As mentioned in a previous post, I had made the determination to be true to my workouts. So far, I have stayed true to my words- focus on quality instead of quantity.
The results- after each real (without holding/leaning to the handle to support my weight), I can feel my legs are much stronger – results come much quicker compared to months of efforts that I had previously put in. When I ride the stationery bike, I increased the effort level to 4 or 5 and try to keep at least 80rpms. Previously, I seldom adjust any effort levels.
I also learn to engage my core muscles during cardio. How I do it is that tuck in my stomach to protect my lower back, and try to let the energy and effort originate from my core (trunk) instead of the legs. This helps to strengthen the core and reduce injury. or you are lowering the risk of injury and at the same time, develop your core. When the core is developed, you derive more benefit during workouts. That’s why so many athletes are given functional training- to develop core muscles for increased sports performance. Sometimes I really wonder what took me so long to realise all this- sigh, the months I have wasted cheating away at the machines.
Today, when it’s time for lunch and I went to my lunch partner’s table tell her it’s time to go, she stared at my stomach and asked me what had happened? I was puzzled at first but she said, “your stomach’s gone smaller and you’ve lost weight.” She insisted I must have taken something to shrink it. I told her it’s the exercising- fully without cheating at the cardio machines. After all, I am not fanatical about losing weight. If I had started exercising just because I need to lose weight, I would not have stuck to it for so long. Health problem, namely fighting fatigue has been my main contributing factor that enabled me to consistently exercise for the last 18 months.
At my office table, I keep a few group photos taken with colleagues. There are 2 photos taken when I was about 5 or 6kg heavier. I like to put the photos there to remind me how unfit I was and unwell I had been. If I stop exercising and let my sweet tooth take over, I will go back to that again. Still, to my amusement, I sometimes find visitors to my cubie staring at the 2 photos. I thought nothing of it until today, one girl asked me and my friend how did we managed to lose so much weight (err, it’s only about 5kg). My friend lost about 8kg through daily morning walks with her husband before work and she made sure she stopped snacking. The girl said to me, “I saw the photo of you taken during the company outing to Putrajaya (about 2 yrs ago) on your table. Even though that time I have not joined the company, I could see from the photo that it’s very obvious you had lost weight. Even from your face, previously was more puffed, is now much smaller. What’s your secret?”.
Both my friend and I told her that exercise is very important. The girl said she used to join the gym but after she got this job, she stopped going and put on the weight. She said that she feel motivated and is seriously considering taking up exercising again after seeing that both of us managed to do it. We also advised her to cut down on food like rice, sweet drinks and fried stuff.
It’s always feels nice to be able to motivate someone to want to take on a more healthy lifestyle. A person does not necessary need to join a gym to lose weight. But the person must be consistent in exercising (at least 3 times a week) and learn to reduce sugar and white flour from food intake.
Note: Typing this while sitting cross legged on my Swiss ball and watching my favourite MTVs from YouTube. Of course my laptop is on the table and my hands are lightly pressing on the table as I type out the text. One thing fun about the Swiss ball is after a while, balancing really becomes easier 🙂