During the winter months I tend to eat, eat and eat. Hell, it's cold and I need comfort food! As such, I had to change my current fitness routine to keep up with my appetite. Here's what I've been doing to maintain my current goal weight.
My initial reason for doing exercise was to lose weight. I was sick and tired of how I looked and how I felt. My current fitness routine at that time consisted of walking from my house to my car – and nothing else.
Looking back at pictures of myself from 2017, it may not initially show how overweight I was. But bare in mind, I’m 5ft 1 inch and was almost 11 stone!!!
I’ve come a long way in my weight loss journey since then. In doing so, I’ve made amazing discoveries about what my body can do. Things I never thought I could achieve. From touching my toes, holding a plank and doing more push up I ever thought possible. However, I totally underestimated how it would make me feel emotionally. That buzz you get when you keep your promise to yourself to get up and move. There is nothing like it!
I’ve changed both my physiology and my vitality.
Because I love food, my current fitness routine constantly changes with the stage of my journey, what I’m trying to achieve and whats going on in my life. Since I got down to my goal weight a while time ago, my current fitness routine has been focused on maintenance and overall improvement of my strength and flexibility.
With everything in my life, I create the rules to win. Right now I am working on my muscle strength and focusing on maintaining my current weight ratio. Strength training builds more muscle than cardio and muscle burns more calories at rest.
So with the amount I’m eating, I need to ensure that calories are being burned when I’m also taking it easy!
I do not have one magic number on the scale. This would frustrate the hell out of me. Imagine trying to keep my weight on one number – too unrealistic for me! (Did I mention I like food!) So, as long as my weight is between a certain ratio, I’m winning.
I move my body 7 days a week! Yes, every day I wake up and ‘move’.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t get up every day of the week and do a full 30 – 1 hour workout in the gym. Are you crazy! My brain and willpower couldn’t motivate me to do such a thing. When I say I move my body every day, my current fitness routine consists of doing a mixture of yoga and weight training Monday – Sunday – in my house!
I have a set type of exercise I do each day of the week. My chosen rest day is Sunday. However, I still move my body on Sunday by doing at least 15 minutes of stretching or meditative yoga.
I’ve also had to adjust my routine to fit in with my new wake up time. Through spring, summer and autumn, I’m up with the birds by 5am and rearing to go in the daylight. However, not during the winter months. I wake up later because I can’t stand the dark mornings. It’s only 30 minutes later, but I still needed to adjust my routine to make it easy to achieve my goals. (SET YOUR GOALS TO WIN!)
So for the last few months my current fitness routine has followed this exact plan. Obviously I’ve missed the odd day here and there, (including the weeks during my January Blues!).
What you may find interesting about my weekly routine is that not one of the exercises are longer that 20 minutes. Yes, you heard me, all under 20 minutes. To be totally honest, some of the routines only take 4 minutes to go through. But believe me, those 4 minutes make me sweaty and out of breath!
I do HITT (High Intensity Interval Training) with weights or using my own body weight. The HITT helps get me out of breath and the weights build my muscle strength. I usually warm up for about 3 minutes before I start and then do a full after stretch which takes about 5 – 7 minutes. I love Maddie Lymburner’s YouTube channel for quick exercises that really increase your heart beat and work out the entire body using both weights and body weight.
I really look forward to Tuesdays as it’s my first day of the week to practice yoga. The only person I practice yoga with is Adriene Mishler. The reason I love yoga is the fact that it gently builds up your muscles as you work through each pose. Depending on how my body is feeling dictates the type of practice I do. But one of my favourites is her 14 minute sequence of revitalising flow.
There is something about Wednesday that’s really difficult to get motivated about. That hump day feeling descends on us all and we have to use willpower to get through the day. In order to make sure I am motivated to move my body, I have to make it easy. That’s where I turn to Lucy Wyndham-Reid. Her 4 minute HITT workouts are what started my real commitment to my journey back in 2017. I still return to her video’s when I need something quick and effective. (If you don’t believe 4 minutes is enough to make a difference, I challenge you to try this one below for a whole week!)
This is my abs day. I’m not aiming for a six pack or washboard stomach. My main purpose of working on my abs is to build the strength in my core. I used to suffer with really bad back pain, mainly do to my posture. But yoga and working on my core muscles has had a huge impact of my overall well being and strength. I hate doing traditional floor ab exercises, so always opt for something different.
After my relaxing yoga the day before – I get serious on Friday’s. It’s time to pull out my dumbbells and start getting my muscles in tack. I choose the end of the week to do proper weight training as my muscles hurt the next day!! I focus on all of my upper body on Friday’s and try to push myself each time. I love working out with Kelly from Fitness Blender as she keeps it real when she is struggling doing the routines.
Leg Day! I both love and loath Saturday at the same time. I love it because I can see the changes it is making in my body. However, I loath it because it’s hard and sometimes the day after I can’t even walk properly! Again, as with the rest of the week I don’t chose long drawn out workouts that make it difficult for me to want to start. I chose ones where the intensity is high and I am out of breath and a little sore straight after. This one kills me – and it’s only 10 minutes!!
My rest day – Yaaay!! Well…almost. After doing weight training two days in a row, my body is usually sore or stiff. Depending on how much soreness I am feeling, I use this day as a stretching day. This means I still get up and put my gym clothes on. But instead of doing a whole sweaty routine, I use this day to iron our the cracks and soothe my body. This is probably the day I have the longest ‘workout’. I feel so good after I have stretched. Even if I don’t feel like it, I do it. I can always tell the difference in how I feel on Monday when I stretch on Sunday. It’s a little self care for my future self!
I have learned over the years that for me, it’s not the length of the exercise I do, it’s the level of intensity that makes the difference.
I have just under 100 videos’s saved in my fitness folder on YouTube. Each night before bed, I choose which one I’m going to do the next day. Doing short intensive exercises over the last few years has lead me from this…
As I said earlier, keeping track of my weight has nothing to do with a specific number on the scales. Although, I will come clean and say that I do weigh myself twice a month to check I’m within my ratio.
If I see that I’m moving towards either the higher or lower numbers, I will adjust the intensity of my workouts for the next week. But this rarely happens.
What I really use to track myself is how I feel in my clothes.
I used to have two sets of clothes. My ‘skinny’ clothes (before I put on the weight) and my ‘fat’ clothes, (which I lived in for far to many years). I’m glad to say that all my fat clothes were given to charity over a year ago, and I have never had to wear another pair of jean’s without being able to do up the top button!
Of course there are other changes to my diet and way of eating that has also helped to maintain my current ratio – which I will be writing about in future blogs. But in general, I continue to eat what I want including most of the things I used to eat before I started losing weight!
The main thing that’s changed is the level of investment I now put into my health and the commitment I made to make moving my body a lifestyle – not a quick fix.
Finding the perfect routine is an individual decision. My current exercise routine works for me. However, what I do, may not be the right thing for you.