Do You Neoprene?

March 28, 2012

PhotobucketLyndsi has been sporting a neoprene waist wrap for the last few weeks because she is training to compete in her first fitness competition of this season.

I obviously am not in the same boat, but I have seen her progress with the band and decided to get one for myself.

If you’re not hip to neoprene, basically it creates a sauna-like effect making you sweat a lot more when you workout. I like it so far because wearing the band causes me to sit up straight on my fitness ball at work (I’ve developed quite a nice slouching habit), and because it’s tight I am conscious of my abs and find myself engaging them often.

I wouldn’t say I believe neoprene workout gear is super effective in long-term weight loss. Only diet and exercise will yield results. But, for water loss and consistent ab engagement, I’d definitely recommend a waist wrap.

I’m also interested in getting some capri pants that do the same thing because I have a lot of cellulite on my thighs. But, that’ll be a different post if I go through with it.

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Conquering Physical Fears

March 27, 2012

PhotobucketThis post could also be titled: How the StepMill changed my life.

Last week my friend from college, Lyzi, posted a piece about feeling body conscious and specifically feeling self-conscious when exercising on her new collaborative blog Serving Tea to Friends. This post really hit home for me because I have been conscious of my own attempts at physical activity since I can remember. I loathed PE in middle and high school because I was slow, uncoordinated, overweight and awkward. These feelings definitely have translated into my adult life and have been difficult to overcome through my weight loss thus far. Even now that I have worked my way up to running and using the gym daily, I still have some pretty big fears I’ve yet to overcome (I’m looking at you pull-ups). However, this weekend I finally conquered one of them: the StepMill.

There is a reason this piece of cardio equipment is rarely occupied at my gym; the thing is effing brutal. Lyndsi asked me if I’d ever tried it at our last session, and suggested I try a modest 20 minutes on the fat burner setting at a level 5–the machine offers levels 1-20, so 5 really isn’t that intimidating. And, because Lyndsi is both adorable and scary simultaneously, I agreed. I’m proud to say I made it, barely. I have literally NEVER sweat that much in 20 minutes in my life, ever.

More importantly, though, I felt like I conquered something within myself. It’s the same feeling I experienced when I jogged my running loop without any walking breaks for the first time. It’s this indescribable feeling of accomplishment that can only be achieved by doing something you honestly believed you couldn’t do. There are a few more exercises I know in time I’ll work up to feeling comfortable doing, and I’m sure more will surface as my journey goes along.

So, in response to Lyzi, thank you for posting such an honest account of your experience. If I can give you any sort of advise, try to recognize those things that make you uncomfortable, like doing the V-sits and feeling awkward and push yourself to keep trying them. I often try new exercises, especially floor exercises, where I hate the way it feels/looks, but the more I do it, the more comfortable I am. Not only do I grow more comfortable with those specific tasks, but also with my body in general. In my opinion nothing in the entire world feels better than proving to yourself that you are stronger than you thought.

Measurement Monday

March 26, 2012

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Pretty great week–didn’t take any rest days, but I’ve been careful to work different parts of my body every day to ensure my muscle groups have time to heal. I tried the StepMill for the first time (which I’ll write about in another post), and have been following my diet fairly closely. Also, I’ve definitely been good about counting calories, which is something I’ve never really consistently done.

  • Waist: 33″
  • Hips: 40″
  • Bust: 37″
  • Thigh: 25″
  • Calf: 16″
  • Upper Arm: 12″

My jeans are now only fitting when they’re fresh out of the dryer. Can’t wait until these things are falling off!

A Taste of Holi

March 22, 2012

PhotobucketHoli is a holiday in India where everyone throws colorful powder on each other in Spring. While I would love to travel to India, I can’t afford to make that happen anytime soon. Instead, I’m planning to participate in a color run this fall. If you’re in my area there is a color run in Portland, September 29th, 2012.

The coolest part of this is that people of all different ages and fitness levels can participate. It’s a 5k, but you can do as little as one–you can walk, jog, whatever.

There hasn’t been any running in my life the past two days because the world decided to dump snow all over the Pacific Northwest in the middle of March, but a girl can still dream of days when the cold air won’t burn her lungs, and stretching ones legs along the pavement to the rhythm of the music in your headphones can happen in peace. I’m done ranting–you should all come get covered in colors with me.

Do You Coregasm?

March 21, 2012

PhotobucketAfter the Huffington Post picked up this article yesterday I wasn’t even going to post about it, but it’s my party and I’ll blog if I want to–even if everyone already read it and posted on Facebook about it themselves.

This didn’t happen on my morning run yesterday, or my morning row today, but usually when I’m in the gym–specifically when I’m weight lifting, I experience mini-orgasms. I never really thought much of it. I mean you tense up muscles to lift and they release when you relax, so it makes sense that it feels good. Psychology Today published a study done at Indiana University exploring what they are deeming “coregasms”.

The interesting thing about this is the proof that orgasms aren’t directly tied to sex. I’m personally excited that I’m not the only one experiencing this, but now I’m sort of creeped out by the other ladies at the gym. Are you grunting because it’s pain or pleasure? Am I having a menage when I accidentally make eye contact in the weight room? Hmmm…

Measurement Monday

March 19, 2012

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Aside from measurements being slightly better, I got to weigh in with Lyndsi this week and I am down in body fat. Of course losing body fat improves ones physical appearance, but most importantly it’s way better for my health. 36.6% down to 34.8%. My goal is to reach 32% or lower by April–this is the top of the healthy body fat range for my height, gender and age group. Super excited.

  • Waist: 33″
  • Hips: 41″
  • Bust: 38″
  • Thigh: 25″
  • Calf: 16″
  • Upper Arm: 12″

My Workout Schedule

March 16, 2012

PhotobucketI’ve had a few people IRL (in real life, although I shouldn’t have to tell you this, internet user) ask me what my workout schedule looks like now that I’m using the gym and whatnot, so I figured this would be a good thing to post for anyone looking to be a workout buddy, or if you’re just curious:

Monday: Ideally I’m up at 6am and running 2.5 miles. After work I meet Lyndsi to do upper body (chest, shoulders, arms, back) and core work for an hour. After that I hit the gym for 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of swimming.

Tuesday: Running 2.5 miles before work, hitting the gym after work for 60 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of swimming.

Wednesday: Running 2.5 miles before work. After work I meet Lyndsi to do lower body and core for an hour. Then gym for 30 minutes cardio and 30 minutes in the pool.

Thursday: Sometimes I use this day to rest. If not: running 2.5 before work, gym for upper body on my own, 30 minutes cardio, 30 minutes pool.

Friday: Running 2.5 before work, after work lower body on my own, 30 mins cardio (try to hit the step mill instead of the treadmill or elliptical to kill my legs), Zumba for an hour, and swimming for 30 mins.

Saturday: RUN 10 MILES. It’s a walk/jog actually, but it SUUUUUCKS. Then gym for 30 mins GENTLE cardio, and 30 mins in the pool.

Sunday: Sometimes I use this day to rest too, but if not either run 2.5 or 10 miles depending on how I feel. Hit the gym for core work and swimming.

Basically I am working out like 12-14 times a week. You’d think I’d feel exhausted, but I’m actually very energized and often feel like I could be pushing myself harder. So, there you have it. If you’re a member at Oakway Fitness I am always looking for more workout buddies. If you’re in the area and interested in working with a personal trainer, Lyndsi is awesome and I can put you in touch, and if you’re just curious–hopefully that helped. I’m thinking some new progress photos will be in order after the weekend, so see you Monday (or rather you’ll see me… a lot of me).

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