Wow! So hard to believe I’m already at the 4th week of my new workout schedule. Time is flying by! I’m learning new things and enjoying my journey. A thought that continues to be reinforced is about comparison and how it will surely steal your joy if you entertain those thoughts. You should never compare yourself to others but instead try to be the best YOU that you can be. If you must compare then compare yourself to yourself. Are you improving, growing, changing, advancing? Are you picking yourself up when you fall down? Are you breaking through the obstacles? Are you striving to reach your goal? If you’re doing these things then you are succeeding!
If you are my age you shouldn’t look across the gym at that twenty-something hard-body with no kids and a revving metabolism and feel bad about yourself because you’re forty-something with 2 kids, have a ton of stretch marks and saggy spots to show for it and a metabolism that isn’t what it used to be. What joy is there in that? NONE! I’m never going to be that young hard-body. But I can look back through pictures and see how far I’ve come in 2 years. I know how much better I feel. I’m extatic about that! Stop being concerned about how far you have to go and start finding the joy there is to be had in the process. You just might be the roll model that someone else is looking for.
Ladies, don’t be afraid to use the weight side of the gym. I think so many women really want to use the weights but either don’t have the first clue what to do (like me) or they are so intimidated by the men they are too afraid to try (also like me). When I first joined a gym last summer, I told the owner I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and he got me started in circuit training using the machines. That was great for about the first 6 weeks or so but then my body got used to the routine and stopped responding. I became frustrated to the point of nearly quitting completely after about 3 months of machine workouts. That’s when I enlisted the help of a personal trainer who also happens to be my nephew. The first thing he did was take me over to the weights side of the gym and get me using the barbells and dumbbells. It was the best thing he could have done and he worked with me until I was confident in the new exercises and could do them on my own. Almost every gym has trainers available to you. It is well worth it to purchase a few sessions to get going and then purchase a few more later when you need to change things up. Free weights are your FRIENDS, people! Use them!
What I discovered working with my nephew is there’s no reason to be intimidated. Are there creepers in the gym who watch me workout? I’ve encountered one in the last year and that was just this past week. The vast majority of the men in the gym are so involved in what they are doing that they pay no attention to me at all. There are also some who are willing to help if you ask a question. I think most of them respect women who use the weights and don’t just relegate themselves day after day to the treadmill or the elliptical machine.
I also think some women are afraid to get “bulky.” Let me just say this. I haven’t felt as feminine as I do right now in years….maybe ever. I’d a lot rather have some lean muscle tone on my arms and legs than go back to what I used to have. I’ve been lifting weights for a year and I am by no means bulky. Muscles are feminine, ladies. You won’t look like Lou Ferrigno. You don’t have the body type or the hormones for that.
OK…on to this week’s workout.
MONDAY: After a long weekend of fun and friends, it was hard getting up to go to the gym this morning. I did my lower body workout and switched out the deadlifts for squats using a bosu ball. It’s really hard to stand up on the round side of the ball (this is a half-ball with a flat side and a round side) and do squats. It takes a lot of balance but it really works my thigh muscles. The first time I did this after my nephew showed me how, I couldn’t walk right for about 3 days! I’m getting more used to it now. The rest of my workout was pretty routine.
I got what I call a “fair weather” sinus headache later in the day on Monday. I get them on bright, sunny, cloudless days. It must be related to the high pressure on those days or something. They tend to last for 3 days when I get them. Bring on the Advil Cold and Sinus!
TUESDAY: I was in bed by 9 PM Monday night and slept pretty well but still had trouble getting going Tuesday morning. I tried to be excited about the elliptical machine but I just didn’t have it today. My sinus headache is still there just under the surface but certainly not horrible. I still managed to do my 2 miles in under a 15 minute pace each but it was a lot harder today than last week. Maybe it’s the junk I ate over the weekend….? Interesting how some days can be so much better than others.
WEDNESDAY: Ugh! I think I must be dehydrated. Getting enough water is one of my biggest challenges. I’ve had that sinus headache for 2 days now and had to take sinus meds to take the edge off on Monday and Tuesday. That tends to dry things out quite a bit. The reason I think I’m dehydrated is because EVERYTHING was hard in the gym this morning….even my 5 minute warm-up on the treadmill. Each exercise hurt right from the first repetition. My muscles felt very fatigued and weak. It can’t be because I’m not getting enough rest or calories. I was in bed by 8:45 PM last night and I slept pretty well, too. It’s got to be fluids.
THURSDAY: Back on the elliptical today. It was a little better than Tuesday but not as exhilarating as last week by any means. I tried to drink more water yesterday and I think it helped. My sinus headache wasn’t as bad either so I didn’t have to take any meds on Wednesday. My muscles didn’t burn or ache today like they did on Wednesday either. Still got the 15 minute mile pace on the first mile and under 14 minutes on the second one. Mr. Blue Sky gets me going up to about 6.4 for 3 minutes or so. 🙂 The rest of the music my son loaded on my ipod keeps me in the mid to upper 4 range. So pace-wise I did pretty well but energy-wise I felt lacking.
FRIDAY: Today’s workout was pretty good. I have noticed when I bent down to do the deadlifts that my knees were pointing inward. I wasn’t sure what the problem was so today I tried changing my grip on the barbell. At my gym, we have pre-weighted barbells that are bent. I don’t particularly care for the bent ones, however, they are supposed to be better for you. They are bent in 4 places and I put my hands on the bends that are closer to the center when I do bicep curls with the barbell. I was doing the same thing for deadlifts. When I moved my hands to the bent spots that are closer to the weights at the ends, it changed how my knees bent, too. I’m guessing it has to do with the over all distribution of the weight. It was much smoother doing it this way.
That completes Week 4. I can hardly believe that much time has passed already. I feel a pretty awesome sense of accomplishment. I will measure again this weekend and post an update of my stats. I sure hope I’m moving in the right direction even if the scale doesn’t show it.
Posted on June 29, 2012, in The Process and tagged comparison, exercise, Fitness, free weights, health, healthy-living, joy, weight-loss, women and weights, workouts. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.