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While weight loss and shrinking figure is always a plus, one of the biggest things I have focused on the last 9 months is getting healthy and STRONG. Well I have only been real skinny a few times I also have friends who are super skinny and struggle to put on weight. I don’t associate a number on the scale + skinny = healthy I associate STRONG with healthy. That doesn’t mean bulging biceps, but capable strength to do healthy activities with out getting winded easily.
In many ways you are what you eat. You can work out regularly but if you aren’t eating what your body needs to get stronger you can only do so much. Learning to pay attention to portion size, as well as balancing out what I eat has been a huge factor. I do treat myself to treats because it’s not a realistic lifestyle change if you take out all the good stuff, but I balance it out the rest of the time. Healthy carbs, lean protein, lots of fruits and veggies and the biggest thing WATER. I won’t lie, 9 months in I still struggle with water, but it’s one of those things I just have to keep working on and not give up. If you are looking for help getting things on track with your diet I highly recommend the Weight Watchers program that offers the option for local meetings and personal coaching and their new program focuses on being healthy and fit NOT just weight loss or a great free option is SparkPeople.com, both options have apps and more things even easier.
The other big change, and what I want to talk about today is getting ACTIVE. One of the biggest things that you will notice in the sewing/crafting world is most of it is done sitting or standing at a table, it makes it very easy to become sedentary fast. One of the biggest things I did was I got a FitBit to help track my activity and motivate me to do more. I have owned a few and the Charge HR is by far my favorite. Now I will tell you it is NOT a magic tool that will make you get active or loose weight, it is not a medical device and is NOT 100% accurate, but honestly that’s not what it’s for. It’s consistent which is the most important factor, I can see how active I was today and strive to be more active tomorrow. The biggest thing is to just get moving!!! Another thing to keep in mind is we all have our ‘base’ activity level. It is our bodies normal, to get stronger you need to exceed that. So just because 10,000 steps may be making our friends slimmer and healthier, they may have only averaged 2,500 steps a day before. If you already average 10,000 steps a day you will need to strive for 12,500 or more.
To go along with the FitBit and just getting moving there are a lot of little changes I have made, I park farther away from the front of the store, I get up and do chores I am thinking of putting off because I am only 500 steps from my goal etc. My house has also been slightly cleaner because of this as well, lol.
As for my actual workouts I found I enjoy 2 different activities. The first, and probably what got me really going is the local Tabata Bootcamp. It is a group fitness class which I was really unsure of at first, but committing to the classes (you pay for an 8 week session) gave me the motivation to follow through. I love my local trainer/instructor and receive semi-personal training for a fraction of the cost. She has challenged me to do things I never thought I could do. When I started her classes I could do 0 push-ups, could barely do a walk out burpee and could only do a few jumping jacks before I wanted to die. Now I am doing box jumps and I run for fun????
Not only do I feel good but my kids are taking notice, they enjoy doing frogs (their name for burpees) donkey kicks, jumping jacks and more with me. That alone makes it all worth it.
Tabata is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) program. It has ZERO choreographing which was a huge sell for me. Everyone does their own variation of the workout at their own pace and intensity. The bootcamps I have been in have had participants (men and women) from 16 to their mid 60’s of all different shapes and sizes. Everyone ends up doing slightly different squats, push-ups or planks but it’s okay and works! Everyone gets the best work out for them! They don’t just focus on weight or inches loss, but STRENGTH! Everyone does their own fitness test at the start to see how many squats, push-ups and v-sits (type of crunch) they personally can do. At the end we do it again and compare it to our (and only ours) first test to see how much stronger we have gotten. What makes Tabata special is the way work outs are done. The bootcamp starts out with you doing 40, 30, 20’s. You do one activity such as squats for 40 seconds, then rest for 20, then do it again for 30 seconds, then rest for 15 and finally 20 seconds followed by a 10 second rest before starting over with the next exercise! The longer you do the boot camps the advance workouts do 8 sets of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest.
The added benefit to Tabata training is that the interval training tricks/causes your body to continue to burn more calories then normal over the next 24 hours. It is a GREAT option for those like myself, who’s years of a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating have destroyed their metabolism.
The types of activities vary based on trainer. There are a variety of cardio based exercises like skaters, mountain climbers, jumping jacks and jump romp (with rope less ropes!). It mixes in a lot of more traditional strength training exercises like squats, lunges, burpees, weighted rows and more using body weight, resistance bands and free weights. Last but not least it mixes in some traditional and modified yoga moves such as a variety of planks, bird dogs and more! While we may have a day that focuses on legs, arms or core we are always working our full body.
