Hi everyone! Happy Friday Eve! As I am typing this my arms are shaking from the tricep workout I just snuck in on my lunch break here at the office. I am lucky enough to have a gym in the building where I work so about 3 times a week I go over there at lunchtime to get a little bit of a workout in. It’s a great way to relieve the stress of the job and stretch my legs a bit during the day.
I wanted to talk today about another really big change I made pretty early on when I decided I was fed up with being out of shape. I had always been a cardio girl in that my normal workouts consisted of about 30-45 minutes of cardio 4-5 times a week and maybe a couple reps with some free weights or on whatever machine was open in the gym. I never put a lot of emphasis on building muscle, it was always on staying skinny and being able to fit into the smallest size pants I could (super unhealthy mind-set btw)! My perception of how “in shape” I was definitely only revolved around how low I could get my weight to be, which as one point had me down below 100 pounds. Now, I am about 5’4 so striving to be 100lbs or less was an unhealthy goal to say the least. I do want to say I am pretty fortunate that I naturally have a slim build which is not to say I can’t gain weight but I have never been terribly over weight either. I am also one of those people who has never owned a scale. I judge my weight based on how my clothes fit and the occasional trip to the doctors office when they weigh you upon arrival. For a lot of years, really up until this one, I solely based my fitness level (and much of my self-esteem) on what size pants I was wearing. For some reason, and I still don’t know really what it is, my mindset has really changed!
When I started hitting the gym, drinking my shakes and being much more aware of how unhealthy my lifestyle had become I fell right back into my cardio routine. I ran on the treadmill, hit the elliptical or biked for 30 minutes each day and again maybe lifted weights for about 5 minutes after my cardio was done. Well a few weeks into this journey, I was doing some research on the best ways to get my butt back into shape and I kept coming across articles (blogs, social media posts, articles, etc.) that all said lifting weights is a great tool to slim down and get in shape. Much of the information I was reading was even saying that hitting the weight room can help you lose those extra pounds faster while also getting a toned physique. I was a little skeptical because when I pictured lifting I always see in my mind this huge, muscle-bound guy in my head who barely has a visible neck, That wasn’t appealing to me at all, but what was appealing was getting toned and shaping up some of the flab that I noticed I now had under my arms and around my lower mid-section. I really wanted to get strong and toned, instead of skinny and frail looking.
So long story a little shorter, I switched up my whole routine and eventually mindset. I started lifting free weights and using the weight machines at the gym about 5 times a week, targeting different muscle groups each day. I not only have found that my body responded really quickly and easily to this new routine but I am absolutely loving the way I feel. I honestly look forward to getting into the gym and picking up those weights and feeling stronger and stronger each week. I still incorporate cardio about 2-3 times a week into my workout plan but now my focus is on looking like I could kick some ass much more than being stick thin!
Again, this has worked me personally and I am not saying it will for everyone, but the results I have gotten by picking up those weights a few months back have been amazing. Combined with the shakes and a plan that is heavy on the protein I am seeing muscles develop that I never even knew I had. I love the way I am starting to look and probably more importantly I love the way I feel!