Well, here we are quite a few weeks after starting my Self-care and Self-Healing centered workout and life plan/goals. For those who are wondering about the timeline of my posts since only a couple of weeks ago did I post Part 1), I procrastinate a lot- I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that…
So yes, it has actually been about a month since I actually completed this little experiment. So, let’s begin and see how everything went-
My goals were simple:
- Get more sleep
- Make Healthier Choices/Reduce Binge and/or emotional stress eating.
- Stay under or at my maintenance calories
- Workout 2-3 times a week (remembering to listen to my body and modify or change that days workout to whatever I feel is a better option)
How did we do? Well let’s see, shall we?
- Get more sleep
The original goal was to get at least 7.5 hours a week starting with at least 3 out of 7 days. Let me say, this was difficult- I mentioned in part 1 that figuring out when I SHOULD go to bed would be a bummer since that would cut into my alone time with my husband and my chilling in bed on my phone time.
The first week I only got one night that had 7.5+ hours of sleep- the self-discipline was hard, but priorities, right? The second and third week I got 2 then 3 nights of 7.5+ hours of sleep- small victories do matter, yay! By the fourth week I was able to reach my goal of 7.5+ hours of sleep at least 3 nights that week. In so, I have been able to keep this goal of at least 3 nights a week and sometimes even 4 nights *gasp*. Surprisingly, moving up my bed time did not interfere at all with spending time with Husband- we would normally shoot for a 11pm turn in (he does have to get up a bit early for work and in all honesty I’m the one who is the night owl) so that time was able to stay relatively unchanged. Now, my nightly phone time did have to be modified
I ended up needing to set my fitbits “time to get ready for bed reminder” to 11:15pm, as to remind myself that the clock was ticking- I would need to officially be off of my phone by 11:30pm. Obviously, some days were easier than others, hence the slow start of just trying to get 3 nights of proper enough sleep.
*Raises fists in air*
But hey, you have to start somewhere.
2. Make Healthier Choices/Reduce Binge and/or emotional stress eating
Over the last few weeks I actually did reasonably well with this one. I can only recall one actual complete over-indulgence episode but it really was just me allowing myself to say “you know? What let’s just enjoy our food”- this particular time was not tied to any emotional eating or negative emotional space. For me, personally it really helped me to not “black” list or banish any food from my diet, but to ask myself questions concerning my cravings e.g. “Am I actually hungry?, Am I upset or what am I feeling right now?, What flavor or texture am I actually looking for?, etc. In which this leads us into the next item on my list-
3. Stay under or at my maintenance calories
Like I mentioned earlier I had one actual over indulgence occurrence, in which yes, I ate like 2800 calories, but that is okay. There is no punishment (i.e. reducing calories the next day or exercising more) it is what it is and it was an allowed more or less positive experience. Overall, for my calories I ended up sticking to between 1800-2000 calories with an average daily calorie burn of 2300 calories. So, no large calorie deficit for expedited weight loss, but a slow and steady very do-able, not feeling deprived, gradual reduction in weight.
4. Workout 2-3 times a week
(remembering to listen to my body and modify or change that days workout to whatever I feel is a better option)
This one I was able to stick to pretty well and working out less definitely took the stress off of me. In case you didn’t know, I work out during my daughters afternoon nap time, which normally is about an hour and a half, in so I try to work out, shower, work on the blog, and even edit some YouTube videos. So, yes, I have a problem with trying to jam too many activities into a small window of time. This in itself is unhealthy and certainly leads back to stress, the release of stress hormones, then feeling overwhelmed, tired, and wanting to stress eat, etc. So, with cutting back on my workouts that definitely gave me more time to make other items on my agenda a priority. Overall, I kept my workouts to 30 minutes or less and the workout break down was a lower body/abs day, an upper body/abs day, and either a stretch/yoga day or a general low impact cardio workout day (e.g. jogging in place, walking in place, or I used my peddler). A workout week would look something like this:
|Rest||Lower body/abs||Rest||Upper body/abs||Rest||Low impact cardio or stretch||Rest|
As you can see, not a super intense schedule by any means, but you’re probably interested in what the actual workouts entailed as well, hence here we go-
I had previously skimmed books such as The 4 Hour Body and then found a few articles written primarily for men, but with the emphasis on minimal exercise for maximum results. Since I was interested in a fitness routine that was minimal effort and maximum results so this is what I settled on concerning primarily lower body/abs:
Lower Body/Abs: All exercises are to be completed 3 times through, e.g exercise 1, followed by 2, then 3, would equal 1 set. Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 sets.
- KettleBell swings x75– Can be done with or without weight (I actually started mine without weights then worked my way up to one 2lb weight- I was not about to hurt myself or push too much since that’s a problem I have)
- Reminder- Form is very important for kettle bell swings even without weights. Here is a link to a youtube video I found that shows proper KettleBell Swing Form.
