I should do a better job of keeping my progress photos up to date. The before pictures aren't quite at the start of my strength training program, but close. Here is where I am at to date in my body re-sculpting goal.
I am a pear shape, so my changes happen in my upper body first. I can see my arms and overall girth in my upper torso shrinking.
Biceps are appearing! Arm circumference is decreasing.
Belly bulge is smoothing out.
I've experimented with and recorded my diet and routines in various ways over the years, so I have a comprehensive catalog of what works for me and what doesn't.
Diet and exercise work in tandem. I've never been truly successful doing one without the other. If I diet alone, then I eventually lose muscle tone - use it or lose it. I also can't work off a bad diet. If I exercise but eat poorly, I keep my muscle, but it gets covered in an ugly layer of fat, despite the calorie burn.
What they say about 80% of weight loss being nutrition is true. What I eat makes a big difference in my fat level.
As a demonstration, here is an older before-after photo. The top photo is from when I followed a standard high grain, high carb diet. The bottom is after I switched to a low grain diet.
The only thing I changed was the quantity of grains I ate. I switched from having three grain or starch servings per DAY to less than three per WEEK. They just aren't any good for me. If I sound a little overzealous about the anti-grain train, it's because I got such big results with a single change in my diet. That tends to build enthusiasm.
Currently, the composition of my diet remains the same - unprocessed freggies and protein, and very low grain. I added a strength training routine, and with the beautiful weather we're having in the South, I've been eager to get outside to walk and cycle.
I increased the amount of food I eat because my activity demands more fuel. I'm very picky about my food choices, though. What I eat must have something nutritionally I need, whether that is protein, potassium, omega-3s, or other. I look at what's on my plate and think, "What nutrients am I getting?" instead of "How many calories is this?"
I am moving more, eating more, and losing more. I'm not messing with a winning formula. I'd say I'm running on 90% octane.