Weekly Update

Well, another personal training session has come and gone... well, the soreness isn't gone yet... but that's okay! It's a good soreness, right? Right! It means I'm pushing myself! After a couple weeks away due to sickness and scheduling, I knew Tuesday's workout would be rough. But I welcomed it with exuberance and tackled the challenges my trainer set for me. And what challenges they were! First, he started me out on the stair climber... oh, the one cardio machine I've never touched at the gym. I know, I know. I just have never thought I'd enjoy it, like I do everything else. And you know what? I was right. The stair climber? Not an enjoyable machine. It's hard and boring. But you know what else? I'm going to keep at it. The elliptical and the bike aren't challenges for me. I enjoy them, but it's easy to adapt to them as my fitness levels get back to where they were. But the stair climber? Well, not wanting to do something means that you probably should. So I'm going to conquer it. It might take a year before I feel comfortable on the thing. But I'll get there.

After cardio, we did weights... it was leg day! And back, I suppose, as I did squats as well. I squatted 70 pounds! That's the most I've ever done! See, my muscles are still here... somewhere... underneath all the fat.Then we did leg curls and extensions on some machines, a pyramid workout that was really hard, and my trainer was excited to finally get some extreme facial expressions out of me (usually I have a stone cold game face when I'm doing a difficult workout). Then I had to walk downstairs and my knees wobbled on the way down, haha, that was fun. And it's two days later and going up/down stairs is still a source of soreness! So it was a really great workout!

I've got a make-up session on Saturday, so that's twice this week, woo! Can't wait to see what torture he puts me through for an arms workout.

To finish off this post, I got a new bathing suit! And I look pretty decent in it!
quick snapshot while I gamed last night
Sure, it's not the super cute swimsuit I had a few years back for aqua aerobics, but it fits, it's functional, and it looks nice. What more could I ask for? So, I won't be able to make it to aqua aerobics this Saturday (because I have personal training at the same time), but I'm going swimming tonight and I'm excited to get back into the pool!

How's your week been going? Anything exciting planned for the holiday weekend?

Just Did It: A Follow-Up

Despite yesterday's post saying I was going to go to the gym and get my workout done even though I didn't feel like it, I still spent most of yesterday trying to convince myself to go. In fact, I was in the locker room and still like, "I could just go home..." Terrible, right? The motivation just wasn't there yesterday.

But I did it. And you know what? I'm glad I did. It was the first workout since being back that I felt like my old self. Not that I'm back at that fitness level yet, but that I could do my current level of workout without feeling like I won't make it. I felt good. I even increased the levels on the elliptical and bike by a significant amount and still felt good. I was sweating, but I wasn't losing my breath. My lungs have adapted, and that's great. That's probably the biggest hurdle I had.

It's showing in other ways, too. I stepped on the scale this morning and I'm down another two pounds, which makes 10 total (!). Official weigh-in isn't until tonight at the personal trainer, and it might be up more from eating all day, but still. It was good to see that number on the scale. In addition to that, I went clothes shopping this weekend and fit into (and bought) a skirt that was a size down.

I've still got a ways to go, but I'm on my journey, and that's exciting. I haven't lost enough for anyone else to notice, but I know, and it's encouraging. And this weekend, I'm going to go out and buy a mirror so I can start doing progress pictures, since those are my favorite way to look back on my progress.

Personal trainer tonight, and I can't wait! The motivation is back!
I'll admit it. After being sick last week, I'm still off my game. I had to force myself to complete my workouts this weekend to finish my Gym Pact (or else pay ten bucks... no thanks), and I didn't track my food at all. Two things I normally have no problems with. My habits are off track.

So this morning I woke up, looked at my gym bag, and said "I can not pack it today". I'm tired, I'm in no mood to drag myself to the gym after work, it's fine if I just skip a Monday. Right?

Wrong, of course. So wrong.

I have a gym schedule. It's flexible, but Monday nights are not. For those curious, my schedule is this: Monday, Tuesday (personal training), Thursday or Friday, Saturday or Sunday. This way, I'm going to the gym four times a week and getting my money's worth. I'm also doing things outside of the gym, usually a half hour walk on my lunch break Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and a walk/bike ride the other weekend day that I don't go to the gym. So, while it's flexible, Mondays are not. I need that Monday workout to get the week off to the right start.

It would've been so easy to just pack my other bag this morning (in fact, it was already most packed, so it would've been much easier) and skip the gym tonight in favor of playing Splatoon (such a good rotation tonight!). It was tempting. I was almost out the door as such. But I knew I'd ultimately be disappointed in myself. So I packed my gym bag and will be going to the gym after work. Even though I don't want to.

