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You Are Not Alone

elliptical

I have been on an amazing roll as far as portion control and exercise, I can honestly say I am very proud of myself!  I’ve tried all the crazy machines at the gym to try and switch things up, but I will always end up on the elliptical.  The elliptical runner burns major calories and it’s heaven on your joints while feeling natural to my running gate. If I can’t get to the gym, I do yoga or Pilates at home or if it’s above 30 degrees out I’ll go for a walk outside.  I am in the beast zone!  If I don’t get at least 30 minutes of cardio, I feel off.  Naturally I am worried about my addictive behavior and exercise becoming an obsession as I attain the endorphin “high”.  I also fear falling off the wagon as my social and work schedule pick up.

The thing that keeps me hanging on is that I am not alone.   Knowing that there are others out there who don’t have time to spend hours working out at home or at the gym puts my mind at ease.  It’s been refreshing to learn about others who may fall off the wagon with their portion control as well, but are encouraged and supported to get back on.  I am one of many who struggles with knowing when enough is enough.  Having a clean slate mindset has helped me stop beating myself up for losing control once in a while, and start fresh the next day.  When others confess to me that they overindulged, I’m the first one to not make a big deal out of it.  No judgement zone here!  You are not a horrible person for losing control.  Knowing you overdid it is the first step to getting back on track, but you must want to get on that healthy track or it can just become a vicious unhealthy cycle.  But always know, you are not alone and tomorrow is a new day!

Humpday Humor (1 day late…)

talking

Trigger Ain’t Just the Name of A Horse.

trigger

Roy Rogers & Trigger
“the greatest horse ever to appear in motion pictures.”

This past week has been an emotional roller coaster full of change, not necessarily bad, but different with lot’s of “unknowns”. That can be a self-destructive ED  (Eating Disorder) trigger of mine. Fear of the unknown. I’ve only recently been trying to live in the present.  I have my good days and my bad. I tend to eat my feelings instead of dealing with them, and right now I’m not even sure what my feelings are so I’ve regressed to bad food and ED habits to numb my anxiety.  To offset these horrible food decisions, I’ve been trying to balance out the high calorie intake with high calorie burns at the gym.  Although I’m enjoying being back at the gym, the reason why I go now is not my norm, so I’ve been feeling very stressed and unhappy and not very healthy at all.   This is a vicious cycle that I do not want to live for the rest of my life.  All I need to do to feel happy again is gain control of my decisions. I sometimes think I’m not in as much control as I really am over my decisions. I need to reset my mind and expectations of myself. Easier said than done, but not impossible.  I am also trying to focus on meditation to calm my mind and I’ve had some struggles, but I have hope the benefits will outweigh the struggle.

I’ve made little food decisions that I am going to deem small victories. Late at night when I feel the urge to binge or munch, I’ve been filling myself with fruits and veggies and smoothies!  Small changes can lead to big changes, so I hope, and I am going against every grain of my “all or nothing” persona to try and not lose hope and give up completely.  I am trying to learn from past mistakes and not dwell on them. I’ve been carb and fat overloading throughout these past few days, and since I’m not planning to run a Marathon anytime soon, that has to change. I know going to the gym can increase your appetite, but this is more than that. I’m not hungry and I’m eating. That is just habit.

Eating to excess is more than just loving food, in fact I tend to vilify food which is not a healthy mindset. It’s much more complex and something I’ve been working on understanding. I am well aware that I am full, painfully so, yet I still want that apple with peanut butter. Saying “stop” seems harder than just giving in to the craving. Tips like “waiting 20 minutes” is lost on me when I’m in this mindset of NOW NOW NOW. When I’m alone, it’s the worst. Distractions and hobbies and companionship are key for me to continue on a healthy path.  Boredom and loneliness are more triggers of mine that need to, and will, be dealt with very soon.