Now lets talk sewing some workout clothes! The biggest thing for me is GOOD leggings. There are a lot of cute leggings that work well for yoga, but when you are jumping, crunching and jumping again you need good quality pants to have them stay UP. Also if you are like me, I have a lot of ‘mom’ skin from 4 pregnancies including twins, I need a supportive top that holds all of that in place. My favorite commercial leggings are the Salar leggings and capri’s from Fabletics. They are pricey if you aren’t a VIP member but they are the best I have personally owned. They are a compression legging made from amazing quality fabric.
If you want to SEW yourself some leggings the hardest thing is often finding the quality knit fabrics. I look for a medium to heavy weight cotton lycra jersey knit. You want at least 5% lycra though not more then 10%. If there is too much lycra they just don’t have the same amount of support. My favorite pattern is the EYMM Get Moving Leggings of course, they are much more of a compression legging then other legging patterns currently available. The regular waistband has good medium rise coverage for most (and rise adjustment directions if you need a higher rise/more coverage), but the fold over waistband can be worn UNFOLDED as well and worn pulled up higher similar to a spanx. For me this is huge because the ‘mom skin jiggle’ is NOT comfortable and this holds it all in place. Honestly though, can you really have too many pairs of leggings, even solid black ones?
EYMM has some exciting new work out friendly tanks in the works. I enjoy simple graphic tanks paired with my capri leggings as my go to. If you have a Silhouette Cameo I have some great files coming to use with Heat Transfer Vinyl to make your own!
The other activity I really enjoy is running… yes I like to run for fun! Those are 3 words I never thought I would actually say together. I wear the same clothes for running though in the winter I through on a hoodie with them. If you have a full bust like me YOU CAN RUN. I know the pain of trying to run with 3 bras that still don’t cut it. One of the best investments I have ever made is in the Panache Sports Bra. Seriously no other ‘hi impact’ bra has been able to compare. I literally used to wear a regular bra, followed by a high impact sports bra followed by a sports tank with a built in bra. It was NOT comfortable, I was way to hot and I still had back pain. Seriously they aren’t joking when they say it provides a 83% reduction in bounce. This bra offers an underwire and molded cup which adds a lot of support, and it can convert to a racerback. I can seriously do 60 minutes of intense work outs or run/walking without pain or serious bounce!!!! With just ONE bra! Friends don’t believe me until they order one themselves. It has made a huge difference in my back and allows me to be so much more active without worrying about the pain. This bra comes in UK sizing which is DIFFERENT then US sizes. Use this It’s All About the Bust post to find your size, if you are in the wrong size (like approximately 85% of American women) you will NOT get the right amount of support. Also if you loose a significant amount of weight and your bra gets to big you will start noticing pain because it’s not supporting you enough.
I don’t recommend just jumping into trying to run 3 miles, you will not enjoy it and will likely hurt yourself which is the most common cause of people quiting. Instead I recommend getting an app like RunDouble where you can either download a Couch-2-5K program OR set up your own custom intervals. I do NOT run fast, I jog. And I do not run the whole time but in intervals but that is okay! I am DOING it. I personally much prefer running on trails over the road. It is easier on your body then asphalt, it is often more intense because of the constant change of terrain and honestly it is just way more entertaining for my ADD mind! I can now run a mile straight without dying… I can run 85% of the time when doing a 5k and can run for over 11 minutes straight!!! Last year when I started I could run for about 30 seconds before I felt like I was dying.
One of the biggest changes going into the winter was breathing the COLD air. I can handle dressing for the cold weather, but the change in the temps made it hard for me to manage my breathing because it made my nose and throat feel like it was on fire. A little research and I found these wonderful multi-sport scarves! Of course I couldn’t stand the thought of paying the $8-$30 more places want for them so I made my own. I wear it a headband for my Tabata classes but it works well as a headband/ear warmer when running, can be made into an impromptu beanie as well but my favorite use for running is to wear it just as a scarf around my neck, similar to a turtle neck with my hoodie to keep the drafts off my neck, and when needed I can pull it up over my mouth and nose (ears too if I want) to use it as a barrier to help filter/warm the air! It works for men too.
This is the same grey one that I was wearing as a headband above for my Tabata Studio Workout!
UPDATE: What if I told you I had MORE? Because of the wonderful response from readers I created a FREE printable weekly fitness log that I uploaded into the EYMM shop. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE COPY.
I Also don’t forget to head over to Free Notion and check out the other blog tour stops this week as well.