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Friday, April 26, 2013

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A to Z 2013 : WORKING OUT

(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)


Spring finally decided to show itself! How nice of it to show up and grace us with a little warmth in the sun. It’s great walking weather outside right now, but have yet to do so. Maybe at some point this weekend; Sunday being the most likely.

This Winter I joined a gym — Planet Fitness, the non-judgmental judgmental fitness center! — and at first I lollygagged. My motivation to start exercising was definitely lacking. I wanted to do it, though. Wanted to start a healthier lifestyle. For $10 a month (and a $1 start up fee at the time) you can’t go wrong. Everywhere else I looked was easily 4-5x that amount. That monthly fee was one of the leading factors in avoiding the gym. Plus this gym was 24/7, which is a huge bonus for me. I am always up at all random times of the night.

I went maybe once a week at the beginning. Suddenly I had a surge of motivation and I was going six days a week. Much like the A to Z, Sundays were my day off. One hour on the elliptical and thirty minutes on the bike was my routine. Everyone screaming to high heaven about getting some weight lifting in prompted me to shift to every other day working with weights and only thirty minutes on the elliptical machine. I became discouraged when after a weeks of this regiment I was seeing no results.

I know I didn’t have the best diet (still don’t *chomping on Cheez-Its*), but it isn’t completely terrible either. I buy fruits and vegetables all the time, and eat salads or veggie burgers. On the flip side, however — especially on Mondays — I may grab some fast food. I try to stick to Subway when able.

Eventually, I stopped going every day and had some gaps in between visits. Then I become frustrated that I wasn’t keeping up with going so often, and that I would fall out of exercising altogether. That is the usual cycle of things. What I noticed, though, was once I stopped going everyday I began to see weight loss/results; as did others. Not just a pound or two, but fifteen. So part of me thinks that by going every day I wasn’t giving my body enough recovery time (on top of little sleep). When slowing down and my muscles could heal, the fat began to burn.

I’m pretty clueless when it comes to exercise and training. Even with dieting, you always seem to find an abundance of information; some even contradictory. I never know which is the best to follow, so I end up doing my own thing.

These past few weeks have been really bad, though. Falling back behind, going to Planet Fitness just once a week. Snow shoveling counts, but I think I’ve even gained back some of the weight I just lost. I’m kind of freaking out I will relapse into not going at all again.

An additional goal I am setting for myself is going to the gym at least three times a week (I know... cliche). One day is better than none, sure, but this week will be “none” because today was my day to go in, and so was yesterday, but so was Monday... and so on and so on. I need to get back on track! Can’t squander the little boost in health I just obtained this past month!

Do you currently have a gym membership? If so, how often do you go? If not, what keeps you from joining one? Any fancy schmancy exercise and/or dieting tips?

11 comments:

  1. I started walking when I got to Arizona, my weight is the highest it has ever been. I walk a mile every day and hope it works....I also eat fruit and veggies all day except for dinner... I have not yet seen results....but something was pointed out to me by my mom...thyroid issues run in our family, so we as a family should be tested and could infringe on weight loss until remedied.

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  2. It can be difficult to stay motivated to exercise! I have been pretty good about it over the past five months but still have my lapse days. Good luck in getting into a groove. :)

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  3. For real, dude. For real. I did a boot camp thing for a couple of years, and that was SUPER intense - like, burning a thousand calories an hour, easily - but it didn't do much for me because I kept eating like a garbage disposal. Eventually I figured there was no point in paying $80 per month, waking up at 4:45AM, and tearing the shit out of my knees, if I wasn't keeping up the other part of the bargain.

    Kinda been stalled out there ever since. I don't smoke or drink or eat twelve burgers a day, but I like what I like and it is REALLY hard to forego it. I need to get back on that wagon, though, and I so admire you for hanging on to it all this while - even by your fingernails!

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  4. I don't have a gym membership. but I did buy a treadmill. I used to go walking near my work, but after someone got stabbed (again!) I decided I probably shouldn't be walking around there in the semi dark.

