This is me. The picture on the left was taken on July 1st, and the picture on the right was taken on July 15th. There was no extra editing between these photos to make me look better or worse. The main changes were my nail color and my lifestyle.
On July 1st I decided that I needed to change my lifestyle. I hated how I looked and how tight all of my clothes fit, and I knew it was time to change. I am embarrassed to even share the picture on the left, but I wanted this post to be as authentic as possible.
I decided that the root of my lifestyle transformation had to revolve around one concept; simplicity. I created a simple diet and workout routine to help me jumpstart my transformation. I will share my methods in this post.
When I decided that I needed to change my lifestyle, it was not based on a number on a scale. The scale is simply the way I measure day-to-day progress. I didn’t set a number of pounds that I wanted to lose on July 1st. The goal I set for myself was to get stronger and to surprise my boyfriend when he sees me on August 24th.
Strong, not skinny was my mantra going into this.
Let’s start with the biggest part of a healthy lifestyle; diet.
Before starting this transformation, I was eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I was not thinking about the food I was putting into my body and was eating all of the time. So, instead of cutting foods out of my diet, I decided to add foods to it. My goal was simple; eat one extra whole food a day. One turned into two, two turned into three, and slowly I began to change my eating habits.
Let’s talk calories. Before July 1st, I was easily consuming 2,000+ a day. I downloaded My Fitness Pal and began to log EVERYTHING. It’s hard to get into the habit of this at first, but it forces you to be conscious of what you are eating. Quickly my calorie intake went from 2,000 to around 1,250. I was eating foods that were better for me and that kept me full longer. This helped boost my metabolism and within the first few days of eating healthier foods, I already felt more energetic.
Next up is my gym routine. I think that most women (and some men) are scared to lift weights when they are trying to lose weight. We are under the impression that cardio is the best (and sometimes only) way to shed off those extra pounds. While cardio sometimes may be a great way to lose fat, over this 14 day transformation, I did “cardio” ONCE. Tewnty-two minutes on the elliptical (the equivalent of one episode of The Office). I really do enjoy cardio but as stated before, the goal of this journey was to be strong, not skinny.
Below I am going to post the routine that worked for me. This is not the routine that may work for everyone, but this combined with a healthier diet worked for me!
Perform 10 reps of each exercise in the set without stopping. After you finish the set, take a minute (ish) break. Then repeat! Perform each set three times. The dumbbells I use for these exercises range from 5-25 lbs. I did this workout four to five times a week, depending on my work schedule that week!
- hammer curls
- tricep kick backs
- front raise
- reverse curls
- skull crusher
- single arm row left
- single arm row right
- chess press
- snatch left
- snatch right
- lateral raise
- Weighted reverse lunges
- single leg dead lift left
- single leg dead lift right
- 1′ front plank
- 1′ mountain climbers
- 30″ side plank left
- 30″ side plank right
This workout takes me anywhere between 25 and 35 minutes to complete, depending on the weight I’m using and how fast I’m working. My heart rate definitely raises on set three and four to the point where I feel like I’m doing cardio.
With a simple workout routine and a simple diet change, I managed to lose 6 pounds in 14 days and get STRONGER.
If you don’t like where you are in life, I encourage you to take simple steps toward the direction you want to to! Most results won’t last long if you make fast and dramatic changes, so I recommend making simple changes, such as adding one whole food to your diet at day.
I still have a lot of work to do, but in just two weeks my overall quality of life has skyrocketed and I am motivated to keep getting stronger.
Leave a comment below of how you live a healthy lifestyle!