In the last 4 months, I've really cracked the whip on my workout schedule and eating habits. I've lost over 15 pounds and after three children, I'm proud to say that I'm lower in weight than I was before I had my first baby. It hasn't come without a lot of hard work and sacrifice, though. Every Wednesday this month, I'd like to share how I've lost weight, and how I'm still shedding. (I have about 7 more pounds I'd like to lose).
Now let's rock 2014 like no tomorrow! This is our year!! And if you can tell by the socks below, I'm serious about this! :)
Just so you know my story, let me back up a little bit... I've had about every scenario in the last 6 years. I've had 3 babies, we've lived in 3 different states, I've worked part-time, full-time, and now I don't "work" at all. I've been a part of every gym imaginable. I've worked out at home in the evenings, I've joined a box gym with no classes or childcare, a rec center with minimal childcare, and a local family-owned facility with classes and great childcare. After I've had each of my children, I've gone to the gym (or have worked out at home) in hopes that I'm able to get back to where I once was. Each time I've gotten close, but not nearly as close as I have this time. I want to share with you what has worked for me in hopes that it helps you with your weight loss goals.
Here are my 3 tips for you to focus on this week:
Do whatever it takes to remind yourself of your goal. We all are motivated differently, and you probably know what works for you. Build your weight loss plan around that. Here are a few motivational ideas:
- Hang sticky notes on your mirror with inspirational quotes.
- Put a picture of yourself on the refrigerator.
- Keep a list of go-to snacks so that when you're hungry you'll skip over the chocolate chips in your cupboard and go for some carrot sticks or yogurt instead.
- Give yourself prizes for meeting goals along the way. Maybe you get a new pair of workout pants when you've gone to the gym 20 days in a month. Or maybe it's when you lose 10 pounds.
- Write down what weight you want to be.
- How many pounds you want to lose a week (1-2 is recommended).
- How often you are going to go to workout.
- Do you want a pool?
- Do you want classes? If so, what kind?
- Do you require childcare? If so, how long per workout? Also, what ages are your children? Do they have an age limit? Is childcare an extra charge? Are the older children (i.e. 8+) in a separate room, like a game room?
- Do they have the equipment you want? Free weights? Kettlebells? Ellipticals? Stair Climbers?
If you're working out at home, make sure you set aside an area specifically for working out. There are many home workouts that you can do with minimal equipment, but I would suggest investing in a cardio machine- like an octane, elliptical or treadmill. Running outside is also a great option as well as stairs to do workouts. If you're handy, there are many items you can build or use with minimal investment. I would also suggest investing in some hand weights. If you're just starting out, 5-6 lb. weights would be perfect or if you're an intermediate, go for 8-10 lb. You can usually buy these at Target for $10 each, or $20 for the pair.
3. Set a workout schedule. If you can pick the same time to workout everyday, do it. If not, sit down and figure out a schedule that will work for your needs. If you set the intention that you are going to go workout, you are more likely to succeed.
If you're just starting out, pick 3-4 times a week that you can workout for 30-45 minutes. If you're intermediate, shoot for 4-5 days a week for 45-60 minutes. If you're ready to kick this into high gear, pick 5-6 times a week for 60-75 minutes. If you're curious what I did this time around, I picked 6 times a week to work out, knowing one of them probably wouldn't pan out due to life happening. I usually hit the gym 5 times a week for 75 minutes for each workout. Each workout, I mix up what I do to keep my body guessing. If I keep my body on its toes, I will not only burn more calories, but I strengthen my body in the process too. Next week, I'll focus on workouts a lot more so you have a catalog of workout ideas at your finger tips.
At this time, just focus on getting at least 30-45 minutes of cardio in. Do more if that's already what you're already doing. When it comes to losing weight, it's all about making your outtake more than your intake. Burning more calories is increasing that outtake. So the cardio must be bumped up! As much as I love Yoga and Barre, I don't count these as one of my 5 workouts right now. They can be done in addition to my 5 workouts, but that's it. Though they are great for strengthening the core and making a lean body, burning calories is where it's at for overall weight loss. In a 60 minute HIIT class, I burn 480-600 calories (plus it provides a 24 hour additional burn). With yoga, I burn about 200 calories in 60 minutes. So you can see why I choose the HIIT for now.
If you get bored on machines like I do, it's okay to machine hop. On my cardio-only days, I usually do something like 20 minutes on the octane (like an elliptical), 20 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the stair climber and in between each machine hop, I do 1 1/2 minutes on the Jacob's Ladder. If you're not sure what intensity to do for now, you need to be pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. That level will be different for everyone. If you're just starting out, walk on the treadmill for 30 solid minutes. You can bump up the incline to provide more resistance if you need a little bit more, but are not comfortable running yet. As promised, I will have great workout ideas for you next week. In the meantime, just get to the gym and be active. Feel free to ask questions in the comments below.
If you're joining me in this challenge, comment below so we can all keep tabs on each other. Use this post to ask questions, vent frustrations, or bounce ideas off each other. See you next Wednesday!
To keep following along, here are the other posts apart of this month's Weight Loss Challenge:
Part Two- Workout Routines
Part Three-Tracking Calories, Reading Nutrition Labels, Quitting Soda, Curb Cravings
Part Four- Portion Control, Meal Plans & Indulgence