My Fitness Journey7:04 PM
Before you start reading further, this is going to be a long text post and pretty different from what I normally post. Everything written below is documenting my fitness journey and what I learned in this process of trying to live a more healthy and fit lifestyle. This is just MY experience because being "fit" is different for everyone. So if you are not into that, scroll down to TL;DR or skip this and check out my other posts!
Is there such thing as an After-college-10? I never had the Freshmen15; if anything I actually lost a little weight because my eating schedule was irregular and sometime not eat because of classes. I also walked around a lot because I have an outdoor campus and I worked in a restaurant. It wasn't until maybe my sophomore year when I maintained the same weight all the way till my graduation and for a couple of months after. I didn't do anything special. I pretty much ate whatever I want like before and I assumed all the walking from school and work helped me maintain my weight.
Towards my senior year, I did start going to the gym and did a bit of weight training, but I still maintained the same weight. I would say I did weight training once a week and swam leisurely in the gym pool once or twice a week. I didn't noticed my steady weight gain until like six months after my graduation. Mind you, I don't weigh myself much, but I noticed I put on a few when my jeans started to feel tighter and tighter each time I put them on hence why I mostly wore leggings. My eating habits were still the same as before, but I didn't work in retail or have classes anymore. I spent most of my time sitting at a desk and I guess that sedentary lifestyle caught up with me. I honestly didn't feel good about myself. I always felt apathetic, my skin was not good, and I hated how everything looked on me. Because of that, I decided to do something about it instead of feeling sorry for myself. So since the start of the new year, I decided to get back into shape and to rid my bad habits.
I tried to go to the gym once a week, but I honestly only went twice that month. It was a rough start.
When February came along I was determined to meet my goal of going to the gym once a week. January was a trial month, February is when it counts, and it did. I managed to go to the gym once a week. This is probably TMI, but I honestly felt like going to the gym and loosely watching what I ate helped me go number two almost every single day. If you follow me on tumblr, you might have saw my brief post about that haha. I also noticed my skin clearing up and it became more glowy. (I started a new skin routine which is probably a factor as well. I'll go into more details later in a post or video. EDIT: here's the video). When I say loosely watching what I ate, I meant avoiding junk food and eating more fruits instead. I also tried to not eat any processed foods (chips, cookies, ramen, etc) late at night. If I had the munchies I would eat yogurt and/or fruits instead. As for my gym routine, I did planks, abdominal twists, leg kicks, and a little cardio (10-30 minutes). Sometimes I'll do weight training with my friend or boyfriend.
I decided to push myself into going to the gym twice a week. Towards the end of March I started to use the MyFitnessPal app again to keep track of what I ate. It was also during this time that I noticed my belly fat the most. I felt bloated and fat and it's weird because it's only in that mid-section area. (No, I wasn't pregnant LOL). I started to do more research and found that the foods I've been eating were making me bloated. Towards the end of February and beginning of March I started to eat a lot more broccoli, cauliflower, and incorporated chia seeds in my diet. I did some research and apparently, these fibrous foods make you bloat especially if you suddenly start to intake more of it. I also found out that protein and cardio can help reduce belly fat so my gym routine changed.
I started going to the gym at least twice a week and sometimes even go three times a week. I avoided eating broccoli and cauliflower for a while but since I eat at home, it's kind of hard to avoid so I only eat a few pieces every now and then. Thank goodness, my mom started harvesting leafy vegetables from her garden so we've been eating those greens instead. Most of the leafy greens are Chinese veggies so I have no idea how to translate them in English. I also started to drink more green tea since that helps boost metabolism. I drink a cup almost every morning. I mainly use the MyFitnessPal app to track my marcros and see if I make my protein count for the day. I don't really follow the calorie count, but it helps to get an idea of how much I eat everyday. Listing what foods I eat or about to eat also helps remind me to eat, too. I know it's bad, but I sometime forget to eat when I'm busy working on something. Currently, my weight is fluctuating, but I'm quite happy with my progress. My main concern was my belly fat and it has definitely been reduced which I'm so happy about!
I became a bit lazy again and only went to the gym about once or twice a week. My gym routine was mainly cardio, and I would do about 30 minutes to a hour of it. I mostly speed walked/jogged on the treadmill and did some cardio on stationary bikes. I also started to do laps on the indoor track. I would sometimes play racquetball with my friend, too. I was still eating what I want, but I eat smaller portions and choose the "healthier" choice. If I get the munchies, I would snack on fruits, yogurt, or milk and cereal especially if it was late at night.
I went to the gym about once a week, but I did other physical activities like rock climbing, 5k run, and walked around more as well. I also started a new job towards the end of May which helped me maintain a more routined lifestyle. Despite working out less, I noticed that my tummy has gotten flatter. I also drank at least two water bottles a day plus another drink (tea, coffee, Chinese soup, etc.). I also found that my appetite has shrunk. I don't overeat as much as I used to. I still eat whatever I want, but in smaller portions and again I would choose the "healthier" option.
I think through these 6 months of keeping track of my food intake and workout routine really made a difference. I found that for me - what I eat makes more of a difference than how often I workout. Working out is still great because it does help me de-stress and take my mind off of things. I think I'll make it a habit of going at least once a week. Also, through this documentation, I realized that the main issue with my weight gain was bloating. Eating less processed foods; proportioning what I eat, and exercising regularly helped a lot. My weight is more steady now and it's still the most I've ever weighed at a steady rate, but I'm glad I reached my goal of getting a flatter stomach. Obviously, it's not completely flat, but I feel like if I maintain this lifestyle I will reach that goal one day. Also, for those that don't know, muscle weighs more than fat so I'm pretty sure those extra pounds compared to last year turned to muscle which I don't mind.