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  5. I had a gym membership and would go 5 times a week for 2 hrs a day, and you are right. It took me a long time to see results. Eventually I gave up on goals of weight loss and focused on strength and energy. I found I was much happier. I ate what made me happy. (I'm a sucker for burgers, I could eat then daily)I do however, do so in moderation, like anything else. Running is my favorite when actually outside, and feels different than the treadmill. Elliptical is fun inside but I've done yoga and kickboxing too. Focus on happy and the rest does follow.

    Jen R

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  6. I have a gym membership. I do what you do, go full force, then slack off. I am not sure why, exactly. Part of it is, I prefer to run outside, which is what I'm starting to do again now that winter is on its way out. I am too wimpy to run in the winter.

    You can continue the weight loss! Just focus on how good it made you feel.

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  7. I had a gym membership many years ago but after about 6 months of intense loyalty I did the same as you and started saying 'I'll go tomorrow...' I haven't joined a gym since cancelling that membership. But we bought some workout dvd's (P90X, Bob Harper, some pilates something, etc). I see results with it when I stick to the routine & nutrition but they just get boring after a while. So instead I bought a stationary bike and now I "ride" to & from work everyday. I work from home so I just ride for 4 miles in the morning before I start and 4 miles "back home" after I wrap up for the day. Eight miles a day won't exactly make me Cindy Crawford but its something and I feel good sticking to it. I think that's the key, finding what works for you and going with it even if the thing changes at least you're still exercising...right? That's what I'm going with :-)

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  8. @Sunshyne Hmm I guess I never noticed, but it would be good to keep walking once getting back from AZ. Never knew of the thyroid issue. Not sure how to get it checked out. May involve... you know... a trip to the Dr...

    @Tracy, thanks! I've been getting more involved now already since posting this :)

    @Tex, oh got that sounds expensive for a horrible experience lol I'd much rather just do my own thing at home over that, but then again... the drill/drive would be greater by far in such a program.

    I hope you get back to working in some exercise into your routine!

    @Kellie, ACK stabbed?! AGAIN!? Where do you live exactly? Glasgow? Glad you got a treadmill. Those pieces of equipment work the shit out of me, and I can't do them for long like I can an elliptical machine.

    @Jen, hello Unknown, but I think I figured who you are haha That is fairly interesting. So a long time for results with you too? I am not sure what my happy factor would be. I plan to post about my exercising again elsewhere, being I have this odd absence of those endorphins (or whatever is released) during exercising that make you feel all tingly and good inside haha

    @Kianwi, I would prefer outside running/walking myself, but get caught up on wanting to do it with others. Not sure why the gym works some for me, as I avoided it because I had no partner, but it does now... somewhat. Many, including myself, avoid running in the Winter.

    @Jenn, My brother has PX90 and I want to try it really bad. I've heard it kicks your ass! BAH! Bring it I say! Yeah, it may kill me, but whatevs.

    I love your biking to work routine, and I may have to adapts it. I have a stationary bike I've not used in a while. It is VERY old school, though, and I don't believe it can even track mileage, but you know... I may be wrong. I will investigate. I will aim for 5 miles! Sounds like 15-20 minutes each way "there and back."

    And I am indeed still exercising, even more now since posting this. I don't think people see past replies, but yeah :)

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  9. I don't know how I missed this when you posted it. I certainly would have added my two cents! :)
    One thing to keep in mind, muscle weighs more than fat. When you are lifting weights and doing other strength training, you won't lose weight like you'd think, especially at first. After a while, though, once you've built more muscle, the muscle will burn calories when you aren't even doing anything. That's when you should see some weight loss. I highly recommend you don't worry about weight, but your strength and tone. Do you see a difference in your shape? Do you feel stronger/more energetic? Keep at it. And eat healthier. But most importantly, find something you enjoy that actually gets your heart-rate up. If you don't get your heart-rate up, you aren't going to lose weight.

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    1. Yeah, I accounted for possible muscle weight. I was focusing more on cardio, though, 1 hour elliptical 30 min bike. I worry I wasn't keeping my heart rate up when doing so. Not sure what the optimal heart rate is, and the machine never told me to increase it, but I've seen it tell me to "slow down" to reduce heart rate. I know I'm sweating all the while! lol

      That is the other concern I had. I didn't feel more energetic at all. I don't quite understand. After adding in weights, I've notices increased strength just in how much I can do each visit now.

      Eating healthier would be worlds better if I cooked meals :)

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