About a year ago, Lexi had a very negative view of her body image. She’d try all sorts of workout regimens and diets, but would end up binging when she didn’t see any results.
Trying and giving up was an endless cycle for her.
Nowadays, things are a little different.
She’s transformed her body since then, but more importantly her mindset about fitness has changed.
Instead of feeling guilty about eating her favorite foods, she’s learned that including them in her diet is actually an integral part of the process.
Instead of working out every day and doing nothing but cardio in an effort to burn as many calories as possible, she now follows a strength training routine that allows her to work out just 3-4 times a week because of its effectiveness and efficiency.
And instead of trying to make fitness a full-time job, it’s now something that happens on autopilot because working out and eating right doesn’t feel like a chore anymore.
Today, I’d like to share with you her story.
What was your fitness (and life) like before?
Before beginning the VBF program, I liked to jump around with the types of workouts I did. Sometimes it would be mostly cardio oriented, sometimes I’d try lifting, but I was never committed enough to any single regimen so they all ended up falling through after a few weeks.
My workouts lacked a clear goal and so it was hard to focus on what it was I was even trying to accomplish. Even though I felt like I was putting in time at the gym, I felt like I wasn’t getting the results, which of course is a really frustrating thing.
On top of the workouts, I definitely had a pessimistic view of my own body image. I’d eat “healthy” for a few days, not see any results, give up and binge. I’m also in a pretty work-intensive graduate program, so it was always a welcome excuse to not commit to the gym and eating right because I was “too busy.”
What were some of the things you did that helped transform the way you look and feel?
I think one of the best things this program did for me was give me a clear goal for every single workout. Having the workout app was such an awesome thing because it made me compete with myself; I could focus on working up to more weight each week and could clearly see the progress I was making, like if I made a new personal best. Even if it was an increase of only 5 pounds, I loved seeing the little pop-up on the app telling me that I had a new personal best! Same with the progress pictures and body weight measurements, simply committing to doing something for longer than a few weeks and documenting the journey was a great way to stay focused and keep me excited about the process!
Actively committing to those progress pictures every month was huge for me, whether I thought they were going to show progress or not.
I also think a huge key was to track in MyFitnessPal. It did take some time to track everything I ate at first, but it made me aware of how I was doing on a day to day basis, and after a month or so of pretty-dedicated tracking I felt like I was informed enough about my diet to not be so worried about tracking anymore. By using MFP, I came up with some great go-to meals that I still eat on a regular basis that I know are good for me.
I think it’s important to think of things like MyFitnessPal as a tool to learn about your own strengths and weaknesses, not as a negative reminder that you have to document everything you eat in order to reach your goals. All those tools are there to help us, not give any negative thoughts! It seems so simple but the change in perspective made everything seem so much less complicated.
Outside of your physical transformation, what else has improved in other areas of your life?
My mindset is by far the thing that has improved the most.
It’s been almost a year from when I started the VBF program, and over that time I’ve transitioned from someone that was doubtful and negative about my body image, to someone that is proud of all the hard work I’ve put in. I go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week, only do cardio if I genuinely want to, sweat a TON during my workouts and eat a lot and well.
I don’t feel like the integration of fitness into my life has restricted me at all — I go out, I have drinks, but on a regular day, I’m eating foods that fill me up and make me feel good. And as a result, I feel pretty great all the time!
There’s so much less worry involved and WAY less negative feelings. I’ve stopped the unhealthy habit of binging and if I crave something, I can usually have it (portion control is also key here haha!). I’ve loved getting into the habit of meal-prepping too because it eliminates the need to cook and do dishes every night. It’s a wonderful thing to be a little lazy with cooking and have it actually work to your advantage (:
What do you like about online training compared to other things you’ve tried in the past?
The online training experience definitely pleasantly surprised me! I found this program through a friend and thought I’d give it a shot for the summer, not thinking that I would want to keep doing it for a year after!
Huge shoutout to Coach Slyvon here — he’s committed to what he does and I loved getting his advice whether it was through an email, the Facebook group or messaging on the workout app. I was skeptical as to how an online coach would be able to help me, but Sly kept me immersed in the program, and getting a brand new set of workouts every month is the best!
Through his advice, I’ve learned how to use my time at the gym the most efficiently, I’ve grown to love free weights rather than be intimidated by them, and I’ve gotten into a more healthy mindset about food and calorie intake. He kept me excited about what I was doing and helped me keep a clear focus, which I think was the best possible thing for me.
Lastly — any word of advice for other busy men & women out there who don’t think they can accomplish much with just a few hours a week?
It doesn’t take much time to work out and eat right, just make the time that you put in count! Make small personal goals and crush them!
What worked for me was to do the workouts, adjust my diet to work for my own tastes yet still hit my targets, do the bi-weekly check ins and take progress photos, and having all those different modes to keep my mindset on the right path really did the trick.
It’s also so much easier to just DO IT, so then you don’t have to spend any time thinking and stressing about doing it.
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