Weight, weight, don’t tell me…

Relax! It’s not a typo.

But tell me, have you ever noticed the division at a gym? Do you see a lot of women working out? Probably the answer is yes. Do you see a lot of women lifting? Maybe few to none, right? Then where are all the women? I bet, most women are on the treadmill, or elliptical or doing some kind of cardiovascular workout. It’s not wrong. But it is a pity that we neglect pumping iron.

I’ve been hearing all my life that I would bulk if I lifted weights, and as a girl, it is the last thing I wanted. And I soon found out I was not the only one caught in this misconception.

Most of the women still believe that if they lift heavy, they will bulk up, get wider shoulder and get muscles, like a man. Well, you are not! We don’t have that much testosterone to make that happen and without supplements there is no way you are ever going to become ‘bodybuilder’ no matter how much you lift.

But weight! What’s the point of lifting then?

One of its many attributions is that it burns fat several hours afterwards. Your metabolism stays elevated and that doesn’t happen with cardio where you stop burning fat soon after. Therefore you are more likely to burn fat faster, lose pounds and drop sizes than getting on the good old elliptical for an hour and just waste your time.

The advantages of lifting are endless because it benefits your health in every possible way. It makes you look and feel younger, you are stronger and less prone to injuries because your bones are getting stronger in order to support the muscle. You will get stronger and you will notice substantial improvement in all physical activities.

Weight, weight…there’s more!

Pumping iron pumps your heart too. Did you know that? It can help lower your blood pressure and increase your “good” cholesterol, and according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, people who do 30 minutes of lifting each week have 23 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease.

And no, I am not saying you shouldn’t do cardio. Of course you should, cardio has other benefits, but cardio alone will not get you lean and toned. Isn’t that what every woman wants, a toned body, tighter skin and no cellulites?

That’s right! So, what are you weighting for? An ideal workout schedule should have three days of strength, two days of cardio and one day of stretching, yoga or something along those lines.

We need to work on our whole body, not just parts of it. So yes, when you combine strength training, cardiovascular workouts and flexibility or stretch exercises, bam! you have the magical combination for a perfect workout routine that will lead you to greater results than doing only one.

The 3-Day Refresh

With Thanksgiving Day gone and more holidays to come, I started slacking on my nutrition so I found myself with unwanted weight. I indulged into the feast and ate a bunch of goodies! No regrets though, I enjoyed every bit of it…at that moment. Afterwards I started feeling bloated and my stomach was irritated with all the unhealthy food I pumped it with. So I decided to do the 3-Day Refresh because I needed a clean break from my bad eating habits and do something to kick start my healthy eating. The best decision I’ve made!

The program is just 3 days long and it works as a fast and clean break. It is a way to break bad habits, reduce cravings and also get rid of some pounds.

It consists of three daily shakes, a fiber drink, plenty of filtered water, plus a wide array of fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy fats throughout the day to keep your energy and metabolism going strong.

What I had to do, when I received the packet, was to make a plan and to buy the right food and commit to it! And I DID.

I followed the plan, but the calories suggested were on the low side for me (900 cal) so I made my veggie portions bigger and added one more serving of fruit per day.

http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/3DayRefresh?referringRepId=489729

This is basically what you have to do:

  • Wake-Up: Drink 8-12 ounces of filtered water
  • Breakfast (within an hour of waking): Shakeology shake plus Fruit Option
  • Mid-Morning: Fiber Sweep (digestive health drink)
  • Lunch: Vanilla Fresh ( high protein, hunger-satisfying shake) plus option from the Fruit, Vegetable, and Healthy Fats lists.
  • Afternoon snack: From the Fruit, Vegetable, or Juice option
  • Dinner: Vanilla Fresh plus a delicious meal made from our Dinner Recipes list.

I was not hungry at all during the whole 3 days. But I was feeling a little tired and when I worked out I had a headache afterwards. The rest of the days, I didn’t do any workouts and I felt fine. Still not so energized as before but it was normal because I was taking fewer calories in.

