Top: September 2018
The scale may not show much change (13 pound weight loss) but I'm losing inches!! 😁😁😁
My tip is this: Always judge your progress through ways other than the scale!
There is more to come!
So I had been stressed a lot lately between school and work (mostly work), but I am so glad that I am finding solace through going to the gym for the last two months. In the beginning of my gym routine/journey, I was seeing it as my daily workout routine wanting to crush some fitness goals. As time went by, I was enjoying it more and more, sometimes feeling bummed when I can't make it to the gym but I crush it the next time I'm there.
Exercise has always been one of the things that alleviated my stress, but this time I have found a more healthy way of doing it. I mentioned previously that I used to overdo the exercise to maintain a very small frame (one that I do not wish to have again) to the point that it became an obsession. It took some time but I have managed to enjoy working out without having to obsess over how long I should be working out and how many exercises I should be doing.
I know that I am making progress. The shirt I am wearing in the photo on the left is a large. Normally I wear either XL or an XXL, but realized those sizes were too big now. How exciting is that! I'm gonna keep on keeping on. Can't wait to share the next update (wink).
So after a hiatus I started going back to the gym in late August/early September, going in the afternoons after work. I go around the lunch hour, where the older crowd are finishing up their morning exercise classes. Because of my work schedule I can't make it to the early exercise classes, so I just go and use the cardio and weight machines. For cardio I use the treadmill and bike, and for weight machines I use just about all of them: bicep, tricep, leg extensions, and hip abductor/adductor to name a few. I have also made a habit to write my daily workouts in a journal.
The photo on the left is my post-workout selfie from today's workout. This week is the 7th consecutive week that I have been going to the gym and I am seeing progress. Skinnier arms and waist, more toned legs and booty, and a smaller face. There are still trouble areas that I am dealing with (and really who doesn't?), but taking these photos only motivates me to keep going!
About three weeks ago I went to the gym when it opened at 5am to get my workout in before having to go in to work later that morning. I was excited about going in that morning because I wanted to go to at least one of the classes and use a couple of the machines. I first went to the desk upon walking in to show my ID and get my gym key card. After getting that situated, I started to head toward the locker room so that I can put my backpack in a locker before going to one of the classes. Before I got far, a gentleman greeted me and knew right away I was new. He introduced himself and asked if I was going to the BodyAttack class that was about to start in a few minutes, located in front of us. Honestly, I was going to wait until taking the 6am class, but I decided to go to the 5:30am class. I went to put my backpack in a locker and headed to class with my bottle of water.
I looked around the room and was a little intimidated when I saw that there were people who you knew were regulars versus a first timer like me. Surprisingly, I saw one of my regular customers from work in the class, and that actually made me feel good. The instructor approached me and introduced himself, saying to listen to my body during the class, and to do modified moves if necessary. He stepped on the podium and got class started. At first I was catching up with everyone, but then it got intense! Class went into high gear, but I kept moving, even if it meant to do modified versions of the exercises. In such a little bit of time I was breaking a sweat (and I don't sweat much when I work out)! The last five minutes of class focused on push ups, so everyone had to get a mat. My regular customer handed me a mat and said to do my best, and added that it was nice that someone else he knew was in the class. The push up section was also intense, but I did my best without hurting myself. Then, class was over. I survived!
My intention was to take the following two classes, but I decided to go on the machines instead. I went on the treadmill, bike, and weight machines to get a full body workout before leaving to head to work. Overall it was a great experience and environment that I will be making a regular habit!
So it has been a while since I posted in the blog here. A lot has been going on with family and such that I hadn't updated on my progress.
My mental/emotional wellness took a dip in March, when I learned that my dad had a stroke that was caused by a malignant brain tumor. Although my dad and I never really had a relationship, his health condition still concerned me so I did what I could do given the circumstance (e.g., hospital visits, texting, etc.) This did put a damper on my progress as I felt tension among other relatives toward me, making me have feelings of being unwanted. Worse, it made me put a hold on business activities and my mother (God Bless her) had to snap me back to reality. Feelings leveled off until recently, that my dad was sick again and I felt this time I really needed to let go, forgive, etc., so that I can start feeling better again and focus on my health and helping others achieve better health.
