I’m aim to find the positive in a negative situation. Sometimes it takes me stepping outside of my situation, reflecting, writing, and reading the Word to realize it is possible to find good inside the bad. Well I was really put to the test with a breakup after a little over 2 years together. See my article on that topic here.
Yes, there were several lessons learned and observations made (hindsight is 20-20 – isn’t that always the case), but I want to focus on one particular life changing aspect of the relationship that I will carry with me forever: the importance of eating better and working out.
Because I’m slim, I don’t broadcast information about my body since others tend to think “skinny people” don’t have a complex about their weight. But we’re all hung up on something physically about ourselves that we want to work on. During the winter of 2011, I was an unhappy 150+ pounds. (In high school and college my high metabolism kept me around 115-120lbs but it begin to slow down when I settled into my career in 2005). I know the actual number doesn’t mean much but the fact my size 6 pants were tight didn’t sit well with me. Not to mention the discomfort felt after teaching all day in pants that were pinching my belly! Plus I couldn’t fit ANY of the size 4 pants in my closet!! Though I tried, it was half-hearted, so I was having trouble working off the pounds even with my during-the-school-year-workout-schedule (which tends to be less rigorous since I have to focus more on work).
Currently, I fluctuate throughout the 140-pound-land and my 4s and 6s in the closet all fit just fine! Yay! This leads me to my lifestyle routine.
152lbs wasn’t a bad look from behind, but my stomach wasn’t pleasantly pleasing to my eyes.
In high school and part of college, I worked at Footlocker and Lady Footlocker. My intention was to be closer to the boys and get 30% off Timberlands and Nikes 😉 (luckily now I can still go online to https://www.raise.com/coupons/nike to get some discounts/promo codes for when I do want some more!) But the experience left me with the knowledge of wearing the correct shoes for various activities while speaking to active individuals gave me a greater appreciation for exercising. That working experience also caused me to fall in love with running shoes and workout gear. I’ve got to be honest in saying a cute sports bra and new running shoes are great motivators. Heck I’m even excited about new running socks (hint-hint in case you want to buy me a gift…I’m just sayin’).
I may not live near the water, but I own a lot of bikinis!
Anyway, in high school, I would run on the treadmill occasionally. In addition to that, my bedroom was on the third floor of our home. Climbing three flights several times per day, most of the time skipping stairs and running fast to get the trek completed quicker, helped give my calves the muscles that drive the men crazy today. LOL! Yes, I went there. Working out on occasions became my habit for years and years.
Workout in the morning…party in the evening!
Fast-forward a decade to my most recent routine:
I owned a treadmill between 2005-2009 and have always liked to take walks with my 7 year old dog (again, don’t discount the little things like a 15-min daily walk with the dog). Recently, I’ve been working out pretty heavy (especially the past 2-3 years). This routine is something my ex left with me and for that I’m thankful. This summer I really kicked it up a notch. I feel I had a real routine: spinning class 3-4 times per week, Turbo Kick and or running outside in the record high temps twice per week, and an occasional Zumba or yoga class.
My favorite spin instructor, Shanika “The Beast” Ell, says we burn close to 1,500 calories by following the challenges she presents! You can’t beat that!
On days I just did NOT feel like leaving for the gym, I’d turn on the Wii to play my Zumba workout game or use the Wii to stream YouTube on my TV so I could do a 20-minute Turbo Kick class (doing something is better than nothing!).
I tried to only take off two days per week from working out to give my body a chance to rest. Even when out of town, I’d stick with my workout regimen; and as I mentioned, I took four trips during my summer break.
As a rule of thumb, I take stairs sometimes versus elevators and park further than necessary when going to the stores…if you leave remembering nothing else, remember the little things make a difference!
Yeah, it’s a bathroom shot but hey, I was proud of my toned stomach ;).
While my mom jokingly calls me a gymrat, I do not believe in spending the night. Effective working out for me takes place in the time it takes to watch a few episodes of House Hunters. When taking a class like spin or yoga, I’m there for no more than an hour and a half. If I don’t take a class, I will use the elliptical for 30-40 minutes, then continue with the rest of my gym routine. Oh, I guess I should share what that “gym routine” consists of: -10-15 minutes of ab work
-10-15 minutes of lifting 20 pound weights
Sometimes I’ll add in 5-10 minutes of floor work like squats or planks. Then I’m out of there and on to the rest of my day!!
The ab machines I frequent.
More food for thought (from Hey Fran Hey’s Facebook page):
“How many meals do you eat in a day? I used to eat once a day because I felt it kept me slim! So awful! I think most people assume the less you eat the less you will gain, but you’re actually doing the opposite. The less you eat the slower your metabolism, which results in weight gain. Print this chart as a reminder of a great eating schedule. And read this breakdown by Livestrong on the best way to eat, stay super healthy and even lose weight in the process: http://www.livestrong.com/article/455054-is-eating-small-meals-better-for-weight-loss“.
My desire is to work toward something similar to this!
Feel free to share with me your lifestyle routine! Let’s keep one another motivated and encouraged to be healthier!