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Legs... making progress (pics)

       I have always hated my legs. I hated the way they looked and I hated training them too. I had what I called "drumstick legs." You know the kind... where they are thick and meaty at the top with little or nothing at the bottom. I got no calves to speak of... and anyone who trains regularly knows that unless you are fortunate enough to be genetically blessed with pretty calves... training them does very little to help.

      So I've been on a mission. Since I've not gotten much leaner I've decided to start training my legs harder so that I can finally stop hating them and covering them up. I hadn't done squats and lunges in years. I used to do super heavy squats in collage but let's face it... I ain't no spring chicken anymore. Having two kids has also complicated the matter futher leaving me with a bladder that just ain't what it used to be (sorry tmi). Anyways... a while back I started doing squats and lunges again. I started light and kept adding a little more weight each week. Last week I overdid it and could barely walk for 2 days. LOL. I was looking in the mirror today and realized that I really am making some progress! I decided to snap a few images (in the mirror) but I ended up making them black and white because the lighting was horrible and the color was way off... but you get the idea. Also know I am slightly squating and flexing in these just so I can see the "cut." 

a little closer up...
 And I had the camera too high for this one but I thought it was pretty cool so I kept it...

The stepmill... my torture device of choice!!!

So since yall all know how much I love that darn machine I figured I'd share what I'm doing on it. 

On Wednesday afternoon I couldn't make it to Zumba so I did a long step-mill workout. Here were the stats....

25 min of intervals with average mets of 12.9
       -level 135 for the high and 100 for the low
35 min of calisthenics with average mets of 12.4

My "usual" calisthenics routine looks like this:

5 min warmup at level 100
5 min high speed at level 135
5 min sideways right side at level 100
5 min sideways left side at level 100
15 min every other step at level 115
2 min cool down level 90 

Total for Wednesday's workout:
60 min
438 floors
9.14 miles
600 calories


Today I tried something new... a HITT/calistenics hybrid of sorts. I set the machine to do intervals... 100 for the low and 135 for the high. This broke down the 35 minutes into 2min 20 second interval segments. I just walked up like normal for the first low interval as a warm-up. For all of the other lower-pace intervals I either walked up sideways or did every-other-step. For the high invervals I was mostly focused on not flying off the machine (haha) but did manage to do every-other-step for a few of those too. So really... I made use of the 'rest time' (if you can call it that because I was still going fast) by doing some leg work. It really made the workout go by faster and I was DRIPPING in sweat by the end. I will be doing this again and will try to challenge myself to increase my pace little by little over time. 

Total stats for the hybrid method today:

35 minutes
5.3 miles
12.4 mets
254 floors

300 calories burned



Omgosh my bum!!! (pics)

Since my husband was having me to snap some pictures of him (since he has lost 20lbs himself) I figured while he had the point-n-shoot out to have him snap a few of me. OH. MY. WOW!!! This is crazy. It's taking a lot of courage for me to even post these. My bum in that before picture is quite embarrassing... especially for how much I have always worked out. This is 22lbs difference.

While I'm at it I'll put up one of his back too... definitely a difference! He went from 186lbs to 166lbs.


It's either this or prozac!

So we talk alot about the physical benefits of exercise... anybody want to comment on the emtional benefits? I have personally struggled with anxiety and depression on and off over the course of my life. I've never been officially diagnosed but I know the symptoms. I've managed those feeling for many years through exercise!

When I first moved to the city I live in now it was a difficult transition for me. I had never lived away from my parents before. I was still a newlywed and had only been married less than a year at the time. I knew no one else in this city and on top of that I also have a paralyzing fear of getting lost while driving which meant I rarely left our little apartment. I fell into a terrible depression. All I wanted to do was sleep. I had no appetite. I didn't want to be around anyone. I lost all interest in everything I once loved. I quit taking care of myself... heck I even quit taking a bath for a while (I know...eeewwwwww). I fought my way through that time with prayer and exercise.

I have learned over the years that when I don't get the physical activity and endorphin release I need on a regular basis it really affects my mental and emotional state. When I exercise regularly I am generally more calm and basically just feel better about life. I seriously would need to be on antidepressants if exercise wasn't a part of my daily routine. Please know that I'm not knocking medication... there is nothing wrong with taking it if you need it. I would just rather find other ways of coping if possible.

Anyways... the reason I bring this up is that the last few weeks have been somewhat of a challenge for me emtionally and you can bet I was in the gym every day... working out all those feelings. It helps immensely. It may not change the situation :( but it does something in me that helps to change my attitude towards it. Sitting home sad about something isn't coping... hitting the weights and burning up the cardio is my way of being proactive.

One more thing about tracking exercise...

I forgot to mention that I do not typically count my strength training as part of my calories burned for the day. I don't wear my HR monitor while strength training either. The ONLY time I count it is on leg day when I'm doing squats, lunges, and deadlifts. I usually give myself 100-200 calories for that. The calories I count are only what is burned during cardio...

Reconciling my new size...

So I had a stressful weekend and needed some retail therapy. I went out with the intention to purchase a few new things because honestly everything I have is just hanging off of me at this point. Even new stuff I purchased since I lost weight is getting too big. I started at a size 8/9 back in January. By the end of March I was buying size 4's. Now my 4's are pretty much hanging off. I just cannot wrap my mind around this. I don't ever remember being a size 2... ever. I can't even bring myself to try on sizes that small. I feel like if I try to bring a 2 into the dressing room with me the lady checking me in will just laugh and think "yeah... right." I SEE myself in the mirror and I know my clothes are too big now... but I can't seem to grasp the reality of what size I am. In my brain I think I'm still a size 8. After several trips to the dressing room and going back several times to get smaller sizes it dawned on me... my brain still hasn't caught up with my body! Anybody else experience this? Something else I've noticed is how hard it is to find anything in a size 2... or a 4 even. I never had this problem before. I didn't buy very much. I just didn't find all that much I liked. Another thing is that my body is now shaped differently. I used to be a pear shape... not so much anymore. My bum is pretty flat now. I don't even know how to shop for myself anymore!
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