Answers to E-mail Questions
I've decided to do a blog post that incorporates some e-mails that I get, as I do get a few e-mails that ask the same thing. I always respond to my e-mails, but I figured I could post parts of them so that others could get the information. (I won't post names, of course, and names will always be kept confidential)..
- Person 1: I was wondering what type of workouts did you start out to work on the body u have now I want to have my body the way u have it lol:) I see u run now and lift but what did u do before?
Me: run and lift.. I just didn't focus on lifting as much, but once I did the weight fell off... =)
Person 1: oh okay Im not a runner at all lol
Me: I wasn't either... I joined the AF, and I was dreading the 1.5mi run they were gonna make me do.. while I did it, and got through it, I thought it was terrible.... training for my PT test a couple years later, I decided to try and run 2 mi.. made it, and I was like wow, I ran that? at the gym, I was going on the treadmill, and I would run a little, walk a little, and always push myself to run a little longer, or a little faster...
After getting outta the AF (3.5 years ago).. I gained about 40lbs over the following year and a half. Decided to run a bit.. and I would run 2 miles a few times.. then I decided to go farther.. and kept pushing just a little farther each time...
Now. I can run. and I can run fast. Because I pushed myself. I told myself I could do it.
So when people say, "I'm not a runner".. I say I'm not either. You need to tell your body that it's you that's in control.
- Person 2: I need to lose about 20lbs then I will be at my goal weight. Should I wait to tone and lift weights after I'm finished losing? I started lifting 16-20 lbs everyday this is bicep dips but only 60 reps.. So I do 30,20 and then 10. along with push ups.. I don't want man muscles!! only girl muscles..lol
Me: You don't have the testosterone in your body for "man muscles" hence why they are called man muscles! Have you ever seen a woman in real life with man muscles? you may have seen pics of female bodybuilders, but they have to take hormones and steroids to get like that, plus they look much more muscular when they are posing and flexing..
You should start lifting right away, especially since you're so close to your goal weight, you will get much better results as your muscles will not only help your metabolism (even by a small amount, it helps right!?) plus if you're only doing cardio, your body isn't getting the well rounded workouts you should be doing. It's a combination of both plus a good, clean diet, that yields the greatest results.
My last 20lbs fell off after I took lifting seriously. (in about 2 months)
- Person 3: I'm hoping you can set me on the right track again. You are very motivating and look awesome. I was losing weight pretty well up until January when I started training for 5K's. I have ran 10 now and I keep gaining and losing the same 5 pounds over and over. I tried lowering my calories and increasing my calories and nothing has helped. I noticed you take in a lot of protein. Do you think it would help if I increased mine? Take a look at my diary if you don't mind and maybe you could give me some suggestions. My foods lately don't look that great but it's because no matter what I eat I can't seem to lose anymore. Any advice you have or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
Me: (after looking at their diary) I have to be blunt here.
Nothing in your diet says healthy.
You initially lost weight because you increased exercises (WTG BTW!!!).. Your body adapted and now if you want more change, you're going to have to make some more changes.
Switch out those processed foods for whole foods. Eggs are great for breakfast. Chicken and Veggies for dinner. Salads (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, any veggie, sm. amount of cheese, and a "light" dressing"... )
Those are just examples, but your next step is to switch out some of those foods for "whole" foods... they are much more nutritious. Take a look at my diary :)
For exercise, if you've reached a plateau, you must adapt (run faster, farther, add in weight lifting, etc)...
Hope that helps a little!
Person 4: Hey there I have a question for you. I currently weigh around 181 and I would like to weight train. I was told that I should wait to heavy weight train until I have lost most of the weight I want to lose. I was thinking that I would wait until I was around 160, do you think that is a good idea? I usually work out twice a day mostly cardio/walking/hiking and the weight is very slow. I am in a wedding in September and I would LOVE to be as close to 150ish as possible. Any ideas/thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated
Me: START LIFTING NOW!!!!! I can't stress that one enough! Muscles burn more cals at rest, so it helps peak your metabolism, thus resulting in faster fat loss. Plus you will start looking more toned/fit.. even at a slightly higher weight you'll start looking better.. since sept. isn't that far off, you should stress to see improvement, not necessarily your lifetime goal. You will also feel much better after you lift weights and tone, and that gives me energy and motivation to keep going. If you've been doing a lot of cardio for awhile.. you've prolly hit a plateau.. and your body is now storing fat to use as energy for your cardio sessions.. I do 20-25 min cardio (running) 4-5 times a week. and I lift 45-75 min 4-5 a week.. so if you do workout twice a day, try changing one of those sessions to purely lifting... hope that helps!!!! =D
Person 5: Hey girl!! What kin of a plan do you follow as far as calories and exercise? You look absolutely wonderful and I would love to look like you!!
Me: Thanks!!! Hard work does pay off!
For my plan, I'm a bit complicated because I just kinda make up as I go and find out what works for me.. I have my basic routine posted on my blog but I can change it up based on how I feel.. I try and net 1800 cals (give or take) daily. I don't mind if I go a bit over as I'm at a 300cal deficit. I lift weights 4-5 times a week, and run 20-25min 4-5 times a week..
Hope that helps.. let me know if you have any more specific questions.. =)
Person 6: Hi Jenae,
You've been at this weight loss/fitness lifestyle for at least a couple years, haven't you? How have you consistently lost weight/fat for the last two years without a plateau/stall? I'm considering a metabolism reset (as described by Leigh Peele) because I've been eating at a calorie deficit for 2 years, with the exception of a handful of vacations. If you have experienced some plateaus, how did you overcome them?
Thanks and have a fantastic day!
Me: I think it's because I'm always tweaking, I was at sort of a plateau a few weeks ago but I upped my cals so I was only at a 300 calorie deficit.. but I also don't try too hard to make that number "0".. somtimes I'm over by a couple hundred, sometimes under a couple hundred, and I feel that it "evens" out, and keeps my body guessing. I also try to always push my body everytime I work out. I don't just "workout".. I always want to do better then the last time I was there.. for example, last time I did squats, I hit 185lbs.. so of course when I did them last sunday, I was going to try for 200lbs.. I warm up properly, work my way up, I make sure I have good form, and hit it. And I try to do that with every exercise. I shoot for 4-8 reps** (Varies for exercise and muscle group).. If I can do 10-12 that means I'm ready to up my weight. When I run, I try to run faster, or farther, or when I do intervals, I can sprint one more time, even though I want to give up.
I change up my exercises, and while I follow my own split, I don't get mad when I have to adapt, such as staying an extra hour and a half at my day job yesterday which took my gym time away. I was planning on doing chest, but I got home 30 min before I had to leave for my 2nd job.. did I just sit around and wait? nope.. popped in an Insanity (cardio abs, the 16min one) workout and made my abs work! Sweated up a storm! Got my dinner into my lunch box, changed clothes, and got to work.
It also doesn't matter if you have 30 min or 120 min.. If you make yourself work in that time, it's a huge benefit to your goals! I used to give the excuse "oh, not enough time at the gym" if my time got short.. but It's amazing what you can accomplish when you are short on time.
Sorry, I sort of rambled there, but I hope it helps! If I missed something, let me know!
MFP deletes e-mails after 30 days, I wish I realized that because I would have done this sooner! Anywho, feel free to e-mail me any questions/comments you may have!!
Have a great day everyone!!
"Lift Heavy! Run Hard!"
www.facebook.com/jenaesmith fitness (Daily Motivation, Pics, Quotes, Etc)