Twenty pounds, everyone. Twenty fabulous pounds! Two weeks ago I was lamenting that I’d hit a wall in my weight loss program. I’m happy to report I slammed through that wall like the Karate Kid on crack and am now officially halfway to my goal weight.

So how did I do it? Well, it was easier than I thought thanks to a few simple tips from my trainer Keith Sims and the guys at Burn Fitness.

Drinking more water definitely had a hand in bridging the plateau. But so did doubling up on my cardio. Whenever I trained in the morning I’d come back at night. If I trained at night, I’d come in the morning and jump on the bike. Now, you may think that two hours of cardio a day is a bit much, but it’s not like you have to adhere to this routine forever. It’s merely a way to kick start your metabolism into a higher gear to get you over the hurdle of that plateau.

Another way I helped speed my metabolism up, and I think this method is most crucial, was to refrain from eating prior to morning workouts. I can hear the groans from half the women reading this already. It’s not easy to wake up with a grumbling stomach, jump in the shower (yes, I shower before I go to the gym — I am single after all!) throw on your clothes, drive to the gym, train and do an hour of cardio when all you can think of is a warm bowl of oatmeal or a tasty egg white omelet. But, listen to why this works.

When you do cardio the first 20 minutes burns off all the glycogen that’s been stored in your cells. That means that the first 20 minutes you are burning any stored sugars and carbohydrates that you’ve recently consumed. But at night, while you sleep, your body burns up these stored sugars. So if you allow your body an eight-hour window where it has used up its glycogen reserves and then you do cardio — you’re going to immediately begin to burn fat. And fat, my friends, is what we want to burn.

The last thing I did to mix things up a bit; I took a Burn Fitness Turbo TRX class. The Tuesday evening class taught by Thomas Johnson, utilizes yellow suspension cables hanging from various anchor points in the ceiling. As you loop your hands through the straps and lean away from the anchor point, you use your body weight as resistance. TRX stands for “Total Resistance All Body Exercise,” and was coined by its designer, a former Navy Seal, Randy Hetrick, who, as Johnson explains, “Wanted to find a way to workout that was lightweight, which he could carry to different places, and use resistance other than push-ups and pull-ups, and body weight squats.”

The class is great for your core and gluts and as I quickly figure out, is more difficult the further away you lean from the anchor point. Johnson calls it, “The Cirque du Soleil of training,” because there are exercises where you actually hang from the cables, doing push ups while your legs are tethered to the straps. This is a more extreme version of the class that I took and certainly not for the faint-hearted and not for me just quite yet.

Johnson breaks up the TRX portion with boxing and kickboxing. Boxing’s not easy and I soon discover I have a horribly weak left jab. Sara Halpert, a regular to TRX jokingly advises, “When you’re hitting the bag, pretend our instructor’s face is on it.” But Johnson is way too nice a guy for me to ever think such a thing, however until now, I never realized how much fun punching something could be. We alternate between jabs, hooks and hammer punches. The class not only kicks my butt into shape, but it’s a great way to take out your aggressions. If you’re recently divorced or going through a tough break up … this is the class for you.

As I continue on this fitness journey, I’m learning a lot more than I anticipated. I understand better how my body works and why conditioning is so vital to its wellbeing. I’m correlating my eating habits with my weight loss advances (and seeing the difference in eliminating breads and pasta), but for today and most importantly, I’m learning I have a great right hook. Ka-Pow!

Taylor can be reached at tailfish@roadrunner.com.

By the numbers

Starting Weight: 182

Pounds Lost: 20.5

Current Weight: 161.5

Goal Weight: 135

Pounds to Lose to Goal: 26.5