ChChChanges

There once was a girl who decided on a whim to stop procrastinating and just do it already – she joined a gym, found a buddy and started working out anywhere from 3-5 days per week. Probably 4 on average plus walks with a giant and a small dog.

That girl is me.

My gym buddy told me to look forward to significant results in about 6 months.  I persevered.

I have increased my weights and I haven’t given up, but results… minimal.  Stronger yes. Weight change – no.  Inches change – barely.

I’ve struggled a bit with it. Strong positive self-image or not, come on – it’s frustrating.  But I’ve basically come to terms that I am a healthier person and even if I can’t see physical changes, they’re happening in there somewhere.

Then it happened.  I discovered a change.  A tangible and significant change. 

 FORE!

The Boy and I have been golfing 3 times this year so far (The Boy has been many more times – but I’m a fair weather golfer).  I haven’t taken any further lessons or maintained any kind of skill level over the winter and yet, I’m now shooting about 10 strokes less than last year.

10 strokes. 

That’s muscles baby.

That’s changes.

 

And that’s worth it.

Why you need a workout buddy

The other day I skipped the gym.  The dog had been up all night coughing, there was a brief near run-in with a fox in the backyard and when the alarm went off at 6am I was just not feeling it.  As a complete aside I decided later that I really should have just sucked it up and gone – how much more sleep did I get really? 15 minutes?! Big whoop.
 
Anyway, I sent my gym buddy a text message to say I wasn’t meeting her and I would see her at the office at 8.
 
I got to work and she was there ready to give me hell for not joining her. Turns out she wasn’t upset because I had given in to the sleepies and skipped out, but because being there alone had given other gym regulars the invitation to speak to her in the morning.
 
Gym Buddy – “Meaghan, you’re buddy Andrew says Hi”
Me – “Who is Andrew? The bald guy?” (He’s a regular that’s been saying good morning the last few weeks)
GB – “Yes, do you know what he said to me? ‘Where’s your daughter today?'”
I burst out laughing.  Good thing we’re there early – uprorious laughter is frowned upon in cubicle land.
GB – “I said to him, ‘My daughter? I am too young to have a 30 year old daughter!’  he answered, ‘SHE’S 30?!  I thought you would have been pretty young, but she does NOT look 30!!”
Me and everyone within earshot – More laughter.
 
Then my gym buddy gave me the sweetest complement “I didn’t kill him for two reasons 1. You do look so young. 2. You’re beautiful.  3. If I had a 30 year old, at least you’re one I would be proud of. He’s very lucky – don’t leave me there by myself again”
Noted.
 
I have since been informed that someone recently asked my boss if her student would be hired once she finishes school – she’s been here a long time.  My boss couldn’t figure out who they were talking about since we don’t have a student right now.  They clarified “the redhead!”  She informed them that I have 2 degrees, and has been finished school for quite some time and was full-time permanent.
 
I have a theory.  It’s all in the cheeks.
 
Round Cheeks = Eternal Youth

I Hurt my Everything

I was cleaning up my blog this weekend and came across this fully written but unpublished post from last February.  I’m not really sure why I didn’t publish it.  Or maybe I did – although I couldn’t find it when I searched through my blog.  It’s a little story about starting to do yoga with BFF Kristyn.  I have vague recollections of publishing if not this something very similar.  But alas, earwax. So if I did publish it and you have read it already, maybe you’ll enjoy reading it again.  If I didn’t publish it, well, this a little story about why I stopped going to the gym and started going to yoga.  Of course, now I’m back at the gym and I must say that most of my problems with the gym still exist – but I have a buddy, so I overcome them and I go…. 4 mornings per week – aiming for 5 this week. 

I know.  It’s crazy-pants.

Anyway, I thought I’d share this one despite it’s blast from the past.  Kristyn and I are still going once a week.  She’s back to work now which makes it a bit more challenging but I think we’re back in the swing of it officially.  The Boy says I’m crazy, with my gym-ing and yogi-ing and my working out 6 times a week.  I think he’s jealous.

Enjoy!

_________________________

From February 2012

Let me tell you a little story about me, the gym and motivation.  It’s short and sweet.  I got married.  The pictures are lovely (if I do say so myself) and then I pretty much stopped going.  Sure I check in every once in a while. But basically – no dice.

My problems with the gym include the following

1. I don’t know what to do at the gym
2. At the end of the day I’m sleepy
3. At the beginning of the day, I’m sleeping
4. I hate leaving the house again once I’ve been home – I’ll do it, but only if someone asks me to.
5. The gym does not call me and ask me to leave the house.
6. Most of what I’m doing at the gym I could be doing outside.
7. There are a lot of evenings where I go home and go for a walk with the Boy rather than go to the gym and walk/jog on the treadmill.
8. I don’t like strangers.
9. I don’t like calling 1 hour before to book myself a spot in a yoga class.
10. The level of fitness of the other people at the gym makes me uncomfortable.

Knowing my membership ends in March has led me to think about what I should do starting then.  I made a list of things I like to do:
1. Walk/maybe I could run outside. (the hecklers when I first tried running outside do scare me but maybe I could do it.)
2. Yoga (specifically of the hot variety)
3. Outdoor activities in the nice weather. (ex. I want the Boy to teach me how to play tennis)

So I emailed BFF Kristyn and proposed a plan.  We meet once a week and go to a yoga class. Once a week. That’s not a big commitment, totally doable and we would work through the buddy system.  I’ll go if I know someone else is waiting for me to show up.  She LOVED the idea, and there is a new Hot Yoga studio that just opened up around the corner from her.  It gives me a buddy to yogi with and her a couple of hours away from her beautiful baby boy and out with other adults, doing a little something that’s just for her.  Win-win-win.

