Changing It Up
In the last post about my weight loss, I talked a little about my new goals. I had just just lost 60 lbs over the previous 7 and a half months, and I was still in the mindset of measuring success by the number on the scale.
Fast forward a few weeks, and I've finally started to let myself stray from the strict dieting, long cardio, and boring resistance training that got me to this point. That's not to say that I'm not still watching what I eat and exercising, but I'm a little more relaxed about it. I'm starting to ease myself into more of a maintenance mode (with a little bit of weight loss along the way).
For most of the year, I was doing 4 days of elliptical per week (55-70 minutes 3 times and 80-120 minutes on Saturday). And on 2 days, I was lifting weights for about 45-60 minutes. I have to say that I'm happy with the results, but after 7 and a half months you start getting sick of it.
So I started to think about how to minimize my time in the gym.
The first change I made was to replace some of the elliptical days with running. I started off replacing 2 days, but that has recently grown to 3. I still do my 2 weight-lifting days, but I've been trying to switch up the exercises I do from workout to workout. And finally, I replaced the last elliptical workout with a HIIT workout and added another HIIT workout on what was previously my rest day.
Normally I wouldn't recommend 7 workouts in 7 days because it's usually a good idea to have at least one day a week to let your body recover. My take is that life normally intrudes and forces a day (or more) off anyway, so if I can't work out on a given day, so be it. Because of this, I've only actually completed the 7 workouts in 7 days once in the past month.
The new schedule means less time in the gym and no more mindless cardio. The HIIT workouts hurt pretty bad but you can't say they're boring, and they only take 40 minutes each (including warm-up and cool-down). The three running days probably add up to 45-60 minutes total since I'm still a beginner. And, as a bonus, running is actually fun. My weight-lifting days are still a drain on my motivation, and they still take 45-60 minutes each, but they're important with all the potentially-muscle-burning cardio that I'm doing.
As of this morning, I'm down to 198 lbs, which is what I weighed near the end of my freshman year in college. 8 lbs in 6 weeks is significantly less than the 2 lbs per week I was losing before, but the important thing is that I've mostly had fun doing it.
8 lbs also happens to be the half-way point for my end-of-year goal to slim down to 190. I normally don't like counting my chickens before they hatch, but I'm pretty sure this one's in the bag.