Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Get Back To Your Wedding Weight.

     A lot changes after you get married.  I quit smoking, had a son, we built a home, and I started to garden for the first time.

     I also stopped working, which for me meant acting, singing, and dancing.   In the past, where there had always been another part to audition for, or another evening rehearsal to keep me from going to bed on a full stomach, evenings meant great dinners, snuggling, and family time.

     For a woman who thought she would never get married and have a child, (once you reach age 33 in Los Angeles, you start to think that ship has sailed, as silly as that seems now), it was a dream come true.  Still, when my lifestyle changed my body changed, to the point where six years after my son was born, I was still pushing 160 pounds at a height of only 5'1".  That's a BMI of 30.2: officially in the obese category.

Had I been dieting?  You bet I had.  Here's a partial list of my diets:

Weight Watchers
South Beach
Low Fat/Low Calorie
Atkins
Cabbage Soup
Diet Center
Grapefruit Diet
Silver Cloud
And so on.

Had I been working out?  Here's a list of the ways I tried to work the fat off:

Step Aerobics
Treadmill
Weight Machines
Walking
Yoga
Hour long elliptical sessions (when I could find an available machine).
Personal Training Sessions
Masters Swimming
Spinning
And so on.

     I finally released the fat when I entered the Turbulence Training Transformation Contest.  (If you click the link, you'll go to the sales page for the program I followed.)  By December of 2010 I was at my "High School Skinny" weight of 117 pounds, and I could hardly believe that I was seeing myself when I looked in the mirror.  At age 46 I looked and felt so much better than I had in High School.  Unfortunately, I took my achievement for granted and started experimenting with "Diets" again.  The next diet I tried: 4 Hour Body (Sorry Tim) put 10 pounds back on me so fast it made my head spin.  What did I expect from eating beans and bingeing every Saturday?  (In defense of that plan, the once a week "eat whatever you like day" wasn't supposed to turn into a binge, that was my mistake.)

     From the start of 2011 until today I have continued to struggle with my weight.  After earning my ACE  certification, getting my Zumba license, becoming a Certified Turbulence Trainer, and opening my fitness business, I discovered that being a trainer isn't always synonymous with being slim.  If anything, my new job increased my appetite to a level I hadn't experienced since I was pregnant.

     Ever since this January, when I re-joined weight Watchers for the accountability, I've been doing great during the work week, and then re-storing most of the fat I'd released by overeating on the weekends.

     Then, on the 9th of March, I decided to commit completely to the eating principles that had served me so well in the past.  If you've been reading this blog lately you know the principles, but I'll list them again.

3 Meals A Day: No Snacking
No Sugar, Grains, or Alcohol
Plan and Commit to a Menu each Morning

     The result?  This morning, for the first time in I'm not sure how long, I'm back at my wedding weight of 127.  So above you can see how I've been eating, but another key to why this is working has to do with what I'm doing.

     Let's take a closer look at that.  Here is my teaching schedule- which is also my training schedule, although I promise that my clients and students come first!

Turbulence Training  Three 30 minute sessions a week.
Zumba: 3 classes/week
Zumba Gold: 2 classes/week.

     Yes, that'd quite a bit of training, but here's the key: In TT I push the intervals to the best of my ability, when I teach Zumba and Zumba Gold, I dial back the intensity, and make sure I'm not spending those hours in the "Aerobic Range".

     There is a great deal of new research coming out which examines the difference in effectiveness between medium intensity, long duration cardio, and short intense bouts of interval training.  In every study I've seen, the intervals win hands down for fat release.  Now I adore Zumba, but I'm convinced that you have to manage the intensity of the class in order to get the most benefit.  One way I do that is vary the songs and choreography so that we accelerate and recover throughout the class.

     Another element for fat release success is sleep and recovery.  I am currently training four days, and off three days a week.  I'm also in bed every night at 9PM, and I wake naturally at 5:30AM.  You have to get your fat release engine firing on all cylinders in order to get to goal, and sleep is essential.  Yes, all this sounds like a lot of "Lifestyle Management", but in order to get the body to change the way we want it to, some serious effort is required.

    If I step back and look at my lifestyle, I can see that I have returned to the passion and feeling of purpose that I had when I was pursuing my career as an entertainer.  The energy, excitement, and enthusiasm are back, and now it feels even better because I'm doing something in the community that makes a real difference.  Honestly, there is nothing better for a trainer than seeing your students get leaner, stronger, more graceful, and happier.

      So to get back to your wedding weight, you need to discover ways to eat, move, and recover well.  Look inside for the things that inspire you, and connect your lifestyle to the things that make your heart sing.