My workout routine and journey

Several of you have asked me what my workout routine consists of.  It would be unfair to compare your routine with mine, so I thought I’d approach this a little differently, and I’d rather show you my workout journey, so you could understand how I got where I am.
My current workout routine is a mix of strength and cardio every day. Average calorie burn each day is 910. I try to do my run in the early morning when it’s cool, and I do my lifting in the evening.
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Here’s how I got there..

– Last May/June time-frame (2015), when I still had about 45lbs to lose, I started running. (At first I could only run for about 30 seconds at a time, then I would stop and walk for 5 minutes, then I would run again). Wash, rinse, repeat for 20 to 30 minutes.. I started doing this every night and within just a few weeks, I could run a 5k without stopping. (Yes, even though I was 45lbs overweight).
– I ran my first official 5k in June. I felt like super-man. I ran a 9-minute pace!
The cardio REALLY caused the weight to fall off rapidly and helped me overcome a huge plateau. It was at this point that I had suffered through a LOT of crappy running and I slowly came to star to enjoy it, instead of dread it.
– Because I was now enjoying it, I slowly added more running.. I ran my first 10k July 24th of last year.
– A few months later (around September / October) I started strength training and lifting, and stopped running all but once or twice a week. I had decided I was scared of getting a “runner body” and becoming “skinny fat” (that look where you are skinny, but still don’t look like you’re in very good shape)… I wanted to be toned!!
– Around November 2015, I hit my goal weight in the mid 160’s. Progress from Sept to November was slow, because the lifting was slowly replacing the fat with muscle. (Muscle weighs a lot more than fat). But for the first time in my entire life, I started to like the way I looked without a shirt on. I kept up the 5-day-per-week lifting routine all through the winter.
– This last spring, I realized how much I missed running, but didn’t want to give up the toned / chiseled look that I was getting from all the strength training… so now I do a lot of both.
– I now eat ~2,600 calories a day (yes, still working on chiseling away the last bits of fat, or I could eat a lot more)… I weigh 173lbs, and I’m about 12% body-fat.
– I now feel like crap if I eat junk food. Sometimes it’s worth it, most of the time it’s not. I HATE the way bad food makes me feel these days. (And it kills me to say that, because I LOVE junk food).

A few takeaways:

1) Put your own routine together. It should be based on what you can do. But WRITE IT DOWN, put it in your phone, and block out the time you need to do it each day. That way you always have time for it, you’ve got a plan when you start, and you feel awesome when you finish!
2) My workout routine is mine. It helps me accomplish my goals, which might be very different from your goals. In the fitness world, you’re not competing with anyone but yourself.
3) I went from needing to drop 45lbs to being fairly toned in a relatively short period of time by investing massively into cardio and strength training. I highly recommend using BOTH.
4) Success doesn’t happen overnight. While in hindsight, I feel like I transformed myself relatively quickly, it sure didn’t feel like it at the time!
5) Nobody likes cardio in the beginning. LIKING it is a gift you get only after you’ve lived through the misery for a while.
6) It’s not about what you can do… It’s about busting your butt and doing your very best!! I lost a lot of weight in the beginning by doing what I could with the body I had. I couldn’t run for more than 30 seconds. I still got in a quality workout by pushing my limits every night. Others may have been laughing at the fat guy trying to run (trust me, I looked ridiculous)… but by pushing my limits and keeping my heart-rate as high as I could, the weight melted off. I didn’t need to run 10 miles a day. I didn’t even need to run 1 mile a day. All I needed to do was get out there and work my butt off and do the best I could with what I had.

7) I was eating a very strict diet of 1,600 calories per day and sticking to my macros with near perfection the entire time. I still had a cheat meal 2 to 3 times a month. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet… and I wanted every drop of sweat to count.