Since my bigender acceptance one thing I have been doing constantly is trying to get into better shape. This is in part for my own health but also so I looked better in a dress. I know this is a common thing at this time of year but since I am on month 3 I thought I would share what I have been doing. Take what you will from this, but I’m not a professional trainer. Perhaps just a few thoughts to get you motivated.
But a few key points to remember:
- It takes time
- It’s fine to be a bit stiff, if you’re in pain you went too far
- try to be consistent, if you can’t do your workout go for a walk
- it will be worth it
- Finally a reason to wear yoga pants and a sports bra
I got a FitBit, which may seem like a bit of a gimmick but they do actually work quite well as a way to track your activity and encourages you to actually be more active. Remember you don’t need three hours a day of cardio to loose weight or get into better shape, simply burn more calories than you take in and you will go down. And the fitbit lets you keep track of your calorie intake and burn rate, so bonus. And a minimum exercise to be healthier is 30 minutes 5 days a week of walking somewhere with purpose. So they are a handy tool.
I got a new scale, the old one my weight could change just based on how I stand on it. The new digital one is much more accurate and syncs with my fitbit app so it all integrates. It also measures my BMI so that is handy. It’s good to keep track.
I took pictures. Why is this important? Because scales aren’t the most effective way to measure how fit you are. When you first start working out at all you will likely have a drop and then a gain in weight. This is because muscle weighs more than fat so as you burn fat and build muscle you will actually go up slightly in weight for a bit. Plus side is that the body has to burn more calories to maintain muscle so you will eventually see that drop you want. Honestly how your pants fit are the best measure in some ways.
Oh and I got an elliptical for my house. I had one of those Tony Little Gazelle Gliders before that I got a few years ago for $50 and they do work. All my pants loosened up and my arms toned up a but within a few weeks of hopping on it 5 days a week. The only problem is that they don’t have resistance so they aren’t the most effective, and the fitbit reads it as an elliptical so it thinks I’m burning calories 3 times more than I am. But if you are just looking for a starting machine or something to cover you off on days when you can’t get out for a long walk or just need a starting point than great. Now the elliptical is a commercial unit, LifeFitness, actually commercial. So these things are $3000 but my friend picked this one up a few years ago from an auction of a gym that was going out of business and replaced the battery and sold it to me for $90 because that’s what he had into it and he prefers his treadmill. So deals can be found.
My two main workouts have been elliptical and walking the dog. I can hop on the elliptical and do 30 to 45 minutes of pretty good workout to make me sweat while I catch up on Netflix. Ellipticals are great for toning legs, buts, and core muscles and since mine has handle bars I also get a pretty good arm workout. But I also have a 90 lbs dog who needs daily walks, and again walking is a great fat burning exercise. So daily I am getting 45 minutes to an hour and a half of cardio. Which really helps. Swimming is also a great cardio and toning exercise. I just don’t swim, I can swim I was a lifeguard for 15 years, I just hate the idea of getting back in the pool to swim laps. I’ll go SCUBA diving or snorkelling for hours but swimming back and forth I have done my share. If you are thinking of swimming but never learned go to a pool and sign up for some adult lessons, you aren’t in a class with 10 year olds and adults are easy to teach. If you are out of practice again lessons, your strokes can be tuned in right quick.
Beyond that nothing to exciting, some crunches, squats, push ups, planks, etc. Basic stuff to tone not to build muscle as much. But I did try beginner yoga youtube workout and I may do that a bit more often. Basically find something you enjoy that gets you moving and go with it. You don’t need to have a super intense workout plan to get started.
This is likely the most important part of loosing weight, and you don’t have to eat like a rabbit to loose weight. Your main nemesis is carbohydrates or better known as sugar. These things are everywhere and in everything we eat and are also essential to live, since they are the fuel for the body. You can look at all the diets you want but the main thing is to eat fewer carbs. So I have stopped buying bread for the house, I’ll eat bread no problem I just don’t have it in the house making it less common. I also have cut out pasta because that’s just carbs. Brown rice instead of white rice and limited the amount I eat of it. Dropped sugar form my coffee and stopped drinking sodas. More chicken, fish, and tofu and less beef and pork. More green things grow above the ground and less of what grows under ground (carrots and potatoes). Honestly the hardest part is breakfast as everything aside from eggs is super carbs in the morning. Look at some Keto breakfast options and take a few ideas from there to limit it down a bit. Keto looks interesting but it may be a little intense for me, just the amount of fat you eat is a bit terrifying and I’m not an expert.
Also this is where that fitbit app or any other calorie tracking app is handy. You can put in what you eat and it will tell you how your balance of carbs, protein, and fat is in your diet. The plus side of one connected to a fitness tracker is that as you burn calories it moves your budget up. So if you have a really active day then you can really pig out on pasta later, but if you had a lazy day then it’s salad for supper.
I am not likely to be Bikini body ready by summer, I will wear one, I just won’t be in “Bikini Body” shape though little black dress shape is possible. I have to loose about 50 lbs or 23 kgs to get into the appropriate balance for my height and size. But I do feel better on the whole. My strength is returning and I am have more definition in my arms. My pants are looser and my stomach is coming back in. Also I have cheek bones again. And I am down about 10 pounds as it stands right now, and I have put on muscle so I’m on the right track.
Again this isn’t a “Get Back In Shape Guide” this is just what I have been doing and a few ideas for you to kick around.