Going For Tone
Lee-Ann Brookes didn’t want to just get skinny.
She wanted to get toned and fit for life
Name Lee-Ann Brookes
Job Cardiac rehab fitness instructor
Weight before 170
Weight after 120
The Gain: As a teen, Brookes kept trim by walking to and from school and playing volleyball and baseball. But when she went to college, she began putting on pounds: Between classes and studying, she never had time for exercise. Weekend drinks with friends and late-night pizza runs sent her weight soaring to 170 pounds.
The Change: As she began her senior year in 2001, Brookes, a kinesiology major, started panicking about how her weight might affect her career. “I was supposed to be an expert in exercise science, of all things!” she says. During a hiking trip with fellow students, she struggled to keep up with the group but felt exhilarated: “I thought, what would I be able to do if I was in shape?”
The Life: The next week, Brookes hit the gym and began cycling and walking 40 minutes a day, 3 days a week. She also rethought her food choices. Never a believer in dieting, Brookes didn’t count calories; instead, she focused on eating more vegetables and watching her portions. By the time she went home for Christmas 3 months later, she was down to 145. Adding weightlifting to her workouts helped her lose the last 25 pounds.
The Reward: When she graduated that May, Brookes was a svelte 120. Since then, she has shifted her fitness focus to toning and gained 5 pounds of muscle. “My goal was always to be fit, not skinny,” she says. To celebrate her new body, Brookes got a belly button ring and bought a bikini to wear on her honeymoon last year.
Compete with yourself. “If I did biceps curls with 10-pound weights last month, then this month I’ll challenge myself with 12-pound weights.”
Plan ahead. “I put workouts on my week’s schedule so I can always fit exercise in.” Shift your focus. “Don’t become obsessed with numbers. Instead, think about what you can do now physically that you couldn’t do before.”
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