Focus on shape not pounds lost

Hi everyone!

This week has produced a shock I wasn’t prepared for. Back in December, I was going out for the evening and wore a dress I hadn’t managed to fit into for a while. I’d lost some weight and, although it was a snug fit, it looked good so I went with it. I only really have this one good dress to wear out and haven’t wanted to buy another one until I lose weight. Anyway, this week it was my husband’s birthday and his brother’s present to him was a pair of tickets for both of us to go out to a concert while our daughter had a sleepover. Yay!

I delved into my wardrobe for my trusted evening dress. Since wearing it in December, I’d only lost five pounds so I was fairly confident that the dress would fit a little better though it would still be snug. I was amazed when I put on the dress. My husband couldn’t believe it either. The dress was loose, really loose! We couldn’t understand it. I mean, I’d only lost five pounds so how could my dress be this loose? I even checked my old diary just to be sure of my weight and I’d definitely only lost five pounds. How was this possible?

I’ve been training now since September 2016. It was a slow process to start with. I mean, I’d just had surgery to fix my broken ankle so the only exercise I was doing was swimming and that was only around 1500m. I couldn’t go up in the gym and start lifting a load of weights. In fact, I only started weight training in January as I wasn’t allowed to load my body until six months after my op. But I’m sure weight training has made all the difference. That, and CrossFit-style workouts.

I can’t go to the gym and do an hour on the cross trainer or bike. I get bored very easily and, although the programs on these machines vary the intensity, it just doesn’t do anything for me. But the kind of workouts that I’d seen CrossFitters doing piqued my interest. Circuits of different activities done for time or number of rounds are more suited to me. Something simple like ten kettle bell swings and five push ups done every minute on the minute for ten minutes might not seem like much but when you’re on your eighth round, you really feel the burn. And this isn’t just weight or strength training. This is weight training combined with high intensity interval training (HIIT), the most effective at burning calories. Doing this, I was told by a trainer in the gym, will ensure my body continues burning calories long after the session is over.

This style of training, combined with swimming, is not only strengthening my ankle but also helping me to lose weight effectively. So while I may not have lost loads on the scales, my body shape has changed and I’ve dropped a dress size. This is what I wanted. I want to fit into my clothes. I’m still not quite there yet and have a way to go but I wanted to share this with you as it’s so important. I want to tell you not to focus on the scales as I used to do. Focus instead on enjoying the process.

Enjoy exercising. Enjoy healthy eating. The results will come. I’m proof of that.

So, here is my last session from the gym. It’s a mixed bag of cardio and strength training with some weights thrown in at the end. The entire session took me just over an hour:

Warm-up with 5 minutes on the stationary bike

AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) for 20 minutes of the following sequence:

  • 6 push ups
  • 9 air squats
  • 12 kettle bell swings (16kg)
  • 15 sit ups

I only managed to do 9 rounds in 20 minutes so next time I do this set I’m aiming for 10.

After a short three minute break, 10 minutes EMOM (every minute on the minute)

  • 3 deadlifts with 20kg bar
  • 10 wall balls 6kg med ball

This is a good set as you’re working for around 30 seconds then having 30 seconds rest. It’s tough trying to throw a weighted ball to a specific spot on a wall and you sure do feel it in your forearms and thighs as you squat down but it feels great once you’ve completed the set.

Next is a mixture of cardio and strength training. 4 rounds of:

  • x-trainer resistance level 5, 3 minutes followed by;
  • 20 walking lunges

No rest between each round, just straight through.

The final part of my workout is training with weights, 3 sets of each of the following:

  • 8kg DB bicep curl 8 reps
  • 10kg DB bench press 10 reps
  • 8kg DB pull over 10 reps
  • 7kg DB lat raises 6 reps
  • lat pull down, 25kg, 30kg, 30kg, 10 reps
  • cable tricep pull down 20kg 10 reps

And stretching to finish. The variety and intensity at the start of the session gets your heart and adrenaline pumping and pushes you through the rest of the session.

Weights and strength training are definitely helping me achieve my goals. I may only have lost five pounds but I’m a dress size smaller and can fit into clothes I haven’t worn in years. Focus on the goals that matter and you’ll achieve them. Don’t worry about what the scales tell you, measure your inches not your pounds.

And on that note, have a great weekend everyone!

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