Way to go Valerie! Seriously, way to go! That gal worked hard for that body and she deserves the big ol’ grin on her face in those bikini shots.
Valerie’s weight loss can be broken down into two phases: the 40 pounds she lost through Jenny Craig, and the additional 9 pounds she lost by stepping up her game. Here’s how she did it.
For the first nine months, Valerie stuck to her Jenny Craig meal plan and strapped on a pedometer, walking 10,000 steps a day. That dropped the first 40 pounds. She was thrilled, I’m sure, but apparently not done yet. She swapped her walking routine for running five times a week, plus she started working with a personal trainer. That allowed her to lose the additional nine pounds as well as get the tone you see on her body.
Valerie perfectly demonstrates two points:
- You have to raise your game if you plateau and want to continue to shed pounds to reach your goal weight.
- You won’t get toned if you don’t add weight training.
Walking over four miles a day (the equivalent of 10,000 steps) will definitely get the weight off your frame, but it comes with some drawbacks. Over time, as your body becomes lighter and lighter, you burn less calories walking those same 10,000 steps. You’re no longer working to propel 170 pounds down the street, and wind up burning about 50 less calories a day at a weight of 130.
Also, the walking you do over the course of a day doesn’t give you a cardiovascular workout. Valerie found that as she got lighter she needed a more strenuous activity, running, to shed additional pounds. As you lose weight, you’ll need to do this too, and the only way is to either increase the number of daily steps you take or switch to a more aggressive workout.
Valerie saw how walking created tone in her leg muscles as they got stronger and more sculpted, especially if she was incorporating hill climbing into her routines. But walking would only have a minimal impact on her abs, arms and back. By hiring a personal trainer and adding weights, Valerie was able to get the abs and arms you see in People. Walking alone didn’t do it.
Finally, she didn’t go from being a couch potato to an all out hard body. She took “one day at a time,” getting thinner and stronger slowly. She averaged a little more than one pound a week of weight loss while she was strictly on the Jenny Craig diet.
Research has shown that losing weight slowly means it’s much less likely to creep back on.
Valerie, you’re a smart girl. Savor your success! You’ve become a great role model and I hope you kept those bikinis; they look great on you.