We went last Thursday.

On Friday I hurt.  I hurt all over.  It hurt to laugh, it hurt to go up the stairs, it hurt to go down the stairs, it hurt to sit, it hurt to stand.  Saturday if you can believe it – I’m sure you can – worse.

BUT it was worth it. I felt good afterward. I saw my friend. I sweat. I ercised. I didn’t spend the night in front of the TV. Win-Win-Win-Win-Win.

So, despite my muscle’s cries to make it stop.  We’re headed back on Wednesday.  It thought it might kill us, but no pain no gain – Right?!

Well, I hurt again.  BUT I hurt in slightly fewer spots. I was more awake on Thursday. I slept well. I sweat. I didn’t spend the night in front of the TV. I saw my friend.  Win-win-win-win-win-win.

Good-bye gym membership.  Hello something I actually like doing.

The Buddy System

I joined a gym.  Again.

Here’s my challenge in general with exercise.  Laziness.

I know it’s necessary and I have aspirations of being a fit and truly healthy person, not just a healthy eater. This mindset has brought me to the gym in the past.  In theory it’s all one would need, a place to exercise, classes or machines, pair it with a financial commitment and anyone should be good to go, especially someone with aspirations of fit and healthy.

Of course it hasn’t worked in the past, of course it hasn’t since that’s how gyms make money!

An additional motivator, a few months ago I read a birth story over at Healthy Tipping Point. Caitlin wrote about how she didn’t know how she could have gotten through a natural birth without staying physically active throughout her pregnancy. Well, since that’s my goal (although not anytime soon) – I’m pretty sure becoming a physically active person in your first months of pregnancy is a. not ideal and b. not bloody likely.

I’ve also decided, I’m really at a now or never point.  If I don’t put a regular exercise routine into my life now – it’s not going to happen after life get’s busier. But it isn’t any of these rational reasons that are getting me to the gym this time. This membership has been successful for one reason and one reason only.

My buddy.

No. Not the Boy.

It’s my friend from work.  She’s a gym guru and knows what she’s doing, plus I sit right beside her, so if she doesn’t see me in the morning – you bet I’m going to hear about it when I get into work.

My Buddy told me the other day – “A goal without a plan is just a dream.”

I like it.

So I’ve been going at 6:40am for the last 2 weeks.

Here are the pros and cons.

Pro – I can feel myself getting stronger.

Con – I’m sore.

Pro – I have someone who knows what to do and is teaching me how to do things properly.

Con – It hurts me.

Pro – I’ve always thought that the best workout time for me would be first thing in the morning – but couldn’t really motivate myself to get my butt out of bed first thing in the morning – but when I know my buddy is waiting for me it’s no problem. So I’m actually going at my ideal time.

Con – my new wake up time is apparently 6:00am regardless of the day of the week.  This resulted in my getting up and staying up at 6:30 last Saturday morning. This makes me feel older than when I go to bed at 10pm… on a Friday.

What goals are you planning right now?

Do you need a buddy? Or is exercise your alone time?

 

Couch to 5K – Day 1

Gym Day 3:

I still have a strained leg from my Circuit Training on day 2, but I hit the gym again today.  The Boy recommended I do cardio today – get the heart rate up but be nice to the muscles (or lack there of).

So I hit the treadmill, plugged in my headphones and tapped my Get Running Couch to 5K App – Run 1.

This App is AWESOME! If you’re thinking about thinking about trying to run a little more.  Or thinking about thinking about maybe being able to one day call yourself a “runner.”  Or maybe you’re just thinking about maybe creating a gym routine that includes regular cardio.  This app for you.  And it’s definitely for you if you’re like me and are by no means a cardio person.  DO NOT consider yourself anywhere near being a “runner.”

In fact, I feel like I’m going to die anytime I even THINK about running.

This App is a 9 week program to go from just like it says Couch to 5K.  I started today with 8 1-minute runs separated by 1 1/2 minute walking breaks.  5 minutes to warm up and 5 minutes to cool down.  I’ve tried walk-to-run programs before but they typically involve having a stopwatch and when I’m in charge of the stopwatch – I cheat.

There I said it. I’m a cheater.

But with the Couch to 5K App, (granted I’m only on Run 1) you can run your heart out to your tunes and a brilliant British chicky takes care of the stopwatch for you.  Starting with 1 minute runs I was able to trick myself into thinking “I can do anything for 1 minute!” When you start thinking “Is it over yet?” British lady – I think I’m going to name her Charlotte says “30 seconds left and then you’re finished this run” and I thought – “I can keep this up for 30 seconds that’s nothing!”  Finally when you think Charlotte you must have lost track of time she pipes up with “10 more seconds and you are finished with this run.” And I answer – “10 seconds? That’s it? That’s NOTHING!”

Finally, the best part.  The BEST PART is Charlotte checks off your run as soon as you start. So in the very first seconds of run one – Charlotte says “Only 7 more runs to go after this one” and at run 5 “You’ll be half way to the finish in just 1 minute.”  Thanks Charlotte!

So while I’m not yet confident that I’m going to be able to run 5K or 30 minutes straight in just 9 weeks – I like that Charlotte is encouraging the same way the crazy Circuit Training lady is.  You know 5 more jumping jacks! And then after 4 she says “Just 5 more!”

It’s weird how it works… but I guess it’s because I’m just stubborn enough to fall for it.