Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weight is a Number

When I was a pre-teen/teenager, the scale played a pretty central part of my life. Even now, I remember how much I weighed when I was 12 (140 lbs), 14 (98 lbs), 18 (128 lbs). I had this imaginary number in my head (115lbs). If I was over, I weighed too much. If I was under, I was safe. As I got older, I stopped weighing myself obsessively and learned to slowly accept myself. Funny enough, my weight stabilized as a result and it has remained the same for the most of my 20's. 

During my last term of nursing school, I lost weight. It was a combination of adjusting to shift work and the stress of school. I was exhausted and cold all the time. Yesterday, I weighed myself and realized I weigh 8 lbs more than I did then (3 months later). A small part of me slightly panicked because I haven't weighed this much in years. Given it's only a few pounds over my norm. And then the rational part of me took over.

I feel great. 

My clothes still fit me. If anything, my pants fit better around my legs (they used to just hang) because I'm developing muscle. I can do squats and pushups. I increased my dumbbell weights. I'm trying to make working out part of my life. I have way more energy than I did three months ago. 

And I realized, weight is a number. It's a number just like how many pushups I can do in a row, stairs I can climb, distance I can go. 

Off topic, but it's been sunny in Vancouver. No rain and it's warm. Amazing. Don't judge me but I totally drove to the gym and did cardio (20 mins on stairmaster, 40 mins on bike) even though I have a bicycle at home and I know a place outdoors that has a good set of stairs I can climb. Oh well. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Additions to my Family

Herro 10lb weights

Went out to Fitness Depot today and finally bought 5lb weights (I bought 4, so 10 lb dumbbells). I started out with 5lb dumbbells. They started becoming easy so I wore 1lb weighted gloves to make the weights 6lbs. Hopefully these 10lb weights won't be too much of a jump for me. I'm excited.

Ab gut blaster slings

My bf convinced me to buy these and I'm glad I did! Any ab exercises that doesn't involve my butt bones grinding into the ground is fine by me. You put your arms through the slings and hold on to the top bindings. You can do a variety of gravity induced ab exercises by being elevated. Like planks or pushups, you use your own body weight to add to your workout. It's fun! We attached the slings to the chin up bar my bf bought when he tried P90x. I don't bother with the bar though. I can't do anything beyond 0 :( 

I went to the gym the other day and finally figured out how to use the exercise machines hah. I love the stairmaster. I did 20 minutes on there and 20 minutes on the bike. I wanted to do 20 minutes more on another cardio machine but it was time to go. I haven't ridden a bike in years and I wanted to try spin class. I'm glad my bf suggested that maybe I should actually try an exercise bike before diving off the deep end. But I like the gym a lot! I like that there's a variety. I like that when I'm done, I'm still in the same place as opposed to when I go for a run and when I feel like I'm done, I'm still stuck outside. I actually look forward to going to the gym now! 

I seem to have a love hate relationship with exercise. It's always one or the other. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Insanity Attempt #2- Fit Test

This blog is a little sad isn't it? I write sporadically about working out and then go for long periods without anything. At least it's honest!

My workouts since I started working have been all right. I don't do it as often as I like to. I still do my abs/legs/arms days. I go at a leisurely pace and my show of choice is Real Housewives of Vancouver to get me through. I work out 2-4x/week. I went to the gym with my bf the other week and I didn't think the machines really did much but my arms were sore the next day! It was enough of a motivation for me to pay for a card to use the gym. I'll try to go once a week with my bf.

My friend and I have decided to attempt Insanity again. We don't do it physically together but we will try to follow the same schedule as each other. I like to think that's more motivating. Not suprisingly, the cardio put my body into shock. The last time I did cardio was my one run at the beginning of this year hah. My heart was racing. I was dizzy and nauseous. I threw up 3/4's through the workout. I was visualizing my oxygen supply and demand imbalance and my body thinking wtf is this sh*t. This seems to be the norm. But once I get over that dizzy vomiting hurdle, then my body accepts cardio. The 20 minute workout was like 45 mins for me with all the breaks I took.

