Don't Fight The Weight (s)
By LanaL on June 02, 2014
Don't Fight The Weight(s)
I am constantly fighting my weight, and I think we're on round 823 by now. I blame my children. Yes, they've heard me say it, and no, they don't care - they're boys. Enough said. Due to several complications during pregnancy that turned into chronic health issues, I take some medications that slow my metabolism down. To glacier pace. Sigh.
As I've gotten older, the weight is winning more rounds. How can it take a week to lose a pound and one delicious dinner - and/or 10 chocolate chip cookies - to gain it back? That's cosmic unfairness right there.
However. In the last two months I have lost eight pounds and gone down one size, and so far those pounds seem to be lost in Siberia and haven't come back.
The change has been weight training.
I know, I know, I fought weight training for years too. I was aware that I should be doing it. I bought dumb bells and looked up a few workouts online, and once every few weeks I got everything out and said, "see, I'm doing it".
I already do lots of cardio. I've talked about my love for Zumba, and I also exercise with the Tae Bo crew and walk and hike a lot. But I have noticed in the last few years that I don't have the strength I used to.
A few months ago I decided that I needed to stop focusing so much on exercising to lose weight, and make it more about being healthy and strong. I knew that actual weight training had to factor in to that.
This weekend I talked to my friend Nasca, a personal trainer, about the importance of working out with weights. She told me that the biggest benefit at my age is increasing bone density, which inhibits osteoporosis. Building your muscle mass raises your metabolism, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn 24 hours a day. I'm all for burning more calories while I sit here and blog.
Nasca also pointed out that muscles look prettier than fat :). Can't argue with that! If you're worried about getting bulky, she told me that it's physically impossible for women to bulk up (well, unless you use steroids - but you're on the wrong blog for that). She said that the heavier weights she lifts, the smaller and more sculpted she looks. And trust me, she's small, gorgeous AND sculpted! I actually kind of hate her :).
Now that I've convinced you, (wait, I haven't convinced you? Go back and read the paragraphs above again), how do you get started? I've been using Jackie Warner's DVD's at home. They are easy to follow and I get a great workout. Nasca suggests going to a local gym and getting to know the machines - read the directions on each one first. Or even better, get a trainer! Nasca has lots of tutorials and videos on her website,Leanguns, that can get you started on the basics. You don't even need fancy equipment or dumb bells. You can use things you already have around the house (think canned food), or just use your own body weight as resistance.
For two months I've been doing weight training three days a week, and I do feel stronger and healthier. I've lost those eight pounds, and I swear I saw a muscle on my upper back when I was drying my hair the other day! From now on, in my fight with my weight, I won't fight the weights.
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