance of cardio. I know that there needs to be a balance of weight training and cardio, but since the primary goal right now is still cutting weight, I wanted to have a good base to start building from. One adjustment that I made was that I stopped using the ankle weights. Naturally, I have very strong legs. I’ve been a runner and hockey player my entire life, so I’ll never rid myself of the muscle. But the last thing I need to do is overwork my legs, and cause damage. The benefit of using the ankle weights for the first week was that they got my body warmed up, and since I was used to the extra weight holding me back, I could go faster on each machine.

Cardio:

Arc Trainer: 60-70 Minutes, Monday-Thursday

Walking/Light Jog Intervals: 20 Minutes, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Stair Master: 10 Minutes – Optional

Arms, Chest, and Shoulders:

Lateral Pull Downs: 3 sets of 12 at 30-35 lbs – Tuesday and Thursday

Free Weight Curls: 3 sets of 10 at 15 lbs – Tuesday and Thursday

Free Weight Chest Press: 3 sets of 10 at 20 lbs. – Tuesday and Thursday

Cable Fly: 3 sets of 12 at 25 lbs. – Tuesday and Thursday

Bench Dips: 3 sets of 20 – Optional 

Legs and Glutes:

Lunges: 1 set of 10 with 15-pound kettle bells for warmup, 2 sets of 10 without weight – Monday and Friday

Standard Squat: 3 sets of 20 with no weight – Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Sumo Squat: 2 sets of 20 with 15-pound medicine ball – Monday and Friday

Seated Leg Curl: 3 sets of 12 at 40 lbs. – Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Calf Press: 3 sets of 12 at 50 lbs. – Monday, Wednesday, Friday

Stretching

25 Minutes – 7 days a week

Weeks 2-4 were intense, but I wasn’t seeing huge changes yet. I felt better, and my stomach was flatter, but I wasn’t at a point where I truly saw the difference. As I’ve stated in previous posts regarding fitness, a huge part of the change comes from changing the routine. Our bodies are amazing; they can adjust to almost anything. But because of that, they get used to these routines, and we can plateau. So I had to constantly assess what I was doing, and figure out if it was really the “right” thing for me.

The Diet

We continued to follow the guidelines of my last post, with just some limitations. Working out frequently definitely influenced my appetite, so it was hard not to overeat at times. We didn’t follow the rule of having “cheat days/meals” because I don’t think that’s a healthy way to live. When we wanted something sweet or “unhealthy”, we let ourselves have a reasonable portion. If we lived our lives for “cheat meals”, I would go crazy!

Are you thinking about beginning your own fitness journey, or already in the process? How do you balance diet and exercise while staying sane?

 

My Fitness Journey: Week One

Hello and Happy Monday! I’ve always been a fan of Mondays for a lot of reasons. It’s the perfect day to start something new, and it’s almost always the most productive day of my week. I’m not at a point in my life where I dread Mondays, and I really hope I never get there.

As I’m typing this, I’m about 8 weeks in my “Fitness Journey”. It’s really hard to believe that it’s already been 8 weeks! But I want to bring you all back to week 1 where the struggle was real. It was just a couple weeks after Kyle proposed, and the holidays were winding down (thank God). I was feeling very sluggish and not myself. I was still doing my yoga 3 days a week, and following my New Year’s resolution of stretching more, but I needed a serious change. So we made a plan.

WEEK 1

Goal: Lose 20lbs in 16 weeks

MONDAY

The Workout

This was our first day back at the gym in a few weeks, and I was amped up and ready to go. Walking through the doors was a bit daunting because I didn’t know how I would do once I was on a machine. As anyone who works out regularly knows, there are good days and bad days. And you really don’t know what type of day it’s going to be until you’re trying to work out. But I found an Arc Trainer and fell back into the familiar motions. Here’s how the first session went:

Arc Trainer: 60 Minutes

Walking: 20 Minutes

Push Ups: 1 set of 10

Squats w/ 10lb ball: 3 sets of 10

Ballerina Squats: 3 sets of 10

Russian Twist: 25 on each side

Standard Sit-Ups: 30

Stretching: 25 Minutes

We went all out on the first day, and covered all of the basics. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I did my cardio for 60 minutes again, but with 5lb ankle weights instead. I definitely started to feel it in my legs, so I pulled back on the squats and just stuck with the cardio. The cardio and stretching remained consistent throughout the week, with some variation in the core and arm exercises. We finished up the week on Friday with just some cardio intervals on the Elliptical, ending with a 1 mile sprint on the treadmill.

The Diet: We really haven’t been on a “diet” per say, but we do watch what we eat carefully. When you’re working out consistently, it’s so important to give yourself enough fuel to complete those workouts, but it’s also important to avoid over eating. Here are some things that we did limit:

– Fruit Juice

– Ice Cream

– Artificial Sweeteners

– Alcohol: No more than 1-2 drinks per person on the weekend, depending on what it is.

– Less grain intake: bread, rice, granola, etc.

– No red meat

– Limited “heavy” dairy: Cheese, cream/coffee creamers, etc. 

We didn’t want to make ourselves feel extremely limited, because in my experience, that’s often where things take a turn for the worst. I’m still a firm believer that fitness is 95% conscientious nutrition, meaning you remain aware of what you’re giving your body, without being obsessive. Getting back into the routine is difficult, but we were so proud of ourselves for being disciplined and working hard. And despite the typical results of week 1, we kept going.

Pounds Lost: +1

That’s right. I actually gained a pound, which is extremely common when you don’t work out for a long period of time. My muscles were taking on water weight and struggling to recover from these difficult workouts. In weeks 2-4 I decided to reevaluate some things, which I’ll go over in next week’s post. Leading a healthy lifestyle involves constant reevaluation, because let’s be real, the same thing can’t possibly work forever. Stay tuned for next week’s results! 

Are you currently on your own fitness journey? What advice would you have for someone at the week 1-2 stage?