At 200 pounds, Denise Fields got real with herself. With her size 14 pants starting to feel tight, she promised herself that she would drop the weight and get healthy. By starting in the kitchen, Denise was able to set herself up for long term success!
Kitchen Clean-UpDenise's first step was tidying up her diet. Her regular morning mocha was switched out for a balanced, clean breakfast and her favourite restaurant meals were replaced by six smaller meals. Denise wasn't afraid to play around with spices and healthy food swaps, and in the end, she says, "most surprising to me was that I could cook healthy foods that I actually loved more than the bad-for-me foods." Who said healthy eating had to taste like healthy eating?
No More ExcusesDenise's second step was to rid herself of any and all excuses. "We all make time for the things that are important to us," says Denise. "Once you find an activity that you love to do, it won't seem like exercising as much." For Denise, that activity was running. As an attorney, she's no doubt got a full plate, but she managed to squeeze in five cardio sessions and three strength training sessions a week! It clearly had an impact because in less than a year, she managed to drop 50 pounds. Unfortunately, at that point, she ran into a problem many of us know all too well. She plateaued. Not one to be stopped, Denise tightened up her diet, started drinking even more water and refined her workouts. She began to focus on only two muscle groups per training session and introduced Tabata to her routine! "I just told myself that to quit or slack off at this stage is like stopping just when you see the finish line." She was right! Five months later, she hit 130 pounds and is wearing a size 6!
Mix It UpDenise clearly loves her cardio but that doesn't mean it can't get boring. Here are her tips for keeping it interesting:
- Change up your course: Look online for new routes.
- Change up your terrain: Don’t shy away from hills.
- Change up your pace: Try sprint intervals on the track.
- Change up your finish line: Sign up for a 5k or half-marathon for an added training incentive.