3 months fitness journey …

November 28, 2012  |  Getting Fit

3 months ago on the 18th of August 2012, I suddenly made up my mind to get fit. It was around 1 month before my birthday and I thought to myself that I really want to do something for me and be in the best shape ever before I hit the big 30 next year. I decided to run in the park, for the first time, in years.

It took me 1 entire hour of procrastination before I managed to haul my ass out of the house to run. I ran for about 20 mins around half of West Coast Park and I felt like dying. I was cursing and swearing and thinking to myself why the heck did I put myself through this.

However, as I have already made declarations to my friends, I had to persist and go through it all. I just gritted my teeth and forced myself out of the house to workout. I literally cursed and sweared as I was putting on my workout gear. For the first month of exercise, leading to my birthday, I was very focused on keeping to my 1200 calorie a day diet while exercising 3 times a week.

I did a lot of cardio at the beginning. Running, bicycling, swimming, elliptical for the entire month. 30 mins min each time. And then I got bored. Like really bored and thought to myself if there’s any way to make my workouts more effective?

I started researching and realized that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is going to make these cardio more effective as I can reap the afterburn effects. And I started incorporating them into my workouts. I was doing 1 min of intensive running/biking/elliptical and 1 min of moderate intensity and alternated between them.

I started to ramp up my workouts and hit up to 5 times workout a week. Chart here shows my exercise calories burned in the past 90 days.

I started to spend time reading up on nutrition and exercise efficiency and saw that I needed to tweak my food macros as well as start resistant training (weight lifting) to build muscles and raise my metabolism. (apparently approximately 3 pounds of muscle raises your metabolism by 7%) I was all about getting more results with less “effort”. I wanted to burn fat while keeping my metabolism levels.

On 5th October 2012, I started my first weight training. I lifted kitty dumbbells (4kg) and did bicep curls and triceps extensions.  It was a start nonetheless! In my following workouts, I started to do bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, burpees (I swear these are invented by the devil) and kept pushing myself harder.

I never realized that I was getting fitter and I also stopped whining at my workouts. My weight however was weird and in fact I started gaining weight from 52.5kgs and hit a high of 55kgs (I refused to lock 55kgs in my tracking app :p) for a few weeks. I was really demotivated but I gritted my teeth and continued doing my thing.

I believed in science. There’s no way that I am gaining fat weight if my output is more than my input. I went to research more and saw that muscle takes up less space than fats. So I should be gaining muscles (which was my intention). I started to semi ignore what I saw on the scale.

4 weeks ago on October 23 2012, I took a picture for fun and compared it to my arm in the picture on 18th Aug 2012 and I was shocked.

18th Aug 2012 vs 23 Oct 2012

I was about 1 kg heavier than when I started exercising but my arm looked much toner. The picture kinda motivated me and I made sure I stuck to my diet and do my workouts no matter what. I downloaded this app called the Gain Fitness App and did the body weight exercises at home whenever it was raining (which is often nowadays).

I just kept focusing on diet and strength training. My aim was to feel sore every other day. I often chant, “Lose weight in the kitchen, get fit in the gym.” & “70% diet, 30% exercise”. I don’t know how I progressed to this stage, but somehow I did.

My fitness goal isn’t to become skinny looking any more. It is to become fit and strong. When I first started out, I was slim enough to look good in clothes but in actual fact I was really flabby. But as I worked out and studied, I realized what I really want is to look fit. No, I am not gunning for 6 packs, I just want a flat stomach and defined limbs.

So after another 1 month of exercise … Here’s what I achieved, about 3 months from 18th Aug 2012..

18th Aug 2012 vs 24th November 2012

As we can see, I am pretty pleased at how the body is reshaping. My tummy is toner, hips are smaller, back is slimmer. Despite doing a haphazard inconsistent diet and exercise at the beginning, I still managed to effect a change. I just need another 3 months, and I should be able to further reduce my body fat percentage and finally look lean.

What’s going to happen the next 3 months?

I have finally nailed down my specific goals that I would like to achieve – <20% body fat and hitting 49kgs (for the kick of being <50kgs).

Basically, I have been researching this new diet called the Intermediate Fasting methodology. More details can be found via these 2 sites – leangains.com and rippedbody.jp. The general idea is that we eat only within a fixed 8 hours window a day (10 hours for ladies). There are certain macros to follow, like more carbs on workout days and more fats on rest days. The diet is designed to help people reduce fat and get lean.

I was fascinated by the whole concept and have been studying it for weeks. I started it on the 27th November 2012 and as of this entry, I am officially into the second day of the diet and exercise. I would be making notes and sharing my experience as I go through this diet, in another entry.

Really hoping that this diet can help me break out of my plateau and create great results for myself. Can’t wait really :) Well, to end off this entry, Imma share an obligatory series of cam-whore shots that I took on 25th November 2012.

Till the next entry,

About the author

Dionis is a computer engineer by training, business development manager by day and actress by dreams. She loves to chill out with a good book and a mojito. website: dionischiua.com

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