- Kettle bell swings are pretty much a whole body workout in themselves- you’re gonna work your glutes, hamstrings, back, and your abs as well as get the heart rate and heart pumping.
- Cat Vomits x10-15-I eventually worked my way up to doing about 15 of these during each set, but they got kind of tedious pretty fast, I’m not gonna lie. HIIT Academy gives a pretty good description plus a video on how to do them that I have linked above. In short you move your body like a cat throwing up (lovely, I know), but you should be engaging you core/transverse abdominis during the upward/exhaling motion.
- Like I said they did get tedious after a while particularly if you’re someone like me who once you’re sweating you like to GO, GO, GO, but I did feel they were effective considering how weak my core is/was.
- Myotatic Crunches x10-15– These are very similar to regular crunches with the difference of lengthening your body more by keeping your hands above your head and either bosu ball under your back or a pillow. Here is a very short video as to demonstrate.
Overall the lower body/abs workout takes about 30 minutes depending on speed/general fitness level and my average calorie burn for this workout was 285 calories.
Upper Body/Abs: This one is a combo of P90x Chest and Back, Arms, and P90x3, The challenge. It’s a combo in the sense that there are moves from all three of the workouts condensed into a 30 minutes or less workout routine. My routine was as follows:
Push Ups– 10-14 reps (modified)
Lawnmowers– 20 reps with 5-7.5lb pair of dumbbells
Military Push Ups (00:30-1:00)- 10-12 reps (modified)
Back Fly’s (00:15-1:02)- 15-20 reps with 5lbs dumbbells
Wide Fly Push Ups– 10-12 reps (modified)
Heavy Pants (00:55-1:48)- 15-20 reps with 7.5lb pair of dumbbells
Diamond Push up– 10-15 reps (modified)
Bicep Curls– 15-20 reps with 5-7.5lbs dumbbells
Shoulder Press– 15-20 reps, 5-7.5lb dumbbells
All moves are to be completed within a timed one minute, with a 45 second to a minute break in between individual exercises, and as well as twice through- so all nine exercise moves repeated twice for a total of 18. I chose to follow Tony’s advice (P90x’s Tony Horton) as in one of the P90x videos he suggests everyone pick a number and that is your goal number of reps-once you hit your number the rest of the time becomes your additional break time (I chose 10 as my “goal” number). I also incorporated ballistic stretching and light walk/jogging in place during all of my break times to help increase the calorie burn. (Also here is another link where each exercise in P90x’ Chest & Back is explained, the writer also gives some extra tips and pointers 😉
Overall the upper body/abs workout takes 30 minutes or less (about 15 minutes if you only go through the moves once) and burns about 150-200 calories depending on how many sets you do.
Low impact cardio or stretch– is exactly as it sounds! Pick your workout- walk, jog, yoga, etc. I tended to watch a youtube video (video essays are my jam) so I was learning and working out at the same time! (Still only a 20 or 30 minute workout though)
So did I lose weight? Did I lose inches? Yes!
Dates-May 23rd, 2021- June 20th, 2021
Weight- 197.4 lbs—195.4lbs
Body Fat%- 46.7—-46.4
As you can see from the pictures, particularly from the back I did shrink a bit especially around the love handle/high hip area. Overall I lost 2lbs, 2.43 inches all over, 0.3% body fat which I consider to be pretty good considering this wasn’t a going super hard workout and “diet” plan- it was very do-able, slow and steady.
Overall concerning the workouts, weight loss, and any body recompositioning that may have occurred, I felt this was actually a pretty doable and sustainable workout routine as well as it did give acceptable results. If a hardcore routine is just too much or you don’t have the time- or plain just don’t want to push yourself too much then yes, this routine and weight loss deficit plan might be something you’re interested in. Let’s say you did this routine and kept your calories around 300 below maintenance level then over a course of a year you could see up to 24lbs of weight loss, up to 30 inches all over, and 3.6% Body fat reduction! Obviously, this really all depends are your starting weight and very individual body composition but…that’s still pretty cool!
Through my whole little self-experiment I did feel accomplished afterward. Getting more sleep was definitely something I needed to start putting more of emphasis on and making it a priority. Then with acknowledging my emotional/stress eating really was the first step in regaining that more so healthy relationship with food that in conjunction with giving myself more grace, understanding, and listen/asking myself the right questions has definitely helped me get a better foothold on tackling this issue day by day. Lastly, as my emphasis has been not only on weight loss but getting back to that strong, confident, and physically capable woman that I know is still deep in there- lessening my workouts but making them extra purposeful and treating myself with the grace and respect I know I deserve has been extremely helpful. It’s not always about the finish line, but the journey along the way is where the real lessons are learned.