My fitness journey // Don’t skip leg day!

I could probably write a book on my self-image and body issues that I’ve struggled with over the past five years, and I might do that one day. But for the purpose of this blog, I will sum it up in one sentence: I’m just now at a point in my life where I’m happy with my body.

Most of you are going to say, “Anna, you’re crazy! You’ve always been so skinny!” First of all, please don’t say that to anyone. A lot of people have issues with their bodies, and telling them they’re crazy for having those issues is mean and insensitive.

For so long I thought I was fat. I thought my cheeks were chunky and you couldn’t see all my ribs like those girls in magazines, so I needed to lose weight, right?

Wrong. Looking at the number on a scale is pointless; it’s all about taking care of yourself.

I feel like I’m rambling, so let’s reel this back in: my body “shape” for the longest time is what you could classify as “skinny fat” (it’s a thing, Google it). I wasn’t necessarily fat, but I had absolutely no muscle and was NOT taking care of my body in the way I was eating and exercising. Sure I’d spend a lot of time at the gym doing cardio, but what was that really doing for my body? I was obsessing over calories and focusing on the number on the scale.

This past January, I made the decision to start seriously lifting weights (not just 5 pound dumbbells), and this has made all the difference. I feel strong. I feel beautiful. I don’t focus on calories anymore, but rather “what does my body need?” I haven’t stepped on a scale in over 6 months. The number on that scale doesn’t matter to me anymore, and that is so freeing.

At the end of this post is a before and after picture, 1.5 years apart. The picture on the left is from January 2015. The picture on the right is October 2016. I can tell the biggest difference in my face, and if I flexed my arms you’d be able to see my baby biceps and shoulders peeking through.

I will continue on this weight lifting journey, and I encourage all of you to try it as well! I’ve posted my weekly workout routine below, and most of my current numbers. Please message me if you have any questions!

Day 1 – Upper Body
Bench press: 40 lbs, 3 x 10
Row: 20 lbs, 3 x 10 on each side
Bicep curl: 12 lbs each arm, 4 x 12
Side lateral raise: 10 lbs each arm, 3 x 10
Lat pulldown: 65 lbs, 3 x 10
Various arm and ab machines, depending on my mood 🙂

Day 2 – Lower Body
Goblet squat: 40 lbs, 3 x 10
Straight leg deadlift: 50 lbs, 3 x 10
Split squat: 20 lbs, 3 x 10
Calf raises: 50 lbs, 3 x 15
Various leg machines, depending on my level of energy 🙂
Hanging leg raises: 3 x 15

Day 3 – Abs & Cardio
Various ab exercises (medicine ball sit up, bicycle, plank, etc.)
HIIT cardio (rowing machine is my favorite)

Day 4 – Upper Body
Repeat of Day 1
Various arm/ab machines

If I feel like working out five days that week, I will either do yoga, a second lower body workout, or another light ab/cardio workout. I often use the fifth day as a rest day.

Best of luck to you on your fitness journey! And don’t forget to love yourself ❤

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