Good Morning and Happy Monday!
I hope you all had a good Easter and that you didn’t indulge in too much chocolate but if you did that you at least enjoyed yourself while doing so.
I got asked a question yesterday on my facebook page and it got me thinking so I thought that I would dedicate a post to it today.
The question was as follows:
U probably get this a ton of times a day but what exactly did u do to get into the shape u r today? Like, when u just started out, what are the big changes u made to ur lifestyle that made such a big difference and made u who u are today? Someone like me, looking at u... I know that I want what u have and am doing things to get there, and its working slowly, but it still seems unattainable and far-fetched. And I don't want to feel that way bcuz it makes me lose the motivation I have... Sorry this is so long. I hope u understand what I mean and can give me some advice. Thx so much! :))
So I thought about the answer. I am going back to the start and I don’t mean just October 2011, I mean the very beginning, when I first decided to be fit and change my lifestyle in 1996.
As with anything we achieve in life, there has to be desire. You have to want it! That’s the first step; but with wanting it, you have to also be willing to do something about it. Change your mind, change your body! The trouble for most people is that this is a lengthy process; one that doesn’t happen in 2-3 months but can take years. Remember, it’s a lifestyle change, not a fad that you’ll try for a month or two and then quit.
In July of 1996, I started out with running as my key means of exercise as well as bike riding and incorporating small bouts of light weight training at home with my own 10lb and 20lb dumb bells. I was about 150lbs, if I remember correctly, and I started to decrease portion sizes, chose healthier options, and cut out anything that I knew I just shouldn’t be eating (i.e. fries, chocolate bars, chips, etc.)
Running became my passion and I still love it to this day. I lost 25lbs in 3-4 months and I felt phenomenal. I was now 125lbs and a size 6. I was able to maintain within 5-8lbs of that weight for years, then I moved away from home, I was missing my family, started working long hours, went through some personal issues and so the story goes; I gained some weight back. I didn’t stop working out and I didn’t go outside that diet plan, I had always stuck to, but my portion sizes were bigger, my meals were sporadic and I wasn’t getting quite as much exercise as I had been.
I have always wanted to have the look of someone who works out and trains hard; I mean I want people to look at me and be able to tell that I work out. I wanted the muscle definition but I had no idea how to get it. I got into doing bodrock.tv workouts; high intensity and short as well as my running but that wasn’t enough to change my body. My husband and I got married in August 2011 and went on our honeymoon in September. I decided before I left for honeymoon that when I got back I would find myself a good trainer and change myself.
Finding a trainer was the best thing that I have ever done. My advice though, is to be careful when choosing one. I researched, talked to people and found one that I knew could take me where I wanted to go because he was experienced and he not only talked the talk but walked the walk as well so to speak. I knew going in that I eventually wanted to compete and he had that experience and knew what it took to get me there.
He helped me make more tweaks to my eating plan, such as, cutting out any and all process foods, eating loads of veggies, drinking a ton of water, increasing my protein and healthy fat intake, only clean carbs, reducing portion sizes, counting calories as well as eating 5-6 small meals per day. I was 156lbs and a size 6-8.
I did a lot of research on my own, have read loads of books and with his help I started lifting heavy and learned how to do so properly. Before I met Andrew, I didn’t have the confidence to walk into the gym and lift heavy things; now I live for it! I am always pushing myself past my comfort zone and trying new things to build my strength and endurance.
However, my body is finicky and even with the changes and the hardcore training; I didn’t drop any weight. It wasn’t until we introduced intermittent fasting that I dropped any weight at all. Suddenly within a few months I went from 156lbs to 135lbs; finally I was seeing some changes. It was hard, I am not going to lie and really difficult to be patient. It’s discouraging to work so hard and not see any real results from your efforts but one big positive was that I was feeling so alive, so energetic and just powerful and strong. There are still times when I will incorporate 1 fasting day into my routine per week and I have also recently gone gluten free and cut out all dairy (mostly because of my IBS).
I competed in November and on stage I was 125lbs and a size 0-2 which is a big difference from 125lbs and a size 6. I have since gained some weight back but mainly because the competition diet is so strict and not a diet that anyone can maintain long term. I no longer weigh myself but I judge myself based on how I look and how my clothes fit as to whether or not I need to make adjustments, etc. I am currently a size 2.
As per previous posts, I am currently going through some issues with my body and having trouble getting it to move; in fact as discouraging as it is, I am gaining weight. I am working out harder than ever and still eating extremely clean but to no avail; can you say frustrating! I had intended to compete again in May and June but I have had to put that on hold for now while my doctor, my trainer and I figure out what is going on with my body. However, I am not giving up and I am concentrating on getting stronger, beating personal bests and achieving some strength goals.
My advice is simple; first of all, be patient and find a trainer. If you can’t afford one full time, get one part time in order to learn the basics and then research on your own as well. Understand that every bit of knowledge helps because what works for one person, may not necessarily work for you; everyone is different. Don’t rely too much on the scale, it tells lies…lol and can be very upsetting- trust me, I know. I have seen my body get leaner yet the scale either didn’t move or told me I was gaining. If you are feeling better and healthier and giving it all you have got then the rest will come. Lastly, crash diets don’t work and it is ok to treat yourself once in a while. Although, my experience has been that once you start eating clean regularly, you will become accustomed to it and not want the treats as often.
Most of all and more importantly, don’t give up and always believe in yourself.
This is my story. If you have any questions, please ask. I love hearing from you.
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On pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/mshevchenko
And on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/mtgfahey
Until next time,