I know you definitely don't read this blog for weight-loss tips and gym success stories, but I promised you guys I'd update you on the 8-week transformation challenge at my new gym if I did well, so here we go. This is your warning: the post is longer than my usual posts, has pictures of me in a bikini at my heaviest weight to date, and talks about workouts and nutrition plans. If that's boring to you - skip it :)
8 weeks ago we kicked off the challenge with a bunch of measurements, before pictures, and a dunk in a hydrostatic tank for body fat % readings. Then to end the 8 weeks, we did all of that again. Some of you who follow me on other social media already saw one set of before/after photos, but here's the rest (before on left, after on right):
Overall I lost ten pounds of fat and gained one pound of muscle, netting me a loss of 9 total pounds in 8 weeks. I lost 10" (we measured in 5 spots: chest, waist, hips/butt, right thigh, right bicep) from the measurements - 6" of them from my waist alone! I lost 5% body fat. And - and this doesn't show up in any measurements - I'm using heavier weights when we work out, I'm able to row on the rowers faster and for longer durations before I'm totally winded, and I'm doing things like box jumps, which terrified me before I started, with ease.
The gym I go to is AMAZING (locals: check it out) and has elements of cardio built in with weight lifting - but isn't a crossfit gym. We do kettlebell workouts, boxing, yoga, bodyweight workouts, and barbell/TRX/ropes/a million other things. I love it because it took something that was a bit too intense for me (crossfit) and pulled out all the elements I love - and then created a gym that incorporates other types of exercise too. If I haven't made it clear yet, I obviously am joining the gym full-time now that the 8 weeks are over!
The transformation challenge had a nutrition aspect to it as well, but what I loved about it was that we weren't doing Whole 30 (or 60 in this case?) or Clean Eating, although we used a lot of those elements - instead, we were told to make small changes that were maintainable after the challenge ended. We focused on getting the right balance of protein, carb, and veggie in each meal, not snacking, and drinking a TON of water. I quickly realized that this meant 2 key things for me: I could still drink red wine, and I would have to get a bit creative with work travel if I wasn't supposed to be snacking.
And it was way easier than I thought it would be. As soon as I focused on getting enough protein, I wasn't hungry between meals, I was eating more creative options at work lunches (no more blah salads) and I was still enjoying a glass of red wine after a long day of work. And I wasn't perfect. I ate birthday cake for my friend's 30th birthday. I had a beer a few times after a long day. I ate dessert when we went out to date nights. I forgot breakfast a few times, and lunch a few times, and even dinner once - just because I got busy - and then was starving when it wasn't meal time. But that's life - that's a maintainable system, if you ask me - where all of that can still happen, and I still lose fat, gain muscle, and feel incredibly healthy and strong.
Yesterday, to celebrate my hard work during the 8 weeks, I ate a donut for breakfast before heading to the driving range to hit a bucket of balls. I ate a balanced but really late lunch, and then drank two beers at the Seahawks game, skipping dinner because our lunch was so late in the day and the beer had filled me up and I just wasn't hungry. And today I'm back at it, eating a balanced breakfast, drinking a ton of water, and blocking out my gym time on the calendar for the rest of the week. I love knowing that when I get to Hawaii on Friday, I'm going to feel amazing tossing on a bikini to snorkel with my husband and frolic around with my family. And maybe I'll show you another update come my 30th birthday in March, which is when I hope to have lost another 3-5% body fat!
Any questions? Let me know in the comments!