My fitness story, part two

After a two months of running and tracking my progress (in miles and in pounds lost) I was down ten pounds. On days I didn't run, I used the elliptical or the treadclimber at the gym, instead of walking. After running, trying to walk for an hour was boring and felt pointless. I liked being able to move faster and feeling stronger. I also started lifting weights. I found weightlifting moves and tips in magazines and books and adapted what I could for myself. I started keeping a log of when I exercised, what lifts or cardio I did, how many sets, reps and weight of each. I had a notebook I took to the gym and I tracked everything online at It makes things in to graphs and charts so you can see your progress and you can share your info with other people.

Here are some of the things that helped me change my ideas about fitness and to become more involved in my lifestyle change., which I briefly mentioned above. SparkPeople is a free website that has everything you need to make substantial lifestyle changes. It has a calorie tracker, fitness tracker, goal setting tips and charts for your progress, an option to create your own SparkPeople page, forums, articles and a lot more. The best part for me was being able to chart what I was eating and how much I was really working out.

Oxygen Women's Fitness. It's a fitness magazine for women, but it's not boring diet tips and endless crunches like you'd get from Shape or Fitness. This has serious diet plans geared towards women who want to push the limits of what their body can do and who are willing to work hard to do it. I learned amazing moves for lifting, saw women who had transformed their figures and got more practical, useful tips than I ever got in any other magazine.

Roni's Weigh ( Roni is a fitness success story. She shed 60 lbs and ran a marathon last year and held a fit blogging conference this year. Not only is she a great fitness role model, but when she blogs, it feels like she is talking to you, honestly. Roni is the real deal. (Plus she is sweet enough to answer some of my questions on Twitter and to give support. Thanks Roni!)

Body for Life. Mys sister talked me into doing to Body for Life challenge, which is taking the book's exercise and eating principles and following them for twelve weeks to see results. The workouts are based on intensity and utilize cardio and weights. The eating plan was the best part for me. I learned about planning food in advance and to eat a protein and a carb together at every meal. It was a great way to find foods that are good for me and that will help me achieve my fitness goals.

I'm not perfect about what I eat or working out. I try to hit the gym six days a week. Some weeks I make it, some I don't. Some days I get 40 minutes of intense cardio, some days a moderate 20 minutes is all I can handle. You have to be flexible and listen to your body, but you also have to remember not to sell yourself short. Sometimes my not wanting to go to the gym isn't about the gym, it's about my emotions or laziness or a million other things. Usually by the time I get to the gym and get changed, I remember that I didn't want to be doing this, but by then it's too late, so I do it anyway. That's pretty much my philosophy. Acknowledge my feelings (good and bad) then do it anyway.
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