Hello, friends! I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, and that the holiday season isn't stressing you out too much. This time of year is always crazytown, and I've been trying my best to focus on eating healthy foods, and incorporating more workouts into my weeks. So far, so good!
Around the middle of October, there was 1 week where I did absolutely no exercise. None. After that crappy week, I decided for the last week of October, I would workout 10 minutes each day, no matter what! I successfully completed the week of workouts, and then saw SparkPeople's #Find30 challenge, where you can commit to completing 30 minutes of activity each day for 30 days. I figured I would give this a shot for the month of November, and see if I could accomplish this goal, as I don't remember if I've worked out for a straight 30 days, like, EVER, in my adult life. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, SPARKPEOPLE.
It started out kind of slow, as I needed more than just cardio and strength training in my routine if I was going to make this work for a full month. What really saved the day was my Gaiam membership through On Demand - I love looking through all of the videos, and trying out different workouts and instructors, right in the comfort of my living room. When I was checking out all the options one day, I found the Power/Vinyasa Yoga section, and was intrigued. You see, the last time I attended a yoga class was around 3 years ago, and it wasn't pretty, since I was in such poor physical condition. But now, since I'm in better shape, I thought I'd give this a whirl, and see what happened. And I fell in love. All of the awesome stretching, strength poses using body weight, balance poses, breathing exercises, it was all so amazing. And since I usually work out at the end of the day, these yoga videos REALLY helped me calm down after a hectic day at the office. It also helped me stretch out my tight muscles (especially my hips, as my left hip has been achy/sore for quite some time) from sitting at a desk all day. It was perfect for the days I didn't feel like doing cardio or regular strength training.
Now, let's be honest - power yoga isn't burning the crazy amount of calories a HIIT video or kettlebell training would in the same time frame - SP's estimate of calorie burn for 30 minutes of power yoga for someone my weight was about 170, if I remember correctly. And because *most* of my workouts during November were power yoga (about 4 days per week), I wasn't even sure if I was going to lose any weight. I mean, I felt better - and looked trimmer - but who knows, right? But shockingly, when I weighed myself on December 1st, after the challenge had ended, I lost 6 LBS! I was actually a bit surprised it went that well!
What I learned during this challenge is that 1) I don't need to do crazy amounts of cardio or strength training every day to see results, 2) consistency is key, and 3) I actually AM able to do 30 days of exercise in a row! As you guys know, I haven't struggled with nutrition very much during this journey, and it pretty much stayed the same during this challenge. My husband and I didn't do anything special over Thanksgiving, so the only dessert I indulged in was 1 lone piece of pumpkin pie I bought at the grocery store, haha.
At 5ft 6in, I now weigh 153 lbs. This is a 44 lb weight loss from my starting weight of 197 lbs in April 2015. I have gone from a stretched-out size 14 pants to an 8-10 size pants - I even bought a size medium pair of leggings from Athleta last week! I just took this photo last night - I'm wearing my new leggings (haven't even cut the tags off yet!), and an older shirt I haven't been able to wear until now:
Also, I just had to post the below pic (also taken last night) - I bought this shirt at the Heineken Factory in Amsterdam a few years ago, and shortly after I purchased it, I started gaining weight, so I've never worn it until now. One can never go wrong with a fitted beer shirt :)
My next mini goal is to be in the 140s by the end of the year. I'm still keeping my final goal weight of 132 lbs for now...although I won't reach it by my birthday in January, I believe it is still something to strive for in the near future - perhaps by March 2016. As I get closer to my goal weight (I'm 21 lbs away from goal right now), the weight loss has slowed down and I'm cool with that - as long as I'm toning up, and looking trimmer, I'm a happy Sparker! Will a size 6 pants be in my near future? Stay tuned... :-)
I don't know if I'll be blogging again before Christmas, so I hope all of you have a SPARKling holiday season! Thank you so much for your support, and here's to finishing 2015 out strong, AND starting out 2016 on the right foot!