When I first started working out in college it was exciting. I weighed 246 pounds when I began my journey to healthy living, and during my weekly weigh-in what I saw on the scale never disappointed me. Every week I lost anywhere from three to six pounds. My clothes were becoming looser and when I looked at pictures of myself I saw a new, slimmer me. But after losing 50 pounds, I got bored. My mix of gym and at-home beginner workouts became blase, so I started working out strictly at home and let Shaun T and Jillian Michaels supply me with heart-pumping sweat sessions. But after a few months, that got dull too. Then my weight loss slowed down, which really made me loathe exercising at one point. Why work out if I wasn’t losing pounds? Plus, I became sick of eating the same veggie-based meals. I had slowly lost my desire to sweat it out and I hit a plateau, but by stepping out of my comfort zone I was able to overcome it and find the fun in being fit again.
I was always scared to run on the treadmill or outside. (I tried to run once on the treadmill and got a painful cramp so I didn’t try anymore.) I’m also clumsy so when I thought about hitting the pavement I’d envision myself stumbling to the ground. A few years later, I tried for the second time. By shocking my body and changing up my workout I knew I would start to shed pounds again, so I gave it a try. I paced myself and ran and walked in intervals and before I knew it I was running at least 4 times a week. After my run, I noticed a boost in my mood thanks to what’s known as a “runner’s high.” Research has shown that running, and exercise in general, leads to your brain producing endorphins, a chemical that reduces pain perception and promotes a more positive mood. With some guidance from a trainer and a running app, I then ran my first 5K race. The feeling of accomplishing something I thought I would never do was invigorating.
Another thing that helped me get out of my rut was changing my diet. I became weary of the same ole chicken, seafood and veggies combo. When the grocery store in my neighborhood closed shop, grocery shopping became difficult, especially when I wanted to try new things. So I decided to give HerbaLife a try and it turned out to be a great fit. I have long work days as a therapist, so eating three meals a day isn’t easy. With my HerbaLife program, I have a shake for breakfast and dinner and I eat a meal for lunch. I have my shake before I leave for work and while I am sitting in my last session of the day I sip on my shake for dinner and then head off to the gym. Plus, the shakes come in flavors like Dulce de Leche, Cookies and Cream and Dutch Chocolate, which have all left my taste buds satisfied.
Meeting with a trainer also helped put me back on the right track. I used the same machines repeatedly, so to help me use the gym more effectively, I consulted with a trainer for guidance. She educated me on the right moves to target my problem areas and showed me exercises that help me capitalize on my workouts and burn more fat. I was familiar with certain moves thanks to Insanity and Jillian Michaels DVDs, but there was so much more to learn. Having a trainer advise me and show me new things made me motivated to lace up my Pumas and train harder.
I’m usually solo dolo during my daily fit fest, but having a workout buddy is pretty helpful. Not only does the workout go faster, but I pick up on some of my partner’s different workouts and give them a try. When I am with him I am more likely to pick up the weights and do some strength training, which I neglect at times due to my love for everything cardio.
Being in a funk when you’re trying to be fit can be a major setback. Finding ways to revamp your workout and spice up your diet can be just what you need to get back to going hard in the gridiron.