I always thought that if I lost weight, I would automatically be fit. I thought that all through my weight-loss adventure, but when I actually got closer to my desired weight, I realized that losing weight is not the same as being fit.
I made huge progress and was able to consistently keep off those extra pounds (or I should say dozens of them), and I thought losing fat was my only priority, but that extra skin was still there. And I was just ‘skinny’, compared to my old self:), but I wasn’t fit. My triceps, biceps, hips, and belly didn’t look very attractive.
I needed to get fit. Ever since, I have implemented an exercise routine: 4-6 yoga exercises that are great for stretching before and after workout, as well as for all muscle groups. I also signed up for belly dance lessons once a week. My body started to transform bit by bit.
I will now take a moment and get off the subject to tell you about this significant event in my life. One day during my belly dance class, we had a group performance in an old theater building downtown. Belly dancers from different states came there for the event, along with friends and relatives.
My parents, my husband, and my daughter were sitting in the audience. I was very nervous, because I had never done anything like this in my life! Once again I have pushed myself to a new level.:)
Our group was called on stage, and we started walking up the stairs. As my foot touched the stage, I started feeling nauseous and dizzy. At first, I thought it was a stage fright. But 30 seconds later, I realized: “Wait a second, I know this feeling, I know this nausea… I’m pregnant again!”
That belly dance performance will always have a special place in my heart!:)
OK, back to the exercise. To give you an idea of the routine that helped me get fit: I attended belly dance classes until I was on my 8th month of pregnancy, but I was working out on the elliptical machine as well. Additionally, before each elliptical session I did 10-15 minutes per day of various exercises, such as yoga, abs, or lifting weights to tone my arms. I would alternate different days between abs and arms. And I did 5-10 minutes of yoga/stretching exercises after working out on an elliptical machine, five days a week.
By the way, my treadmill broke during my first pregnancy, and I decided to purchase an elliptical machine, which is not as harsh on my bones and joints, and not as much pounding. I am on my 10th year using the elliptical and I’m very glad that I have switched. I definitely would recommend elliptical machine over the treadmill.
To help me stay consistent with my workouts, I drew a connection between my professional work and my workouts. Both of these had to happen on the same day. If I worked five days a week, then I would work out five days a week as well.
You can use another rhythm, but it is extremely important to have one. Without specific schedule and rules, it is easy to slack off, to find a reason for why you can skip your workout today.
Create rules for yourself and commit to them. Your Commitment is the biggest key to success in your weight loss journey.
Be flexible. If something is not effective for you, substitute it with another workout routine.
There are different theories regarding weather you should exercise the same muscle group the same day or on different days. I will not be an advocate for one or another. But I will tell you that it is extremely important to exercise different muscle groups besides just losing weight. Notice what works for you and implement it into your routine.
And always remember to celebrate your wins. When you have noticed that you have lost some weight or certain muscles got toned – celebrate it by doing something you like, reward yourself by buying a smaller size jeans, or something else that will make you feel good.;)
Take care of yourself and make your health and happiness a priority. It is not selfish to love yourself.
I came across a nice quote (not sure who is the author): “Take care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup.”