Everybody says don't get on the scale if you're lifting weights - TRACK YOUR BODY FAT. Trust me, they're right. Today marks three months since I began weight lifting at a women's small group training gym in my neighborhood, and unlike my past personal training experiences the weight (according to the scale) is not shifting as fast as it used to. There are several factors to take into account here:
- I'm (almost) 37 now. IT GETS HARDER WITH AGE - this is indisputable!
- Postpartum weight loss is TOUGHER. It's focused in my belly, the hardest to shift.
- My diet is cleaner, but not clean enough.
- The alcohol. Damn you, alcohol.
- I'M BUILDING MUSCLE. MUSCLE.
A former runner, I will admit it's been difficult to shift my thinking from cardio and calories to consuming more (good) fat and doing shorter (but much tougher) workouts through weight lifting. But it's working. Perhaps slower than I'm used to, but I'm focused on long-term results and a lifestyle I can maintain. This means making small but impactful changes in my behavior - and I've learned that takes more time and effort than adopting a new diet or exercise habit for a set amount of time. Real behavior change is real hard!
So where am I at now? After three months of eating a HIGH FAT diet, weight training three times per week and limited cardio (short bursts and one 5K run), I have lost 11 pounds and 4.3 percent of my body fat. Yeah, that's in bold because I'm PROUD of that!
While we are all used to hearing it's safe to lose 1-2 pounds of body weight per week there's not a lot of guidelines on body-fat loss. The American Council on Exercise recommends 1 percent loss per month, while Jillian Michaels will tell you to shed 1 percent a week! Obviously it all depends on your weight and body fat percent to start. That said, I feel I am losing both within a safe range, and while I'm pleased with my results I'm also ready to take it to the next level.
- My Mouth: Cleaner diet composed of 50% healthy fats; very limited alcohol consumption; an array of vitamins/supplements (more on that later)
- My Body: Solid 8 hours of sleep every night; continue 3 weekly weight training sessions; occasional family stroller run/race
- My Mind: Introduce a morning meditation ritual; practice patience with myself and others
Why? Because I want to be a Strong Mom and the healthiest I can be for this little guy.
Happy Mother's Day,
Love, this new Mom xox