I have worked out my whole entire life. I purposed in my heart from the time I was young that I would never be overweight. I grew up with an overweight mother that developed adult onset diabetes and a grandmother that was hard to care for because of her weight. So, from the time I was a young teenager I worked out according to how main stream tells us to and did lots of cardio and light weights.
I went on to have four beautiful babies (three surviving) and I was done. After each of the kids, I would pretty much bounce right back exerting a slight degree of effort (the norm of cutting calories and working out) to get back to my slim size 4. Well, at 39 I ended up pregnant one more time and after my precious Annelise, I had dropped almost all of the weight shortly after and then went on a Haagen Dazs spree. I shot up to my highest weight ever without being pregnant. So, after dragging all the extra weight around for a few months, I finally decided to get back to the gym. I started the normal routine of cutting calories and doing mainly cardio, and lost a little weight, but hit a plateau.
During the plateau I discovered body pump and by November I could see some decent tone and was super excited. I have never had any real tone before. Yes, I was very slender and fit but by no means toned. One dilemma, I started the journey at 175lbs, lost 10lbs and bounced up and down from 160-165lbs for 8 months. It was so frustrating! I was tracking everything I was eating on MyFitnessPal. I started out eating 1200, then 1350, then 1500 calories because I was hungry and wasn’t losing anyway. I would eat back 50% of my workout calories, do 3 body pump classes weekly, 2 or 3 Zumba classes weekly, RIPPED once a week, and would sometimes jump on the elliptical and catch up on the Biggest Loser for a couple hours at a time, and the scale would not budge.
I can’t express how I felt because I had never had such a problem getting weight off. Oh how I whined and complained. I went through vicious cycles of eating low calories and binging on carbs and my weight just bounced like a ball.
Well, I knew something just wasn’t right. I worked out way too hard and ate way too little not to be at goal. One good thing, I had started lifting heavier because my husband would tease me about the light weights I’d work with and I had to show him. Though he irritated me to no end, I am so very glad he teased me mercilessly because he started me on my heavy lifting journey. My weight was still bouncing all over and I stopped and literally asked God to reveal what I was doing wrong (Oh, let me add not only did my hubby bug me about lifting heavier, he also told me I wasn’t eating enough the whole time too, but I just couldn’t hear that.)
Well, I started reading the MyFitnessPal forums and ran across one in which women were lifting heavy and eating more, often over 2000 calories, the same day I read a blog Kiki wrote about fueling your body, and an excerpt from the book New Rules of Lifting Weights for Women, and upped my calories that same day to 1800. That was life changing for me. I lost 4lbs the first week, then regained 3lbs over the next 3 weeks all while heavy lifting. After 8 weeks, I lost a total of 7.2lbs, but it wasn’t the pounds that amazed me, it was how great I felt, how my body was leaning out, I was no longer a walking exhausted zombie, I was full of energy, I no longer binged, and actually cut back on the cardio because it meant I had to eat more food than my stomach could handle. I hit another plateau and my inkling was to go up on calories, so I went up another 100 calories. During that time, I researched tons of information and found that my new calorie amount was actually my TDEE-15% and so after a month of eating more and bouncing up and down a pound I started losing again.
I started at 175lbs squeezing into one size 10 and a pair of size 12 pants because I refused to buy anymore clothes at those sizes. Today, I am 154lbs and wearing some of my size 4’s and all of my size 6 clothes. This journey has been the most rewarding because I am developing wonderful tone, have lost and am continuing to lose body fat, and best of all I feel great! No longer deprived, frustrated, binging, and yo-yoing.
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