Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I joined the gym...

I joined the gym, y'all.

You definitely already know this if we're Instagram friends, and I sort of hinted to it in my last post,  but I felt like I owed you guys a standalone post on this topic because it is definitely a huge deal for me.

In high school, I worked out every. single. day. I played sports and did cardio/weight training during the summers, so the gym was my second home. After I graduated, though, and the sports disappeared, so did my devotion to the gym. I began to hate working out (particularly as I gained more weight), and it was the last thing I ever wanted to do.

You may remember when I lost a lot of weight before I got pregnant that I up and decided one day to become a runner. So I trained for and ran a 5K. I had honestly grown to really enjoy it but injured my foot just before the race, so I was out for a month or so. And then I got pregnant and used my pregnancy as an excuse to stop working out altogether. 


Here we are, two years later, and I decided it was time to do the thing I've been dreading most of all. But I worried that if I started running again, I may fall off the wagon like I did before. I've been inspired by several women (Meg and Diana, as two examples) who started lifting heavy weights, and their bodies are transforming. I always liked lifting, and I figured I'd roll out of bed in the mornings more willingly if I was headed to the gym to lift.

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So I bought a membership to the gym down the road from my house, and I've been going faithfully for about three weeks now. That means nothing, obviously. It's not an ingrained habit yet, and I could totally quit tomorrow. 

But I don't think I will.

If you can believe it, I'm already seeing a difference in my arms and legs, and I feel stronger. (I'm probably not actually stronger, but the placebo effect is nice. Ha.)

The thing that was holding me back from taking the plunge was the idea of exercise cutting into the time I have with Grace and Micah. But I'm working it out so that I do two workouts a week in the mornings before they wake up. The 4:30 alarm is not fun, but I force myself to get out of bed. Once I do that, I know that I might as well get dressed and head to the gym. (There's usually no one else there, which is definitely creepy.) And then I do one other workout on Sunday nights after Grace goes to bed. Micah's usually watching football anyway, so I tell myself we're not really missing any quality time together. :)

In terms of the actual workouts I'm doing, I've been starting with a modified version of this HIIT (high-intensity interval training) treadmill workout:

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I bump the warm-up and cool down to 3.7, the fast walk/jog to 4.3, and then the sprint to 6.5/6.5/7.0. I also add in an extra cycle for a total of four sprints. I realize this is slow, and many of you would probably do this whole thing as a warmup, but I'm slow and out of shape, so this is tough for me.

 photo 47BEA3DB-8A76-4EE3-A42D-45AA4671F2FE.jpgToday I tried doing actual sprint cycles instead of the above. I did a 5-minute warmup and then a total of 15 sprints at 9.0 speed for 20 seconds apiece (I straddled the sides of the treadmill for 40 seconds in between each sprint). It kicked my butt, but I have no clue how many calories a workout like that burns. I literally just ordered a heart rate monitor watch (I went with this one) so I could make sure I'm in the optimal range for fat burning and make sure I do enough cardio to burn 250 calories or so.

After whatever cardio I do, I either do a legs or arm weights workout. I like this arm workout and this leg workout (I add weights), but I also like doing squats, leg press, seated leg press, the abductor/adductor, and essentially all of the arm machines, plus free weights. But I have no clue what I'm doing, so I won't go into detail quite yet. I'm very likely going to use a trainer for a couple of weeks so I can get a feel for what I should be doing.

And just so I'm really clear about this, I have no intention of making this weight loss/fitness journey an idol. I know I'm talking a lot about it. And I've seen many relationships fail when one partner becomes preoccupied with a lifestyle change and the other isn't. And none of you probably planned on reading a weight loss/fitness blog (though so many of you have sweetly reached out and encouraged me in my efforts, and you'll never know how much it has meant to me). I also know that whatever strength and/or dedication I can miraculously muster every time I step into the gym are not my own. They're His. Without Christ, I would have forever been stuck in the place I was a year ago.

Believe me, I know all these things.

My appearance and my health will still never be something that divert attention from the things in my life that really matter. I've just finally decided to bump them up above the things that don't.


Joey said...

I think our blogs are about whatever is going on with us at the time. I'm sure last year no one intended to read a "joey is sick and sad" blog, but that's what it was. And then no one intended to read a "I'm publishing a book and my whole life is dedicated to it" blog. And yet, again,over the summer that's what it was. We like YOU. And whatever YOU are doing, we're interested in! I'm so proud of all of your efforts, and it's so inspiring. I just spent the entire morning prepping food for J's whole 30 (when I could have been reading a book, grumble grumble) but I know I have it easy considering YOU did it while WORKING full time and being a mom! You rock, girlfriend. Love you <3

Nichole @ casadecrews.com said...

How you tell me I was a motivator for the W30...YOU are def a motivator for me to get my ass to the gym! I'm SO proud of you!

Jessica Manning-Garner said...

Ryan, you are such an inspiration! I have fallen off the paleo wagon and am having a hard time getting back on. In fact, I'm not sure if I even see the wagon from where I'm standing! Reading your posts and seeing your Instagrams make me think I can one day get it back together! Love from TN!

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