I am starting to realize I do better, make better decisions, as part of a team.  For example, my friend and co-worker wants to go to the buffet style cafeteria on campus for lunch today. At first my reaction was NOOOOOOO, oh the humanity!!! But then after telling her my recent struggles, owning them, I realized I will be OK with her there. She knows me. She knows my struggles with food, and though she graciously offered to go somewhere else, I told her that having her there will keep me accountable. It is a true test of my will power, which I know is a flaw of mine in every sense of the word. I am not a hermit living in a dietary controlled house, so I will be given these tests for the rest of my life. If you know your flaws, then you can work with them. If you befriend your monsters, then you become a lot braver than you think. Would I love to be magically “fixed” and never struggle with food again, of course! Reality says different. I need to recognize my triggers, change my reactions, and just do better.

This past week was full of poor food decisions. This next week won’t be.

be happy

My Saturday 1.5 Hour Gym Visit

This morning I woke up without excessive muscle pain but enough ache to know I did some good work at the gym yesterday!  Yesterday was a lazy overcast day but eventually I was able to drag myself away from my two adorable cuddly cats to get to the gym and burn off some of this anxiety I’ve been feeling lately.  I was unable to get to the gym during the work week, but instead chose to do yoga in the evenings when possible, also hoping to help with this very emotionally exhausting week.  It helped a little, but I am bummed I wasn’t able to make an effort to at least spend a half hour or an hour at the gym at least once for weight training and intense cardio.

Instead of beating myself up about it, I made it a point to get to the gym this weekend for a low impact workout since it’s a new beginning for me as far as resurrecting my gym routine.  For those who may be curious as to what I did this weekend when time was not so much an issue, here is Saturday’s routine.

  1. 30 minute elliptical for cardio
  2. 30 minute weight machine rotation for strengthening
  3. 10 minute ab work for core strengthening and sculpting
  4. 20 minute stretching and non-machine strengthening for cool down

ELLIPTICAL

  • Ran 25 minutes on level 12 with a 5 minute cool down.
  • My ultimate goal is 45 minutes 3-4x per day alternating different programs and increasing level tension over time.

WEIGHTS
I normally do 3 sets of 12 reps using low weights that still tired my muscles by the third rep for each exercise listed below, resting a couple of minutes between sets. The amount of weight you decide to start lifting depends on many factors, please ask a trainer at the gym before trying to lift 200 pounds your first, or even second, try.

Click on each image below to be taken to another website for more detailed exercise instructions.

  • Back

              Rear Deltoid Flies: targets posterior deltoid, secondary rhomboids, trapezius, triceps

Machine-Rear-Deltoid-Fly

             Lower Back Extension: targets lumbar, secondary glutes

Machine-Lumbar-Extension

  • Chest

             Seated Chest Presses: targets pectorials, secondary deltoid and triceps

chest presses

  • Glutes/Legs

             Seated Leg Press: Targets quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Added padded toe raises that targets your calves.

Inclined-seated-one.legged-press.Leg-press

Leg Press

calf lifts

calf lifts

  • Shoulders

             Lateral Raise: targets deltoids.

machine-lateral-raise

AB WORK

  • Main abdominals
  1. Basic Crunches: 2 reps of 25, targets all abdominal muscles.abdominal_crunch
  2. Abdominal Leg lifts: 2 reps of 25, targets lower abdominals

    core leg lift

  • Obliques
  1. Broom Stick Trunk Twists, 50 twists with 12 lb. barjorge_broomstick_twist
  2. Side Reaches: 2 sets of 25, lift up engaging your obliques and reach towards your feet from side to side.

side touches

STRETCHING AND STRENGTHENING

I love to stretch!  I stretch whenever I can throughout the day, at work, at home, before bed, in the morning.  I’m sure I look completely ridiculous, but the feeling of a good stretch trumps embarrassment by passersby. Stretching at the end of my gym routine is a blissful experience.

  • Pigeon stretch: targets glutes, piriformis, and helps loosen tight hips (an ongoing issue of mine).pigeon
  • Lumbar Extension stretch: targets lumbar spine and abdominals.Lumbar-Extension-Stretch-WEB
  • Sitting Side Reach stretch: targets areas of your abs, back, and legs.

side reach stretch

  • Side Leg Lifts: 25 reps each leg, targets abductor muscles, glutes, and hips.  This is my back to basics Jane Fonda move. Side-Lying-Leg-Lift

    jane fonda

  • Cat Stretches: 25 slow reps, targets lower back and abdominals.

cat stretches

mew. :3

photo by James Hamilton

photo by James Hamilton

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