Hi!

My name is Gabby.  

I lost half my body weight through exercise and eating right.

 I'm here to motivate you, inspire you, and make you laugh on your journey to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

I Hated Exercise. How Was I Ever Going To Do This?

I Hated Exercise. How Was I Ever Going To Do This?

Warning: Adult language. 

Please do not read any further if you are offended by adult language.

~~~

What the hell was I supposed to do for exercise? I had no clue. Zip. Zilch. I felt overwhelmed. I had given myself two weeks to figure it out. For the first two weeks of my weight loss journey, I decided that I would not exercise but instead would focus on eating right AND coming up with a solid exercise plan. I knew I had to do cardio and I pretty much knew I was going to have to build muscle somehow. But how? I had no friggin clue.

I spent a lot of time searching online trying to put together a program for myself. I also called my bro who unfortunately was long-distance. Otherwise, he would've been at my doorstep with a stopwatch around his neck and a clipboard. I shit you not, he lived for this stuff and he had been worried about my health for many years. He had always been up to speed with working out, even before the military and I completely trust what he tells me. He drove home the point that I HAD to build muscle through weight training and weight resistance exercises. He told me to start small and buy a couple 2 lb dumbbells and put together a circuit. Huh? How?

{This article contains affiliate links. See bottom of page for details.}

How Did I Weight Train?

Dumbbells

I found some arm exercises to do with the dumbbells and started doing lunges and squats to build muscle in my legs. It wasn't much, but it was a start. I put a little program together and I did it every other day. It only took about 15 minutes but I figured I'd add to it as I went and for now, it was more than what I was doing, which was a big fat nothing. I bought a set of light 2 pound dumbbells. And let me tell you, I thought those 2 pound dumbbells were chump change before I started, pfft, my arms would hurt after doing my sets of exercises. My arms were noodles. I had NO muscle. I was as weak as they come. For reals. But I kept with it and after about a month, I bought a set of 3, 5, and 8 pound dumbbells.

If you'd like to see a very simple dumbbell workout, you can watch my video where I show you the moves! You can find this video in my article, " WEIGHT TRAINING 101: For the Ladies (3 Workout Videos Included)". You will also find a bodyweight video where I show you how to build lean muscle simply by using your body. No weights of any kind required. All you need is a floor. I'm pretty sure you have one of those!

I could see that I was getting stronger quickly. I ended up then buying a set of 25 pound adjustable weight dumbbells (50 pounds total) which has become a great investment. You can make them a wide variety of weights. Even my husband uses them all the time!

If you take all of the weight plates off, then each dumbbell is 5 lbs. Each plate is 2.5 lbs, but since you have to put two plates on to make the sides even, each new pair adds another 5 lbs. Each one of my dumbbells can go up to 25 lbs.

The bar alone without any plates is 5 pounds.

The bar alone without any plates is 5 pounds.

You can also use these really helpful dumbbell workout cards. They make putting workouts together using your adjustable weights super easy. 

Resistant Bands

Another great discovery I made was resistant bands. Resistant bands are a form of weight training, but completely different from the strength training you do in a weight room. I really didn't even know that these things existed before my weight loss journey. I absolutely love my bands. I have a workout group called "The Sexy Bitches Workout Group (SBWG)" where I train a group of wonderful women. I have them work with my resistant bands too. They all love them.

It's a great way to build lean muscle and you can do it in the comfort of your own home. I bought a set of resistant bands that includes everything I need and it even comes in a duffel bag so everything can be neatly put away. It's one of the best purchases I've ever made. I bought the double set because my husband uses them too. That way when we work out together, we both have everything we need. Even my mother bought a set and uses them regularly! She bought the single set since it's just her at home. Believe me, my mother weight training is a BIG deal! Lol. I absolutely love that she's weight training and getting healthier! Go mom!

Here's my resistant band set:

It comes with a manual showing you every exercise you could possibly do with these things! As you can see in the pic below, I've tabbed my favorites. The great thing about resistant bands is that you never grow out of them. Just as you would continue to add weights in a weight room, with bands you simply move on to the thicker bands (which have more resistance) or add additional bands onto your handles.

I love my extra special note from my daughter! It makes me smile every time I see it. It also makes me feel good that my daughters watch mommy be healthy and make time for exercise. To them, it's just a normal thing for mommies to do. Someday when they're mommies, their children will be watching them workout too.

If you'd like to see how resistant bands work, you can watch my resistant band video where I show you the moves! You can find this video in my article,  " WEIGHT TRAINING 101: For the Ladies (3 Workout Videos Included)". It will give you a very good idea of how they work!

I got stronger as months passed. And it felt good. Real good. But the problem was (well, not really a problem but more something I just had to deal with) that I was so fat and had so much fat on my arms, that even though I knew I was building muscle, I couldn't see it. It was too far buried under my chub. That was difficult at times, but I put it out of my mind and kept telling myself that someday I and everyone else will see it, until then feel good with just knowing it's there.

And as for my legs, uh, hello.. lunges and squats aren't anything to joke about. Those things are the devil. That was my saying, I said it all the time. Honestly though, they kicked my ass (and legs). Definitely start out small with lunges and squats, they are hell on those unused muscles. But boy do they work! They firm up the legs and lift up your ass. I remember shopping with my mom only a few short months after starting doing the lunges and squats. I tried on a pair of pants and she could not get over the fact that even though my ass was big, it was sitting up at attention. She mentioned it over and over. "It's just so high up", she'd say. I got a kick out of it.

What Did I Do For Cardio?

So I had my weight training and muscle building routine down, what about cardio? I wasn't sure. I thought about some kind of dance tape or some other kind of aerobic DVD. Hold the hysterics, fatties can dance too... well, kind of. So I did what I had been doing for all of my information collecting, I started looking online for some answers. I started with aerobic DVDs. I searched, read reviews and top ten lists, etc, nothing peaked my interest. We already owned a Wii gaming system so I decided to buy the Wii fit with the balance board. I started doing the Wii fit. At first I thought it was awesome. It didn't seem like real exercise and hey, that sold me right there. I hated exercise. And I was so disgustingly and ridiculously out of shape that for a few weeks, I did find myself sweating a bit. But quickly I started to realize, it wasn't enough. I needed to work harder. You had to keep stopping every few minutes to pick a new activity. It was really annoying and there was no way to keep your heart rate up consistently when you had to constantly stop what you were doing and fiddle with the remote. There was no sense in taking the time to do something if it wasn't going to get the job done. Maybe for someone else, Wii fit would be useful but honestly, I didn't find it helpful at all. I only used it for about three weeks and it didn't do much for me.

