my fitness/exercise journey

March 11, 2010

i have always loved working out.

i was very active growing up. then, when i was 19 or 20, jaina (my dearest girlfriend) and i started on a workout program that was *hardcore*. we were in the gym (anyone remember 24 hour fitness?!) in san diego every day for an hour or 2. and the biggest feat: i overcame my nervousness about entering the “muscle guys” area and we began to lift heavy, real weights.

((to this day, i much prefer strength training/weight lifting to cardio monotony)).

so, post-college, i did the usual cycle: get on a good workout program, stick with it for a few months, then drop off the radar again.

but despite my inconsistencies, i felt good in my skin. i never thought about weight, didn’t own a scale and generally felt healthy, alive and good.

and then i got pregnant (at age 24). =)

things changed radically within my body, of course … and radically “without”! with the gift of this angel baby, came the “gift” of an extra 30 lbs that i carried until maddie was nearly 3 yrs old. during that time, i tried working out but never really committed to fundamentally changing my eating. so all the working out did not make real change.

january 2003, i started the atkins diet. despite all that i understand now about eating and food, at that time, it was the right fit for me. and my body responded – the pounds came off – all 30, in 3 months. and i felt great! with the weight loss came the renewed desire to work out. (more on weight loss, dieting and healthy eating in the future!)

over the next several years, i was often in a good workout groove. when i worked at the county, i had a full one hour lunch break, which allowed me time to go to the gym, get a good workout and be back to work. i did that 3-4 days/week. at my next job, i had less of a lunch break but began a great rhythm of going to the gym after dropping maddie off at gymnastics at 4pm mon/wed/fri. it felt great!

i usually did a cardio + weight lifting circuit, or a cardio + body parts weight lifting (ie, back and bi’s on monday … ). i was admittedly more of a slacker on the cardio – so boring to stay on a machine for more than 20 minutes! ahh!

a few years ago i wanted to challenge myself with something i just *couldn’t* do: running. so i studied the “couch to 5k” program, and committed to it 100%. i didn’t miss a day or a workout, and unbelievably … was able to run. up to 4 miles, comfortably, which felt so INCREDIBLY empowering and gratifying! it was a big personal goal for me and it felt so good to cross the finish line at our local Pear Blossom 5k run, with my sweet hubs and daughter cheering me on! it just feels so good to set a goal that seems unattainable, and then complete it.

i love reading muscle and fitness magazines, women’s fitness magazines, etc. i would often create my workout plan based on exercises i found in those magazines.

this past fall, when i entered a serious “funk” physically (much medical testing produced no “answers”) i lost interest and ability to participate in a normal workout program. i felt good if i was able to take a good walk with madison. and i longed for a different way of moving my body … so i bookmarked some great yoga 101 videos on youtube and enjoyed them, albeit inconsistently. but i began to feel an increasing shift in my definition of a “good workout.” did it have to be back-breaking, pain-producing – in order to be “effective”? during these past few months, it didn’t. good stretching, a long walk in the fresh air … those things “counted.”

however, in the past few weeks i’ve had increasing motivation to start some more difficult (is that the right word?) exercise. i feel ready and i feel like i can do it, and that’s encouraging! i went to the gym and was surprised and discouraged by  how weak my cardio was … tired after 5 min on elliptical, is that even possible!? but, ok. so … my friend meredith had mentioned the “30 day shred” and on somewhat of a whim, i ordered it on amazon last week. it came in the mail, and i looked at it for a few days. =)

today, i did it! and it HURT, i won’t lie. wow. but i feel good that i did the full workout, didn’t cut corners or quick early. so, i am going to do the next 29 days and see how i feel. =)

i am looking forward to continued health and strength … i want to be a good steward of this earthly vessel. for me, that means health in so many areas. lately, i’ve focused almost entirely on how that looks in our eating/food choices. but it definitely also included moving my body and stretching! i would like to incorporate some more pilates-like exercise in to my life and have just never made that happen. and i do love daily walks w/my girl most of all .=)


One Response to “my fitness/exercise journey”

  1. You and I are thinking similarly right now. As I prepare for surgery in a month I know (and have been ordered by the Dr) to strengthen my body, with healthy food, with supplements, and with activity. I can give 100 reasons why it is hard or even impossible for me to do certain things, but I just have to find what works and not give up.

    My goal is to go ‘gym shopping’ this weekend, but I really need a pool and I have massive germ phobia so I’m not so sure I can do it. LOL!

    I want to be healthy so I can live a long life and I want to be a good example for my son! I’d also like to lose a few pounds before I get married (if I’m totally honest).

    Keep us posted with how things work for you. By the way, what is ’30 day shred’? I guess I can just Google it. 🙂

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