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Hey Nerd Fitness! It's been a while since we've hung out, and I've missed you!

I haven't been around on the boards and challenges and such because I've been having an amazing time with life.  Also, I've been evaluating a lot of my goals and habits, and I’ve discovered that 6-week challenges don’t really work for me.  I was able to complete my first challenge very well, but my second and third attempts were bails. I felt obligated to report to my guild and update them with progress, and it was easy to lose focus of why I was doing the challenge. I wasn’t doing it because I signed up, I wasn’t doing it because if I stopped I would be letting my guild down, but that’s how it felt. I know the challenge threads are supposed to be super free-form, but if I didn’t report a day, I was guilt-stricken. So I shifted focus. Instead of worrying about my challenge progress, I just focused on me.  What makes me want to keep going? How do I motivate myself and press on toward my goals without crashing or losing focus?

 

It’s been quite a journey, and I’d like to share it with you.

 

First off, I’m a 20-something with a desk job by day, and a swing dancer/instructor/competitor by night and weekend. Fitness has never been my thing.  Dance, music, and board games, please! But I want to get fit, I want to be healthy, and I’d like to not die at the Cornucopia. :)

 

At the beginning of 2015, I was a member of a cheap gym that was close to my office, but far from my home.  I knew there was no way I was going to lug all the things I needed to get ready in the morning to the gym, so morning workouts were out. I tried to create a habit of going to the gym after work, but I had conflicts with commitments on most nights of the week, and if anything came up with friends, it was easy as pie to drop that workout and go do coffee/dinner/movie/etc.; on top of which, I travel almost every weekend for dance or to see family, and I was having an incredibly difficult time establishing routine.  So basically it was a mess of inconvenient.

 

Meanwhile, literally in my backyard (I can see it from my back porch) is the best gym in my city, with an awesome facility, classes at all hours of the day, knowledgeable staff, and all the good things.  But I just saw the cost.  Finally I admitted that my cheap route wasn’t working.  I decided to try a month at “the fancy gym†that would allow me to be up in the morning, get ready at home, and then go about my day and life.  It was amazing.  I made a commitment that if I was in town and could go to work, I could get up a little earlier and go work out.  The decision was made. I would lay out my workout clothes before I went to bed, and I knew every weekday morning, I would be at the gym at 5:30. I didn’t have to talk myself into working out every day. I didn’t have to convince myself that driving that extra 2 miles in hectic traffic after a long day of work was worth it, the decision was made.  And because I didn’t have to make the decision, I went.  It was working.

 

After a couple of months in the new routine, I had been tracking my weight and keeping a pretty close eye on my caloric intake, but I saw very little change.  In fact, I was gaining weight with very little change in my % body fat.  So I decided to take advantage of some of the services at the fancy gym and signed up to do a resting metabolic assessment.  I discovered that about 60% of my daily energy was coming from carbs, and only 40% of my energy was burned off fat.  My trainer challenged me to try a diet where I ate 100 grams of protein every day, limiting myself to about 100 grams of carbs, and eating no breads, pastas, etc.  Being a total carb-aholic, I was devastated.  But if that’s what it was going to take, I said ok. 

 

That was about a month ago.  I’d love to tell you that I’ve seen drastic changes (I did at first – dropped 5 lbs in 2 weeks!), but honestly, I have a long way to go toward figuring things out.  But for now I’m super happy with the plan I have, which looks like this:

 

Food:

~1400 calories per day (more on heavily active days)

72 fl oz of water every day

 

Training regimen:

Monday: Treadmill, 30 min, and stretching, usually dancing in the evenings

Tuesday: Barbell strength training (group class)

Wednesday: Treadmill, 30 min, and stretching

Thursday: Barre (group class)

Friday: Treadmill, 30 min, and stretching

Saturday: Off, often dancing/hiking

Sunday: Off

 

My new routine has been great for my mind and spirit as well.  I also made the decision that treadmill time is non-fiction time. Either my kindle will read to me as I jog, or I’ll load up a podcast on my phone.  It’s a body and brain workout all at once!  After I get home, I have time for coffee, reading my Bible, and praying before getting ready for work, which was something else I had really struggled with before.

 

 

TL;DR

So this was a super long post, but basically, I’ve made huge personal progress in my health and fitness life by simplifying, and in some ways eliminating, the decision to work out. I just do it. Same thing with breads – I just don’t eat them. 

 

 

So this thread is less of a battle log and more of blog of progress, that I will update on my own time, at my own pace.  I might one day decide that a challenge is worth committing to, but for now, this is what works for me and is what I think I can stick to.

 

If this inspires you, please comment! I’m totally up for talking fitness stuff!

  • Like 1

AnnaBJoyful: Christ-Follower, Swing Dancer, Researcher, Traveler, Lover of Life

 

Level 2 Human | Dance-Ninja-Assassin
STR 4 | DEX 3 | STA 4 | CON 3 | WIS 4 | CHA 2

Challenge 1

 

 

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Major win today! I checked my % body fat, and I have officially crossed over from the "average" group on the % body fat chart into the "fitness" group! YAAAAAY!!!

AnnaBJoyful: Christ-Follower, Swing Dancer, Researcher, Traveler, Lover of Life

 

Level 2 Human | Dance-Ninja-Assassin
STR 4 | DEX 3 | STA 4 | CON 3 | WIS 4 | CHA 2

Challenge 1

 

 

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