Welcome to one of the longest non-travel posts in recent memory but as everyone seems to have a bit more time at home, I thought it would be okay. As you may have seen on Instagram, I recently celebrated my one year anniversary with my boyfriend and while that was adorable it also marked something else quite interesting – a weight loss milestone. I have read that most people in relationships gain weight but very oddly I have lost 15 pounds over the course of the last 12 months. How do I know this? Well, I used to use MyFitnesssPal to track all of my food (you many remember that here) but now I just use the app to track my weight. And when I last copied down what the scale said I flipped the view to the Year over Year graph and it showed down 15.7lbs.
Now this is not the kind of weight you lose and don’t not notice – I have noticed that my clothes fit better and when packing for my new apartment some of the items I tried on I donated to charity as they are now too big (happy dance). But between all of the creepy DMs I get from strangers, a few of you have been asking about my latest diet and workout routine. And in typical blogger fashion instead of responding to each person individually, I have decided to write a post about it, and thus my fitness update. I have given this some thought over the past few days and I have narrowed it down to four things:
(1) Mixing Workouts: Anyone who did sports at an elite level is likely going to have an issue at some point when structured exercise ends. I think mine was exacerbated by the fact that when I stopped swimming competitively I also had knee surgery. For years I worked on getting back in shape and I thought the only way was with cardio. Now over the past few years I have realised that for me a mix of strength training and cardio works best.
Sure, it has taken some adjusting to get used to the fact that during weights my heart rate does not get to “peak” and that I burn far fewer calories in a 45 minute session but that’s okay, that’s not the point. Over the past few months I have been loving a combination of HIIT, barre, and spinning.
(2) Sleeping Enough: While not directly relating to diet or exercise the amount of sleep I get has a huge impact on nearly every part of my life. For the last eight months I have been wearing a FitBit and tracking my sleep which has been eye opening. I would always aim to be in bed for eight hours but I have learned that usually only nets out to 7 hours and 10 minutes of sleep for me. Thus, aiming for eight hours of sleep (nine hours in bed) has been a shift but is definitely one I am noticing very positive benefits from.
(3) Reverse Eating: I have never been one of those people who skipped breakfast but I would perhaps just have a protein bar or a small bowl of oatmeal. But I realised as I mainly work out in the mornings it works best when I eat bigger breakfasts, a medium size lunch, and a smaller dinner. And it has taken some mental retraining that I don’t need a huge meal before bed but I have gotten over that hump. Now my favorite breakfast is a bagel, half with peanut butter and bananas and half with lemon and avocado. Yes, that is a lot of calories but hey, it is working.
(4) Hating CrossFit: If that title made you upset, keep reading. As I mentioned at the start, this one year weight loss is aligned with a year of my relationship and honestly, I think a part of it has to do with dating someone who genuinely likes to work out. My boyfriend played competitive rugby for decades and now does CrossFit five times per week. And I hate CrossFit. It reminds me too much of the lifting I had to do at Georgetown but that means when he does his workout, I go do mine. Or often on weekends he will mix things up and come spinning with me. This one may be harder to emulate than the first three but it is a fact.
And now I am curious, would you like me to post more workout and fitness content here on Sparkles and Shoes or keep it to Instagram stories? Let me know in the comments!
Lastly, by popular request, now that the state of the world has changed a few of the points above are going to have to change – namely working at home. I have just put in a big Amazon order of different things to do at home – I am planning to do a mix of HIIT, yoga, and barre at home and combining it with at long outdoor works (unless we get told to shelter in place). In the next day or two I will be getting this yoga mat, along with these resistance bands, a pair of small hand weights, a mini exercise ball for barre as well as non skid gripper socks, a small ab roller with knee pad, and this chocolate protein powder.
If you are looking for workouts to do at home here are a few good resources of free workouts to do from home!
- 7-Minute Workout – This one is not new, it has been around since 2013 and was launched off the back of a New York Times article – the seven minutes aren’t meant to be pleasant. But the good news is, they’re over quickly.
- Alo Yoga – This was recommended by a very fit friend and she likes their 45-60 minute Power Vinyasa Classes on YouTube
- Barry’s – While their locations are closed the cult bootcamp studio is offering free 20-minute total body workouts live on Instagram, body weight only!
- Blogilates – This YouTube channel has been around for more than 10 years and has a wide variety of videos available, from single-song challenges to 20+ minute workouts
- Bum Burner – A single video but suggested by many people for a bodyweight lower body workout with only bodyweight -20 minutes and free on YouTube.
- Gymodo Trial – A one month free trial from home of all-access membership to HIIT, Yoga and more, with over 20 fitness programs & 200+ motivating workouts.
- Half Hour Burn Session – 30 minute fat burning home workout for beginners.
- Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home – Don’t let the name fool you, you do not have to leave the house and many say even walking in place to these videos will have you work up a sweat.
- Peloton App – You can now use their app from home, now free for 90 days, including their famed spin classes.
- Planet Fitness – As all of their gyms are closed they now have at-home workouts streaming on the company’s Facebook page live-streamed at 7 p.m. ET each day.
- POPSUGAR Fitness – They have dozens of videos but I have linked to the most highly recommended, the 40-Minute Boxing and Toning Workout Victoria’s Secret Models Love.
- Sweaty Betty – the fitness company has online classes that are full of easy exercises to do at home. Sweaty Betty provides yoga workouts, HIIT routines, and many other types for you to try. No matter whether you have experience doing fitness classes or are a complete beginner, Sweaty Betty has something that will get you working at an appropriate level.
- Yoga With Adriene – Described as flexibility meets positivity and people are big fans – with good reason – the videos are free and suitable for all fitness levels.
And in terms of those that cost money friends have recommended the Asics Studio App, ConBody, Fitness Blender, Sculpt Society by Megan Roup. and Sweat by Kayla Itsines. Lastly, in case you are not in the place right now to buy shop, or workout, feel free to save or pin the images below for later!
In the future, would you like more posts like this fitness update?