Fitness update 2010 #6; a breakthrough

Finally! I have broken through my plateau today. I’m down to 167. I haven’t been able to get under 168 in several months. My weight has been bouncing around between 168 and 172. Very frustrating. This has really increased my confidence in meeting my goal of being at or below 165 by the end of the month. I’d really love to get into  the 150’s by my birthday in early February.

What am I doing differently? I’m taking my own advice 🙂  I’m eating less overall and junk in specific. I use smaller plates and no seconds except veggies. We finally had enough money to go grocery shopping so we have fresh fruits and veggies again. My diet had been very high in carbs because that is what we had. Even though they were primarily whole grain, it was still too many carbs and too few fresh stuff. I’ve mostly eliminated evening snacks. This was a big one for me. Finally, our homemade bread has large slices. Rather than a full sandwich, I’ve been sharing one with my daughter and having fruit or cut veggies with it.

I’m getting more regular exercise. Since I’m now a fitness instructor, I am guaranteed 1 hour of exercise 2 times a week. Plus, I’ve been staying about half an hour after class at the gym to do a little extra exercise on my own. Then whatever additional exercise, either doing Turbo Jam and other BeachBody videos, or chores like firewood, is also helping. I’d like to make a little more time somehow to fit in more exercise. Perhaps over break before next semester starts in January I can work on this.

One thing I’ve incorporated into my routine is strength training at least once a week. Not to be vain, but I want to look toned. This is important because as a water instructor, I’m up front in a swim suit.  Many of the participants in my class know me from before I started teaching, but I want to inspire them by becoming fit, not just slim.

Something a woman in my class said to me last week really was inspiring to my efforts. There is a new fitness class starting. This woman went to a preview class and decided she didn’t like it. Not that she didn’t like the exercise, but she said she wouldn’t take fitness classes from someone with more jiggle to her fat then she had. The reason this is flattering and inspiring to me is this other instructor (also a woman) is slimmer than me. Now I want to work to slim down while staying toned.

When I went Christmas shopping, I bought myself an Oxygen magazine. It’s got a lot of strength training tips, routines, and advice specifically for women. It’s not really a traditional body building magazine. Instead, it’s fitness so overall body composition is stressed rather than just bulk muscle development. Very inspiring, once you skip over all the protein and other supplement ads. But even those have great looking, fit women in them.

Adding strength training to your fitness routine has many benefits.  Ladies aren’t likely to really bulk up without a lot of hard work. Instead, strength training will give you nice toned body with slight muscle definition. Muscle helps raise your metabolism so you burn more calories all day. Strength training is also good for your bones by keeping them strong. When you do strength training during weight loss, you are less likely to have sagging skin. You don’t have to do it very often or lift heavy. Just 1-2 times/week using 5-10 pounds is fine.

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