But I DID IT and I felt AWESOME! It wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be. I felt refreshed, less bloated and I actually crave vegetables now, which in my book, is great! On the plus side I lost 6,6 lbs and on the downside I skipped my workouts.

3 day refresh

http://www.teambeachbody.com/shop/-/shopping/3DayRefresh?referringRepId=489729

I am doing it again, probably in the beginning of January because I liked feeling refresh. I actually started craving veggies and I do not seek sweets!!

Fitness Freak

I remember a friend saying, ‘Here, you are either going to become fat or obsessed with Fitness’

[Just a few things before I start this story. I am from Cyprus, a Mediterranean Island, used to the mediterranean and european food. I was dating an American that I am now married to. Ok, now I think I can continue.]

I remember when I first came to America with my husband, in December, we went straight to Kentucky to visit our friends. They were excited to have us and they were showing us around while at the same time they were all waiting for the culture shock to catch up. That didn’t really happen untill a few months after my arrival. Anyway, our friends eager to show us Louisville ( and us being eager to see it) we got in the car (a big one) and drove around.

We stayed there for a few days and to my amazement I found it difficult to find something to eat. From breakfast to dinner…it was shocking how sweet, salty and oily food tasted. In some places I couldn’t even eat the fries because they were THAT salty. I am not exaggerating. (There were places of course that were just fine but those were the pricey ones). Pizza was my go to food and a safe bet!

I gained weight of course and I was not happy about it. And then it all turned around for me. I started P90X and that was it! I became one of the things my friend said, ‘A Fitness Freak!’ and I love it! My body has learned to love working out and I just can’t do without it. It is my personal fix and if I skip a workout I feel guilty.

Then I got in P90x3 which I love even more, because it is half the time and I can double up the workouts if I want to.

Food/Cooking was not an issue for us. I have always loved cooking and as soon as we had our own apartment things started to fall into place. We were doing our grocery shopping (taking extra care to avoid anything with high fructose syrop and added sugar) and we were cooking at home, eating healthy and in budget.

Looking back, I would not have had it any other way. I love this! I love the healthy feeling I have every day. The fact that I wake up with energy and go to bed with a smile. I love the boost working out has given me and I love helping others getting that boost. I love being a fitness freak!!

Why I joined BB

This blog is also for me as it is for you. It is a way for me to get to know myself better along with you. My coach recently gave me some questions to answer and one of them was ‘What is your fitness story?’. I was thinking about it for quite a while and I couldn’t come up with anything. I thought  ‘What the heck! I am just going to get a pen and see what comes out!’ When I was done, I went through it again and I was shocked.

There was a pattern there. I would gain around 10-22 pounds almost every two years and then lose all the weight in a 3 weeks span. The reason? Depression! It wasn’t news to me that I have a mild form of depression (now and then) but I never actually linked my weight with it until now. In September 2013 I was 115 pounds. I did a lot of travelling in Europe (where I come from) and then came to America with my then boyfriend and now husband.

So many different things to try and the food here is so different that by April 2014 I weighted 129 pounds. Then I went through a phase and I wasn’t very well again and ended up loosing weight again. By the end of May I was 117.8. I felt happier (since I went through a brief, mild depression), but I could see that this back and forth has taken a toll on my body so I decided to start P90X3 in July.

Now it’s almost October and I am about to finish it in three weeks and I saw condiderable amount of change. Now I weigh 115, my body looks better than ever and the best part? My husband and I have noticed a tremendous change and stability in my mood:) For me that’s a major WIN!

What does that mean for me? Working out has helped my mood swings and depression. I am happier and healthier. Now I eat clean beacuse I want to, because it feels good; not because I have to. And the awesome part is that now I eat more than before and I don’t gain weight. In three weeks I am going to start the second round of P90X3 and combine it with PiYo, for even greater results! Working out can help you in every aspect of your life. It’s like a domino effect. One change brings the other.

That is the reason I joined TBB as a Coach. Because I saw it works and I believe in it. Because it changed me, like it will change You if you give it a chance.