Monday, August 18, 2014

I am my own Fitness Coach

Five months ago my body looked like this:

 My boyfriend had gone away for the whole month of March. I decided to use the time to really focus on my fitness, and get to what I consider my ideal physical shape. Fitness is always a part of my life, but I like to push myself a few times a year to really lean out and muscle up. When I was feeling really good about where I was at(although honestly I'd like to see my abs pop a bit more) I got a friend to come and take pictures. It wasn't so much about vanity as it was a tool for the future, something that I could look at to motivate myself. And also vanity.

Today my body is about as far away from that ideal as I'm willing to let it go.

Shitty  photo, but I'm pretty sure you can see I'm looking a bit softer these days.
  I know, it's not terrible. I'm not saying that I think I'm fat, and I'm not making a comment on anyone else's body. Everyone has their own standards and comfort level when it comes to their physique. Personally I really enjoy the feeling of being lean and muscular. But I believe all shapes and sizes of bodies can be beautiful.

I'm not even bummed that my own body isn't where I ususally like it to be. The main reason I've gone a little soft is a good one. Rather than focusing on fitness, I've spent a lot of my summer enjoying time with friends and loved ones. My social life often falls fairly far down on my list of priorities. I've got work and school, and in my spare time I often forego socializing to be at the gym, or to write in my blog. I'm not anti-social, I just don't always make time for people-and sometimes that ends up bumming me out. So for the last little while, I've been hanging out with people every chance I get. I've eaten lots of pizza and drank many a beer(and a wine, and a vodka), and had a lot of good times. I've still gone to the gym, but I haven't made it my focus. And I don't feel bad about that.

But now that I feel mentally replenished, it's time to focus on what we all know really matters the most: myself. I've got a lot of events coming up in September and I really want to look and feel my best. I know  that if I really stick to my guns I will see positive changes in about 2 weeks. A month from now I could be pretty close to my ideal. But I gotta get cracking now.

I've coached myself through these fitness lulls before. Normally it would just be a mental decision, I wouldn't write anything down. But I've had a really weird summer, and I'm feeling like I need an extra push to get back to going HAM. So I thought I'd use my blog not just to share fitness tips with you guys, but also to keep myself on track over the next little while. I'm going to try to do at least one fitness post a week over the next month, setting goals and tracking my progress as I go.

I think I'll make it like an end of the week thing, where I just make a few notes on each day. But I wanted to start sharing this right away, so here's where I'm at at the start of the week:

Sunday Night

Sunday night I just came up with my goals for the week. I want to make new goals each week, to make sure I'm challenging myself and staying on track. I'm not talking lofty goals here. Just little things to keep me going in the right direction.

Here's what I came up with for this week:

Eat breakfast every day. I usually do eat breakfast, but for some reason lately I haven't been. I know from experience that eating a healthy meal first thing in the morning really sets the tone for the day. I need to get back into the habit.

Write down everything I eat. I've never been one to closely monitor what I'm eating. I mostly just try to sort of plan ahead and make healthy choices. But I could benefit from writing down everything I eat, even for a week or two. I think it could help me idenitfy any bad habits I've let slip into my diet.

Go to the gym at least 4 times and get at least 3 cardio and 3 strength/weights sessions in-this is not really outside of my usual routine, but I've been somewhat inconsistent this summer. Gotta make a point to get to the gym on the regular.


Breakfast: A brown rice cake with almond butter and sliced banana. I'm dealing with minimal groceries at the moment.
Lunch: Chicken Breast with fresh guacamole and kale salad.
The theme of the day is shitty iPhone photos
 Workout: Got a good one in this morning. I did 30 mins running on the treadmill (medium pace, steady state)
Then I did this glutes routine from this month's Oxygen Magazine.

Oxygen is one of my main resources for designing my own workouts. I seriously recommend it to anyone at any fitness level who needs some guidance at the gym. This workout included some variations on moves I do regularly-I do sumo squats all the time, but I'd never done them with a barbell before. It's good to always be switching it up like that. I only used a 40 lb barbell here-I like to play it safe the first time I do any workout. But 40 lbs didn't really challenge me in these moves, so if I do this workout again I'll definitely up the weight.

The glute workout didn't wear me out, so I also decided to work my shoulders today. I did 3 x 10 reps each of shoulder presses, uprights rows and dumbbell front raises.

Anyway, that's my progress report starting out this week. Like I said, I'm going to track my progress here. It could be either really boring or sort of helpful or both. I'm really pumped and ready to give it my all at the gym, and posting about it on my blog will help keep me motivated.

Also, fitness friends, your encouraging words would be appreciated! Or if you want to be like a mean drill sergeant, I would probably be ok with that too. SIR YES SIR!

Thanks for reading!

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