Monday, July 13, 2015

Back by popular demand...

I've had a few people reach out to me since I disappeared off the face of the earth this blog.




What's funny is that I have at least 5 drafts going that I haven't finished and published!!!

Just because I haven't checked in here doesn't mean I've been slacking on my workouts. I'm still working out at least an hour 5-6 days a week. I had a surge in weight loss at the end of May/beginning of June, but (as my body likes to do) I am in another plateau. We went on vacation for a week in June and eating out nearly every day (regardless of how careful I was) didn't help. Water weight comes on overnight but takes a week to come off- how the hell does that even makes sense?!?



My current workout schedule looks like this:

Mondays: Group Power (basically the same thing as BodyPump and holy shit do I love it)
Tuesdays: Zumba or cardio machines (preferably Zumba, because I am getting super sick of the elliptical)
Wednesdays: Group Power or Zumba (depending on what time of the day I can get to the gym)
Thursdays: Zumba
Fridays: Group Fight (MMA/kickboxing)

As you can tell from the above schedule, I have joined the cult of Zumba. I got over my self-consciousness in class when I realized how much freaking fun it was to just stop worrying about perfecting the steps and just move! According to my  Fitbit Charge HR, I burn between 700-800 calories in a class. I've been going to Group Fight for a couple months and it is SO. MUCH. FUN. I burn a crapton of calories during that class too.

Last Friday, for the first time ever, I doubled up on my classes- I did 40 minutes of Zumba followed by an hour of Group Fight. And I felt pretty freaking badass.




Hopefully this surge in activity (I'm only on week 2 of this schedule, before that I was piecing together time on cardio machines with a few classes here and there and not getting as good of a workout as I am now) will help me push past this new plateau.




I am sooooo close to 90 lbs lost that I can practically taste it! And it tastes like cake. Just kidding.... sort of.






Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stronglifts update


Today I logged my 6th Stronglifts 5x5 workout. I totally love the program and have become more comfortable in the "scary" free weights area of the gym. And, surprisingly, I've only embarrassed myself twice! The first time I did deadlifts I used the 70 lb barbell. My set went great but when it was time to put the weight back, I couldn't lift it up to re-rack. I left it on the ground hoping no one would notice.




Eventually I went to my instructor and asked for her help (she does Crossfit and is way stronger than I am). She was still laughing about it halfway through circuit training class.

On Monday, I got to the gym and picked out a bench for my bench presses...completely missing the fact that someone was already using it until he came over to move his stuff to a new bench.



Awkwardness aside, it's been awesome to see the amount of weight I can lift increase! I've only been doing it twice a week (supposed to be 3x/week), but am planning to eventually bump it up, probably when I'm done with this 6 week cycle of my circuit training class. If you're wanting to add strength training to round out your exercise, Stronglifts 5x5 is a good place to start!!!



Monday, May 18, 2015

Progress!

As I've mentioned ad nauseum over the last few months, I have been working my butt off to break through a weight loss plateau. Finally after 10 months of bouncing around in the same 5-10 lb range, the plateau is definitely broken!!!



I'm down 4 lbs from my lowest weight. Even though a 4 lb loss over the course of 10 months is slightly depressing, I am so unbelievably relieved and happy that things are moving along again.

Also, I've lost 1-2 inches over most of my body over the last month! That's made a huge difference in my clothes. I had a couple dresses that were too small that I've been hanging on to (one I've had for so long that I don't even know if I still like it) and they now fit.



I've been tracking my weight and inches lost throughout the last 2 years on a massive excel spreadsheet, and I've finally been able to start tracking on there again. It's insane to look at how much I had to lose when I started and how much lower that number is now.




I have changed my workout a little bit over the last few weeks, so I will write about that in my next post!

Happy Monday!



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fitness trends

Am I the only one around here who loses track of the fitness trends? I'm pretty sure I've tried most of them, and I definitely have my favorites. Like I mentioned in my last post, I still have an undying love for kickboxing (hello, 2001).  Some of the newer trends I've tried over the last couple years have included HIIT (high intensity interval training)- although I was never part of the Crossfit camp, I've done T25 and some of Jillan Michaels' videos that use HIIT concepts. I really enjoy the short bursts of intense work! And of course, you've heard about my (awkward) Zumba attempts...

In my circuit training class, the instructor often incorporates bodyweight training. These are great exercises to have in your roster for when you are unable to go to the gym (like when you're traveling or in jail) and still want to fit a good workout in.


it's a thing

I recently came across this article by Bankers Healthcare Group (they're a provider of financing for healthcare professionals) regarding the top fitness trends to watch in 2015. I was shocked to realize that I am, for once in my life, on trend! Apparently, 2015 will be the year of getting "back-to-basics" when it comes to fitness, with old-school bodyweight moves as a highlight. Love it!

not this old-school

 
With so many die-hard Crossfitters out there, I doubt it will disappear completely... but according to physical therapists, working through the pain (as certain HIIT programs endorse) can lead to injury.





