It’s been roughly one year since I embarked on my fun sized fitness journey and I’m thrilled to say amazing progress has been made! I know it may not look like significant change in these photos, but let me walk you through this.
Since my last progress post, I’ve only lost 3 additional kilos (about 7 lbs), bringing my total loss to 10 kg (22lbs). But the numbers aren’t important. What’s more important is that I’m currently in the best shape I’ve been my entire life! I feel so much stronger, more agile, more energetic. I feel happier and I sleep like a baby. Going down three dress sizes is only one of the perks.
My workout routine consists of doing mat Pilates about 5 times a week. I follow Blogilates’ workout calendars. Her workout videos are free and readily available on Youtube. I also attend two reformer Pilates classes per week. Working with the reformer is slightly different than just being on the mat and it also helps to have an instructor correct your form. I’m lucky to have found an amazing instructor at the studio that I go to. I’ve been taking classes with her for seven months and she continues to challenge my muscles with advanced variations. Pilates really helped me tone up my muscles, especially my core. I have much better balance now, thanks to my core stability. But around February, I started to plateau. I was eating clean and still working out consistently, but I discovered that my muscles were no longer being challenged.
So I decided to up my workouts. I added high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and weight lifting into the mix. On the weekdays that I don’t have my reformer Pilates class, I will do a 20 minute HIIT workout after my morning mat Pilates workout. Then, in the afternoon, I squeeze in a 40-45 minute weightlifting routine at the gym. While this may seem like a lot of time spent on working out, in reality and if done correctly, total workout time is only 1hr 40 minutes. And I’m sure most people easily spend that amount of time (or much more) aimlessly goofing around on the Internet or in front of the TV.
I work out a ton. But the most important lesson I’ve learned over the past year is: your diet is 80-90% of your weight loss. I didn’t realize this from the beginning and I still ate crap every day. Or, I ate clean, but I ate too much. It’s simple math. Eat fewer calories than what you burn, and you’ll lose the fat. I find that keeping a food journal really keeps you aware of the stuff you’re putting in your body. If you’re forced to list every piece of junk you eat, you’ll stop and ask yourself if it’s really necessary. I tried the journaling route for a bit but I thought it was too much of a hassle to lug around a journal all day. So I decided to use My Fitness Pal. It’s an app that lets you keep track of the food and how many calories you are eating. You can also use it to log exercise and how many calories you are burning. But I find the MFP exercise logging functions to be a little lacking. I recently got a Jawbone Up2, a fitness tracker. Jawbone has its own app that is great at tracking the calories you burn. And the best part? You can link the two apps together and I find that they complement each other perfectly! The Up2 also tracks your sleep time and quality.
This brings me to my next point. Another vital aspect of getting healthy? Getting enough sleep and enough water in your system. Experts recommend getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Also, it’s important to be asleep between the hours of 10pm -1am. That’s when your liver does its thing and processes all of the toxins in your system. So even if you’re getting 7 hours, but going to bed after 1am, that’s still a no-go. I personally prefer going to be bed around 11 and waking up around 6:30. This allows me to get my morning workout in before I start work at 8:30. You must also drink water throughout day. There are different recommended amounts, depending on who you listen to. But the best guideline I have heard is to drink enough water so the color of your urine is close to clear.
Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated. It helps to have someone compliment your progress. My family has been super supportive in doing that. The Pilates instructor that I follow on Youtube, Cassey Ho, has been really great in motivating me. Her videos and various social media outlets are always so full of energy and positive encouragement. I had the pleasure of attending one of her classes and meeting her in person when she went on her book tour and she is also like that in person. I’m also a fan of visual motivation and since there seems to be a wellness/fitness trend right now, there is no shortage of visual motivation on Instagram, Pinterest, etc. You just gotta find what works for you.
If you’re interested, check out my other Fun Sized Fitness posts!