Back in May I had hit an all time high, non-pregnant weight of 181.4 pounds.
Getting up into the 180’s was due to a number of factors.
A hysterectomy two years ago threw me into menopause last summer.
That seriously messed with my body.
I’m also in the middle of a divorce, and I was dealing with the stress of that by eating. Eating everything.
While exercise has consistently been a part of my routine for years, I was not outrunning my fork.
And even taking the stress eating out of the equation, I just can’t eat the way I could before menopause.
So on May 16th I committed to making changes.
Here is where I started:
I upped my cardio, and I made some small changes in the way I was eating.
I didn’t do anything crazy, but I started looking at how much I was eating, and I started cutting back on empty carbs and junk in general.
I started really paying attention to why I was eating. I started recognizing when I was truly hungry and when I was eating to numb feelings.
I lost seven pounds in a month.
I saw some small changes in my body. Nothing crazy.
But the wheels were in motion and I had some momentum behind me.
I was ready to level up.
I joined an online program from The Sculpted Vegan called Butt Camp.
It was a shred and build program.
It’s called Butt Camp because the focus was on strength training exercises that would build up your ass.
It was a hard core, intense, 8 week program.
It was really hard core.
It didn’t require you to eat a vegan diet, but it recommended it.
I went about 90% vegan.
I ate a lot of green veggies, a lot of fruit, a lot of tofu and tempeh, and a serving or two of protein powder almost every day.
I did eat some eggs and I occasionally ate yogurt, and I had milk in my coffee.
Vegan or not vegan, I didn’t count calories, but I did count macros on most days.
(Counting macros means keeping track of the three major macronutrients your body needs — carbohydrates, protein, and fat).
I tried to hit 170 grams of protein, 170 grams of carbs, and 50 grams of fat every day.
I was successful on about 60% of the days.
On the other 40% I didn’t hit those numbers (or even keep track) but I was still eating significantly differently than I was before I committed to making changes back in May.
I told you Butt Camp was hard core and intense.
It consisted of workouts 7 days a week for 8 weeks.
EVERY DAY FOR 56 DAYS.
And it wasn’t just once a day.
It was cardio twice a day, 7 days a week, and the strength training workouts designed by Kim Constable (The Sculpted Vegan) 6 days a week.
For cardio I did a mixture of swimming, running and the elliptical.
The first two weeks the program called for 30 minutes of cardio twice a day and 6 days of strength training workouts;
The third and fourth weeks cardio was upped to 40 minutes twice a day.
The fifth and sixth weeks cardio was upped to 50 minutes twice a day.
And the seventh and eighth weeks, it was 60 minutes twice a day.
So I started out working out 1 1/2 hours a day and by the end I was working out 2 1/2 + hours a day.
It was brutal.
I usually did the first round of cardio somewhere between 6 and 9 am, did the strength training from 9-10 ish, and then did round 2 of cardio between 4 and 7 pm.
I did this in the middle of a divorce in the middle of a pandemic with five kids home 24/7.
The strength training was done with body weight, dumbbells, and resistance bands in a very small space in my house.
Kim Constable did a great job designing workouts that didn’t require much equipment or space.
In the beginning they took me about 45 minutes to finish because I had to refer to my computer to make sure I was doing the right thing the right way.
By the last couple weeks I was finishing the strength training portion in about 30 minutes.
I completed this program — which was near impossible to begin with — during a really shitty time in my life.
It was not easy.
It was not particularly fun.
But it gave me something to focus on that wasn’t self destructive.
And it helped my remember how tough I am.
There have been a lot of times in the last few months that I have questioned whether I could make it not only through Butt Camp, but life.
There have been a lot of times in the last few days that I’ve questioned that.
Getting divorced is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
It really fucking sucks.
And Butt Camp helped remind me I can get through anything.
The changes were hard to see in the moment.
But they happened.
In 13 weeks, I made significant changes in my body.
So how did I do it?
I worked my ass off.
I sat in discomfort.
I pushed myself emotionally and physically harder than I have in a LONG time.
I stopped eating total garbage.
And I started lifting weights.
Butt Camp ended on August 17th, but I’ve still been lifting 4 or 5 days a week and doing cardio about 7 days a week.
Working out is my therapy and my church and my sanity saver.
I used to dread lifting.
Now I am honestly starting to look forward to it.
In the moment, most of the work I did was not fun.
But I don’t focus on that.
I focus on how I feel now that I have some discipline and some self control in my life.
I focus on how I want to feel when I wake up in the morning.
And I feel good.
So I’m gonna keep doing what I’ve been doing.
Because I don’t know exactly where I’m going, but I like the direction I’m headed, and I’m enjoying what I’m learning along the way.