Friday, June 22, 2012

My Biggest Challenge and Practicing What I Preach

Many of you know that the reason I blog is to help people learn to live healthier lifestyles. I don’t focus on weight loss because that would be narrowing the content too much. I believe that eating whole natural foods and getting some form of daily physical activity is less about weight loss and more about improving your health and your quality of life. Also, losing weight is not everyone’s goal.

Many people have other reasons for changing their lifestyle. Some may have eating disorders or health problems. Others may need to gain weight or may be skinny fat. The point is, everyone has different goals, so my main focus is too help people learn to eat right and find a way to exercise that works for them.
I have never had to lose much weight thanks to my family genetics. However, as I got older I noticed that I was getting a pooch in my stomach, I was losing muscle tone, and I had an overall sluggish feel in my body. So I started on my quest to lose the pooch and find some energy. I researched and read every article, book, published journal I could find. Then I signed up with an online coaching program, and learned I knew less about eating healthy than I thought! Out went all the processed foods, diet products, fat-free anything, and soda from my house. I went cold turkey; this doesn’t work for everyone, but it is what worked for me. After a few weeks, my body didn’t feel so sluggish and after a few months, I had leaned out nicely; however, I didn’t have any muscle so I just looked too skinny.
My goals then changed; I wanted to build some muscle. I worked on my own, trying different techniques and didn’t do too bad, I looked better than I did, but I just couldn’t seem to build the muscle that I was looking for. I wanted shapely shoulders and maybe some hamstrings? So – when Christy Allen, of Christy Allen Fitness and Blue Print Body Designs, offered me her coaching skills – oh heck yeah – I jumped! (Ok, the words may have been a little stronger there).
I started working with Christy in February and noticed a difference in a matter of weeks. My workouts were tough but I liked it. I also came to realize that I push harder when I have someone to answer to. After a few months, my progress seemed to stall. I was getting stronger, no doubt, but my muscle gains seemed to stop. Christy then offered to revamp my diet – turns out I’m a hardgainer – which means because of my genetics, it makes it tough for me to build muscle. She then sent me what turned out to be my toughest challenge – my eating program.
I eat clean on a regular basis, it’s my lifestyle and I have no problems with doing so. However, what Christy was telling me I needed to do was to eat more – 7 meals a day in fact. This increased my daily calories by about 500-600 calories. No problem, I thought, I like to eat. Holy mini meals, batgirl! Not only did I need to eat more meals, but I had to eat more at each meal. Now I know there are going to be some people that just don’t understand, but many will. If you are truly eating clean, you have to eat a lot of food to hit 1700-1800 calories a day. I have been on this eating program for 8 weeks and I am just now getting to where I am actually eating the entire day’s worth of calories.
I am disappointed with myself for this because I know it has hindered my progress. I have also told myself that I need to practice what I preach and take one day at a time, because a little progress is better than no progress. I also have to remind myself not to compare myself with others. Everyone is different and many factors come into play when you are working on a goal. There will be setbacks and not all days or weeks go as planned. So today, I renew my goal and will kick my own butt in the gym.

Please let me be clear, no one can make you do the work. If you have a coach, they can guide you and encourage you, but YOU have to do the work. I am very grateful for Christy being my coach. Sometimes, even coaches need their own coach. It is easier to coach someone else than it is to coach yourself. You’ve heard the old saying, “you need to get out of your own way”? Sometimes I’m like that, and the coach brings me back in line.

I hope you don’t mind me sharing my journey. If you are looking into online training, or personal training if you are lucky enough to live close by, hop over to Christy’s website and check her out. You don’t need to be trying to do a competition, she coaches anyone that has a goal to be healthier – and I strongly recommend her! Look at her before and after pics!

Christy has also given me permission to share a sample of my workouts. This is what a Shoulder/Booty day may look like.

Shoulders: 4 Sets, 6-10 Reps, increasing weight with each set
Booty: 4 sets of 15 Reps done in a circuit style

Military Press
Two Arm Rear Facing Side Lateral Raises, - Incline Bench
Two Arm Side Lateral Raises – Super 8’s (Hold 8 seconds on the raise)
Two Arm Rear Delt Machine
One Arm Bent Over Fly’s – Dumbbells

Single Leg Press – Feet high
Cable Pull Throughs – 50lbs
Weighted Walking Lunges, 25 per leg followed by 25 bodyweight squats followed by 15 Jump Squats

To end on a good note, I have gained 5 lbs but only .50% body fat since we started this program.

What has been your biggest challenge in your journey?


Liz @ Southern Charm said...

My biggest journey is 1) eating clean and 2) paying attention to portion size. Sometimes I eat too much and I'm working on paying more attention to the how much.

BlushnCheeks said...

When I started Cross Fit, I had to become a clean eater. But my thing was I pretty much already was one. I did give up my sugar habit of cookies n cake. But Im human and falter ever now and then. But Im also the thin girl who has muscle but cant hold on to body weight. I struggle to stay on top of five pounds. I definitely think everyones healthy lifestyle should fit their needs, We may all be human but we are all genetically different.

Jan said...

I LOVE this post because I too am genetically skinny, but want to be fit. Finally I find someone else like me! Seems like all other bloggers are trying to lose weight. I'm definitely inspired by your tossing of all processed foods. I'm going to try the same!

jillconyers said...

I truly enjoyed reading this! Not eating enough is a challenge I'm all too familiar with and was shocked to see what a difference it made when I increased my calorie intake. I was asking a lot out of my body without fueling it sufficiently to sustain my level of activity. I'm slowly overcoming my irrational tendency to want to cut calories.

The progress [even slow] is one of my biggest motivators!

Brandi said...

My biggest challenge is getting out of my own head. I really have to watch myself and not compare my journey with others. It's really hard not to want to try everything that I see on a blog or website. What works for someone, may not work for me and when that happens I get really down on myself. Thanks for sharing your story!!

Christy Allen said...

Thank you for sharing your story Lori!

This is a great reminder to all that everyone has their own personal Mt. Everest to climb. For some it may be finding the motivation to start, others may be trying to gain weight while some are trying to lose.
No matter your goals, you must make them your center of focus. Accept no excuses, only results.

You are a great client Lori and I am inspired by your progress! Keep up the great work!


getfitchick said...

I am happy that this story connected with people! I was a little hesitant about sharing......

Tara Lotufo said...

It's crazy how every person is different- our bodies are each so different. Workouts do have to be catered specifically...thank you for sharing!