New Year, New Me (No, For Real!)

I'd like to start the new year (and new decade!) with a very positive update on my fitness progress due to some changes I made exactly three months ago today.

Those who know me know that I have been active most of my adult life and very health and fitness conscious for a long time. Back in 2016, having gained some weight in my first half of a year in grad school, I committed to losing it and lost 30 pounds in 4 months and kept it off.

Or at least most of it. During 2019 I gained back about 7 or 8 pounds, and though working out more was seeing fewer results. Unsure what the disconnect was, I did some research and had some conversations on Instagram with some effective people and made some changes.

As of today, I am down 15 pounds. Almost all of that is body fat, as my body fat percentage has dropped in accordance with what one would expect. I have done this by doing the following things:

  • a stricter adherence to calorie tracking and maintaining a moderate caloric deficit (no discounting bites or eyeballing measurements, as I'm sure now that the culprit for those 7 or 8 pounds!)
  • prioritizing protein in my diet (I do a macro split of about 35% protein, 35% fat and 30% carbs, as opposed to where I was at before which was about 55 or 60% carbs and less than 20% protein)
  • prioritizing strength training in my fitness plan (I lift before cardio, and I lift heavy, and I am also back in BODYPUMP)
  • prioritizing sleep (eating in a caloric deficit can cause the body to lose muscle, but high protein and good sleep help prevent this)
Weight loss aside, because that is literally the least of my concerns, I am seeing tremendous physical gains. My body is firm. I am getting stronger and stronger. I am sleeping well. I am almost never bloated. I have high energy all day long.

However, the biggest shock to me is that my PCOS appears to be in remission. I have zero clinical symptoms of my PCOS, which over the last 10-15 years has troubled me in various ways. I have even stopped taking my medication with zero adverse effects. My blood work is better than ever, my skin is clear and beautiful and all other associated issues of my PCOS have disappeared.

I still have a long way to go to hit some of my other goals. I'd like to see my body fat come down at least another 5%. I have some significant weight lifting and other physical performance goals in my sights. But as we start the new year I am glad about two things:

  • that I was not scared to seek help and information to change my routine when it wasn't achieving the results I wanted
  • that I didn't wait for Monday or next month or the New Year to get started, I got started on October 3rd, and look how far I have come in 12 weeks!
My new strategy actually has me spending less hours per week working out. Due to my high protein intake I am so full ALL the time. And because I have more time, I have had a lot more time for writing and playing video games! So my strategic efforts have not only improved my physical state but also have made me feel empowered in other areas of my life as well!

Very excited to see what else 2020 holds for me in my fitness journey!