I have been taking a break from blogging and related social media for a few weeks but I wanted to give you an update on the six-week boot camp I have been participating in because I have had a lot of people asking how it is going.
My goal for this boot camp is to build muscle for strength and fitness. Many in the group have the goal of weight loss which it is also designed to do. I am a little over half way through the program, (week four day four) and I have had my ups and downs as anyone would with an intense fitness program. I am glad I am doing this and I do notice changes in how I feel and look. An important factor of this program is the lifestyle changes that I will carry forward for the rest of my life. Let me explain . . .
Before starting this fitness boot camp I was already somewhat health conscious. I have been a runner for eleven years, starting in my mid forties mostly to help with keeping my weight in check. I have always followed the 80/20 rule on diet. Eat healthy 80% of the time and treat myself once in a while (maybe 70/30 at times). I quickly fell in love with running and within a couple of years I participated in a 5K, something I never thought I would or could do. Now I run a 5K on average every eight weeks and I compete, usually winning first or second in my age group. I run about every other day and I mix it up. Some days I run intervals for two miles. I run as fast as I can for a quarter of a mile and then slow down for a quarter of a mile and repeat. Then the next run might be a three mile run at my race pace (8 to 10 minute miles) and then some days I do a nice slow four mile run. I don't like my body to get used to the same thing so it doesn't become non beneficial. Running is good for my heart health and even better for my brain health.
Over the past couple of years, I noticed that I had all over body pain (muscle not joint) almost all the time and a lot of stiffness in the mornings. So this past year I decided to add yoga to my fitness plan thinking my muscles were stiff and needed to be stretched and strengthened. I was right, almost immediately I noticed the pain was lessening and now has disappeared unless I go too many days without doing yoga. I have a yoga program that I down loaded on iTunes called Namaste and it only takes 25 minutes. It is something a beginner can do and is the most relaxing thing I do for myself. I actually look forward to how it makes me feel. I try to do it at least every other day. Everyday, when I can. Yoga keeps me flexible and pain free.
So why boot camp if I already do these things? Because although I am at a healthy weight, I have belly fat (something that indicates potential for diseases at some point). All my reading tells me that the only way to get rid of it, is to build muscle. And I have always known that you lose muscle as you age, especially if you don't use your muscles. In comes this boot camp. A reliable source who actually participated in the program highly recommended it. I wanted direction in learning how to rebuild my muscles through body weight exercise and I wanted to challenge myself beyond what I had ever done before.
After four weeks I can say that I have performed at 80%. I have never missed a workout and they are hard! In addition to what the program required, I have kept up my running and yoga. I have done really well with the intermittent fasting (eating all my food within an eight hour window each day). We have a couple of low carb days that I hit about 50% with. I don't do low carb very well. We follow macros (50% carbs, 30% fat, 20% protein) the rest of the week which is fairly easy for me. And we have a day or two where we eat 25% fewer calories than normal, also not too difficult since I used to always eat low calorie to maintain my weight. With this program I am supposed to eat more calories than I am used too, which as taken some adjustment. Clean eating is recommended. If it has a mother or comes from the ground it is OK although she recommends gluten and dairy free for the six weeks. I did that for a couple of weeks and decided I would do low gluten and dairy and not completely take it out of my diet. I feel better with a varied diet.
So overall, I would give myself a B grade so far. I can see my waist firming and slimming down. And I can see my muscles getting hard. I feel so much stronger too. We aren't supposed to weigh ourselves until the end of the program. For me it is not so much about weight loss but fat turning to muscle. Also, she wants us to learn to do a handstand and I am 80% there! It is so fun to be my age and able to stand on my hands!
So there you have it. My maintenance plan is to continue with my varied exercises. Yoga daily to every other day. Running or hiking three times a week and a rigorous body weight exercise program two times a week. I will continue the intermittent fasting most days because the science behind it makes sense. And I will follow the 50/30/20 macros because it really is a balanced way to eat and not difficult. It helps you be aware of what you are consuming which is so important. For instance, on one of our free days I went to a restaurant for breakfast with my husband. I had the biscuits and gravy not thinking much about it, after all it was my free day. Later in the day when I looked up the nutrient counts on the meal, I found I had consumed over 1,200 calories in one meal. That really taught me a lesson. There is no way that could have been good for my body to try to digest. This is all about a lifestyle change for me. I know I don't get something for nothing. If I want to feel good I have to work at it. Gratefully, I am liking the energizing active part of the program the most.
If you are interested in signing up for the next camp just click on the button below. And of course feel free to shoot me questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below: Seriously working on a hand stand here. I have been working my way up by practicing a few minutes each day to build strength in my upper body and core. It is way harder than I thought it would be but I am so determined and close!
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