I cannot tell you how many years I spent trying to lose weight or get into shape.
And the thing is, I never did. I never lost the weight I wanted. I never hit the goals I wanted. I was absolutely miserable. So what gives?
Anyone else know what I’m talking about?
Because I was doing things right. Or at least I thought I was. I was eating well. And by ‘eating well’ I mean eating things that still left me starving and craving for all the things I wouldn’t allow myself to have. (More on ‘diet’ later)
I was working out. Or at least trying to be more active than I had before, but seriously, nothing changed.
I was the same size. The same weight. Except I was a lot more unhappy.
It wasn’t until this past year that I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment.
See, when I first started going to the gym regularly this year I did what I always did, cardio.
I would spend 2 hours between the treadmill, elliptical, and stair master. I would be drenched in sweat and exhausted from my workout. But the reality hit when nothing was changing.
Sure, I felt better. It was nice to sweat. It was nice to get my heart rate up, but when I wasn’t hitting the goals I had so desperately wanted to hit, I became defeated.
Something had to change.
I started to notice the other women in the gym, the ones who walked right past the cardio equipment. I saw their tone, definition, and I wanted it.
How were they doing it? What was wrong with me?
The excuses began to clog my mind.
So then I started reading. I started asking questions. And if that second one scares you, don’t let it. If you see someone who has nice arms or nice legs, talk to them. Find out what they do. Chances are, they didn’t look like that when they first stepped into the gym. It took time and it probably took asking some of their own questions.
So what I’m about to tell you is hopefully going to blow your mind the way it did mine when I first heard it.
So, cardio. You’re sweating, you’re burning calories. You are feeling pretty good when you’re on that elliptical, right? Well, guess what. Once you step off that elipitical your body stops burning calories. Until you step back on later.
Now, let’s talk weightlifting. “But Lauren, I don’t want to look like a man.” Yeah, me either, and I’ll address that topic in a later post, but did you know that when you lift weights not only are you burning calories during lifting, but your body will burn calories even when you’re done lifting?!
Yep, let me repeat that. Even after you’re done lifting for the day, your body will continue to burn calories.
That means after I leave the gym and I am done with my workout, my body isn’t. It’s still burning calories.
And isn’t that what we want? Ladies, isn’t the formula to losing weight more calories burned than taken in?
It wasn’t until I started lifting that I started seeing the results I had so desperately wanted for a long time. My waist has gotten smaller. I’ve gotten leaner. My belly has gotten flatter.
And for those of you who love your cardio, I’m not telling you to give it up completely. I believe a solid workout is all about balance. I try to get at least 15-20 minutes of cardio a day. But what I am telling you is to get off the treadmill for a little bit and go pick something up.
You might be surprised at your own results.