Workouts lately + my rule about the scale

by Kim on April 7, 2015

SO EXCITED: our family vacation to Florida starts in less than 2 weeks! I’m crazy pumped, but also crazy nervous. (Kids + planes + schedule/routine interruptions, oh. freaking. my.)

We booked this vacation three months ago, and honestly, the wait was a cinch. In fact, the anticipation has been so much fun—just daydreaming about all the good stuff and ignoring all the potential bad stuff. (I mean, everything COULD go smoothly right…?) And it’s definitely helped me keep the late-winter “I’m so over this” chip off my shoulder.

IMG_7082

Anyway, since I have some swimsuit-wearing in my near future (and it’s nice to have a reason), I’ve been getting a little more serious in the gym lately. Meaning: strength training with heavy weights (typically, a variation of these workouts, with 15-25 lb. dumbbells).

Oh, and I’m on a huge stairmaster kick—such a good butt-burner, and it can really get your heart rate going with hardly any stress on the joints. (My knees still complain sometimes about all the pavement-pounding I used to do… I can’t say I’ll never train for a race again, but outside of that, long distance running and I have pretty much broken up.)

I still like the treadmill for occasional sprints, but wow! 10 minutes of fast stair-climbing blasts my lower body in a way that running could never touch.

(P.S. I’m getting so into this that I’ve actually researched stair-climbing races—haha! My next big thing???)

Another part of my routine is BodyFlow—I’m teaching 1-2x a week, but I also need plenty of practice time, since I’m constantly learning new tracks. I also like to sneak into the studio at the gym after my regular workouts, hook my iPod up to the stereo system, and run through an ab track or two as my core finisher. Double wammy—core training + teaching practice. Something about just being on that stage makes me work harder!

(P.S. If you want abs: pilates, pilates, pilates. WOW. For real. I mean, and nutrition of course, but from an exercise perspective: PILATES! … And PSA over.)

I’ve also been doing more leisurely walking, thanks to the weather getting a little nicer. I think walking is tragically underrated, and should be a legit part of everyone’s workout routine. It’s the perfect complement to any high intensity training, and helps keep life stress (physical/emotional/mental—it’s all the same to the body) under control—which, of course, is the #1 secret to keeping hormones nice and balanced. (And when hormones aren’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, right? Ha.)

So that’s what I’ve been doing lately. My workouts are mostly happening in the evenings, because kids. (I used to all ABOUT the gym childcare, until recently, when Josh simultaneously grew out of on-the-go napping AND developed stranger anxiety…)

IMG_7117Aww, my little gym-trip-sabotager!

The other thing I’m doing: writing things down at the gym. Like, not just my workout plan, but everything: weight, reps, sets, rest times, and goal vs. actual. It’s something I always avoided because who has the time??

But finally, the reality set in: it’s hard to push yourself when you’re not really working toward anything (other than “do this today”) and it’s hard to track progress over time when you’re not, err, tracking progress over time.

So in the spirit of self motivation, I’m tracking. I’m the chick with the piece of paper and pen in the weight room, scribbling stuff into squares. (If you’re interested in getting on the tracking train, I highly recommend this book.)

Speaking of motivation, I’ve noticed something about myself (and I’m guessing this is probably true of most people): I’m much more motivated by success than failure. When I see my clothes fitting a certain way, I’m inspired to get back to the gym to make them fit even better. When I see a nice number on the scale, I’m motivated to keep it that way. When I have a good day at the gym, I come home already looking forward to the next trip.

Of course, it works the opposite way too: a “bad” day at the gym (low energy, unable to get through sets, having to lower weights, etc.) deflates me a little, and makes the next trip look daunting. A randomly bloated tummy makes me not care what I eat (because look at this thing!!).

And a “bad” number on the scale, no matter how meaningless that number is (and trust me, I know how fickle it can be)…it shakes me. Even now, with the baby weight gone and no major complaints in Body Land (I’m even cool with the stretch marks), I can be rattled by the scale. It’s weird how powerful that number is.

I’ve also noticed that I perceive the same exact things differently depending on how I feel. I can look at the same exact body in the mirror and see good or bad things, depending on my mood.

Because of all that, I follow this rule: no stepping on the scale unless I already feel awesome about myself. In other words, if I feel like I’ve been pretty “good” for a few days, I’m feeling “body happy” (that’s a made-up term, but I bet you understand it!) and the curiosity strikes, I’m allowed to weigh myself.

I followed this rule during my last pregnancy, and it was a lifesaver. Maybe I shouldn’t have been weighing myself at all—I know a lot of women don’t—but I was always curious. As long as I held out for a “good” day, my reaction to the number, whatever it was, was always “oh, ok. Moving on.”

If you have a scale, how do you use it?

Any special rules or habits?

What does your workout routine look like right now?

I’m really curious!!

What’s something coming up that you’re looking forward to?

In addition to SUMMER-AM-I-RIGHT…

Have a great week!

 

xo

Kim

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen@jpabstfitness April 13, 2015 at 8:44 am

I have a little gym sabotagour as well, she just turned 1 last werk and is suddenly scared of everyone!!!

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Ashley @ A Lady Goes West April 7, 2015 at 9:10 pm

Hi Kim! How’s life? We’ve missed you. I hope you are enjoying being a BODYFLOW teacher. I just debuted the latest BODYATTACK and BODYPUMP releases this week, and they are great. I haven’t been to a FLOW class in far too long though. And I didn’t own a scale until recently, but have not been getting on it much. Weight isn’t super important, so I don’t like to dwell on it. And I love that you write things down! Lists and records are our friends! Hope you have a great week! Yay for a Florida trip! :) I’m going back in May to see my family and attend a wedding! Can’t wait!
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Kim April 10, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Fun! You’re lucky to have an excuse to go back regularly! :) Thanks for stopping over Ashley! I’ve been keeping up with your blog but am totally lazy about commenting lately, since I’m usually reading on my phone. :/ But I promise I’m still lurking around, haha!

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Marielle April 7, 2015 at 4:31 pm

I’m looking forward to a trip to California this summer with the family! My workouts are kind of lame now since I just had a baby 3 weeks ago :) So I’ve just been walking and anxiously waiting until I can do a normal workout again!
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Kim April 10, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Congrats on the little one!! Hope you’re recovering well!

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Amanda April 7, 2015 at 3:22 pm

It’s so funny that you talk about being the chick with the pen and paper in the weight room, because that’s exactly who I have been lately!

I found a 12-week lifting program designed to gain muscle – up the weight and lower the reps as the weeks go on – and I made myself a nice little spreadsheet of boxes that I use to track the weight I’m lifting during that session. I don’t know what it is about the physical act of writing something down or crossing something off, but it is super motivating for me!

I’ve also joined the walking bandwagon now that it’s starting to get really nice here. My new workout rule is if the weather is nice, I go for a walk/run/intervals workout outside and if the weather is crummy, I hop back over to my weights.

Hope you guys have a great time in Florida!!!

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Kim April 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm

Awesome, what program are you using?? I’m thinking about maybe getting one…

Love your workout rule, good for you! :)

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Amanda April 13, 2015 at 4:08 pm

Here’s what I’ve been using:
http://www.jerseygirltalk.com/2013/10/26/weightlifting-strength-training-routine-workout-women/#.VSwv1_l4rIa

Now that I noticed it, she has a picture of the book you mentioned about women lifting…I’m really thinking about buying it…or at least getting it from the library to start. :-)

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