A friendly PSA for everyone trying to better themselves.

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A friendly PSA for all my friends working hard at getting in shape. πŸ˜€ I’ve come so far (down a whooping 50lbs). I have to thank everyone here who motivated me, and still continues to do so.

I haven’t been posting much about it here, but I’ve been back at the gym and hitting it hard. Most days I go for over two hours. Tonight is Spin (50 min), Strength training (50 min), and core (30 min). I hope to completely transform myself by the end of this year, and be stronger physically than I have ever been.

So, as I say to myself everyday and now I say to you! Get out there and get it! Make a good choice today to better yourself. This doesn’t have to be food or working out, even just taking 20 minutes to completely disconnect and relax will help you.

I hope you are all well. I’m “going to go get it now.” πŸ˜€
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A day in the life of a cosplayer on a diet.

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Hey guys and gals,

I’m working hard at… Working out! Because, I will be doing a cosplay of the beautiful high energy dancer Meru from Legend of Dragoon for Megacon 2014.
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As such I’m trying to get toned up for it. πŸ˜€

Now before anyone rolls their eyes and automatically gets some sort of negative opinion of me I’d like to say to everyone you should cosplay regardless of body type and rock it. I’m happy with my figure and weight, but I’ve decided that I personally want to tone up my body for personal reasons. This cosplay is helping to motivate me. Meru is a dancer and I would like to look as such. This is my personal goal and challenge. I do not expect anyone to follow my methods. Regardless of how I’m shaped two months from now, I will be wearing this. πŸ˜€

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I started my weight loss journey last March. It wasn’t for vanity reasons, but rather for my own health. Anyone that knows me, can vow for the fact that I was always sick. I was hospitalized three to four times a year for many years. My weight was always fluctuating, and I just didn’t have the strength or energy to do anything or hang out with anyone.

Here is some progress shots:

At 175 lbs/ 79 kg:

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I had to add that last one for a laugh. πŸ˜€

Six months after I started my weight loss journey in March 2013. From a wedding in September 2013 128 lbs / 58 kg:
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And me currently as of January 2014:
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Β progress3

I must reiterate this point! I’m very comfortable with my weight, and more than ecstatic at the results I have attained. Now that I have gotten this far, I thought to myself, “Why stop?!” πŸ˜€ So, I joined a facebook event called the 30 day Fitness Challenge. The challenge is to eat healthy and exercise 5 to 6 days a week. You can see more on the challenge here:Β https://www.facebook.com/events/732596680101292/

This is my progress so far:
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I give myself heart stickers for the days I work out. (I like stickers… :D)

As I said previously, the challenge is more than just working out, it’s about eating heathy too. When I started my journey I decided to keep a food diary. After searching around and playing with a couple of apps I decided on MyFitnessPal.Β Here is today’s diary entry from MyFitnessPal. I highly recommend it to everyone! I’m currently doing a 1200-1400 net calories everyday. That means I take the calories from what I eat and subtract them from how many calories I burned from working out. Here is from today’s food diary entry:

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From articles that I have read and my doctor, I learned that on average an adult female needs to consume at least 1200 calories a day (1600-1800 a day for an average adult male) in order for your body to not go into starvation mode. This is food calories not “net food” calories.

If your body goes into starvation mode your body will in turn begin to breakdown muscle to maintain a healthy glucose (sugar) level for your body. This is bad news. You want to keep that muscle because the more muscle you have the more fat you burn! Your body will continually burn stored fat to maintain that healthy muscle throughout the day when you are not working out.

As for workout recommendations, most professionals will agree a higher ratio of lifting weights (anaerobic exercise) and building muscle to cardio (aerobic exercise)Β will increase your weight loss results faster. That said, both are necessary evils to tone up.

How much can I safely lose a week?
It is healthy to lose about two pounds/about one kilogram a week. Any more is not beneficial. The human body can fluctuate 10+ lbs/5+ kg a day, and because of this I do not measure myself daily. Weight loss isn’t a straight downward path, but a zig-zag slow decline that looks like a fallng stock on Wall Street. I like to weigh in at every two weeks to check on my progress. Plus, obsessing day to day can only discourage you in the long run. Β An excellent explanation and video about how to weigh yourself properly can be found by the amazing body builder Scobby. Found here.Β 

Now before anyone goes and jumps into any diet or exercise plan I must tell you that I first spoke with my doctor and a nutritionist before starting. I highly recommend that you talk to some professionals before starting a diet and exercise plan. Especially if you are doing one as restrictive as I am.

Let me show you my grub and workout for today! Here is my food diary entry from MyFitnessPal for today:

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The site has a more detailed version that breaks down how much you need to consume, in addition to calories, and if you are within acceptable levels.Β Here is a screenshot of today’s.

