What’s On My Mind Wednesday [3.26.14]

We’re going to go right in to What’s On My Mind Wednesday today – hope you like the new graphic!

STATEMENT #35(1)

1. MH370 – It’s been on everyone’s minds recently. I’ve been watching the reports, and as much I knew in my heart that the plane went down, I hoped for the sake of all of those people and their loved ones that it would be found somewhere with all occupants alive. Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be the case. I hope for all those involved, the wreckage is found soon and they can get some answers about what happened. So sad.

2. Running – My foot pain is nearly gone. I say nearly, because it’s been bothering me a bit the last couple of days. I’m assuming it’s because I’m back to normal activity, but either way, I’m not trying to let it get me down. Last night was the first time in nearly 7 months that I was able to run. I’ve never been a runner, but I’ve always aspired to be a runner. After having this ridiculous injury set me back, I’m more determined than EVER to become a runner.

After work, despite how nervous I was, I hopped on a treadmill and started to warm up. I battled that little voice in my head saying just to walk for 30 minutes, but I knew I had a goal in mind. I at least wanted to see if I could do it; make sure I could do something far more strenuous without pain. And I did it. I managed to run for 3.5 minutes. It was a slow. But I did it. This may have been the longest stretch of time I’ve run for since I attempted Couch to 5K last year. I was shocked that I could actually breathe. Normally when I start thinking to much about my breathing, I panic, thus sending me into full on hyperventilating mode.

I kept up a routine of walk at 3.5 and run at 4.4 the entire time. I think in total I only ran for like 9 minutes. BUT I did it. Even when I wanted to quit because my legs felt so heavy, I pushed myself to do another round.

My quick notes while working out.

My quick notes while working out.

Now to just keep this up and bring it to the streets when it gets nice out.

3. Weather – Which brings me to the weather. It’s official. I am so sick of New England. Well, I guess just the winter. It’s essentially been winter since November. I’m over it. It’s March 26th and the cape is getting hammered by a blizzard and it’s currently 30 degrees out. I’m sick of wearing my Ugg Boots, and my giant winter jacket and having to warm my car up before I get in it. It’s spring. Warm weather needs to be here… immediately.

This is a river.... not an ocean. Contrary to what it looks like.

This is a river…. not an ocean. Contrary to what it looks like.

4. Running Sneakers and Workout Clothes – After I injured my foot, I vowed that if I really become a runner, I would get fitted for running sneakers. I want to make sure I never get injured again, at least in terms of my footwear. I’m running in my Nike Pegasus’s right now. I know they don’t have the best support for running, but for what I’m doing right now, they are perfect. And comfortable. And that’s what matters to me. Hopefully by summer I will get fitted.

I also realized last night that while my ratty old ‘Washington DC’ t-shirt is perfect for walking and the elliptical, it sucks to run in. It was totally drenched in sweat, and I’m pretty sure it added 10 lbs on to my already heavy frame (essentially the 10 lbs I lost already!). Needless to say, tonight I’ll be trying one of my UnderArmour tops – hopefully that will help!

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5. Thinspo and Social Media – A hot topic around the blogosphere right now. Eating disorders are so prevalant and even more so now with social media. #Thinspo and similar hashtags are common on Instagram, but Instagram makes sure to have a disclaimer up about eating disorders and how to get help. I’m very impressed that social media sites are now trying to help those who are battling this. This very idea is what helped come up with the ‘Growing Up Alex’ series. She has an amazing story to tell, and I wanted to be bring awareness to it. I’m proud of her for telling her story and I hope you check it out. Part 3 will be up on the blog tomorrow!

I guess that’s it! Not too much on my mind this week.

Happy Hump Day my friends!

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Clean your gym machines people (you never know who’s paying attention)

Happy Monday friends!

Today I’m all about the gym. Mainly because I had my first pain-free workout in nearly 6 months. I’m thrilled that the cortisone shot really seems to be working and doing what its supposed too! This morning’s workout was simply a ‘Let’s get used to being up before dawn and get your cardio back’. I did 35 minutes on the elliptical followed by some upper body lifting. I really like the nautilus machines, but since it’s been a long time since I’ve used them, I kept the workout small. I did tricep curls, bicep curls, the row and pulldowns – 3 reps of 10 at 30 lbs, except the bicep – I only did 2 reps.

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Anyways, on to the real reason for this post. Cleanliness at the gym.

We all know gyms are not the most sanitary places. People are constantly sweating all over everything. In reality, it’s pretty gross. But we all go, because we want to be in shape, or get in shape. Especially those of us in the cold arctic weather of New England who can’t work out outside basically from November until March (or evidently April this year). I mean you could… but it’s cold. And I just don’t like the cold.

