I mentioned awhile back that my weight-loss had been slowing down. While it hadn’t stopped completely, I wasn’t losing at the rate I had been, wanted to, or knew that I could be. I want to be efficient in my weight loss, so I knew that a change was in order.

The first thing I knew (besides the not losing weight at the rate I desired) is that I was extremely tired. I was doing a serious amount of exercise per day, the same amount as usual, but I was sooooo tired during the day and ready for bed way before bed-time came around each night.

I began to do some research, and came to the conclusion that I was being a cardio freak! I was running, swimming, walking and elliptical, and it just wasn’t a balanced plan. At that time, I wasn’t doing any strength training (i.e. weights). Instead of building muscle that burns calories for me, I was trying to keep up and burn them one-by-one. When you have a significant amount of weight to lose, this may be effective for a little while, but eventually, you will come to the place where you can’t keep up. I came to that place a few weeks ago, and boy did it suck!

Of course, you do need to include a good amount of cardio in your exercise, but after a certain level, there’s really not a point to do continue doing so much, and you can even cause your body to be stressed out (and release stress hormones), and then you for sure won’t be losing any weight. Not a good thing.

As I explained in a previous post, it’s important to rev up your metabolism so that it will burn calories for you. Keep doing different movements and vary the kinds of exercise you do so that your body is thrown off, and doesn’t develop a way to burn calories more efficiently.

I knew I wanted to continue my running plan, because I intend to run a 5K race in December, and want to keep training for that. I also knew that I still wanted to do my swimming plan because it is such an enjoyable way to get a good amount of cardio exercise, plus it builds muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, and core.

I decided to add a strength training routine, with weights, to start building more muscles! For now, I am doing a program from a book called “The Body Sculpting Bible Express for Women,” a little bit modified, of course. Another added bonus of doing weight training is that my arms (what I’ve previously considered the weakest part of my body) are toning up! I keep flexing my new muscles at Nick! 🙂

I’m also doing pushups and core training, which are great muscle-building exercises.

Another change I’ve made in the last few days was to really buckle down and keep an extremely detailed food journal, as well as weighing out EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth. By doing this (and keeping track of how many calories I’m burning through exercise), I’m able to know exactly what my deficit for the day is (see The Formula post for more explanation).

It’s working!

I have started losing weight at the level I had been used to (between Monday morning and this morning, I lost 1.2 lbs)!

A few other things I’ve been doing:

I’ve been going to a Zumba class with a few other women in the Albuquerque area. If you’re in the Albuquerque area, come join us! It’s at Dance Dimensions on Thursdays from 6:15 to 7:15. It’s turned out to be just us in the class (6 of us and the instructor), and it’s so much fun! Your first class is free, and after that, it’s $6 a class.

Here’s a little bit more about Zumba (The actual example starts around 3:35, but before that they explain what Zumba is.):

I’ve also joined a yoga class. I’ve never been to a yoga class before (just done some yoga from a DVD), but there’s a place here that is offering a 4-week Introduction to Yoga Series, so I’ll be doing that starting next Tuesday evening. I’ll be sure and let you know my thoughts about that…

OH! And I made it through the whole time surrounding my birthday without gaining any weight. In fact, I managed to lose about 2 lbs. during the week surrounding it. Happy birthday to me, indeed!

That’s all for now.
Hope you are all doing well!