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.
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…)
Aww, 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!