A Dark Truth, in Numbers

When I was fat, (yea I said it) I would avoid numbers like the plague. Clearly the most avoided number was always the number on the scale. Alongside that was the number on my jeans indicating the size, the number of calories in the meal I just had, the number of promises to myself to make a change I had broken and the list goes on. My life was basically a game of numbers, or avoiding them. 

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Now, 60 or 70lbs later I find myself in a similar dark place. At least a year ago when I was avoiding numbers it was out of sight and out of mind. Now, I obsess over all kinds of numbers! How many calories/carbs/protein were in that meal I just had? How much did I do on my deadlift/squat/barbell curl last week in comparison to this week? How many miles did I run/not run? What’s my body fat percentage like these days? How many inches have I lost? I find that at times I have made myself crazy over these numbers, but then I STOP.

I force myself to collect my thoughts; I breathe in the positive and let go of the negative. Or better said, the anxiety of numbers that overwhelms me. 

This method of breathing in the good shit and breathing out the bullshit is a constant struggle, much like keeping up a healthy lifestyle is. I’ve posted before about moderation, trying and being happy with small accomplishments and I believe that in my heart of hearts but sometimes that voice in the back of my mind is so loud I cannot silence it. 

I debated whether or not to share this part of the “journey” but I have to share my truths. If there’s a chance others feel this way too there’s no reason not to put it out there. We should all know that this can happen, that it’s ok and that you can get over and keep on going.

I’m done feeling sorry for myself (yet again). I’m getting over this hump and I know, if you find yourself on it, you can too. 

I’ll file this under the first world problems category and go kill my next workout. xo

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New Year, New You! Tackle Gym Anxiety in 2014!

 

You thought the hard part was over after you signed your new gym membership contract. You eagerly packed your gym bag and made your way to the land of free weights and cardio after a long days’ work but just when you thought you were ready to tackle your fitness resolution for 2014, you walk into THIS!

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You immediately feel like this… 

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How am I supposed to get a workout in? How long am I going to have to be here? What are all these people doing? All these questions come into your mind and you immediately want to run back into your car and go home where your couch and pjs are waiting for you.

Before you go home, destined to trash another New Year’s resolution, read these tips for managing the mayhem! 

1. Avoid peak times

While I know most of us cannot avoid working out after work, if you can avoid it you should. If you’re gym is nearby try working out during lunch. If you’re a morning person, try working out before your day starts. 

2. Avoid the most popular areas of the gym

I am talking to all you treadmill and elliptical lovers! Make this time at the gym more about improving yourself and less about committing to a number of minutes on any given machine. This is not 30 minutes of punishment for eating all those Christmas cookies. Check the class schedule at your gym and pick something challenging or have someone at the gym show you around the weight area. Gym employees are there to help you navigate the intimidating waters. 

3. Create your own space

I don’t know about you but for me gym anxiety always stemmed around the idea that people were looking at me. I got over this by building my confidence about my workout in my own little corner of the gym. Grab a few free weights and a stepper or yoga mat and you’ve got all you need for a great workout. 

Sites like POPSugar and Bodybuilding.com have TONS of workouts at your fingertips like this one, 
http://www.fitsugar.com/Full-Body-Circuit-Workout-Dumbbells-2825394#opening-slide

If you’re just getting into weight lifting don’t be afraid to start off lite, but don’t stick to those for too long! 

4. Take your watch off

Your workout isn’t done at 6 or 2 or 12, your workout is done when you’ve completed all the exercises you’ve set out to! If you’re going to beat gym anxiety you’re going to have to spend more time there! 

5.  Don’t get discouraged! 

Whether you’re worried about the crowds or your first day back has muscles aching you didn’t even know you had, keep at it! Let’s be honest, you didn’t gain all this weight overnight and you’re not going to lose it that way either. Be patient with yourself! 

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Workout Wednesday!

I’m trying out a new workout routine to try and get over my latest plateau so I thought I’d share it!

Now I know a lot of women are intimidated by free weights, but don’t be! Watch the videos, check out the instructions and walk into the gym with a plan! Remember, start with light weights, no shame in gauging your abilities. No one is out here to hurt themselves. If you have questions don’t be afraid to tap a guy working out nearby or gym employee a question — you might get a date out of it! 😉

This workout is challenging, but focused on form, which I love! A lot of these moves I have done before, but a co-worker recently got me to up the ante by adding the dreaded Stairmaster and more weight training.

Don’t be afraid to go slow! It is more important to get the form right — pay attention for where you are feeling the burn.

This is what I’ll be doing during my lunch hour:

*5×5 = 5 sets of 5

Squat 5×5 http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/barbell-squat

Squat!

Squat!

Deadlifts

Deadlift 5×5 http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/barbell-deadlift

Standing Military Press

Barbell Row

Standing Press 5×5 http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/standing-military-press

Barbell Row 5×5 http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/bent-over-barbell-row

Straight Bar or Incline Curl 3×8 http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/barbell-curl

Kneeling Cable Crunch 3×10-20 http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/cable-crunch

Barbell Curl

Kneeling Cable Crunch

Disclaimer: I am not a trainer. I’ve researched these workouts and gotten tips from trainers and friends. These workouts work for me and my goals but may not work for you.