The past few months have been bittersweet in terms of my health and fitness efforts. I’ve been going harder than ever before with my workouts, and I’ve really tried to hone in on my eating habits. The bitter? I haven’t lost one pound since May. The sweet? I definitely notice myself getting stronger, more toned, and am actually enjoying being active.
I’m still trying to get over the whole weight-isn’t-the-only-indicator-of-results thing, but it’s hard when that was my original goal. I’m still a size 8, and I certainly haven’t gained weight. I can see definition of new muscles that weren’t there before, but there are also still rolls and jiggle on top of them.
Meanwhile, I’m killing it at the gym. Earlier this year, I had created my own little workout routine after looking up suggestions online. It made me feel great for a while, but my body got used to it quickly and I didn’t know where to go from there. A couple months ago, Adam gifted me eight sessions with a personal trainer. I liked that too, but the sessions were short and it was too expensive to continue.
While I was still doing my personal training, I was invited to try out the Tough Mudder Bootcamp here in Las Vegas. It’s a group fitness gym with classes dedicated to circuit training HIIT workouts. I was really hesitant at first, because I didn’t think I was equipped to tackle anything bearing the Tough Mudder name. I was surprised that the class had moves for people in all stages of their fitness path, but still encouraged you to push your hardest. It didn’t take long until I was pretty much in love with this place. Not only was I getting the best workouts, burning more calories than ever (according to my Apple Watch) but the atmosphere is so inviting. It’s not competitive at all. Not only do the coaches encourage you, but other people in class shout you out throughout the workout too. It’s so supportive, and being in a group of people who genuinely want everyone in the class to feel accomplished is refreshing and empowering.
It was at Tough Mudder Bootcamp that I started to see more results in my body. I can start leveling up my weights, I can do more reps of moves I was struggling with in the beginning, and I’m far from a “beginner” now. I highly recommend checking out if there’s a location in your area— your first class is free! Whether or not you’re actually interested in running the race, it’s a great workout that delivers results.
As far as my diet, I’ve tried a bunch of different things with little results leading up til now. Low carb is definitely the biggest fad right now, but I know it’s just not sustainable for me and my lifestyle. So I tried sticking to just counting calories, which has worked in the past. I felt like I could be doing more, though. I found out about a test called FiT iQ by Pathway. It’s a DNA test that you send in for their scientists to analyze, and they send you back a report with a ton of fitness recommendations based on your DNA! I thought this was so fascinating because instead of just going with whatever the most popular diet of the month was, I could narrow down what is more likely to work with my body.
Pathway sent me a test for review, and I was really surprised with the results after they analyzed my DNA sample. What you get back in your report is: a recommended diet type, a recommended exercise routine, as well as other nutritional and physical traits that are influenced by your genes such as eating behaviors and weight gain/loss.
I learned that the most effective diet for me would be a Mediterranean Diet, which focuses on complex carbs, healthy fats and lean protein. (Yay! I could eat carbs!) Other diets you could be matched with include Balanced, Low Carb or Low Fat. I’m so glad I didn’t get low carb, haha. It also outlined that I would have an increased benefit by working in more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats into my diet with foods like fish, avocado, and dark leafy veggies. The report said that I’d have an enhanced benefit to strength training as well as endurance training when it came to my workout routine— I definitely get strength training during bootcamp, so on “off’ days, I’m doing about 30-40 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill.
There’s a ton more info but those were the two factors I was really looking forward to learning. It’s just really nice to be able to cut through all the trendy suggestions of the internet and figure out, based on your own DNA, what might work best for you so that you can hit the ground running. Check out the test on Amazon here!
So even though I may not have lost any weight, I physically feel better than ever. I am getting stronger, and enjoy seeking out new opportunities to be active like running 5Ks and hiking. The Mediterranean Diet feels like a good fit as well, because it doesn’t seem like I’m restricting anything too heavily. I’m focusing on making sure the majority of carbs I eat are complex (whole grain) and that I’m eating more lean protein such as chicken and fish rather than red meat.
If you’re interested in more fitness updates, please let me know! And also feel free to share your own updates with me so we can cheer each other on. Fitness has been a big part of my life this year— it might be the first year that I actually stuck to my resolution about being more consistent with exercise! I wanted to share with you what’s been working for me, even if it may not work for you. I think the main thing is, you really have to find something that makes you feel great, not necessarily sticking to the latest trends.