Lowering body fat through weight loss

I've been aiming to get back in shape for a while now. I've never really been fond of my body, but it wasn't a huge enough issue for me that I cared enough to change it. I didn't gain the dreaded "Freshman 15" and I was so proud of that! A few years later I realized that's probably because I had to walk everywhere. Although I've never really had bad eating habits (I eat fast food maybe once a month and it's usually the healthiest item I can find on the menu), by junior year the alcohol and lack of activity was starting to catch up with me. I went from a size 6 at probably 130 lb to a size 8 closer to 140/145. I tried to do P90X, but I was neither flexible nor strong and the diet was so strict that after 45 days (and almost no result) I gave it up. I went back to my old ways and after a particularly boring (i.e. more alcoholic than usual) final summer internship, I felt like I had gained more weight but figured I'd work it off by living alone on campus my senior year giving me the ability to eat better and walk to class again. The end of first semester this year brought an unwelcome surprise though... I had hit 160 lb and had to move up to a size 10. Just going up the stairs to my apartment made me slightly winded. I knew that this year I needed to do more than just try to maintain, I needed to make a big change. Never being much of one for the gym (stereotypical for an engineer perhaps, but I've got some social anxiety issues so the idea of going to a gym and being watched while at my worst terrified me) I was unsure how to best make it last. I bought a Kinect and was doing Zumba every day the first week and keeping my calorie defecit high while trying to choose healthier foods based on some of the things I did learn from P90X, but I knew it wouldn't be good enough eventually. When one of my friends dragged me with her to our campus rec center, it was a breakthrough moment for me. I wasn't the only one afraid of being judged, and there wasn't much judging going on. I still go early in the mornings or late at night to avoid being surrounded (not much of a people person anyway), but its an amazing jumpstart to my mornings. My combined efforts have resulted in almost a 6 pound loss over the first 3 weeks of the new year, and I'm ecstatic! I'd love to be able to be comfortable in a bathing suit by the cruise my friends and I are going on for spring break (I'm hoping 15 pounds by then), to be within 10 of my goal weight by graduation in May, and then to finish strong over the summer as I start my new job. It'll be a long path, but I know it'll pay off in the end. Right now I'm working on incorporating toning and strength training into my currently cardio-intensive workout plan to balance it out... though the last effort to do so didn't go as planned (I'm taking my first day off of working out today to nurse two very strained hamstrings in hopes of avoiding further damage). 


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