I ALWAYS clean my machine when I get on it and off it. I’m not a germophobe by any means, but it’s one place that totally grosses me out. Just the thought of someone else’s sweat that I don’t know being all over me just makes me start gagging.

jwoww gaggin

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After finishing my workout on the elliptical, over to the weight machines I went. I sprayed down my towel, cleaned the machine and hopped on the first. I did this for the four machines I did. By the time I got to my fourth (and what I would soon learn to be my  final machine), I noticed a woman behind me lifting really fast. I had just finished my second rep and was taking a quick break. She got up from her machine, passed by GLARING at me, and jumped ahead to the machine in front of me. It was obvious she needed MY machine and was mad that I was on it when she was on it.

Okay….

1. I was on the machine before you got over here so chill out and wait your turn and…

2. There is an identical machine directly next to me. Use that one. You don’t need to go in a straight line. It’s not going to kill your workout. I promise. Just use that one.

Anyways, as I started doing my final rep, I watched as she whipped out another set on the machine in front of me, got up and proceeded to go back to the machine behind me. I immediately wanted to throw up.

SHE DIDN’T WIPE DOWN EITHER MACHINE! I was getting ready to get on the machine she was just on (the identical machine next to it was being used) and was absolutely disgusted. Okay, I know I wipe down machines before and after I use them, but I do it partially because I don’t know who used it before me. Watching someone as they use a machine and sweat all over it, and then leave it without cleaning it disgusted me so much I left. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I wasn’t about to clean the machine she just sweated all over. Maybe subconsciously, I didn’t want her to get the benefit of having someone else clean her machine, but come on people. How hard is it to clean a machine after you use it? It takes 10 seconds. I keep my paper towel with me and just re-wet it when I need it.

So thank you to the woman who didn’t clean her machine in front of me. I ended my workout early because I decided I’d rather be a germophobe then finish my workout and have to clean your sweat off of the machine. (I know. I’m insane.)

Moral of the story: Gyms are dirty places… even the cleanest ones, and you should all clean your machines. You never know who’s watching and ready to use your machine next. And who would rather leave than have to clean the machine you just sweated all over 🙂 (AKA me.)

Things I’m Saying to My Personal Trainer

My good friend, and health guru/coach Molly,  wrote a fantastically awesome post about all the things she’s tired of hearing as a personal trainer. This is my response to said post.

Here’s the thing, you may be tired of hearing it, but I can guarantee that us folks who are still trying to maneuver around the healthy-living/gym-stratosphere, are probably going to continue saying these things. And we’re going to keep wondering if what you’re telling us is really true. Because, for most of us, we don’t really know what we’re doing or talking about, but we think we do because we read tons of fitness magazines. And aspire to be healthy.

And I know that I’m going to keep saying these things to you. So be prepared to keep rolling those eyes…

“I don’t want to use those weights, I’m afraid of getting bulky.”  – Let me start here by saying, when I say this, it’s not out of fear of getting bulky. It’s because I don’t really feel like lifting 15 lb dumbbells over my head in a fly motion or whatever you feel like calling it. They feel wicked heavy, and I’m tired. Bottom line. So, you’re going to keep hearing this. And you’re going to have to keep telling me I’m not going to become a she-hulk. And I’m going to keep pretending I don’t know that, just so I can try to get out of lifting weights. Or at least the heavier ones. Give me a 5 lb dumb bell and I’ll go to town. 15 lbs… no flippin’ way.

And for the record… maybe I’ll start sneaking a little bit of testosterone into my diet just so I DO bulk up and I can be like ‘I told you so… the 15lbs was way too heavy. Now I look like a man.”

On another note – if you google She-Hulk. It’s a real thing; like actually a comic book character.

“Can we just focus on my abs? I want to lose the weight there.” –  Yep, I know that there is no way to spot reduce fat (remember, I read fitness magazines), but I’m still asking because I’m hoping that you’ll know a way to make it happen. I’m also testing you to see if you’re lying to me. IF you tell me yes, then I know you’re just appeasing me because it can’t happen like that. If you tell me no, then I’m going to cry and decide that I don’t want to work out anymore. Because it’s too hard to lose weight. Seriously, just tell me I’m going to do 50 sit ups and immediately have super model abs. It will make me happy. And if you tell me this every time I ask this, eventually I will have awesome abs and the problem will be fixed.

“I don’t want to do this exercise. Can we try something else?” – Let me first tell say, I pay you to get me in shape. Having said that, I should have full control over what we do in our training sessions. And if that means, I want to sit on a recumbent bike, barely peddling, while reading a book, you’re going to let me do that. Remember, YOU’RE STILL GETTING PAID. Sure, I know, you secretly LOVE making me want to cry as I do ten more pushups and a 5 minute plank, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’m only paying you so I can say ‘Yeah, I get to work out with my personal trainer today.’ It makes me sound like I’m a beast at the gym.  Let me do this occasionally… especially if I’m exhausted. And then occasionally I won’t complain about the masochist exercises your about to make me do.

