Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Renewing My Fitness Commitment

I feel like I've fallen off the grid for awhile.  I've been struggling with my motivation to workout as I see the numbers increase on the scale.  I'm finally back on track though with the scale, my eating habits, and my fitness routine.  It's like I never left it - but now it's better!

I've been swimming lots.  Several times a week for at least 20 minutes and sometimes 40 minutes straight.  I've got a good routine down now for my laps and I've started focusing on improving my strokes and increasing my propulsion with leg drills so I can swim more laps in less time.  I checked out the stroke improvement class today (or rather spyed on) to see if it was dumbed down enough for my level.  They used snorkles so I have something new to try next time I'm in the pool and I'm not intimidated to join this class when the opportunity arises.  I also have plans to spy on the adult learn to swim class and the swim to fit class Saturday morning this week.  PS I even swam last Saturday morning before work because Chris made a deal with me that he would clean the whole house if I went swimming.  My husband is awesome!

Today I went to the gym to try bellydance for the first time.  It was so much fun!  We did an upper body workout only by learning shoulder isolations.  The 45 minute class flew by and I made a new gym friend.  I'm meeting her for yoga tomorrow before my member connect session to learn the Y's gym equipment.  I'm definitely going to attend this class until my work schedule changes at the end of November.

After bellydance I felt like I needed to burn more calories or at least feel like I had worked out by leaving dripping with sweat.  I got on the treadmill and started running with my normal routine.  I was getting winded fairly quickly so I took my trainer's advice from a year ago and my husband's constant advice and actually dropped my speed.  I haven't wanted to do that because I already run slow and felt like dropping my pace would be awkward - that inbetween walking fast and jogging pace that seems so disjointed.  But, I dropped my speed a bit and got into the rhythm to keep a steady pace that had me jogging.  I went for a whole 5 minutes before returning to a walk!!!  That's 3 minutes longer than I've done before!!!  It actually felt like I was running...kind of.  Plus it was rewarding to be in a jogging gait on the treadmill while the skinny blond girl next to me was walking fast while holding onto the treadmill.  I felt like I was showing her up.  All in all I walked 45 seconds, jogged 5 minutes, walked 1 minute, jogged 2 minutes, walked 1 minute, jogged 1 minute, walked 1 minute, jogged 2 minutes, walked 1 minute 15 seconds for a total of 15 minutes bang on to go 1 mile.  Longer than my usual time, but so much more rewarding.  I then walked for a few minutes until my heart rate dropped back down instead of my usual jump right off the treadmill, down some water, and drive home routine.

Can't wait for tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I Flipped the Switch

A friend of mine has grabbed hold of the reigns for her own fitness journey and has enrolled in bootcamp.  I did a few classes of fitness bootcamp and I remember how hard it was and how sore I was for days afterwards.  Good for her for going for it though.  I hope she can keep up the intensity for the whole month because it certainly was not the right fitness match for me at this point.  I was never bored and I learned a lot of cool new exercises, but I did not feel like I was successful at it so I dropped out quickly.

This brought on a conversation with my husband where we talked about fitness mindset.  He has always had a competitive nature so when he sets out to do something he intends to win, to do better than last time, or to one up the guy next to him.  My mindset has always been that I hope I survive it, just finish it, or try most of the activity.  We are in two different worlds in terms of fitness and Chris has been patiently waiting for me to cross over to his side of things.

The more we talked about it the more I realized that I have in fact flipped the switch and started on a new fitness journey.  I am no longer in the mindset of my friend (if I'm tired and sore I'll go and just give it 80% - which is still totally awesome because it is better than nothing and we all have those days), but am instead inching my way towards Chris' mindset.  When I swim now I try and do better.  I no longer go to just put in my 20 minutes of time.  I try to swim more laps or faster laps or run farther for longer.  I am not just going through the motions like before when I increased my ability because my fitness sheet indicated it was time to do so.  I increase my ability because I desire to increase it and my body feels the need to go above and beyond.

