Patience is a Virtue

20131118-192848.jpgLast time I posted a physical progress photo was back in July so I figured it was time to make another comparison, both for personal and blogging reasons.

Top photo, April;   Middle, July;   Bottom: Yesterday, November

Patience and hard work really does pay off! Between July and November I have experienced quite the roller coaster. I have made steady progress with my weight loss and toning, I have had hiccups where I have gained a few pounds or “lost” my motivation for a bit, I have had injuries, I have hopped back into my flow, and I have lost it again.

However, I have found that when you “lose it,” you don’t fully lose it. Muscle memory is a wonderful thing so long as you don’t fall off track for too long, and patience can prove that even if you aren’t seeing immediate results, your body is making subtle changes that will eventually add up and both shock and satisfy you.

Between July and November, there were MANY times that I didn’t think that my body was changing enough, or at all. But, despite my periodic shortfalls, it clearly was!

Patience, iago, PATIENCE! (high five if you catch the reference)

30lbs down!

20130913-125722.jpgLook at that slope! I am officially down 30lbs!

I hit this goal earlier this week, but didn’t want to commit to it until I maintained it for a little while.

I wasn’t sure that I would ever see this kind of progress, and I am so happy that I stuck with my goals and listened to the words of encouragement around me. I have had a lot of support, and I owe a big thank you to my boyfriend/trainer that told me I could achieve anything I wanted if I stuck with it and was patient. I was certain that my body was stuck in a rut and often became disappointed when I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. But, he constantly told me otherwise. He has pushed, supported, educated and encouraged me to no end, and I honestly am not sure that I would have been able to get this far without him. That’s a great partner. I am forever grateful and I am truly a lucky gal.

Now to tone up!

Weight-loss: A Gradual Process

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It’s been a little over 3 months since I began my new training program, and as you can see… I have had a lot of ups and a lot of downs, (Get it, Get it). In total, I am just under 18lbs lost.

The y-axis is pounds lost and the x-axis is my timeline. I have cropped out the first two numbers on the pounds side because I am weird about people knowing my actual weight. I tell myself that once I am at a number that I am comfortable with, I will be more open with that. Until then, I shall crop.

I have learned a lot. I have learned to be patient, I have learned to not obsess about the numbers on the scale, and I have learned the right ways and the wrong ways to lose weight and to get into shape.

When I first started, I would weigh myself every morning religiously. If I was up a pound or two, I would kick myself for it. It got tiring and frustrating because I would get absorbed in the numbers. Now, if I miss a day, I don’t sweat it because I know what counts is the end result and how I feel.

Patience is so important during a lifestyle change like this because there WILL be some “bad” days. What you have to focus on is looking forward to the good ones!

A Great Confidence Booster

During weight-loss, it’s great to see the numbers drop on the scale and everything, but there is just something awesome about pictures. Pictures speak a thousand words and in my case, they have been a confidence booster.

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The top two shots in this picture are the same ones that I posted when I was two months into my training and the bottom one is the most recent.

Picture 1 – April 6th

Picture 2 – April 25th

Picture 3 – May 18th

What I love about seeing “before and after” shots is that even when I am at a bit of a stand-still on the scale, I can still see that my hard work is showing. For example, I may have only lost a couple of pounds between two photos, but the definition is there and that makes me happy to see.

Maybe one day I will get the confidence to post my full body shot comparisons! Until then… I give you my arms, ladies and gentlemen.

Two Months in & Sore as Hell

As of yesterday, I am 2 months in to my new routine (9 weeks as of this weekend)! My weigh-in this morning shows that I have lost 13.3lbs! Woohoo!

I am definitely seeing some progress here and there. I have lost a decent amount of weight in my chest, my arms are less flabby and my pants are starting to feel loose. The other day I wore a pair of pants to work that used to be tight, and I spent half my time hiking them up!

Below is a side-by-side (or in this case bottom-to-top) comparison of my arm. The top picture was from April 5th and the bottom picture is from just a couple of days ago. I see slight differences but can’t tell if it’s good progress or bad! To me it sort of seems like there is less muscle, but it could just be that it is just less fat surrounding the muscle.

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Thursday’s workout was deliciously difficult. I am definitely feeling it today and my butt and thighs are STILL unhappy with me from Tuesday’s ass-whoopin’. Love it.

