First order of business, friends: I have finally started a facebook page for this little blog! I held off until I moved to my new domain name, but I am excited to interact with readers on Facebook. If you like the content I have provided, I would love it if you’d hop on over and “like” my new page! I won’t just be posting links to new posts–I will be sharing local events, photos, and other goodies that you won’t necessarily catch here on the blog or if you don’t use twitter. I hope you’ll join me over there! :)
So, last week was my first week really being back at the gym. I’ve “gone back” several times over the past year or so, but that usually entailed going twice a week for two weeks and then stopping for various
I am the kind of person who needs to get back into the healthy living swing with a plan. If I just go for it, I know it won’t last for long. I knew that once I lost a lot of weight, I wanted to focus on building muscle. I’d still like to lose a little more weight, but my goal right now is to live a life where I don’t count calories–just work out a lot and try to eat reasonable portions of quality food. I realize I will likely gain a few pounds by focusing on weightlifting, but I think that in the long term it will result in a leaner body.
Besides, we all know that the scale doesn’t matter THAT much–if you have not seen this WONDERFUL article, you’ve got to read it: “Attention Scale Addicts, Part Two” from Everyday Paleo (although this article has nothing to do with eating paleo). That article really speaks to me because the woman whose transformation is documented weighs what I did at my lowest.
Anyway–so I did a little poking around and found a weight lifting regimen online that I really liked. I made a decision to NOT weight myself every day, and to NOT count calories. I strapped on my shoes, and off to the gym I went!
The first two days, I felt invincible. Lifting weights makes me feel like a total badass. I promise I don’t lift weights for only that reason (……..)! I quickly realized a few things:
1 | I am not as strong as I imagined in my head. I envisioned doing all exercises with the bar at a minimum…but I could only do deadlifts & squats with the bar, and bench presses with 65 lbs. For all other exercises, I need to use dumbbells…and for triceps? Oh, my poor, poor triceps. They are by far the weakest part of my entire body. I really struggled with 10 lb dumbbells!
2 | My cardio endurance has plummeted. In my worst gym days (aka: the two sessions per week for two weeks & then stop going phase), I used to be able to run at least a mile before I would need to take a walking break. It seemed like my body didn’t have trouble returning to running, especially since I’ve done it on and off since high school. But this go-round? Not so, friends. I could barely run half a mile before needing to switch to walking. I was shocked at how much my endurance has suffered!
3 | Regardless of the above, working out still makes me feel like the most awesome kind of badass.
Monday was upper body, Tuesday was lower body, and Wednesday I did 30 minutes of cardio. Felt awesome.[caption id="attachment_740" align="alignnone" width="764"] pre-plank time! check out that super red face. that’s hard work! :)[/caption]
Then Thursday came, and my thighs and hamstrings were the most sore they have ever been. My legs have always been immune to the sad soreness that often plagues my arms. I mean, they’ve been sore in the past, but not like this. Not since the day after my very first personal training session. I couldn’t walk–I had to waddle everywhere! Each step was accompanied by an “ow. ow. OW.” So I took a rest day.
On Friday, I still could not walk like a normal human…but luckily it was an upper body day anyway. I got in some good stretching afterwards, and felt a million times better! The stretching was pretty painful, though. No matter how overweight I was in the past, I have always been flexible. In fact, in elementary school I simultaneously had the slowest mile time for my grade, and the highest level of flexibility. Usually I can fold my body in half when doing stretches like the one below, but I could barely make it to my knee. It felt good afterwards, though![caption id="attachment_738" align="alignnone" width="764"] in this picture I am thinking “owww ow ow. OWWW”[/caption]
PS: I promise I don’t wear the same clothes to the gym every time. I’m just lazy and only took pictures one day. :)
Sunday it was back to lower body, and although it was difficult, I made it all the way through week one of my new routine. I’m really happy being back at the gym and working out on a regular basis. I’m pumped for week two–I can only imagine it will get just a little bit easier this week as I get back into the swing of things![caption id="attachment_739" align="alignnone" width="480"] a happy bird post-workout! :)[/caption]
What healthy choices are you making this week?