Cardio has never been my strong suit. Getting a good burn from Power Pilates, or going at a relatively steady pace on the elliptical have been more my go-tos. Which had been totally fine. But at the beginning of this year I had a bit of a health set back. I unexpectedly gained 10 pounds on a medication I was taking. Not the end of the world. The problem was I was already working on shedding 10 extra pounds I gave myself with my soda habit. I was indulging daily for almost 2 years… so not good for you! The real stuff. Not the fake sugar. I had actually cut back a lot right before I went on the medication, which clued me into it causing me to gain the weight. Had I still been drinking my calories I would have gained a lot more I’m sure.
Anyways, I got off that med, but the weight remained. I’m not one to typically get down on myself for my appearance or shape. I’ve had three littles ones back to back so I’ve grown accustomed to my body going through drastic changes and I really try to view the changes as a normal part of life. The problem was I didn’t feel healthy. Being a bit vertically challenged – measuring in at all of 5’2 I don’t have anywhere to hide even a few extra pounds. I felt heavy. I definitely was outgrowing my clothes and I hated the thought of investing in summer apparel to accommodate my new bigger size.
Even though I was enjoying my routine of going to the gym 2-3 times a week and working out for 30 minutes to an hour and eating what I thought was relatively healthy I wasn’t going anywhere. My size, shape, and weight were only maintaining. Then my kids caught a nasty tummy bug and I couldn’t get to they gym and had to figure out a way to workout at home. A cousin of mine sent me some videos that she uses to work out at home to help me stay on track, but I was still reluctant to change what I was doing.
Diet seemed like the easier thing to tweak. I went to good ole Pinterest and was curious what I could find was the best to eat for my body type. Come to find out I was NOT eating what would help me shed fat. And the further I explored my body type that more I found I was was not doing what would help me to reach my goals at all. I traded my high fat diet in for lean meats and complex carbs. After reading about how my body was storing extra calories I drastically cut out sugars. I’m talking instead of ice cream a few nights a week I’d have a (one) bite of ice cream if eveyone else was having some. And at those wonderful graduation parties and family celebrations, with all the yummy goodies sitting around for the taking, I decided before hand to “share” with my kids and not snack on the simple carbs – that look oh so appealing! Within two weeks my cravings for those things have disappeared!
The biggest change came when I found that along with change of diet the best thing for my body type to shed pounds and not gain muscle was to do short bursts of cardio. Surprise surprise that’s exactly what my cuz had sent me. So I gave it a shot. 20 minutes of HIIT, High Intensity Inverval Training. A few different exercises, a lot of rests, and little bit of sweating and then it was over! Done! I was pretty skeptical that something that felt so simple would be affective, but it has been! For my body type I tend to tone and bulk up. My body doesn’t have a problem putting on muscle. I knew it was working because I was getting flabby. Hahaha. I was both happy about it and sad. I’m used to being toned even if I’m bigger. But I knew I was shedding the weight and not adding muscle! So exciting! The sadness subsided when I realized I could incorporate the pilates moves and tone while I shed the pounds.
My exercises have been much like this 3 times a week (2 days of streching or pilates, and 1 rest day). A quick warm up then right into a few different high intensity moves. I do each move for 30 to 45 seconds with 15 to 30 seconds of rest between sets. I haven’t gone over 30 minutes. The best part about it is that I’m not exhausted afterwards. It doesn’t drain me. I actually feel a great energy boost and get on with the rest of my day! In two weeks I lost five pounds. Real chunk. It feels great. I’m definitely going to stay on this regimne and see where it takes me.