What's awesome about bodyweight fitness is that you don't need equipment or a gym membership.
Some of the bodyweight exercises I've done in my circuit training class are push-ups, tricep dips (you can use a chair or bench), lunges, bridges, and squats. Actually, we've done everything in this adorable infographic:




I really don't care what kind of workouts people do, be it Crossfit, bodyweight fitness, aqua Zumba, step aerobics.... as long it makes you sweat and feel badass, do it! But don't get hurt...




P.S. My favorite part of that article? Adult. Jungle. Gyms. How much fun would that be?!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Workout plans




I swear I haven't neglected you guys on purpose. I've been super busy with real estate stuff. Not actual selling yet (unfortunately) but training and business planning and fun stuff like that.



But I have NOT been neglecting my workout efforts!

I stuck to my regular gym schedule last week, aside from Friday which I spent in a zombie state after staying up most of Thursday night taking care of a sick kiddo. The only thing I had energy for that day was binge watching Million Dollar Listing New York.



It was the last week of my circuit training class (it's a 6 week cycle), and I'm leaning towards re-signing for the next session. HOWEVER, that may change because the instructor has agreed to meet with me and help me conquer my biggest gym fear: weights. I'm totally comfortable with the weight machines but the free weights are very intimidating. That being said, it's something I really want to overcome because I know that lifting can transform your body and help with plateaus.

I've decided to start with Stronglifts 5x5. I like the simplicity of the program:



My instructor is also going to check my form so I can avoid getting into bad habits from the start. I haven't decided yet if both the circuit training class and Stronglifts would be too much weight training... if anyone has any insights, comment and let me know!

While I still miss running and plan to get back to it once I drop 10 or 15 lbs, having workout goals and plan really helps keep me motivated!

I've been staying away from the rest of the group classes (even though I do love Zumba) because I love my quiet time on the machines. I watch old episodes of 48 hours on Youtube or listen to podcasts (currently really into Snap Judgment and old episodes of This American Life). That being said, my Y is adding a group fight class (kickboxing with other martial arts elements) and I am really excited for it! I loved kickboxing when it was a big workout trend 15 years ago. In fact, I even did a speech on it in college because I am that cool.




Sunday, April 19, 2015

Workout Log

I had to deviate from my regular workout schedule this week because I felt really crummy on Wednesday and Thursday. I felt really run down, like I was getting a cold but thought that whatever respiratory issues usually come with a cold were masked by the multiple allergy meds I took (allergy season is in full bloom in Arizona right now). Ultimately, I don't think it was a cold because I felt fine on Friday.




Monday I did around 40 minutes on the elliptical and took a 30 minute walk. Tuesday I was running late, so I didn't get a chance to warm up on the elliptical before my circuit training class, but all our squats and lunges really kicked my ass and I was sore for the rest of the week!! I took a 30 minute walk that day too.

On Wednesday I woke up feeling like crap, but, convinced that a little fresh air would perk me up, I ended up taking a few walks (around an hour total). It didn't help. Probably made me feel worse, in fact.


Thursday I decided to officially take a rest day, so I didn't go to my circuit training class. Friday I was desperately missing the endorphins and got my butt to the gym for 40 minutes on the elliptical, and around 20 minutes on the weight machines (also took a 30 minute walk later). I did the one legged leg presses and lifts that I used to do in physical therapy. I've been neglecting my ankle exercises, so I'm really trying to work that back into my workouts. Although my calf is finally the same size as my left leg again, I can definitely tell my right side is weaker when I do balance exercises.

The scale has been inching down at an extremely slow rate, but at least it's going in the right direction! Proof that the scale is not always the best way to gage your progress? The fact that I've dropped two pant sizes in the last month!




It was surprising, to say the least!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Night Owl to Early Bird Update

Way back in January, I pledged to go to bed early and get up early. I'm happy to report that it has gotten progressively easier to get up when that alarm goes off! I'm asleep by 10:30 most nights (give or take), and my alarm goes off at 6:45. It is really nice to have more time during the day to accomplish all that I need to. I do usually stay up a little later on weekends, but I've found that it's a lot harder for me to sleep in late... I'm up around 8 am most weekends.

All in all, I'd say this experiment has been a success- I may never be a morning person naturally, but at least I've made it easier for myself!

On a related note, we got this sticker out of the vending machine at the grocery store, and I had to laugh because it's so me (at least before coffee):