Ask Doc Rock | Keepin' It Down and Tonin' it Up
Hey Doc!! You gave me some excellent and concrete advice a few months ago and I greatly respect the advice. I have another question. I took your advice and for the past month I have been active seven days a week in my local gym, eating a very strict and healthy diet and overall changing my way of living.
I remind myself daily that this weight did not happen overnight and it will not disappear overnight. I have not seen a “big” change in my clothing or in my body….I have noticed that I do not feel as bloated or as much like a balloon anymore.
So far I have lost 18 pounds and I am able to successfully do one hour of cardio workouts. (I think that alone is pretty good considering I have torn cartilage in my left knee and less than perfect veins in my legs).
So my question is this……how do you tone the body? My goal is not to be bulky and cut. I simply want to burn the fat and tone the body. How do you get rid of the dreaded and oh so not sexy “man boobs”?!?!?!?!? I remind myself in the gym that “a little more sweat means a little less jiggle” but what can you do? What are some basic and beginner things I can do in the gym along with cardio to start toning my body? I am not ashamed to say that one month ago I was wearing a size 50 in pants and a 3xl shirt……today for church I wore a pair of 44 pants I have dreamed of wearing and a shirt that was a 2xl. I read some articles on a medical blog and learned that weight loss and healthy living is the absolute best prevention and treatment for the vein disease I am cursed to carry for the rest of my life. So this has to work this time. I don’t care if it takes me five years, it has to work. (sorry, I got a little off track!) What can you suggest?
I have seen your pictures from your younger years so I am asking you for your personal advice!
Thanks in advance!
LESS of a Trainwreck
Dear Trainwreck (Doesn't seem appropriate anymore now does it ?), Congrats on your progress thus far, changing your overall health is never an overnight process. It requires constant motivation and dedication. I would say a 30 lb. weight loss is GREAT motivation to keep going! Many fitness experts suggest weight training for overall toning of the body and I would have to agree with them. I originally lost the bulk of my weight (and muscle, unfortunately) doing cardio and limiting carbohydrates. While this got me very thin, it didn't do much for my overall toning. I started weight training about 3 years ago and I have never looked back. The combination of that and eating a more balanced and well-rounded diet has really transformed my body. And since I have done every single thing to gain/lose weight..I would say maintaining a generally muscular body is the hardest. Start off with doing more bodyweight exercises such as squats, pushups, assisted pull ups, crunches, hanging leg raises, lunges, bridges...etc (If you're unsure about any of these, look them up on YouTube :)).
Ensure you've calculated your Total Daily Energy Expenditure and are tracking your calories against it. Remember, you need an excess of calories (over your maintenance amount) to GAIN muscle, and you need to have a calorie deficit (under your maintenance amount) to lose weight. Either way, try to keep your diet with high protein (1 gram per pound of body weight) and balance your carbs and fat depending on how your body feels/reacts.
These things together should absolutely make a difference, but consistency is key!
Good luck on your future fitness conquests! Rock