For a more in-depth explanation of my history with eating and exercise, read this and this.
Those two words plague so many people all over the world. It's one of the hardest things to achieve depending on who you are and how you live your life.
Even though most of us want to be fit and healthy, it's usually so much easier to just let it go. Staying on track with our meals, finding the time to do our workouts, and making ourselves NOT skip workout days even when we have time is normally why so many people fail at weight loss.
I'm one of them.
Hi, my name is Jaime and I have never been the 'gym bunny' or 'healthy eater'.
I like fast food. I love my Cherry Cokes. But I also love chicken. I love salmon. I love broccoli. And lord help me, I love Domino's pizza.
But even though I like junk food, it's not my problem when it comes to my diet. If I ate junk 3-4 times a day for meals, my weight would be higher.
See, I'm an under-eater. For years, I have subsisted on 2 meals a day, sometimes 3. My body went into storage mode a long time ago because I wasn't eating enough. So it's really frustrating when almost all of the diets, workout programs, and websites tell you that the key to losing weight it to workout and eat less.
If I ate any less, I'd be dead.
I still have yet to stumble across a website geared towards people who eat too little.... unless it's a website dedicated to anorexia. And I'm not anorexic. When I don't eat breakfast, I don't get hungry. (I know, it's weird.) Sometime later in the afternoon, I realize I haven't eaten all day.
For years, eating fast food and pizza is probably the only thing that was keeping me going... the calories and fat content may have been awful but it was enough to keep my body from shutting down.
Back in 2011 when I was working out religiously, a month or so in my weight loss stalled a little. I went from doing cardio 6 days a week to lifting weights. After asking around on Spark People, I started eating a little more each day. Lifting weights requires a lot more calories to build muscle and sustain that muscle.
Can you see where this is headed? I'm back on the wagon again.
Right before New Years, I got off my butt and started doing cardio again, using the elliptical and rowing machine. A week later, I started lifting weights and doing less cardio. My arms started getting stronger and you can actually see some definition. And when I sucked it up and added squats and lunges (my most hated workout moves) to my workouts, I started seeing a change in my rear. YES! Me, who suffers from No-ass-atall. I had to get my husband to confirm because I thought I was imagining it. NOPE! There is actually definition back there, for the first time I can ever recall.
It's been almost 2 months and while my face has thinned out, my rear has started changing, and my thighs have actually gotten smaller.... my stomach and chest have not moved. (My shock was not limited to the rear... my thighs are usually stubborn as hell. Thank you, squats and lunges.) I don't use a scale anymore. I take measurements. Using a scale while building muscle will make you crazy. Muscle weighs more so the scale can actually go UP.
So my husband started looking around for an ACCURATE website generator that could tell me what I SHOULD be eating a day. (Hint: the more info about your body it wants... the better. If it asks for only weight and height, skip it. It should factor in workouts/intensity, weight, height, body fat percentage (BMI), whether you want to lose/gain/maintain your current weight.)
Holy crap. 2000 calories? Really? That's astounding to me and really hard to achieve right off the bat. But it explains why I'm not overall losing stored fat. I have been eating more than usual but still not eating enough. I swear... damned if I do, damned if I don't. Based off a previous inquiry about this, I went off a number closer to 1800. That's what it should be if I'm NOT working out.
Well, I'm working out. A lot. Up until last week, I was lifting weights and doing cardio 6 days a week.
I say up until last week because I've decided to do a cardio program that I purchased over a year ago and never got around to. (Seriously... it was still in the box.)
Yes, I'm beginning a relationship with Shaun T and the workout program Focus T25. All of the reviews that I've read about it say it's an intense cardio program... not meandering for up to an hour on the treadmill or elliptical. Hours of cardio have been shown to actually help you lose fat... and lots of lean muscle. Most workout buffs will tell you that lifting weights is much better for you. Adding lean muscle will burn more fat. A good lifting workout can burn calories for up to 24 hours after your workout while cardio burn lasts maybe 2-3.
T25 is not a meandering cardio program. People say it's easier than Insanity and P90X but it's a butt-kicking, fat burning program. Instead of doing cardio for an hour, you smash it all into an intense 25 minutes. It's supposed to really burn through fat and kick your metabolism into high gear.
We will see.
I will have an update after the first week.
Until then, I need to go figure out to eat 2000 calories a day and not be a slug.