R’s 6-month body makeover challenge!

UPDATE 10/13: after 4 weeks of running, I’ve managed to sprain my knee. I’m not sure right now how long it will be before I’m allowed to run again, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to restart my program over again. So for now we’ll just play this by ear.

OK. I’ve let it go too long! I am out of shape, and weigh more than I care to admit. I’ve been half-heatedly tracking my calories, and lifting weights 3 times per week, but I’m not really making and big steps forward. So this is my challenge to myself. I am giving myself 6 month to make over my body. Months 1-3 will be focused on weight loss, months 4-6 will be focused of muscle definition and toning.

In months 1-3, my goal is to track my calories every single day, using Lose It on my phone, and I’ll be starting the Couch to 5K challenge. I’m not new to running, in fact I’ve done 4, 10-mile races, and 3 triathlons (sprint distance). However, I haven’t been running much in the last two years, and for the last 3 months, I’ve been completely sidelined due to plantar fasciitis. I’m getting it under control, and just bought new shoes, so I’m finally able to do 30 minutes (SLOW minutes) on the treadmill. It’s time to get at least a 3-mile base back. I will continue the weightlifting routine I have now (which is focused on short, heavy, full-body exercises).

In months 4-6, I plan on changing my focus. Instead of just tracking calories, I an going to start trying to eat 90% Paleo (I do the Paleo Diet for Athletes, which allows some carbs around endurance workouts). I am also going to start following a rigorous weightlifting plan (here), which focuses on lifting heavy weights which target specific muscle groups. I will continue running 3 miles, 3 times per week, as well as other cardio as I see fit.

I will post weekly, Saturday, updates on how I am doing, along with monthly progress photos, the first of every month.

Now for some boring stuff, in case I actually inspire anyone to work out. Before you start ANY workout routine, check with your doctor! Don’t be afraid to ask for help of you don’t know how weights are supposed to work. Hiring a personal trainer who can show you the right form for every exercise is a great idea if you’re new to weightlifting.

I am cleared as healthy enough to work out, I have taken multiple weightlifting classes, hired personal trainers, running and swimming coaches, and also used to be an aerobic instructor. I know the gym. I know my body. I know the difference between ‘sore’ and ‘injured’. I know how to toe the fine line between ‘pushing yourself’ and ‘overtraining’. I realize a healthy calorie deficiency is only 300-500 cal/day, and I know healthy weightless is 0.5-2 lbs/week.

I also know what a healthy weight is for my body. I don’t expect to look like a 17-year-old air-brushed model. I want to be fit. I’m fine being a real person.

I say this because we are a generation who expect Biggest Loser results. I HATE that show! They don’t show the personal trainers, the personal chefs, the doctors and physical therapists who are all monitoring the contestants 24/7. I’ve even heard rumors that a ‘week’ on that show is 10 days long instead of 7 days, so that the weight loss looks more extreme. It is not healthy!! Not even with 24/7 constant monitoring, but especially not for every-day people who work 40 hours/week, take care of their house, family, and whatnot. It is vitally important to know your limits. Not to expect too much. And to realize that rest is just as important as working out.

Getting off my soapbox…

Wish me luck! And I hope my journey will be an inspiration to someone else. If I can do it, you can too!

Here is my official “before” picture :-S. I am starting at exactly 55.0 lbs above my goal weight.



About casadezhang

J and I got married in August 2010, and purchased our first house in May 2012. I decided to start a blog so I can ramble on about all the thing I find interesting. How is this different than any other home/life blog? It's probably not - but I just like to talk :). I'm not the best at updating my blogs, but I'll try to update at least once a week, or whenever anything interesting happens :).
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