My Health Journey: The Workouts

by Meg on March 24, 2014

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend and enjoyed some spring-like weather wherever you are! Unfortunately, spring has not sprung in London yet, but hopefully it’ll come soon! I’m in desperate need of some sunshine!

Today I will be continuing on with my new series, My Health Journey, where I’ve been sharing the things I’ve done in my life to make the biggest steps in my recovery and get to the healthy place I am today!

In last week’s posts, I spoke about outgrowing my jeans and being proud of it, defining my personal definition of health, and changing my mindset. Today I will start off the week by talking about my workouts, how they’ve changed over the past couple of years, and how it has brought me to the healthy place I am today.

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When I first shared this picture on Instagram over a week ago, one of the first comments I received was about my workouts. If they changed and how. If I was doing cardio when the picture on the left was taken and not in the recent picture.

I wasn’t planning on blogging about how my workouts have changed from the picture on the left to the picture on the right because, to be honest, they haven’t changed all that much, but I wanted to answer the question I received and share the few ways my workouts actually have helped me get to where I am today.

When the picture on the left was taken, I was weight lifting 5 days a week (2 leg days, 1 chest, 1 back, and 1 shoulder day) and not doing cardio. Now, I am weight lifting 4 days a week (2 lower body days and 2 upper body days) and not doing cardio. As you can see, not much has changed, but, as I mentioned last week, my mindset about working out and how I workout have most definitely changed.

In the past, I very much focused on my appearance when working out. I wanted six pack abs and a perfectly sculpted body, but now, although I do love the muscle gains I am making, improving my appearance is not why I workout.

I workout to be healthy, to gain strength, and be the best version of myself I can be.

I also always make sure that I’m doing what I absolutely love. 

In the summer of 2013, I was really feeling like I was in need of a break of the typical bodybuilding-style workouts I was doing, which is why I started doing GPP.

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GPP did a lot of good things for me. GPP taught me not to fear running, box jumps, burpees, olympic lifts, and that I am capable of actually running a mile!

It also taught me a lot about health. The main goal at GPP is to achieve optimal health, which was perfect for me. I was able to focus on only achieving optimal health while doing GPP and put my obsession with my outer appearance off to the side.

Even though I no longer do GPP regularly like I did in the summer, I still love it and always will, but once this winter rolled around I felt that I needed to get back to lifting heavy. The craving was there and I had to satisfy it!

So, I did. But I was able to take what I learnt from GPP and apply it to my training today. Like GPP, I still have optimal health as my main goal and I’ve also adopted their minimalist approach, as well.

At GPP they do what is necessary and nothing more, they are minimalists, and I loved that about their programming, so I adopted it into mine, as well.

Currently, I use Nia Shanks’ workout template to help me design my workout programs and it’s been working really great for me! I focus on squats, deadlifts, OH presses, pull ups, and other push/pull exercises that assist me in reaching optimal health.

It’s me vs. me.

I try to lift heavier or go for one more rep week after week.

I listen to my body and do the workouts it craves.

And that is one of the ways I got to where I am today!

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz @ I Heart Vegetables March 24, 2014 at 7:49 AM

You look so amazing!!! You’re doing fantastic :) I hope you are SO proud of yourself because you deserve it girl!

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 7:57 PM

thank you so much, my love! you are SUCH a good friend <3

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Linz @ Itz Linz March 24, 2014 at 8:29 AM

i love how you said you workout for your health – AMEN!!

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 7:57 PM

thanks girly :)

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Samantha @ The Faithful Runner March 24, 2014 at 8:32 AM

I think weightlifting is a great tool that a lot of women overlook because it seems hard or they don’t want to bulk up. I love it and find it way more instantly rewarding than a run (although I hate to admit it..) Your progress is amazing. Thanks for showing us all aspects of your journey. :)

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 7:59 PM

thanks Samantha! And I couldn’t agree more about the weight lifting thing! I was even thinking of putting together a series of posts with contributions from other women talking about weight lifting and what it has done for them!

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Ang @ Nutty for Life March 24, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Meg, I’ve been loving this series. It’s so inspiring and I wish everyone in the world could read it. The changes you’ve made in your life are amazing and I wish you nothing but the best going forward from here!!

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM

everyone in the world!? ahhhhh you are TOO SWEET! thank you my friend

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Livi March 24, 2014 at 8:57 AM

This is wonderful!! Thanks Meg!

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 8:01 PM

so happy you enjoy :D

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Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries March 24, 2014 at 9:24 AM

You look so much healthier in the photo on the right, and I’m so glad you are able to see that. :) Like you said, I think it’s important to honor what you and your body wants and craves when it comes to exercise (and food, for that matter). It needs to be fun otherwise it has the potential to turn into obsession and a negative thing. Keep up the great work girlfriend!

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 8:01 PM

thank YOU my sweetie pie!!!!!! :D your support means the world to me

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Sara @ LovingOnTheRun March 24, 2014 at 9:31 AM

You look amazing and I love that you go with what your body feels like. Great job to you for knowing something needed to change and making the change!

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 8:01 PM

thanks Sara :D

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Brittany L March 24, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Sooo proud of you Meg! You’ve come such a long way, and you look absolutely amazing. Such an inspiration love<3

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 8:02 PM

you are an inspiration to me as well sweetie :D

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Letizia March 24, 2014 at 11:09 AM

You look great. Thanks for sharing your recovery posts! They really inspire me.

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 8:02 PM

I am so glad :) more to come!

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Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl March 24, 2014 at 2:16 PM

When you first started lifting, how much weight did you start out with? I started lifting this month and find it tough to find a balance between what is “too much” weight (and can cause injury) and what is “not enough.”

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 8:03 PM

great question babe! i just started with weights that i could do 8 – 12 reps with with proper form :D

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Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl March 24, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Thanks for the reply! I’ll be keeping that in mind :)

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Trina March 24, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Thank you for being so open and brave about sharing your journey! It’s a huge encouragement! Keep up the good work!

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 8:03 PM

thank you!!! <3

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Jenn@Mark My Miles! March 24, 2014 at 4:54 PM

You not only look amazing, I bet you FEEL so much better than you did in the pic on the left. That is what’s most important, like you said : )

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 8:04 PM

ahhhhhhh sooooooooo much better :D thank you

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Kim @FITsique March 24, 2014 at 6:31 PM

I Love seeing women workout and lift weights to be just straight badass strong! It’s time we show these men we can lift weights and look good while doing it :)

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Meg March 24, 2014 at 8:04 PM

hahaha amen ;)

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Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate March 24, 2014 at 9:34 PM

I absolutely love your perspective on your workouts, and you are obviously killing it in the gym lady!

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Meg March 28, 2014 at 6:39 PM

awww thanks! you too!

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Purelytwins March 24, 2014 at 9:39 PM

you’re killing it in your workouts! such an inspiration for us to work harder :)
lova ya

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Meg March 28, 2014 at 6:40 PM

awwww geeee ;) thanks girls xoxoxo

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Jody - Fit at 56 March 24, 2014 at 9:57 PM

You just look amazing – so much progress – whatever you are doing – you are doing it right! :)

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Meg March 28, 2014 at 6:40 PM

awww thank you girl! thank you! means so much coming from YOU

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Natalie @ lovenataliemarie March 24, 2014 at 10:28 PM

You’ve grown so much strength, internally and externally. I love lifting and how empowering I feel. I’m not a big cardio fan.

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Meg March 28, 2014 at 6:40 PM

me either! lifting is my fav :)

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 25, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Good work, lovey!!

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Meg March 28, 2014 at 6:40 PM

thanks sweetie pie!

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