I still have those moments of relapse though.  For example, yesterday Chris came home for lunch and we talked about my fitness plan for the day.  he planned to run after work so I decided to run at the same time instead of going all the way into town to swim.  By the time he got home I had forgotten completely about this plan.  However, when he asked if I was going to be ready to run in a few minutes I didn't try and come up with an excuse not to go I just got up, got ready, and left to run.  Even the cold weather and my missing running jacket did not disrupt my plan to run.  I simply went with the idea that if I ran lots I wouldn't be cold. I ran one full minute before I had to stop cold in my tracks because my foot was so sore (plantar fasciitis) that I had to limp back towards home.  I felt defeated because I wanted to run.  I was confused because I ran/walked in sprints on the treadmill for 15 minutes a few days before no problem.  I decided that it must be my expensive running shoes that are the problem so I laced up my cheap Walmart sneakers and hit the road running.  It was much better.  I did my full mile at my usual pace and worked up quite a sweat.  If this had happened a few weeks ago I would have either a) not gone out on the run and made an excuse or b) returned from my 1 minute run and then used my foot as an excuse to not continue and take a few days off.  The flip has been switched!

Monday, October 8, 2012

FMM: Around Your House

 Visit All the Weigh to post the link to your response and be sure to swing by my husband's blog Wisdom, Courage, Power to check out how our answers about our house differ (and they do differ).

Inside Your Home

1. Do you live in an apartment/condo, townhouse or house?
I live in a house.  We bought Chris' grandma's bungalow and we rent out our basement to a male nursing student who is the best tennant ever!  So I guess technically I live in half a house.  But it is the first house that I signed my name to a mortgage for so that makes it mine...all mine...and my husband's.  :)

2. What is your home’s coolest feature?
The nook under the basement stairs has been turned into a fully lined cedar closet which is pretty neat.  We also have a fire place complete with chimney attached to the back of our house to cook with or enjoy on the back patio - I haven't seen that before.  It certainly is not the orange shag carpet in the guest/music room nor is it the blue sink, tub, and tile in the main bathroom.

3. Do you enjoy DIY projects?
I love DIY projects.  Chris may not know that about me as I don't have the time to dedicate to them very often.  But, at some point I would love to have a woodshop in the garage and a sewing machine in my guest room.  His dad keeps bringing us tools and has no idea that I can't wait to get my hands on them.  For now, I settle for my current knitting project.  The only thing I don't like about DIY projects is they often cost as much or more than buying the item outright.

4. When using the dishwasher do you use powder detergent or liquid?
We use liquid because Chris likes it and he does the dishes more than me.  I grew up using powder, but don't think I have a preference.

5. Do you have a TV in your bedroom?
I can't stand having a tv in the bedroom.  I was brought up by two parents who thought that tvs were not for the bedroom and it has rubbed off on me (even though as a child I used to strain to see the living room tv all the way down the hall from my bed late at night to watch my parent's shows).  It was quite the debate when Chris and I got married, but ultimately a tv made its way into the bedroom because that was better for the tv than storing it in a basement crawlspace.  It was seldom turned on though (exception: illness or boys hockey night in the living room) because I didn't want a marriage where the tv became the focus before lights out.  We have lived in our new house for over 2 months.  The tv was placed in our bedroom again, but it has yet to be plugged in.  Late night chats in bed are awesome when you're not super sleepy.

6. Is your range gas or electric?
Our range is called a stove or an oven.  It is electric with a flat top.  I'm getting used to it because I've always had the coil burners.  I would never want a gas one.

7. How often do you sweep/mop/vacuum?
When I spill something.  Chris tends to be be the sweep/mop/vacuum -er of the house.

8. What is your favorite place to shop for home furniture and accents?
Furniture - The Brick usually
Accents - street vendors and shops where we travel

9. Do you decorate for holidays?
Only for Christmas.  Chris had one tiny box when I moved in that was just bigger than the spice wheel it held.  I came with two rubbermaid bins, a long bin, and a few small boxes of globes.  I now have way more than that.  Chris thinks it is ridiculous how much I have.  We have a bigger home now so I think I need more.  I love Christmas decorations and have been given one every year on Christmas Eve from my parents so I have 29 uniquely selected ornaments or decorative items just from that.  Plus, I'm a teacher so students give me lots too.  Decorations don't go up until after my birthday on December 12th though and stay up longer into January.