*Salt is a hard one for me. Dang you Lean Cuisines! Why are you so high in sodium! o_o

breakdownJust for measure let me break down simply why calories are important. Burning 3,500 calories burns off 1 lb of fat. Now if you want to lose 2 lbs/1 kg a week you will need to burn 7,000 calories. This might seem impossible, but your body naturally burns calories even when you are sleeping. Lucky for us there is never an off switch.

Unless you are dead… :/ But if you are reading this you have a pulse. Unless you are a zombie or a vampire, or some other thing. Then begs the question, why are you reading this if you are a zombie or a vampire…? BACK ON TRACK LIZ!

As I was saying… There is never an off switch. According to the US FDA a normal diet is around 2000 calories a day. If you are just eating 1200 a day… BAM! There’s an 800 calorie loss, and exercising will only add to that total.

On that note… Here is a picture of today’s delicious lunch listed above in the diary. πŸ˜€

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Some people ask me if I starve myself. -_- As you can see that is not the case. I do not let my body get hungry. I make sure to spread out my meals throughout the day so that I don’t get to that point. Plus most of the time you feel hungry that is your body actually telling you you are thirsty.

The other component to my diet is staying hydrated. A good rule of thumb… Don’t pee Lemonade! Pee clear! πŸ˜€
Bearman-Cartoons-Frosty-the-Yellow-Snowman

That’s it from me. I hope you all enjoy your Sunday afternoon! πŸ˜€

Update! I did it! I lost 50 lbs and wore Meru! πŸ˜€ Thanks to everyone who was so supportive!

Meru from Legend of Dragoon Cosplayer: Leaping Lizard Cosplay Photography credit: http://www.shortfusepinups.com/

Meru from Legend of Dragoon Cosplayer: Leaping Lizard Cosplay Photography credit: http://www.shortfusepinups.com/

You can’t get to your destination without putting gas in your tank.

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You can't get to your destination without putting gas in your tank.

I feel little has been said about nutrition in the cosplay community.

It’s all about eating less and working out more. My hardest struggle was my increased appetite from working out. I couldn’t figure out why having a subway sandwich after going to the gym for 2 hours was getting me nowhere. I just didn’t understand it was a numbers game at that point. I was putting more in that what I was taking out.

You can count calories, but those calories you eat have to be nutritious and healthy. Say you are eating 1600 calories a day, those calories could technically be all Twinkies. Those Twinkies are not giving your body the proper nutrition to fuel properly. Instead fill it with healthy foods. As my title says, you can’t get to your destination without putting gas in your tank. You wouldn’t dump oil into your gas tank and expect it to run efficiently. Now I know it’s a silly comparison and we aren’t cars, but if you don’t maintain your body like your car it is only a matter of time till it breaks down. We all know this but why is it so hard to follow? The answer to that question is up to the individual. Why did I overeat and become overweight? I really just sought comfort in food and being a stressed out college student that freshman 15 turned into a freshman 50. I really did gain 50 lbs my first year in college. That said, it took me years of yo-yo dieting and working out to finally get control and find out what worked for me. Regardless of what exercise routing works for you…. Nutrition and an emphasis on clean eating is critical. It’s a must. There is no way around it.

So I’m going to give advice to you on what to do when it comes to those hunger pains and carvings you get right after you work out.

What I recommend (and other heath professionals and nutritionist have told me):
Have a small snack with natural sugars and a tall glass of water about an hour before working out (fruit,granola bar, yogurt are some examples), during your workout keep hydrated, and after your workout have a full glass of water and a snack. Eat before and after lightly. Simple as that. Starving yourself and working out is just telling your brain to store the reserves. Ratio the fat, because who know how long this battle will be! You might not feel hungry, but on a nice balanced diet you should really not wait till you feel like your starving to eat. Eating throughout the day isn’t so hard. I also work rotating shift work every week, so no excuses! πŸ˜€ If I can do it you can too!

Oh and don’t forget your protein! πŸ˜€ Protein acts as the building blocks of muscles, the stronger your muscles are, the more your body burns fat in order to maintain that muscle.

I attached a simple graphic as a reminder. πŸ˜€

Also, don’t fear it, cook at home! You’ll save a little money, and learn some real life skills. Keep track of everything you eat and see how much you are putting into the tank. We gain weight because we are eating more than we need to. It’s simple eat less and workout. Just working out and not watching what you eat is not healthy.

Since you are looking to be on the right food track, start a food diary! I highly recommend the app MyFitnessPal. If you don’t have a smartphone, and you are reading this you have a computer. So go check it out you can also update it online! But If you do have the app it’s even easier because there is a built in UPC label scanner which will automatically grab the exact item from it’s database. You can also add your friends and help motivate each other.

I plan on doing a video review of the app in the near future. πŸ˜€ In the meantime go check it out! πŸ˜€

Well I could go on for hours about this stuff, and I need to get my ZZZZZ’s in. Have a great night and thanks for taking the time out to read my blog. Hey if you’d like to support me please feel free to share my blog with friends.

Once again, thank you for your time,

Liz (Leaping Lizard Cosplay)