Today is the official halfway point in my New Rules of Lifting for Women Program, Phase 1. I've been at it for 3 full weeks and I'm definitely hooked.
The progress has definitely been mixed. I haven't actually lost any weight, but eating more calories every day (I upped it about 400-500 calories from what I was eating) hasn't made me gain weight it seems like either. That was my major concern with following the eating plan, and so far it's worked out well. I fluctuate between 155 and 158 depending on the day and what I've eaten and such. I've added in mostly healthy calories too, but it's nice that I have a little extra cushion when I do treat myself. I definitely earned my Guinness beers this weekend for St. Patrick's Day, my boyfriend and I walked to the pub and back for a round trip of at least 4 miles.
As for the workout part of the program, I've increased the weights I've been using on every exercise. I started with only 60 lbs on a squat and I've been able to go up to 115 lbs by switching to the squat rack and using the padded foam thing to cushion the bar. I find kettlebells work really well for step ups and lunges, they're much easier to hold on to than dumbbells. I can tell my upper body is improving. I'm hoping to do the more difficult form of the push up by the end of Phase 1, right now I can do regular ones on my toes on the floor. I think the next step is lifting up a leg or something, yikes!
I was a bit dubious about not doing as much cardio, but this program is still getting my HR up as much as when I'm on the Stairmaster or something. It ranges between 150-180 depending on what I'm doing, so I'm still burning lots of calories. I start and end with 10-15 minutes of cardio, so overall it's a power packed hour of exercise. My plan this week is for Mon, Wed and Fri for New Rules workouts, tomorrow I'm judging a middle and high school science fair (so nerdy, I love it) and Thursday I'm gonna aim to run outside to get in one more run before my 5K on Sunday. Then I'm taking Saturday off so I'm rested for the 5K, but I suspect Randy and I will be walking around DC or something.
I took measurements when I started 3 weeks ago and I'll do measurements again when I finish. My body fat % was at 29.7% to start with. I'd love to get it down a bit after these first 6 weeks, not sure how accurate the hand held device is though. But it's at least a point of reference. It's really the measuring tape that will tell though.