Development Officer for the Florida Justice Technology Center, St. Petersburg, FL
When my size 14 pants were starting to feel tight I knew I had to make a change. I played sports growing up and always considered myself as a relatively healthy person. But I got stuck in a job that required long hours, endless deadlines, lots of stress, and easy access to candy. In just over a year I gained 20 pounds.
I knew that building muscle was the best strategy to get the physique I wanted, but it had been over 10 years since I had a formal weight lifting routine. I needed guidance but I didn't have the time or money to commit to a trainer. I needed my workouts to be flexible and accessible. I also wanted to be able to track my calories burned which is difficult to do with wearables and weight lifting. After doing some research online I found Fitbod and it seemed to have everything that I was looking for. In addition to Fitbod, I started running, practiced yoga, and restricted my caloric intake. Within 6 months I lost 20 pounds, my BMI was back in the normal range, and I was no longer at risk for hypertension.
Fitbod definitely contributed to my transformation because it gave me inspiration and motivation to get my workouts in. I started on the beginner setting with 30 to 45 minute workouts, then advanced to intermediate and added more machines as I became more comfortable with my abilities. If there was a movement I didn't like or couldn't do at that time, I just replaced it with another. I also like the different goal settings. I started on strength training, but have tried powerlifting and muscle tone, too, depending on how I'm feeling and where I'm at with my running and yoga training. I had a foot injury at the beginning of the year which really limited my ability to run or practice yoga, but I could still do my Fitbod workouts!
The biggest change I've made this year in addition to exercise/fitness is I quit drinking; for good. By giving up alcohol, I've seen huge gains in my health and wellness and steadier sleep patterns. I also quit my stressful job and got a position as an independent contractor which gives me much more flexibility and independence which I thrive on. I'm much happier without the stressful job and the alcohol binges. Those were two exhausting habits.
I have a fitness goal of running an 8 minute mile. I have some pelvic health issues (endometriosis and interstitial cystitis) that have kept me at a 13-14 minute mile for many years. But through a consistent yoga and weight lifting routine I've begun to see improvements. I now rarely experience debilitating pelvic cramps and pain if I run at a faster pace. I've even been able to add in some high intensity training without my uterus feeling like it's twisting into a endless series of knots that will render me completely incapacitated for a period of 5 to 45 minutes.
I feel more balanced. When I was overly stressed and not getting any exercise I felt like I could crumble to pieces at any moment, but now I feel stable and grounded. I also feel less FOMO since I quit drinking which surprised me a little.
A post-workout routine everyone should have in their fitness regimen is stretching. Mobility and range of motion are so, so important. When you accidentally roll your ankle in a hole or need to reach down to tie your shoes, you'll be glad that you incorporate stretching into your workout routines. Stretch, people!
Advice for others:
My advice for others is to do something that will be sustainable long-term for you. Challenge yourself, but take it easy, too. Learn to listen to what your body needs. You don't need to kill yourself in the gym to get fit. Elite bodybuilders spend only 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, at the gym and they win international competitions. Consistency is where you'll find the gains.