With that said, I joined the gym last week! It is the YMCA and is walking distance from my job. I joined for two reasons. One, there have been times where I struggle working out at home. If I go to the Y on the days I work after I get off work, it will push me to go work out. Two, I would be helping my mom get some motivation as she likes going to the gym, but doesn't like going alone. We last went together a few years ago (as her guest) and we did the weight machines, and let me tell you we both felt the burn! My plan now is to tone using those machines and do cardio using a treadmill, stepper, elliptical, etc.
Prior to joining the gym, the cardio I was incorporating included weekly walks to Target and playing Michael Jackson: The Experience on my Wii. I would do some toning that focused on arms and abs in-between. My weight prior to all of what was going on was 228. During my stressful period it hung around 233, but now that I have taken control back on my health it has gone down to 231.5. I am on my way toward bigger progress. I still want to hit below 200 as my first major goal. The picture you see was a workout selfie from my walk to Target about a week ago. I noticed even in this picture my face getting smaller, so I know I am doing something right!
I will keep you guys (and girls) posted more on my progress. One day at a time!
Sometimes when you are on a lifestyle journey with certain goals in mind such as weight loss, you can get frustrated when you think you are not making progress. What I have done at the beginning of my journey is take a few "before" pictures to have as a baseline, and when I get to a certain point take new pictures and compare them to my baseline.
The photo on the left was my baseline. 242.5 pounds. Yes!
Now, the photo to the right is 228 pounds. 14.5 pounds! Wow!
It may not be much to some, but I can't deny the progress I have made in 4 months! Just like my last post where I saw the changes in my face, my body is following suit! I plan to keep this going, and I will post an even bigger update!
Any success is a great success, am I right??
The left photo was from my birthday in July, while the right photo was from my vacation at the end of November of this year. The difference? 10 pounds and a slimmer face!
Well, at the time of the photo it was 8 pounds lost, but I have lost 2 pounds since that photo, making it a total of 10 pounds lost during my journey!
This is kind of a big deal for me, because I had been struggling during the journey. I didn't think I would reach double digits before the end of the year (not that I was giving myself a timetable). One of my friends had told me about a month ago that she noticed that my face was slimmer. It was hard to see that given that I look at myself in the mirror everyday, but I decided to pull up some photos in my phone to see for myself. Wow, was she right!
In honesty, I had noticed the slimmer face in my vacation photos but needed some older photos for comparison. When I realized that I have really made some progress, I was excited and motivated to keep going! There is a saying that goes, "When you see results, it becomes an addiction." It is so true! The results make you persistent and consistent!
So a year ago after reading about the benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) I tried drinking it with hot water to see the benefits for myself. I had done it for two weeks and lost 3 pounds but I did not continue it because of the fact that I was drinking it hot. It was suggested to me by my mentor that it was best that I drink it like a hot tea.
Fast forward to three weeks ago. I was reading an article online from Woman's World magazine about an ACV detox drink, The article discussed a woman who had the drink twice a day and lost 11 pounds in one week, and over the course of some months, lost a total of 60 pounds. I was curious as to what else was in this detox drink, and as I read the detox drink included cayenne pepper, ginger, and turmeric. The spices in the detox drink both boost metabolism and burn fat. I became even more curious. Will this work for me?
So I decided to try it again but this time use cold water rather than hot water. Wow, what a difference! I also added a few packets of sweetener to cut the sourness of the ACV, and it is so tasty! Unlike the woman in the article, I started drinking the detox drink once a day. I had done it for four days and saw that I lost 6.5 pounds! Wow!
Since then, I have been drinking the ACV detox drink everyday before eating dinner. I have acquired the taste as well as noticed other changes. For example, my digestion is much better and it has curbed my appetite to where I do not overeat at meals.
Am I treating this as a cure-all for weight loss? Of course not. I have been doing the ACV detox in addition to diet and exercise for the past two weeks. (I have not weighed myself since the 4-day mark for I am allowing my clothes and photos to tell me that I have lost weight.) Who would have thought that the temperature of the water would make the difference?
Also, here is the link to the Woman's World article: