The results are in…

Hello everyone! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while—it was not just a beautiful Memorial Day weekend, but it was also my birthday. With all of the celebrating and getting back into my daily routine, I haven’t had a chance to tell you all the final results of the 4-weeks to fit challenge.

When the challenge began, the goal was to drop another size and look more toned. I began the challenge on April 21 at a size 4-6 and as of May 21 I am sitting comfortably at a size 2-4…mission accomplished!

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Results after 30 days! My apologies for the poor quality of these photos–my iPhone camera isn’t the greatest.

In just 30 days, I also did something that I never thought I would do—I got the number on the scale out of my head. That was probably the biggest weight that I have ever dropped. I decided that I would rather look and feel great than weigh a certain amount. Would I like the scale to read a different number? Sure. But I know that I’ve built a lot of muscle and so the weight that I’m seeing is not indicative of my progress. The fact that I’m actually writing that…and meaning it…speaks volumes to how far I’ve come.

I’ve struggled with weight my whole life and the one time I had gotten “skinny” I was only focused on the scale and not on being toned. At that time, I got down to 130-135 lbs but in only focusing on the number, my body didn’t really change. Last week, I reached into my skinny bin (a storage bin of clothes that I had been saving for whenever I lost weight again)—and most of the clothes were too big.  Here I was trying on clothes that I thought would be too small—and it was the opposite. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. With the flare-ups that occur due to my unknown stomach problems, I sometimes don’t see the progress that I’m making when I look in the mirror. However, in looking at pictures I can tell that I’m a shadow of the girl that I was when I first started this journey.

I started my weight loss journey at a size 12-14…70+ lbs and almost two years ago. Today, I am literally the smallest that I have ever been…and maybe the happiest. I can honestly say that it’s been over 15 years since I was truly happy with mostly every aspect of my life but this challenge taught me a lot about myself and the person that I want to be. Seems when you feel good about yourself everything else falls in line.

The challenge may be over but my journey will continue on. This past weekend I wanted to enjoy my birthday and allow myself some of the things that I had been depriving myself over the last month. I ate a lot of ice cream and had some very delicious (but not completely fattening) foods this weekend. However I didn’t fall off the wagon and I made sure to keep myself accountable, even squeezing in a workout over the weekend in the midst of the birthday fun. I felt no guilt about the things I was indulging in and enjoyed every spoon of the ice cream I had been waiting for. With all good things there must be a bad–and for me it was my stomach that decided to resume it’s normal tricks. It was not very happy with me as a result of all of the outside foods and as a result my workout regimen (and sleep) this week has been significantly impacted. While I was able to workout on Wednesday, it was not at full strength. I hope to get back into my regular intense regimen this weekend or by Monday, the very latest.

It does frustrate and upset me that this happens with my stomach and that I can’t just go back to my normal diet and exercise routines without these interruptions.  However, I know that the stomach problems I face will always be there and sitting around feeling sorry for myself won’t change them–they will only create other problems (and weight gain) instead. So rather than getting down on myself, I am trying to keep my head up and do as much as I can…despite the limitations my body wants to present.

You don’t really know how strong you are until you conquer your greatest obstacle. Always remember that nothing worth having comes easy.

Stay strong and stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

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If you believe it, you WILL achieve it!

What a way to start the last day in my 4-Weeks to Fit Challenge — with my fastest run ever! It was early…I was exhausted…but I pushed myself and the impossible happened. If I can do this, you can too! Believe in yourself and good things will follow.

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

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Final Countdown

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Well, I made it… I’m now in the final week of my 4-Weeks to Fit challenge! I’m kicking into super high gear this week with harder and more vigorous workouts. I’m pushing myself through all of the soreness and exhaustion I feel each day to achieve the goal that I set for myself. After all, I’d rather be sore from a hard workout than sorry for not doing it.

This has been a pretty great cardio week for me. I set a personal best record for myself, running 2 miles in 17 minutes on Monday and last night was even better. Despite not waking up for my fasted cardio (as I had planned to do), I completed my version of a biathlon — using the stationary bike for 10 miles and running/walking a total of 5 miles on the day.

Here’s how that broke down:

  • First two miles: walking to and from my car (before work, lunchtime, and after work)
  • At the gym: I mimicked the Biker Babe workout from Tone It Up (see below.) After the first round (5 miles) I decided to hit the treadmill. I set another personal best, running a mile in 8 minutes! I followed that up with walking a mile and half (the last half on incline) and ending by running another half mile for a total of 3 miles. I then hopped back on the bike to do another 5 miles, which ended my gym session.
  • As part of the Biker Babe workout, there are additional strength exercises to be done with the biking. I did most of these after the miles were complete and did the rest at home (some exercises I prefer to do at home rather than in a crowded gym.

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I burned a personal record of 750 calories (in cardio)–which is great but seeing as I definitely didn’t eat enough to compensate, I did end up getting a little sick. Nonetheless, I feel pretty amazing having completed such a hard workout.

I also had a moment while looking in the mirror. I noticed how flat my stomach is getting, how cut my arms are getting, how different I really look…it’s a pretty phenomenal feeling and one that I’ve never had before. This challenge has truly done so much for me–not just physically but mentally. It’s slowly changing how I see myself and allowing me to get out of my own way.

This time next week, I will be giving the results of this mission. As far as the weight is concerned, for the first time probably ever  I’m not looking at the scale. I will weigh myself just for the purpose of this challenge but it was always more about how I looked as opposed to how little I weighed. Muscle weighs more than fat and I know by lifting and toning chances are my weight will not be a good reflection of my results. I hope to fit into a size 2 and look (and feel) good in a bikini. If those things happen and I can feel more confident at the beach this summer, than it was a success.

The finish line is in clear sight–time to make this count! Wish me luck everyone!

Stay strong and stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

 

 

Motivation Monday

With 9 days left in my 4-Weeks to Fit challenge, I decided to kick it into high gear today. I wanted to start my week off strong so I woke up an hour earlier than usual to do fasted cardio before work. After completing the Bikini Body workout (courtesy of the Tone It Up girls) this morning, I decided I would take advantage of the gorgeous summertime weather by spending my lunch hour walking 2 1/2 miles with co-workers. With it being cardio day, I knew this still wasn’t enough.

Despite being extremely tired and NOT wanting to workout anymore, I went to the gym for a run. Instead of giving up, I pushed it harder, gave it my all…and I ended up running my fastest 2-miles ever!

Words cannot begin to describe how great of a feeling it is to push yourself and accomplish something so great. A year ago I couldn’t run at all…but tonight I ran 2 miles in 17 minutes! If I can do it, anyone can.

Remember no matter what challenge you face, nothing worth having comes easy!

-Gina
TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

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Halfway Home

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Happy Friday everyone! Another week comes to an end and so does another week in my 4-Weeks to Fit Challenge!  I’ve reached the halfway point and I am noticing a significant difference in the definition of my arms and my stomach is much flatter. Another change has been with my stomach problems. For the most part, I haven’t had any flareups at all in the last two weeks–it’s like magically all of the problems I’ve suffered with for the last 12-13 years, have now disappeared. I’ve been begging my doctors for years to give me a diet but they never could–had I known that all I had to do was eat clean, I would’ve done this years ago.

I haven’t been posting my workouts and diet but here’s what I’ve been up to:

My workout regimen is alternating days of Upper Body/Abs, Lower Body/Abs, Cardio/Abs…repeat—no days off. On upper and lower body focused days, I incorporate 20-40 min of cardio (depending on intensity) after my leg or arm exercises. I am going to begin fasted cardio next week each morning before work to allow no room for this goal to not be met. This will be any one of the Bikini Series workouts, courtesy of the girls at Tone It Up. It will insure that I burn extra calories/fat and increase the toning that I’m doing.

My diet has been very strict, clean eating—keeping carbs only to my morning oatmeal (which has been accompanying 3 egg whites) and a sweet potato or brown rice with my lunch, which always includes some variation of protein.  My dinner on most nights has been tilapia with a vegetable. Upon the advice at a nutritionist at a local vitamin/nutrition shop, I purchased a fat burner pill along with more protein powder for my post-workout shakes. The pill dosage is one taken a half hour prior to eating both breakfast and lunch. The nutritionist looked at the diet plan I’m on and said to just add another meal or shake each day to boost calorie count but that everything else looked good. He was even impressed with the workout routine that I created for myself! My fingers (and toes) are crossed–I’m hoping that this all works and I am actually beach body ready in time for Memorial Day weekend…and my birthday.

While I’ve had cravings for various foods (mostly sweets), the biggest struggle thus far has been with my low energy levels and being incredibly tired all the time. I’m having a hard time structuring my day properly to allow time for dinner at a reasonable hour (before 8 pm) and enough sleep each night. Since I work 8-5 everyday, it’s a bit hard to juggle a long workout around that. I’ve been going after work but I think starting next week, I am going to begin utilizing my lunch hour to cut down the time spent at the gym each night. Hopefully, doing that will allow me to get to bed earlier and therefore get more sleep—something I have been seriously lacking.

No matter what, I know that with just 13 days left there’s no point in giving in to temptations or laziness now. Besides, it’s like I always say: nothing worth having comes easy!

Stay strong and stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

Struggling Through Week 2

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Happy Friday everyone!  Another weekend (and it’s temptations) are upon us so I thought this would be the perfect time to share the struggles I am facing in my 4-Weeks to Fit Challenge.

The super clean, super strict eating that I’ve been doing doesn’t allow sweets or many carbs. With the first week complete, I thought I was in the clear. However, my cravings have been crazy. I’ve wanted sweets almost every day, which I’ve been trying to curb by having a small amount of fruit rather than caving in to the candy that I really want. That’s obviously not satisfying but I’m doing my best.

I’ve also noticed a serious drop in my energy level. Besides not getting enough sleep, I know that I am not meeting my calorie goal. The exhaustion is resulting in an increase of coffee. I was down to one cup per day but that’s back up to two (and sometimes three) cups. At least I’ve taken to decaf so it’s not as much caffeine in my system but the small amount of coffee creamer (and added sugar) that I was allowing myself has also increased now as a result.

Every day is a new day and a chance to make improvements. I may be tired but I am still pushing myself to get to the gym everyday and giving 100% in every workout. By utilizing the MyFitnessPal app, I’m able to see how much I eat and what I need to change the next day. I find that eating more while I’m at work is when I have trouble—I’m already carrying so much food here every day that it becomes a burden. Still, I do what I can. I am finding motivation in the results that I’m seeing. While it may inconvenient, I know that I won’t be thinking twice once I achieve the goal that I set.

For the second half of this challenge, I will get even stricter with my diet and increase my workouts to include fasted cardio each morning. Until then I will try to get more sleep and continue to fight my cravings for “bad” foods.

I always say that nothing worth having comes easy…and this challenge is FAR from easy. Don’t let the struggle define you! Under three weeks to go–Let’s do this!

Stay strong and stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

One Week Down!

Hi everyone! My apologies on being MIA the last few days–I had intended on posting this blog yesterday but I didn’t get the chance. Today marks 1 full week in this 4-Weeks to Fit challenge…only three more until I can enjoy my birthday weekend knowing I have the hottest body that I’ve ever had!

While I am still struggling to meet the higher calorie goals, I am already seeing results. It’s only been one week but I’m noticing that my stomach is getting flatter and my arms are showing some definition. That being said, I don’t need any steps backwards.

This past weekend sure was a test of my own willpower and a test to my commitment to this challenge. I was tested several times over the course of the weekend as my friends would tell me “one won’t hurt.”  However, I know that one will hurt…because it’s never just one. And EVEN if it was…I’ve been working very hard and been extremely strict.

Despite being at a bar one night and being surrounded by delicious sweets the next, I did not cave. I am proud to say that with the help of one extremely supportive person who reminded me of my goal and helped me put it in perspective, I was able to resist all of it. En route to the bar, I made a stop at Dunkin Donuts for a large iced coffee. After having that conversation though, I was able to do something I would never dream of—I threw away more than half a cup of coffee away. Coffee itself isn’t bad but I’ve been depriving myself the Dunkin coffees due to the amount of calories and sugar in the flavors that I typically get. I consider it a small victory in this uphill battle that I am sure to continue facing.

Below you will find my diet and exercise summaries for the last four days. I hope you all embark on your own journey to a fabulous transformation today!

Stay strong and stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

journey

Clean-Eating diet:

Each day I began with a GNC Ultra Mega Active shake—mixed with coffee and almond milk. Yesterday I decided to switch it up and cut a half banana into it instead.

Breakfast: I had 3 egg whites and 1/3 cup of oatmeal with ½ tsp of cinnamon every day except Friday when I had a Yoplait Coconut Greek Yogurt and ½ banana.

Lunch was a struggle this weekend as I slept a little later and ran errands: Friday was a grilled chicken salad with chick peas, cucumbers, carrots, and a sprinkle of cheese, Saturday I had a small piece of grilled chicken with a corn salad and cottage cheese, Sunday—no lunch (Yes this was bad, I know it…) and yesterday I prepared a tuna salad—made with lime juice and brown rice and poured it into an avocado.

Snacks:  1 oz bag pistachios (Friday), almonds, green tea, cottage cheese.

Dinners: Tilapia with bruschetta sauce over brown rice (Friday), Saturday I went to Muscle Maker Grill and they very nicely prepared a no-carb option with veggies that I am able to eat with my stomach problems (It was called the Godfather—grilled chicken with roasted peppers, mushrooms, and non-fat cheese and I was given a side of asparagus), Sunday I had tuna over a salad, and last night I had my Italian stirfry (grilled chicken with zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers).

I maintained at least 8 glasses of water each day and had my AMP ripped strawberry protein shake after each workout.

Workouts:

Friday: Upper body- Day 4: 25 x 2- tricep push down (50 lbs), tricep extension (30 lbs), Machine Fly (30 lbs), Lat Pulldown (4 sets-front & back, 40 lbs), Mid Row (40 lbs), Lat Raise (dumbbell) (2-10 lb weights), Front Raises (dumbbell) 2-10 lb weights, Bicep curls (5 sets, 2-15 lbs weights), Tricep extension with dumbbell (10 lb); 25 pull-ups. Cardio: 2 mile walk

Saturday: Lower Body-Day 5: 25 x 4 – Hip Abduction/Adduction (75 lbs), Leg extension (50 lbs), Leg press (75 bs), Leg curls (50 lbs), seated calf raise (30 lbs); Squats (100), MaliBooty workout. Crunches: 25 x 2 (machine-weighted, 30 bs) , reverse crunch (25), Leg lifts (25), side crunches (50). Cardio: Arc Trainer-10 minutes, level 5 on Hills

Sunday: Cardio: Arc Trainer-30 min Abs: 250 crunches/ sit-ups: 50 sit-up, 25 reverse crunch, 25 leg lifts, 100 side crunches , 50 bicycle crunches

Monday: Upper Body: 25 x 2 – Tricep extension (30 lbs), Tricep pushdown (50 lbs), Machine Fly (30 lbs), Lat Pulldown (4 sets; 40 lbs), Mid Row (40 lbs), Lat raises (with dumbbells, 2- 5lb weights), front raises (with dumbbells, 2-5lb weights), Tricep extension with dumbbell (1 set, 5 lb), 25 pull-ups, 25 tricep dips. Cardio: Ran 1 mile in 8:50, walked to 10 minutes to cool down.