10. If you could have HGTV come in and redo one room in your home which room would you choose?
The kitchen.  I worked on the kitchen in our old house all summer and then we sold it.  I would love to rip out the cupboards, fix the ceiling, upgrade the appliances, and revamp the layout if I could have an unlimited budget.  The floors look nice though because Chris and my friend's husband put new flooring in overtop of the old 70s laminate tiles.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Cardio is Improving

The last couple of times I've been swimming I've found that I keep a steady breathing pace and heartbeat.  It requires effort, but I'm not gasping for breath which is nice.  When leaving the gym I've even felt the urge to run to my car or do a lap around the block (I haven't yet, but think that I might build in the treadmill after my swims).

I went on the treadmill at my new gym for the first time and ran 1 mile to time myself on the new equipment.  I increased my incline and I ran 1.5 minute intervals with a 1.5 minute walk instead of 1 minute run and 2 minute walk.  It was definitely easier to do as most times I was close to the 1.5 minute mark before my lungs gave out, whereas previously I was counting down the seconds when I was only 30 seconds in.  I plan to keep this up and see if I can reach my 1 mile run without walking goal before I hit my cruise vacation.  That way I can run around the ship in the morning instead of walk the track.  It will get me done my workout faster and leave more time for exploring and less time sweating.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Another 1000 Metres

Tonight I swam another 1000 metres.  Then I tread water for 5 minutes because my tutoring client (who was a lifeguard) told me it is good exercise.  I am tired.  My arms are very sore.  And tomorrow I'm sure my legs will be killing me.  But I swam another 1 km tonight.  That is all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

1000 Metres of Motivation

The other day I was reading Holly's blog I Dream of Skinny and found that her post was quite fitting for my thoughts and mindset lately.  Plus this particular post had me laughing as I thought of her and her fiance jumping up and down repeatedly to get their engagement shot.  Holly asked "How do you hold onto your motivation?"

I think motivation is the number 1 reason why I have not succeeded in past attempts at fitness.  I thought I had motivation, and I'm sure I did for short periods of time, but I never held onto my motivation long enough to make fitness a habit.  Chris often tells me that once I get over that infamous hump it won't be a matter of "Oh, I need to go to the gym today", but more a statement of "I go to the gym today because that is what I do.  I'm a gym goer."

For the past week I have been lacking motivation.  I don't know what had me fall off the fitness bandwagon, but I think it had to do with a change of work schedule and a hatred of having to shower multiple times a day, everyday.  I started getting re-motivated when Chris and I went out cycling together and it actually felt like we were biking together.  I even planned and went on an 18km bike ride out to Lakefield so I met one of my goals for next summer before this year even ended.  That was pretty motivating.

Then I took almost a week off the gym.  I was gaining weight at my weigh-ins and that was not helping me be motivated because I had done the work and it wasn't showing on the scale.  So, to get re-motivated I booked an assessment at the gym.  I have found this extremely helpful.  When the numbers on the scale stop moving, but I'm still putting in the work I need to assess my progress differently.  Although I did not drop more in weight since my last assessment I found that I did lose inches.  It seems my body has shifted.  All that swimming has tightened up my back and my hips, but I've put on a little around the waist.  Now I know what I need to work on so I can create a plan - new motivation!

When my motivation is lacking I also find a change in program helps.  I love swimming so I will continue to swim.  Swimming is becoming easy so I need to make it a challenge without making it too hard to prevent me from going.  Hence today I upped my swim from 20 to 30 minutes doing a full 10 laps of legs only without stopping.  After that I figured it wasn't too bad and the pool experience was nice today so I did 10 more laps.  That's a grand total of 1000 metres or 1km!  I didn't think that was going to be possible so soon.  I'm also going to add in two gym days a week - one for arms and one for legs with some cardio on the bike.  This will help me build muscle to burn fat faster and help me tighten everything up.

What else keeps me motivated?  My husband's encouragement, my friends' interest in my fitness journey, new food recipes, my love of chocolate (ie I need to burn 300 calories to eat a chocolate bar), new fitness activities, my desire to blog about my experiences, seeing my weight go down or the inches come off, new wardrobes, and feeling better.  I also get motivated from negatives like getting sweaty after teaching a dance class at school makes me want to get in better shape.

How do you get out of a funk when your motivation drops off?