Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Weight Loss: Ya gotta work for it!

There is no magic pill you can take to lose weight, you're gonna have to sweat and re-evaluate your diet.

There, I said it... Now on to the facts!

I remember in high school, I could eat whatever I wanted and stay 115 pounds, I was a two-sport athlete, but still, those days are long gone. My freshman year of college, I gained 13 whopping pounds and I was miserable. I tried every diet pill under the sun and still had no idea why I couldn't lose the weight. I worked out 4 times a week and was taking my expensive diet pills that were supposed to just shred the fat and give me a 6-pack. What the heck? Is it me? Well, yes and no. It was my fault for thinking a wonder pill would "shred" fat that I put on over 12 months in only a few short weeks. It didn't get there overnight, and it sure isn't going to leave that fast either. What was the cause of my weight gain? What did I have to do to get rid of all this unwanted weight?

The cause:
  1. Diet
  2. Exercise
Diet: College dining halls are a smorgasbord of food just waiting to jump up and attach to your tummy, thighs, and buns and hang on for dear life. I discovered I could make an ice cream sandwich by sandwiching ice-cream between two chocolate chip cookies, and it was all down hill from there! ;) I would eat sandwiches or salads, which are healthy choices, and couldn't understand why I wasn't losing weight. Well, soooooo I guess I added pasta or rice to every meal, but the pasta salad from the Flu (SRU's dining hall, short for Weisenfluh) was amazingggggg! ;) The point is, I went from eating meals my mom or I cooked with balanced protein, veggies, and grains to eating: EVERYTHINGGGGG and not worrying about the fat or calorie content. I never had to think about it when I was younger, but I also didn't have it all available to me at my fingertips.

Exercise: I was very active in high school playing softball and soccer. I did not play any sports in college my first year, so I would run a mile or two here and there 4-5 times a week. This pesky mile or 2 did not make up for the amount of excessive calories I was now inhaling, so naturally, I gained weight.

So, how did I get rid of the unwanted weight?
I vamped up my exercise intensity and duration. I started working out for 1.5 hours a day and putting in more high intensity workouts. (This was a bit excessive, I was addicted to exercise, and definitely overtrained myself, you can lose weight without killing yourself at the gym, I'm just telling you the details from my yo-yo weight loss journey). Something I did do correctly was portion control and tracking my calorie intake with a nutritional program. You can use and you can also download the MyFitnessPal app on your smartphone. You've heard it a million times, so why don't you just do it? I've seen so many people have weight loss success because they are becoming more aware of what they are eating. Calories in versus calories out is the ultimate weight loss equation. If you can burn more calories through your basal metabolic rate (the amount of calories your body burns at rest), exercise, and physical activity, then the amount of calories you take in through your diet, then you will lose weight. It's as simple as that. You need to be accountable. If a serving size is 1 cup. MEASURE out that 1 cup until you have trained yourself to know how much it is. (Chances are, your normal portion size now, is more than the suggested serving size, test it out, break out the measuring cups)!!  If weight loss is your goal, you really should commit to cardio at least 4-5 times a week. Somedays could be a 20 minute high intensity workout and somedays could be 40 minutes at a moderate intensity.

I lost the "freshman 15" plus some. However, I became so restrictive in my diet that I wasn't even letting myself eat things like yogurt because it had too much sugar and calories. I had no self confidence, thought I was an oompa-loompa when I wasn't, and had some pretty severe food issues because I was not letting myself have the calories and nutrients my body needed. Fast forward to grad school where I started letting myself eat the things I craved again, but I had NO self control and was eating EVERYTHING [again]. I put on 18 - 20 pounds from college to grad school. I was the biggest I had ever been, I tipped the scales at 142 pounds at my tiny 5'2 frame. Granted, I was lifting and some of it was muscle, but I definitely had a belly that I've never had before and thunder thighs, lol. I started TRACKING my calories and thinking about what type of calories I was eating. It's not just calories you need to worry about, we also need to be making smart healthy food choices. If I'm eating a burger that has the same calories as baked chicken and a plate full of veggies. You should obviously choose the calories that are going to be FUELing your body. Look for foods that are low in fat, higher in protein, and avoid foods high in sugar.

The Bottom Line:
Working out regularly without killing myself, tracking my food, and planning meals helped me to lose 20 pounds over the next year, THE HEALTHY WAY! I have maintained this weight loss and the clean eating I've been doing has helped me to see my body change for the better. I'm not seeing weight loss, I'm not even really tracking it, I haven't weighed myself in weeks, I just notice I see more definition in my legs and arms. I'm leaning out and my hard work is paying off. I'm not a dietitian, these are just things that have worked for me. So, track your food intake, insert some high intensity workouts into your routine, and make working out a priority, and you too will see the weight come off. It's not always easy, but I'd rather feel comfortable in my clothes than enjoy a cookie. That's all there is to it, what do you want more? The body you've always wanted, or the cookie?

This got cut off in the formatting, but I loveeeeeee this.

Here's a bootcamp I taught this week using Dumbbells, Kettlebells (optional), and a Bosu ball.
BOSU balls rock - you can use them on either side and they work core and stabilizing muscles more intensely. (This helps improve balance)!
45 Minute Full Body High Intensity Workout:
  • 20 Bosu Squats(Feet shoulder width apart standing on floor in front of bosu, squat down, touch butt to bosu, stand up quickly, repeat)
  • 15 Tricep Dips(Fingers facing forward on step or bench, legs out in front of you, toes up, bend elbow to 90 degrees, and extend arms back to start)
  • 30 side to side hops(Jump side to side 30 times)
  • 3 Farmers Walk with Kettlebell in each hand(3 laps with Kettlebell (or heavy hand weight) in each hand and shoulders shrugged, walk heel to toe as fast as you can. Each lap should last 20-30 seconds wherever you have room to walk)
  • 12/arm Plank Tricep Extension(In plank position, hold 1 weight, shoulder to elbow is parallal to floor, extend hand so that your entire arm is straight, bend it slowly, repeat. Keep your hips squared to floor)
  • 50 Foot Taps on Medicine Ball or Step(Tap each foot on ball/step as fast as you can)
  • 30 Russian Twists on Bosu(Click HERE for YouTube demo, except you should tap the ball to the Bosu on each side, another reason why YouTube is not always demonstrating correct form for everything)
  • 12 Bosu Burpees(Click HERE for YouTube demo)


  • 30 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Step Ups (jump or step up and down on step as fast as you can)
  • 30 Jump Rope
  • 20 Plank Jacks (Plank position, forearms on floor, out and in with legs, click HERE for Demo)
  • 1 minute run in place
    (We ran 5 flights of stairs 1 time, if you do not have this available, you could do the stair climber, or rower for 2 minutes at high intensity, or just go back to beginning and do circuit 4 times)
Repeat 3 Times!

Then breathe, stretch, rehydrate, and eat some lean protein within 30 minutes to recover!

What kind of workouts would you like to see more of? What pieces of equipment do you have at home that you would like to learn more exercises for? PLEASE leave a COMMENT below and I will do my best to create workouts according to your feedback.

MAC says it's hard to look this cute, ya gotta DO WORK!


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