Without meaning to sound self-congratulatory, I do feel extremely happy and proud of myself. I feel amazing and it's because I know I'm healthy, and in the best shape I've probably ever been in my life. I never thought that I would ever be able to post pictures like the ones above, or even be able to wear spandex someday without feeling like a liverwurst. Now the only way is UP! Stronger, fitter, faster. Not rail thin, not starving myself, not weak and frail - and I can't wait!
This isn't the end of the road for me, no way. I am liking my workout and fitness routine way too much to quit now. It's been such lovely spring-like weather outside, I'm actually itching to buy some new workout clothes and start running again, now that all the snow has melted away. I want to switch things up and keep it interesting.
It's been one hell of year for me and I have never felt more full of life and energy. It's totally been worth every blood, sweat and tears - thankfully there wasn't too much of that along the way.
I have some very infomative videos about my current weight loss and fitness status, and the second one is another Food Diary which I filmed over the course of several weeks, mainly documenting my dinners and lunches that I eat on an everyday basis. Loads and loads of vegetables, lean proteins, reduced carbs and sweets. I do like to sneak in the odd sweet treat and carb-rich meal now and then, but it's all in moderation. Definitely watch these videos to get super motivated yourself!
My new Food Diary video:
My slightly older Food Diary video:
How often do you work out and what do you do?
I work about between 4-5 times per week on average, but I've even managed to work out 6 times a week sometimes. But 4-5 times is about the norm for me, usually between 45-60 minutes. Over the winter I've been doing Beachbody's Insanity DVDs and they've worked great for me. It's a combination of high intensity interval training, cardio, strength and resistance all rolled into one. I also bought a chin-up bar to work more on my upper body strength, and that is my new challenge.
Do you recommend Insanity for beginners?
For complete beginners (aka couch potatoes and haven't exercised in ages) - no. Probably not. It's a really intense work out. It's probably also not suited for anyone with knee or back injuries as it's quite high impact. This can be reduced greatly by modifying moves and wearing good cushioning sneakers. I started Insanity when I was already used to working out regularly, but not quite as much. If you already do some regular exercise and your endurance is not too bad, then it's great if you want to step things up a notch. Don't worry if you can't do the entire workouts and keep up at the beginning - try your best, forget the rest. It will come. Even I can't keep up with every single move all the time until the end yet!
What do you recommend for beginners?
Keep it simple. Start with running, speed walking, swimming laps at your local pool, taking your dog for a brisk long walk, biking, etc. Work your way up slowly, don't jump in at the deep end! I started out with an elliptical home trainer in front of my TV, and worked up my endurance. Don't worry if you suck at the beginning and can't last for long - we've all been there. Your body will adjust with time and you will get fitter!
How do you find time to work out?
I make it my priority. How do you find time to watch your favorite TV shows, play video games, or go shopping? If something is important enough for you, you will make time for it. It's mind over matter. If you have kids, ask your partner, family or friends to watch them while you hit the gym. If they are old enough, involve them in your activity.
I really don't like vegetables / I don't know how to cook healthy meals.
Sorry, I can't help you there much. I've always liked vegetables (even when I was overweight) and I just am a creative cook. I love variety and there's not much I won't try. If that's not you, I would recommend to hit up a big book store and spend an afternoon browsing through their cook book section. There are so many great cookbooks out there, that focus on CLEAN eating - whole, simple foods, no prepared crap. I followed a low carb plan, that's what works for me. Once you get better at cooking, you might find you really enjoy eating vegetables. Personally, I hate boiled broccoli as well, there's nothing more tasteless.