Here is my workout from last night:

Warm-up: Elliptical for 5.5 minutes; 4 Sets/12 modified push-ups (2 regular, 2 diamond); Stretch

– Free-weight Chest Press: 12 Reps/5 Sets; Two 15lb dumbbells**

– Close-Grip Chest Press: 12 Reps/5 Sets; Two 15lb dumbbells**

– Lateral Raise + Front + Press Combo: 10 Reps/5 Sets; Two 5lb dumbbells

Weighted Glute Bridge: 15 Reps/5 Sets; 20lb bar

– Incline Dumbbell Curls: 10 Reps/5 Sets; Two 15lb dumbbells

– Bicep Cable Curls: 12 Reps/5 Sets; 20lbs on both cables

Cool-down – Treadmill – Run, 10 minutes

** I alternated between Chest Press and Close-Grip Chest Press and counted that as one set. Apparently this is called Super Setting. (Learning new things every day!)

Like I said in my last post, I signed up for my first 5k race which is taking place in late July! So, of course I had to switch things up and hit the treadmill last night. I normally end my workouts on the bike — occasionally on the elliptical. I was happy to find that I was comfortable running for the duration of my cool-down, and had I had the time, could probably have gone longer. I think that now that I have something to look forward to… I will need to try and mix in a run a few times a week.

Hooray for progress!

Finally hit the 10lb mark!

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I am nearing the end of my 7th week of the new fitness plan and I have FINALLY hit the 10lb mark!!

I feel like I was teetering one step back from this milestone for a little while now and was starting to worry (unreasonably) that I had hit the weight loss “plateau” that people talk about. I wondered how I could have POSSIBLY hit a plateau when I am still so early in the game?

Anyways, much to my excitement this morning when I stepped on the scale, I was officially down a total of 10.5lbs! YAY! This amounts to an average weight loss of about 1.5lbs a week, which my trainer says is a good pace.

What an excellent start to my day!

IN ADDITION…

TWO people told me yesterday that they can see a difference in my body! YES.

Here goes nothing

This has got to be the 3rd or 4th time I have started a blog. I have always wanted one, but I haven’t ever had a topic that interested me enough to keep up with it. The last few that I tried were abandoned after less than a month. I feel that to blog, you need to be passionate and dedicated to what you are writing about. Enough so that you could easily write about it on a regular basis and have a library of topics building up in your brain for future posts.

In high school I was an athlete. I played a brief stint of field hockey and ran track. I could run for days and was comfortable in my skin. Come college I put on the devil they call the freshman fifteen and absolutely loathed looking at myself in the mirror. I worked out at the school’s gyms now and then but wasn’t consistent enough with it. The dining commons didn’t help my case either. Those fifteen never fell off after I finished college and since I graduated two years ago, I put on a few more.

I have gone through phases since then where I have worked out regularly and was finally “getting my body back,” but then something would set me back and suddenly I was lazy again. One day last summer during a purge of my closet I found an old pair of shorts that I used to wear in high school and during the beginning of my time as an undergrad. I tried them on and I could barely get them over my thighs. It was both surprising and mortifying. I immediately set off for the gym and maintained a decent schedule for the duration of the summer.

I had a bad experience in a spinning class after a few months of really being good about exercising. I have a bad hip, and during a class one evening it began to really irritate me, forcing me to step out to avoid further injury. I was embarrassed that I had to leave the class, but more annoyed that my hip was misbehaving after a long stretch of feeling fine. I took a bit of a break from the gym to “heal”… big mistake.  What was supposed to be a couple of days off turned into a couple of weeks. By the time my “break” was over and I was back in the gym, I felt like I was starting from scratch. I had lost it. I was once again out of shape and self-conscious of my body.

A little over a month ago I decided enough is enough, Katie, it’s time to whip your butt back into shape. There’s not point in being hard on yourself if you aren’t going to be proactive. So, a very good friend of mine worked long and hard on a fitness plan for me – a 4-day workout plan. When he first sent it to me, I shook my head and was immediately nervous. The entire plan was almost entirely made up of things I have never done before! I was used to the stationary bike, the elliptical and the treadmill. His plan has me spending very little time doing cardio (at least, much less than I am accustomed to), and heavy strength training. Before I started this plan, I never stepped foot in the weight room. No way no how am I going in there… I don’t want to look like a fool! He pushed me and said “if you really want to do this and if you really want to see results, you’re going to have to tough it out and follow the plan!” Now, I workout 5 days a week and am doing deadlifts, squats, cable curls, you name it!

In addition to my new workout plan, I am eating a hell of a lot better. I was never really much of a snacker, but there was definitely room for improvement. Rather than 3 regular meals throughout the day, I try to eat 5 small meals. Much more fruits and veggies, protein and water. Cutting back big time on the carbs. Now to cut back on the wine!

I started my new plan on February 25th and have lost almost 10lbs since then. My weight, of course, fluctuates. It frustrates me from time to time when one day I was down 6lbs and the next day I have gained 2lbs. My “coach” has taught me that the end result is what counts and to not focus too much on the numbers, but on how I feel.

I am starting this blog to track my progress and motivate myself to keep on pushing. Here goes nothing!