So how does one find the motivation to go when you just don't feel like it? I'll be honest: sometimes the motivation just isn't there. And I say this as someone who loves working out. Sometimes you want to skip a day. But there's a difference between wanting to skip a day and needing to. If you need to, that's fine, it happens. But if you just want to... tell yourself that you're going to go anyway. Just get out there and do it. And if you're prone to wanting to skip, make it easier beforehand: pack your gym bag the night before, write some post-its to view along your morning routine, get a friend to yell at you tell you to go anyway. You don't always need to have motivation, you just need to go through the steps and get it done anyway. In the end, it doesn't matter if you felt like working out; it matters if you did it or not.

Apropos of nothing, I dyed my hair this weekend. It's dark.
Have a great Monday and get out there even if you don't feel like it!

Minor Setbacks

Things have been quiet around here since Monday. I know, surprising, since I managed to write a blog post almost every day last week. But I've been dealing with a minor setback, not a lack of words. It seems, every time I start on a journey of health and actually get the ball rolling... a few weeks down the line, when I've finally gotten into the habits I need to be successful, something comes up. That something, the last two times, has been spraining my ankle. Once I persevered despite it, once I didn't. But it was still a setback.

This week wasn't anything so major as even a sprained ankle. I was sick. Just a little cold/fever/sore throat that incapacitated me for a few days. I went to the gym Monday evening feeling great. I was kept up all night with a sore throat that came out of nowhere. And I spent the next two days in bed with a sore throat and fever, eating nothing but ice cream and soup (the only two things that felt good on my throat).

A minor setback, I'll agree, but a setback all the same. I haven't been to the gym since Monday. I had to cancel personal training on Tuesday. I spent two days in bed, barely moving at all, and a third still too tired to go to the gym after returning to work. This disrupted my workout routine, my healthy eating plan, and all the progress I've made on my back. Whereas I was finally living without, or with very little, back pain again, I was once again waking up in the middle of the night crying from pain. It hasn't been a fun week.

But, it was a minor setback. I'm over the brief cold, and plan to return to the gym in the morning. I've been doing my stretches, and had no back pain at all this morning. And although my diet wasn't the best for a couple of days, I'm back on track. I didn't let a few days derail me.

I didn't officially weigh in this week, since I missed personal training on Tuesday, and my weight has been a couple pounds up and down due to being sick. But it seems to have stabilized at 8 pounds down, three down from last week. Yay!

On the other hand, I just ordered a new bathing suit so I'll finally get to go to aqua aerobics again!

That's all for now, but I'll be back next week with more topics! How did your week go?
Sometimes we need an extra burst of inspiration, especially on Mondays. That's when I turn to a specific playlist on my phone full of "can do" attitude. These songs all say to go after my goals, screw the anxiety, and others' thoughts of me be damned. It also helps that they're all perfect tempos for working out, and make frequent appearances on my general workout playlists.

1. Plain White T's - "What If"
I'm gonna keep trying, getting denied just makes me want it more
Keep trying and each time, push harder than before
This has been on my running playlist since the day I discovered it. I think it was actually a big motivation in starting running in the first place. As I've mentioned, few things motivate me more than being told I can't do something. This song echoes that, and reaffirms that I can do the thing.

  2. Frank Turner - "If Ever I Stray"
Come on and join me in the water
Swim for hope
Sometimes it's hard to remember
I couldn't do this on my own
Sometimes we fall off the path, whatever that may be. Sometimes we need our friends to help us find our way back.This song reminds me that I do have the support of my friends, and it's okay to ask for help once in a while.

3. Sara Bareilles - "Brave"
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave
This song is all about positivity and not caring what others think. For many people, taking the first step to a healthier lifestyle takes a lot of bravery-- stepping in a gym for the first time, disrupting your comfort zone, telling your family or job that you need some time to focus on yourself. If you have anxiety, as I do, you're probably constantly thinking someone's judging you for being overweight at the gym or counting every calorie you put in your mouth (we're allowed to indulge once in a while!). Just be brave and do it anyway. (Side note-- this isn't the case most of the time. Usually people are cheering you on, if they notice at all.)
 (As an aside, watch the video. If that doesn't inspire you to hit the gym despite your current level of fitness, I just don't know!)

4. I Fight Dragons - "My Way"
I'm not perfect I'm just who I am
Is that ok?
Perfect's overdone and overplanned
In the modern age
I'm going to do things my way, forget the current fad diet or what other people say is the "right" way to get healthy. I know what works for me, I know what my goals are, and I'm going to listen to my body. I may fail once in a while, but this song reminds me that that's okay as well. I'm not perfect.

 5. Jimmy Eat World - "The Middle"
Just do your best
Do everything you can
And don't you worry what their bitter hearts
Are gonna say
 Time and time again, I come back to this song. It's a cure for my anxious thoughts and feelings that "it" is taking too long-- weight loss, getting fit, putting my life together. It just takes some time, don't worry about what others think.

What songs get you motivated to work out?