“I don’t get how I’m not losing weight! I only eat Greek yogurt for my breakfast!” – We’ve been brought up in a culture where we’ve heard reducing calories and eating healthy helps up lose weight. Now we’re hearing that we should be eating more to lose weight. Quite honestly, I’m eating Greek Yogurt for breakfast because I’m so overwhelmed with the millions of options that it seems like the quickest and easiest when I have to work. Let’s be serious. I don’t have time to make anything in the morning. I barely have time to get a workout in, and get ready for work.  Greek yogurt with fruit sounds like a grand breakfast to me. And it’s high in protein. And lower in calories. Sounds like a win/win to me!

“I’m not seeing any progress. Nothing is changing!” –  In my one session a week with you, on the weeks where I’m not demanding to sit on the recumbent bike, I expect you to work miracles. And by miracles I mean, lose 10 lbs without lifting a finger the rest of the week. That’s how this whole weight loss thing works right? I work out once and WHAMMO the weight comes off. No? Oh. Okay. I guess I should probably start at least walking on the treadmill when I’m not working out with you.

“I’m going on vacation in a few weeks and I want to lose 10 lbs.” – I know. I probably should have thought of this before my vacation snuck up on me. Like 4 months ago. But let’s be honest. Pizza and beer were way more fun than working out and eating healthy. So now it’s time to crash diet until vacation when I can gain all of it back. That works right? You can totally help me do this right? I mean, 10 lbs is only 10 lbs right… it shouldn’t take THAT long.

So there you go personal trainer Molly. The reasons why we say the things we do when we’re working out with you.

*Disclaimer – I’m not stupid and I know half of the things I said in my responses sound absolutely ridiculous. The point is just a fun response to the things personal trainers are sick of hearing. This is more about the things that come to my mind when hearing these things;  I don’t speak for the population or majority.

**Disclaimer 2 – I’ve known Molly a really long time. We totally poke fun at each other all the time. It’s normal. She knows my eating and workout habits. She knows I’m a lazy bum most of the time, but also knows how long it’s taken me to lose 10 lbs (I hit it today and it’s been almost 3 months!). I trust her 100% with her advice and know that she’s not lying to me when she tells me these things. I just don’t always like to listen to her. She will totally agree with me on this too.

100 Days of Active

Ah. The gym. Like everyone else, I vowed to make the gym part of my daily routine during the new year. And like everyone else, that vow quickly turned to a thing of the past. Well, at least until the third week in January. I told myself daily “I’m going to go to the gym.” and by 5 PM, it turned into “It can wait until tomorrow.” and the next morning, it would be, “I’ll go after work“, and needless to say, the same routine followed.

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So here we are, almost to the end of February. I was going strong at the gym for about 2 weeks, and it slowly faded off again. Not for lack of motivation, just because things got busy and I preferred sitting at home and reading my latest book or crocheting, then getting to the gym.

The first couple weeks of the month, I was fighting a horrible upper respiratory infection. Needless to say, I waited to start working out until I could actually move without coughing.

Now, I’m back to my slump. But instead of just sitting idly by, I’ve made a new goal.

100 days from today (Okay…it’s 110 days) is my birthday. Today marks my new plan of ‘100 Days of Active’. Every day I have to do SOMETHING active, whether it means heading to the gym, going for a walk, exercising at home… something. I bought a tracker for my phone and I plan to document it on Instagram too.  While the ultimate goal is to lose weight, this goal is just to give myself something to work towards and say ‘I did it!’.

If you haven’t checked out this inspirational story, then please do. LaKeisha Shurn took the 100 day fitness challenge to better her life. It didn’t just help her to lose weight, but helped her learn to love fitness and herself, and she continued her weight loss journey.

I plan to do the same. 100 days is just a fun challenge for me to find my passion for being active. I hope to lose some weight/inches along the way, but the goal is to learn to love exercise.

I was once a competitive horseback rider who was at the barn 4 days a week and was in the best shape of her life. Now with only riding a few times a month, I’m ready to find that competitive spirit again with exercise. That devotion that I had to my sport.

Dawn and I, ASB Hunter Country Pleasure, Twin States '00 - photo by Shane Shiflet.

Dawn and I, ASB Hunter Country Pleasure, Twin States ’00 – photo by Shane Shiflet.

Tonight, I’m also starting a 30 day abs/squat challenge to go along with it. And no, I will not use this as my ‘daily’ active. This is just a supplement. I’ll be doing my before picture tonight, a 30 day photo (when the abs/squat challenge is complete), and then one at 100 days. Maybe another at like 60… but that will depend.

I’ll post updates on here. But not daily. I will be posting daily updates on my activity on my Instagram account – stop by and follow me there if you’re interested!