Beauty Beast

Two updates in one week. Who am I?! ;) Two days ago, I began a bit of an insane workout regimen, in which I lift heavy weights in the morning (Body Beast) and do kickboxing/HIIT training with my girl Chalene at night. (TurboFire) I've affectionately named this hybrid, "Turbo Beast." I've really enjoyed spending the past few months simply following Body Beast, but I do want a little more cardio in my life. Who better to serve me than the Queen herself? I'm so proud of myself for even surviving these past 3 days. But, as I waddled out my front door this morning (post-leg day), I spent a few minutes just thinking about my journey. When I set my weight loss goals in 2011, I knew that I should probably go to the free campus gym...but I was terrified. I was so afraid of just being at the gym at all, worried that the athletes there would mock me. I knew NOTHING about weightlifting, other than the sports-enthusiasts were glued to them. You couldn't have paid me $1000 to ask someone for training advice; I was THAT insecure that I didn't want anyone to notice that I was there. So, I generally stayed away from weight training at first - I did my Turbo in my living room or I'd go to the treadmills to run at 5 AM. I kept this regimen all throughout my final semester, until I plateau'd in weight loss. I read countless articles online that agreed: the best way to shatter a plateau is to switch up your workouts, especially with resistance. So, I purchased "ChaLean Extreme" online because it was someone familiar - my BFF Chalene.

Although this program wasn't a massive success on the market, I valued it SO much. Chalene taught me the concept of muscle building for fat loss. I really enjoyed myself, and implementing this program with my usual TurboFire is what got me to my 50-lbs-lost victory. But even so, in the rare moments that I would utilize a gym post-grad, I would keep quiet about my dumbbell romance & head straight to the treadmills. The weights were the boys' toys.....or so I had thought.

I began to incorporate weights more frequently in my workouts, but it wasn't until December that I had decided to go all in. I was depressed, and my favorite way to pull myself out of a slump is to challenge myself physically. So I purchased "Hammer and Chisel," which is a ton of weight training brought to you by Autumn Calabrese and Sagi Kalev. Autumn was predictable to me as I had followed the 21 Day Fix/Fix Extreme prior. Sagi, however, was a new energy for me. I had known who Sagi was because his original program - Body Beast - debuted years ago. However, when anyone mentioned this program, I'd think, "Eh, it's not really for me." I just couldn't picture myself enjoying one-on-one training with a former bodybuilder. But when I faced another slump in April.... I knew what I had to do. I had to hang out with the big boys.

Several of my friends have seen Body Beast / Sagi Kalev in action and they'll say, "This scares me." But that fear is exactly why I'm doing this program. I do not want to feel intimidated by anyone, especially when it comes to one of my passions. So, why not face the Beast head on? Why not push myself past my physical strength AND emotional barriers? Odds are, I'll outgrow my dumbbells eventually. Odds are, if I continue properly training, I'll be ready for some really big weights - especially on my lower body. So that means, unless I marry a fitness celebrity who comes with a home gym..... I'm going to have to go back to a fitness center. And, if I can confidently master my living room, I trust that I won't give much of a crap as to what any "bro" in the gym will have to say.

I am very proud for seeing this program through. In the 3 years that I've been active in my healthy lifestyle, I have never felt so much body confidence. I haven't really lost any significant amount of weight on this program, but I will tell you all of my recent discoveries: my quads are pure muscle, my shoulders pop, & my arms display more muscle than jiggle/loose skin. I will say that I've always had a booty.... but having a rock solid one is pretty awesome, too. I can tell the difference between what's loose skin (most of it) and what's still body fat (some of it). I don't have abs, but I can feel how strong my core muscles are becoming. I can pick out backless/sleeveless dresses or shorts without feeling like I'm inferior for them. But, most of all: I respect myself, because I know how hard I'm working. Maybe I'm not a perfectly shredded bikini model, but I am a beautiful little beast. And I like the way that sounds. QUOTE OF THE DAY "Every calamity is to be overcome by endurance." - Virgil

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