For almost the last 10 months I’ve been quite dedicated to being a healthier, trimmer and stronger me. This isn’t the first time in my life I’ve cared so much about my health and fitness, but it is the first time I think I’m going about it the more educated way.
I first became interested in the gym when I was about 18. Since I was about 8 years old however, I grew up doing sports, and I just can’t stress how important it is to start being active— the earlier, the better. The younger someone starts getting into a physical activity that works on balance, then the more natural elegance, muscle memory and good posture they will develop. And FYI: not all sports require coordination or team players! Think: gymnastics, ice skating, karate, ballet, etc. Even if you are in your teens or twenties it is not too late. I mean it is never too late really, but if you start working on your physique later in life, you will likely have to reverse years of bad posture and teach your muscles all new things rather than relying on muscle memory… which is harder, but still possible!
So, from the first day I stepped in the gym to today, I was on and off super consistent. I would say about from age 20-24 I was incredibly dedicated. After those years, I kind of let my passion for fitness fade away. I think it’s because I just always felt like I was trying but not making the differences I wanted. I made occasional efforts over the next few years but when I met my current boyfriend I stopped completely! I just decided I liked hanging out with him more than working out lol…
This past December I was inspired to get back into caring about my health and physique. It doesn’t matter what inspires you as long as something or someone does! I also realized I haven’t been completely happy with my body shape… ever! I wanted to change that and also missed feeling strong! Since fitness is so huge on social media these days and there is just so much more information out there these days, I felt like it was definitely something that was possible now that wasn’t before. I mean as it is, it can still take a lot of time and research to figure out what to do, but before it would have taken even longer.
I created some solid goals for myself, including both aesthetic (appearance) and actual abilities. I wanted visual abs, toned arms and strong legs & hamstrings – also I was sure that by doing this, I would be eliminating cellulite along the way. For abilities, I wanted to be able to deadlift 200 lbs, do 20 pull ups, 20 pistol squats, full side splits and 50 diamond push ups. Everyone will have different goals based on their current abilities. Please don’t compare your goals to mine, just take them as ideas. Pretty much my whole life I could only do 1 pull up and now thanks to my research and consistency with certain exercises (tell me if you want tips on doing more pull ups) I can now do 4. I think that is a huge improvement and I’m still working on it!
I started back in December 2018 with just a 1 hr session every other day. By about May 2019 I decided to increase it to 4-5 a week for about an hour to an hour and a half each session. I focus on weightlifting for the majority of my workout and also do a little cardio in the beginning for my warm up. I also stretch a little in the beginning and a lot at the end.
Something I never paid attention to before was my body fat percentage. I was always weighing myself before, not even measuring myself!!
I think over the last 3 years of not working out, I lost a lot of muscle mass and gained some fat. This led to my weight staying steady but I wasn’t as happy with what I saw in the mirror as before. In addition to my 4-5 days a week workouts, sometime in July 2019 I decided to try fasted LISS – which is Low Intensity Steady State cardio, in the mornings. I wanted to check my body fat percentage before I started it to see if it made a difference. (I don’t think it did. All I noticed from a few weeks of fasted morning LISS cardio was I walked faster than usual without noticing and also going up stairs felt effortless. Normally when I walk, I go pretty slow haha but after this everyone was telling me to slow down!)
I found a company called Body Spec to do a DXA scan back in July, I learned my body fat percentage is 20% so I’m trying to lower it to 18% or even 17% if I can. For women, experts recommend not letting your body fat percentage drop below 14% unless you want to deal with health complications like missed periods and hair loss etc. I really recommend finding out your body fat percentage rather than looking at a scale. Have you guys ever heard of the term “skinny fat”? A huge amount of people think that if they’re skinny, they’re healthy. This isn’t true at all. Your body fat percentage can be super high if all you have is fat on your body and little muscle. Too high levels of body fat are found to be associated with diabetes type 2, heart disease and certain cancers (source). Also did you guys know that a pound of muscle is actually way more dense and smaller than a pound of fat. (Google it!) Cutting out fat and building muscle is all about eating more protein and less carbs and fat. My body composition has gotten way more toned over the last few months but the number on the scale hasn’t really changed (it went up about 3 lbs) since I’m stronger now.
I definitely feel like since I am taking such good care of myself now, I feel better in every way. And I know if I keep it up, it can only get better!
So yeah this is just an intro post to inform you guys of what’s coming! From now on I’ll be doing posts about workout tips, weight loss tips, my favorite exercises, recipes (breakfast lunch and dinner) and anything else I feel like relates to fitness and health! I want everyone to feel healthy, strong and confident about their body. I hope you guys are as excited as I am! It’s an ongoing journey and I’m looking forward to the future 💕
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