Posts tagged ‘Physical exercise’

January 23, 2012

Ashley’s Vegan Bodybuilding Update: 3 Weeks

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

So far I’ve lost a total of four pounds in three weeks – not bad, but I know I could have done better. While I’ve been good about doing some sort of exercise frequently, I haven’t been doing all I could and I certainly haven’t been following the plan religiously. It’s hard starting a new routine, especially one that is drastically different than how I normally would spend my time or fill my stomach.

For a reason unknown to me, I usually live life in extremes. I am either extremely motivated, overdoing it with exercise, eating way too little and/or restrictively or completely the opposite, barely wanting to move and eating with gluttony. My personality is also like this, moving from one extreme to the other. It can be a whirlwind of emotions and motivations (or lack thereof). In some ways this makes me more creative, fueling my artistic side. But more often than not, this lack of consistency is a hindrance.

New Year’s resolutions are usually superficial things – losing weight, changing the way you look or dress. I want this to be more than an irrational resolution that will be just as quickly forgotten as it began. I need a bigger change in my life, one that will put me on the path to greater happiness and health. January should be a time of reflection, a time we remember the good from the past year along with the bad. Visualize the person I want to be, realize the traits I already possess and work on those I feel don’t line up with my goals. One of these things is eating in secret – it’s a horribly embarrassing thing to admit, but I have a problem with secret eating and binging. It’s something I’ve only just let myself realize, but it is something I’ve done since I was very little.

Binge eating is a serious issue that affects those overweight, underweight and average alike. I began binging when I was borderline anorexic as a young teen. I would refuse to eat for days, snacking on limes and other very low calorie foods – and then, when I couldn’t handle it anymore, I would hide in my room in the middle of the night and eat high calorie foods. I was very skinny and looked fit until I moved in with my boyfriend at 18 or so – and that’s when I started eating all the time instead of in secret. He was a better influence in terms of binging, but a worse influence as he doesn’t eat very well and made it so I didn’t need to eat unhealthy things in secret.

In the past year I began looking at the way I eat and realizing that it isn’t healthy to continue like this. I went from a size 0/2 at age 18 to a size 10 at age 22. Now that I’m 23, I’m back down to a size 6, squeezing into a 4 in some things =), but I know that I have a long way to go to getting to the healthiest I can be. Jessica and I have tried several detoxes and diets, that while I may not have completed with perfect, I have learned something from each and every one. And that is what I’m hoping happens with this, our most drastic diet/exercise regimen yet. While I haven’t eaten perfectly, I’ve slipped and eaten dairy and even had fish once, I want to continue learning. From July 2011 I’ve lost a total of 17 pounds and kept them off, which is a huge feat for me, someone who’s never lost a significant amount of weight before.

My update is two-fold: I’m happy to be continuing thinking in healthier, more active terms and yet I haven’t been perfect in either the diet or exercise. I can’t be too hard on myself, I’ve come a long way. I just know I have a lot farther to go before I’ve banished all my bad habits =)

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January 6, 2012

Ashley’s Vegan Bodybuilding Challenge Update

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I think this is the first time in my life that I feel empowered to make a drastic change in my eating and exercise habits. Over the past year I’ve accomplished so much, including losing 15 pounds and keeping 11 or so of those off, even during the holidays. I’ve also completed my first half-marathon. I’ve learned about vegetarian and vegan diet habits and have been able to incorporate them into my daily life. My entire outlook on nutrition and exercise has completely been turned upside down.

 

A few years ago I would starve myself before an event, take diet pills, live off crazy things like lemons and cabbage. All of those things made me lose a few pounds and inches, sure…but the weight would come back on and I would feel worse and worse about myself after. I felt like a failure – I seriously couldn’t understand why I couldn’t handle eating 500 calories or so per day (which sounds ludicrous now). I am so lucky to have learned these things, incorporating more and more into regular habits. I certainly have not been eating perfectly this whole year, however I can say that I have eaten better than ever.

 

And so, as I embark upon this next step in my journey, I know that I have the right tools to succeed. I may not end up getting the supermodel body of my dreams, however I know for a fact that I will walk away having learned yet another lesson that will improve the rest of my life. My advice to anyone else trying to follow a strict diet and exercise program – don’t make it so strict! Have fun with it, it’s the only way to succeed. I’ve been playing around with new recipes, trying to make my workouts fun by using the Wii, walking with loved ones and going to classes with friends (i.e. JESSICA!). Challenge yourself, listen to your body and most of all – know that what you are doing is for you, not for anyone else.

 

A quick update on my progress:

 

Stick to the routine that I originally posted, I tried to make it more difficult this week (thinking I wasn’t going to be challenged enough). DON’T overdo it, you’ll end up dead sore and unable to do anything. I think the cardio every other day and weights on cardio off-days is the key. I was trying to do weights everyday and that didn’t work at all.

 

Secondly, you WILL be sore starting weight training for the first time – incredibly debilitating pain that will shoot through your arms and legs as you try to do daily activities. As long as you were careful to keep your form during exercises, this is just normal pain and soreness. If it doesn’t go away after two days or so, take a rest day. But don’t give up – the pain is from muscle growth and you only have a short window before you lose your progress. As long as you keep up the weight training, you will start to get less and less sore after each workout.

 

As always, I’m here if you have any questions about what we’re doing. We aren’t experts by any means, but we’ve been through a lot of these type of programs (especially with nutrition) and know a lot of resources that could help you, plus personal experience.

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