Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Bottom Line

In January, I decided to make some nutrition changes to lean up my frame. I signed up for 12 Weeks of FirstLine Therapy Nutrition at Accelerated Fitness Solutions in Cromwell. To be clear, this is not a diet. My existing nutrition plan was fairly healthy, but my body was accustomed to what I was doing. I needed to change "something" in order to make my body change again. I opted to work with Accelerated Fitness Solutions because I trust their guidance in matters of health and fitness. Caryn Acevedo helped me expand my food repertoire and learn to be more flexible in my eating patterns. She also provided education on how foods impact the body. Beyond the structure and recipes of a healthy eating plan, she taught the underlying thought processes.   

(For anyone who missed the details of my saga from a size 20W trouser to a 2 misses, please take a look at my December blog, "Do These Nachos Make My Hiney Look Fat?".)

I completed my 12 weeks on April 5th. I met with Caryn on April 6th for my final BIA (a method of measuring body fat in relation to lean body mass) and guidance for how to shift into a maintenance phase when ready.

Here's what changed in 12 weeks:

I dropped 11 pounds of fat. Muscle mass not affected.
My body fat percentage dropped 5% to 25.7%.
I learned how to deal with food a little better. Ok, a lot better.
My clothes fit differently. My body is visibly leaner in appearance.

Most importantly, working with Caryn Acevedo at Accelerated Fitness provided insight and education into how the body uses food. She reinforced the idea that it is not about what you weigh, it is about how you look, feel and perform. A scale does not measure muscle or fat, but your jeans tell you the truth every time. I replaced all my extra small workout capris with a slim cut, tight leg version in extra small because the others were falling down.

When in my life did I ever think I would have that problem?

Emily Woodward of Images by Emily popped back into the training studio one morning while I was working with my trainer of almost 2 years, Kevin Carlson. Kevin is the managing partner of the Cromwell facility. He's the person I most trust to guide me along this journey and the one who works to keep me injury free along the way.

I go where Kevin points. It's that simple. He gets results.

This is Kevin, demonstrating how he wants me to hold the bar for a different type of squat movement than I normally perform. He does this so I may emulate his use proper form.

This is me attempting the squat with the bar resting on the front of my shoulders. The weight is very light because I need to learn to deal with the posture which I found interesting

(That's my way of saying I prefer to squat bigger weight with the bar behind my head as I am accustomed to that, but I do what I am told because I trust Kevin and he designed this plan with my long-term goals in mind. Besides, who can argue with the results.)

That's Kevin right behind me - keeping a watchful eye.

Pushups with a weighted row.

This one should be titled, "You're doing it wrong".

While Emily was snapping the first picture, Kevin called me on my form. I am forever dropping my hips and dipping my head. With these photos, I have a much better sense of how to correct my alignment when he says something. I appreciate his help so much because his guidance stops me from injuring myself. I watch others in the weight area of my regular gym and see many instances where bad form could result in muscle strain, back or knee injury or simply where someone is cheating themselves out of a good result by using improper form.


Incline bench press, 35 pounds in each hand.

Kevin stays close by to make sure I manage the weight safely as I tire after multiple sets.

At this point, I am about to raise the weights and turn them to begin the set.

Pull downs, kneeling on one knee

Squat and pull

Here is the exercise that really gets my heart racing and takes everything I have.

Kevin calls these "Up and Overs".

I call them "Are We Done Yets?"

(I should point out Kevin fails to see the humor in this.)
Standing on one side of the box, step up and step off the other side, repeat in reverse. One foot or the other is on the box at all times. Continue this motion for a set period of time.

There are multiple sets of this with timed rests in between.

As I tire, Kevin encourages me to keep moving.

This blog is an insight into my progress and a glimpse into some of the exercises in one my latest workout programs. As I move forward in the programs, the weights increase. The programs change after so many weeks. It keeps me challenged and interested, never bored. I also get results.

In the long run, it's not about a number, it's about how I feel. I'm strong, confident, happy and secure in the knowledge that I have both the tools and the support systems for continued success.

My new goal is to drop my body fat to 21 or 22%. I will play it by ear, to see how I look and feel as I approach those numbers. It's about both the definition I want to see and the level of conditioning I experience.

In the meantime, I have a planned deviation on April 12th to which I am looking forward. Emily Woodward, my favorite shutterbug, is also the owner and head baker at Get Baked in Windsor. I have waited all this time to taste exactly one Triple Chocolate Nutella Brownie. You might remember I talked about this in my blog, "I Want It Now".

I promise to report back. It may just be a photo blog of me with big smiles and chocolate smears on my face. Stay tuned.  


  1. Sure was hoping to get to meet Emily tomorrow...but we'll make it another day....or I'll find my way there next chance I get...besides, I had a whole weekend of diversion and I'm just now starting to feel back to normal...Now I could just use some sleep...:)
    Great pics and I have no doubt you'll reach your desired 21% very soon...Looking forward to the chocolate smeared face...I'll be thinking of you at 1...:)

  2. KK, sorry about your schedule snafu. I'll be happy to introduce you to Emily another time. She's always got something good baking in the kitchen. <3 M

  3. When you set your mind to something, you don't let anything get in the way of success. I admire that a great deal. If you were to run for public office, I'd totally vote for you.

  4. Thank you, Elizabeth! That's a real compliment! (You should have seen me set my mind on that brownie yesterday!!)


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