16 September 2011

To be great: think great and act great

"Energy and persistence conquer all things." -Benjamin Franklin 
This week has been full of accomplishments. With the summer heat finally leaving the valley, I feel like I have more energy.  It's kind of strange - most people gear up for working out in the summer.  They get outside and sweat, they run, they play, they look forward to summertime.  But here, in the valley of the sun, it's much different.  Here, we buy gym memberships specifically so we can workout in the summer.  We stay indoors and we walk with umbrella's outside to protect ourselves from the heat.  Sure, there are the hard-core runners who still run in the summer, and sure, if you get out early enough it might still be nice.  But for me, running at 5 am when it's already 95 degree's outside is just not my idea of an exhilarating workout.

So I'm glad that fall is asserting it's dominance over summer. Good job, fall. Keep it up.

Of course, it does mean that over the last few months, I've really let myself slip.  I hate working out in the summer.  It's hot - 100+ degrees - and by the time I get home from work I'm exhausted.  Even the drive home seems to wear me out. Excuses, excuses, excuses. I know.

 "It's not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. " -Anonymous 

My situation has dramatically improved.  I now have a 15 minute commute instead of a 45 minute commute.  There's a really great fitness center at my apartment complex, whereas before I was paying for a gym membership and I had to drive another 20 minutes to get there.  I am happier where I'm living now, and that happiness affects every other aspect of my life - including my workouts.

But this week has been about tiny acts of greatness that are helping me re-assert my control over my body. And this time I'm determined they will stick. This week, I've been thinking it one day at a time. I've determined that it's very important for me to take things in small chunks, otherwise I get overwhelmed and am more prone to failure.


What can I control? Just 24 hours at a time. Not even that, more like 16 - 18 hours. I wake up and I say: I am going to have a great day. I am going to have challenges, but I'm going to face them and overcome them.  I don't even bother thinking about my workout until it get's close to after-work (on weekdays) because I'm not there yet.  Once 2 pm hits, I start to tell myself I'm going to do it.  When I tell myself I WILL do it, it becomes something that I MUST do. If I tell myself I HAVE to do it, I'm more likely to skip it.  Sure, I HAVE to do it, but if it feels like a chore, I won't want to.


My Bodybugg is a great help.  If you've never heard about one, here's the scoop: the link to the apex website is on my links page, you should check it out. You wear it on your arm and through some miracle of science and probably magic, it calculates your calorie burn.  They wear them on the biggest loser, and I first heard about them through an awesome gym - Pure Fitness. You keep track of your calorie intake (very important!) and upload the bugg's data, then input your calorie intake and viola, you have charts and graphs and all kinds of helpful things.  I'm really happy that this was something I chose to get, because it helps keep me accountable, even if I don't want to be.


Speaking of Pure Fitness, I'm still in mourning that gym.  They went bankrupt and were bought out by LA Fitness.  I tried going to LA Fitness for a while but it just wasn't the same.  Pure Fitness was personalized. Every Saturday they had an hour long seminar where they would give you a hard core workout for free.  The trainers really cared about you and your personal goals even if you weren't paying for their services.  They were more than happy to take some time out of their day to help you learn a new move or piece of equipment.  And they were much smaller gyms, so you really got to know the people that went there.  It felt more like family.


Now I have the fitness center at my apartment complex, which is kind of like a miniature version of Pure Fitness.  There are 8 treadmills, 3 ellipticals, 4 weight machines, a whole rack of free-weights and a few pieces of misc. equipment.  It's small, but pretty nice, and its definitely nice to have it so close to home.  Not to mention I have a Wii, the Wii Fit series, and Zumba for the Wii, plus a trove of workout videos from a variety of trainers.  No boredom here!


So this week I haven't missed a single workout.  And I've completed my challenge task every day (this week it was to do 25 lunges per-day).  Tonight is a rest day, which I'm really looking forward to. Tomorrow morning I'll be hiking at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  I've never been there, but it looks like there are a lot of great trails to explore.  Then Sunday is my official weigh in (to kick off my 50 pounds in 7 months challenge) and the start of a new week of workouts.  

Next week is cardio week.  Which means in addition to my regular strength training routine, I've got a lot of cardio on my plate, too.  And my challenge task for next week is to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio each day (even my off day).


The week after that is already planned, but I won't get into that yet.  One day at a time. One week at a time. right? Right.  I have a strength routine planned for October already, too, but only because I like to think ahead.  November I'll need something that doesn't involve a lot of effort (to plan) on my part, so I'm thinking I'll do the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels.


BUT TODAY. Today is Friday. My rest day. I may go for a walk later. Either way, I'm starting things off right.

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