My Fitness Coach

So back to the computer I went to do a little research. I found a workout program for the Wii called My Fitness Coach.  My little girls already had the Wii so I didn't have to buy the Wii game console and I already had the balance board. 

My Fitness Coach had great reviews and what intrigued me the most was reading glowing reviews from both novice exercisers as well as very active fitness buffs. The program is set up so when you register for the first time, you take a physical challenge test (how many crunches can you do, how long can you do jump jacks, etc). You also give it information about yourself including punching in all your measurements.  It designs workouts for you based on all your scores and information. And while you are actually working out, the program will stop three times within the workout and ask you if the program is too hard, too easy, or just right. So depending on how you answer those, it tweaks the workouts as you go. After you complete so many workouts (I think it's 7-8), you do the physical challenge test again. The program is always changing to suit your needs and ability. It worked perfectly for me.

It's a very simple program, you have a trainer who is on the screen doing the exercises with you and there is a ticker tape scroll on the bottom of the screen to tell you which exercise is coming up. Is it fun?, not really. But it's what I wanted. I loved the ticker because I could put the TV on mute and blast my music. The trainer is showing you what to do and the ticker gets you prepared for what's coming up so you really don't need the sound after you learn most of the moves. It's not for everybody, I'm sure. Everybody has there own needs and wants, but it was perfect for me. But beware, they have since come out with a My Fitness Coach 2 and it SUCKS big time. It's nothing like the first one. You don't actually have a coach, the workouts aren't fluid, and you don't even break a sweat. Stay away from that one, it's bunk.

If you don't have the Wii game console already, then you could definitely find less expensive ways to get in your cardio workouts. I personally would not buy the Wii console just to purchase My Fitness Coach. But if you do already have Wii, then maybe give it a try!

Walking

Another incredible way to get in some cardio is to walk! People underestimate the power of walking. It is so good for you! Start wherever you can. If you have to start out by walking at a very slow pace, then do that. As time goes by, you will get stronger and have more stamina. Quicken your pace and/or walk a further distance as you move through the weeks. Before you know it, you'll be speed walking and burning mad calories! Walking is always a wonderful place to start!

Dancing

I did not buy any dance DVDs in the beginning of my weight loss journey, but one thing I did do was have dance parties with my daughters in the living room! I'm not gonna lie, I'd also have dance parties by myself when no one was home. Why the hell not? At 262 pounds, I was very large and could barely move but dammit I did what I could! And I burned mad calories and sweated like nobody's business. I love music. It's been a huge part of my life since I was a small child. Nothing can change my mood to happy as quick as music can. Seriously, give it a try. Get your ass in your living room, put on some jams, and just start cutting a rug. Before you know it, you got a workout in... and it's free!

{Update 9-20-16: Since writing this article, I have discovered the Cize program. It's a fun exercise program that teaches you how to dance. My daughters (now 9 and 12) do this program with me. We love it so much! We have an absolute blast! It has current dance music and is taught by the fabulous Shaun T. I mean, who doesn't love that dude? Anyway, I wanted to mention this program because it'll get you in great shape and it is so much fun! Several of my girlfriends have started this program with their children too. It's a fun way to get your kids active. (This is not a children's workout program, but children can certainly do it.) I must note here though, I would not have been able to do this in the very beginning of my journey. Maybe a few months in after I gained some strength and stamina, but not in the very beginning.}

Change Up Your Exercise Regimen Every Four Weeks

Now, since my beginner days, my workouts have changed unbelievably. I exercise harder, longer, and with a lot more intensity. But that is what my body needs now. I'm in great shape and I need to maintain my muscle mass, so I'm working out a lot differently. I don't use My Fitness Coach anymore, but it served me very well in the very beginning. You always must keep changing and adding and rearranging. You don't want to get into a rut with exercise. When something no longer challenges your body or gets your heart rate up, it may be time to find some other kind of activity. It doesn't matter what kind of exercises you're doing as long as you're sweating and getting something out of it. There's no use in spending time doing something if you're not going to see results or gain health benefits from it.

However, I do still use my resistant bands. I constantly change up my workout with those and as I said before, you simply add bands or move to thicker ones when you need to take it up a notch. Good stuff. I also fit in walks and dancing whenever I can, even after all these years later. I also run, which I love, but never underestimate the power of walking. It's incredible for your health and keeps all those joints oiled and moving.

Once you start moving your ass on the regular, your body will start to craving exercise like a drug (I'm not saying your mind will but your body will, absolutely) and just like a drug, it will build up a tolerance. At certain intervals, you will have to change what you're doing, increase the intensity, and push yourself further. If you don't, not only will you stop progressing in your journey to health and fitness, but you will hit weight loss plateaus. And those can be the death of even the strongest motivation and will ultimately end your reign. Trust me, it's true. It happened to me so many times that it was like watching Groundhog Day... for 10 friggin years. But the above attempts at starting an exercise regimen actually worked... and worked well. For the first time in my life, I was starting to understand that being active was the key to it all. And I was starting to get excited.

I never thought in a million years that I would come to a place where I didn't look at exercise as a pain in the ass time suck, but I did. I started to look at it as time I was taking for myself and taking care of myself. I started to look at exercise as time I was investing in myself. Some days I even looked forward to it. I know, crazy shit.

For a ton more information on starting an exercise program, read my articles:

“Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve”
— Wilfred Peterson

