Spinning 5 Days a Week Wasn’t Helping Me Lose Weight. Here’s the Workout That Did.

After quickly plateauing while taking spin classes all the time, Inge Thickening knew she needed to add strength training to her plan.

Photographs courtesy Inge Thickening.

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one local’s story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email ccunningham@phillymag.com

Who: Inge Thickening, 37, a nurse practitioner from Fishtown

Why I wanted to make a change: “I decided to make a change about 18 months ago. I was unhappy with the way I looked in my clothes. I had an injury in 2011 and suffered a fractured ankle. I had been an active person and the injury was a setback, in addition to an extremely hectic work schedule. I was inspired to make a change because of the weight gain I was in a great deal of pain that was affecting my ankle and was really limiting my range of motion and my ability to sustain prolonged walking. I was also just sincerely fed up with not being at my best physically and not being comfortable with what I saw in the mirror.”

Height: 5’2″

Starting weight: 218 pounds

Current weight: 153 pounds

What all changed: “I feel like a brand new person! Everything has changed and improved. I’m stronger physically. I also did a lot of research about they types of workouts that provide the most neurological benefits. There’s a lot of research out now about exercise and it’s neurological benefits such as improving your mood and also prolonging and in some cases preventing the onset of degenerative brain disease.”

How I changed my exercise plan: “I initially started out spinning just because I had done that before and felt confident doing that. I was spinning five days a week, and I plateaued quickly. I heard about kickboxing from a co-worker. I started that and added that to spin five days a week. I plateaued there as well. Through reading, I knew I needed to lift weights to speed up my metabolism and to build muscle that I wanted. So I heard about RippedPHL from a spin instructor and decided to try it. I started there a couple days a week. I did know know how to use weights or put together a routine for results that also had a fast pace, so RippedPHL met that need for me. I built myself up to daily workouts there. So as of now I work out everyday, six to seven days a week, at least an hour a day.  But most days (five to six days a week) I work out two hours a day.”

How I changed my diet: “I didn’t cut out any food groups. I really modified my behavior around activities and food, like mindless snacking while watching TV, regular happy hours, etc. I became mindful of what I was eating and actively decided to only eat meaningful, nourishing food. I used apps like MyFitnessPal to plan my meals carefully. I focused on protein, healthy fats, and whatever carbs I needed. I cut out added sugar and stayed away from sugary fruits to get over any insulin resistance that I most likely had so that I could lose weight.”

“Those days when I really didn’t feel like working out and would rather be doing anything else, I worked out anyway. Those end up being the most rewarding workouts.”

The hardest part: “The hardest part were the plateaus. Those take a huge mental and emotional toll. Trust me, I cried, made frantic phone calls to my parents and siblings, was angry. I got through it by being realistic and seeing what I honestly could change, improve, add to get over it. Mostly, I didn’t lose hope and give up. I just kept going, and eventually I would break through. Also, those days when I really didn’t feel like working out and would rather be doing anything else, I worked out anyway. Those end up being the most rewarding workouts. I just never allowed myself to take easy way out.”

What I’m most proud of: “I am overwhelmingly happy about no longer being intimidated by fitness or workouts on any level. I am most proud of the fact that I made a promise to myself to change and I kept that promise and goal.”

What I want everyone to know: “Most of us, provided we are in good health, are not powerless to change our bodies and achieve our fitness goals. Also, there’s a deep connection between the mind and the body, and not only will you look better, you’ll feel better.”

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