Sunday, April 10, 2011

Q&A Session: The Answers Part 2

I'm really excited everyone liked the first Part of my Q&A session! Here's some more questions that I received, and always feel free to post more questions on the bottom or message me questions! I'm happy to keep this going as long as people have questions to ask. Especially since I'm really starting to see the results from busting my plateau. I've been right around 149 lbs for the past 2 day, which is a new record low for me!
Ok, on to the questions!
1.) What are your daily workouts like? Do you think it's mainly diet that helped you to lose? Do you give yourself cheat days? 
First off, my workouts have changed quite a bit since I first started. When I started exercising, I was using the EA Sports Active game for the Wii (and using the free gym in my office building twice a week, on the elliptical). Then I did the 30 Day Shred, then I took up Chalean Extreme and started trying to run on the treadmill. Then I did Turbo Fire for a few months. THEN I joined a gym, got a trainer, and now I run 5K a few days a week (either treadmill or trail outside) and have a personal training session, and I throw in some other cardio machines on the days I don't feel like running or I need a running break. Phew... that's a lot of variety! And I think that's the key to success! Mix it up! I don't think it's just diet that you have ot change, you need to change your whole lifestyle! I started eating better, my workouts were building muscle (which dieting alone won't do), and I started getting into a healthy mindset.
I do allow myself to enjoy a treat on occasion. Mainly, it's dinner and beer with my boyfriend once a week and I never log it. But that doesn't mean I go nuts. I'll still pick a somewhat healthy option and try to keep it to 2-3 beers (I rarely go over that, I'm a lightweight now!) I can honestly say I've never really deprived myself this whole time, I just make smart decisions. Do I really want that cupcake or cake when I know I'm already close to my calories or I won't get to workout. If I stop and think about it, 90% of the time I choose not to.
2.) Should you lose weight first then try to tone up as you go? And any issues with flabby stomach/loose skin?
I've been doing strength training since the beginning, and I think that's important for a few reasons. First, if you build up muscle, you will burn more calories at rest than if you don't strength train. This helps you to burn more calories on a daily basis and you have the potential to lose faster. Second, you'll look MUCH better at a higher weight. I've had several people tell me they don't believe I weight 150, including nurses at a doctor's office! This is because I've built up some nice muscle. My arms are toned and my legs are getting toned and under my muffin top are abs! So even though I weigh 150, I'm a size 6! Yep, SIX! So my goal is 135-140, and I know I'll look like I weight quite a bit less. I'm happy with that. And yes, perhaps i could have lost more weight if I didn't focus on strength training, but I wouldn't look nearly as good.
As for loose skin, it hasn't been a major issue for me and I've lost 66 pounds. That being said, it's hard to judge what the case will be in another 10 pounds. I think the plateau has almost been a good thing because my stomach is starting to flatten out. There's still fat there, but it's not loose skin. My inner thighs are still kinda jiggly, but again, fat and not loose skin. The only minor problem area is my underarms (aka bat wings). If I hold my arms straight out, the skiin is a bit loose there, but it's not really noticeable because my upper arms and shoulders are quite toned right now. But I'm 24, never had kids, and genes are on my side. I can't say everyone will have the same luck as me.
3.) On the Biggest Loser this week, Brett told Courtney that she had to increase her calories and bring down her exercise burn. What do you think about that theory and have you tried it?
Honestly, when I watched that part of the show, I was practically jumping up and down in joy. FINALLY the Biggest Loser is acknowledging that not everyone can sustain a low calorie, high exercise diet forever! Courtney had been losing weight for a year, lost 200 pounds, and it was clear to me 2 weeks ago she was starting to plateau. And the fact that Brett brought it up and they showed it on camera made me SO happy! Yes, once you've reached a plateau after eating low calorie for 6+ months and/or you're close to a healthy weight, you will need to EAT MORE! That's one of my biggest campaign issues right now. EAT MORE! Your body needs fuel and it's running out of fat to burn (even if your jiggly stomach and thighs think otherwise). If you starve it AND burn 600 calories a day, it's going to rebel. I can say that is the #1 reason I've broken my plateau. I eat upwards of 1600 calories a day now. And ya know what, I've lost at least half a pound a week since I started seeing it work. So don't be afraid to eat more!
4.) If you burn 900 calories one day and don't eat them all back, do you use them for the next day? Or does it start over every day?
Personally, I try to approach each day on it's own. i don't really carry over big burns to mean I can eat more the next day. That being said, I tend to stick to around the same amount of calories daily, regardless of working out. So I eat 1600 give or take a day. Some days that means I've eaten back half of my exercise calories. On rest days that means I'm technically over. But I do think it all evens out and it's essentially zig zagging my calories. It's what works for me, but just because I burned 1000 calories in a really intense workout session, I won't go the next day and eat a cheeseburger. In fact, I don't remember the last time I ate a cheeseburger... WOW!
5.) I saw in your last Q&A that your trainer has you doing "good cardio", what are examples of "bad cardio"? I hope it's not the elliptical because I love that thing... 
In my opinion, there aren't really "bad cardio" machines at all. But if you can chat on your cell phone, talk to your buddy next to you, and your makeup stays intact throughout that workout, that's bad cardio (and you're taking up valuable machines that REAL people need to use...). You're not getting your heart rate up, pushing your body, or doing anything meaningful. My trainer defines good cardio as really pushing myself and getting my heart rate up. So I'll do the stairmaster, the ellptical on a HIGH resistance, or running on the treadmill. I can really use any machine, but I have to make it a challenge. That's what i mean by "good cardio".
Looks like I'm out of questions! If you want to see a Part 3 and have questions that I didn't already answer, post below please!! I'd love to keep this going. 

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