~~~

Related Links Below:

 

*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

Please Note: The affiliate links provided in this article are for products that I purchased and use regularly. I did not receive these products free nor was I asked to do a product review.

 *Affiliate Disclaimer: Half of Gabby has recently become an Amazon Affiliate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires all affiliates to put a disclaimer on their website/blog. Most disclaimers are so filled with confusing lingo that you don’t even understand what they're saying. I’m going to break it down for you the way I'd want it to be broken down for me. I’m not a fan of complicated and unclear regulation jargon. So here’s the dealio. Half of Gabby takes up a tremendous amount of my time. But because I love it so much, I really want to continue dedicating my time to it. For six years now, I have been providing product links to products that I use and love and in turn recommend them to my readers. These products have helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle and/or improve my family life. I have helped sell countless products for six years and have never received any commissions… Until now. As of September 15, 2016, I will be providing links just as I've always done, but now will receive a very small commission if you purchase an item through the affiliate link that I provide. An affiliate link is simply a link that brings you to a place where you can buy that product. I will not earn a commission by you simply clicking on the link, you must actually purchase the item(s) within 24 hours of putting it in your Amazon cart. Prices are exactly the same for you if you purchase through an affiliate link on Half of Gabby. You will NOT pay more by clicking through the link. My promise to you is that I will never recommend a product that I don’t fully 100% believe in and/or use myself and recommend to close friends and family. This will allow me to continue working hard on Half of Gabby without it using up time that I need to otherwise dedicate to contributing to my household. I'm happy to be able to continue my blog and to continue talking with, meeting, and helping people all over the world with their health journeys!

IN THE VERY BEGINNING, IT WAS TOUGH AS HELL

IN THE VERY BEGINNING, IT WAS TOUGH AS HELL

My 120 Pound Journey: What I Did in My First Two Weeks

My 120 Pound Journey: What I Did in My First Two Weeks