I found my legs and arms are actually stronger compared to my first attempt at Insanity (which I didn't even make it through 2 weeks). My workouts must be doing something haha.  My bf thinks my body's not the problem; it's my mentality that's the biggest hurdle.

Here's my first fit test:

Switch kicks: 60
Power jacks: 37
Power knees: 75
Power jumps: 25
Globe jumps: 9
Suicide jumps: 12
Push up jacks: 15
Low plank obliques: 56

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Ab Exercise Routine

I'm going to start work soon! It's going to be a lifestyle change for me because pretty much my whole adult life has been spent in school and only half of that was spent working part time. So to do a full-time job should be interesting. This probably means I can't be working out at 130am to late night TV.  I've been slacking on working out for a couple days as it gets closer to my nursing exam (less than a week to go!). I've been trying to modify my workouts to fit into a 30 minute time frame. It's long enough to be considered a workout and short enough that I won't feel discouraged to do it. Also, I really want to add some cardio to my workouts but haven't made the effort. Maybe I will join a spin class when I start working.

Anyway, I incorporated some new ab exercises into my routine. I like it because my abs are feeling the crunch (haha, get it?).

I think this is about 10 minutes each set and I do 3 sets. If I'm in the mood, I add more reps with each set. Also... I do these randomly. While I'm waiting for my dog to eat, I do an ab exercise. I slap on a face mask and while I wait for 10 mins, I do a set of ab exercises. I added links if my descriptions don't make sense.

-Plank- 1 minute (I do mine with my forearms resting on the ground)
-Arm pull over straight leg crunch- 10x with a 5lb weight; Lie on your back with your arms outstretched holding the weight. Raise your arms and legs at the same time till they are parallel then return to the lying position. If you want to challenge yourself, don't let your heels touch the ground.
-Mountain Climber - 10x/knee-  start in a pushup position. Draw your left knee to your chest. Return. Drawn right knee to your chest. Return. Alternate back and forth.
-Plank Oblique-10x/side- start in a push up position. Draw your left knee to your left elbow. Return. Draw your right knee to your elbow. Return. Alternate back and forth
-Standing Oblique Crunch- 20x/side. Stand with feet apart. Hold hands at head, draw right knee up and drawn right elbow down towards knee. Return. Repeat on left side. Alternate back and forth.
-Bicycle crunch- 10x/side. Lying down. Hands behind head. Raise legs 30-45 degrees. Draw right knee and left elbow till they meet, alternate with opposite side. I like to do this slowly so I feel more of the burn.

My new yoga mat turned out to be a good investment. It was around $16 from Winners. I don't remember the brand. I also have my exercise mat rolled up in there.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What Motivates You to Workout?

My legs are stiff today from my workout which makes me happy. I added lunges to my routine. My bf thinks I'm weird but I do lunges when I walk my dog. Actually, it weirds my dog out too haha. I also added weights to my squats. I hold 5lbs in each hand and hold the weights by my head while I do the squats. Good times good times.

So what motivates you to workout?

I thought about this today. Exercising is not natural to me. When I was a kid, I loathed gym class. Even now, anything that requires physical activity does not interest me. But now, I am feeling that push to exercise. Here are a few reasons why...

1. To look good. I know I know. So superficial. I realized that people who I think have amazing bodies, workout! Gotta work hard to get it.

2. To compensate for the crap I eat. Lately, I've been eating a ton of tacos from Taco Time. I HATE the term clean eating (although I guess it's the same as healthy eating) and associate it with deprivation. Although sometimes I end up doing things like eating a whole bag of crunchy Cheetos in one to two days. So... Exercise kinda compensates.

A portabello provolone veggie burger from White Spot and a salad. Although I just looked up the nutrition count and there's a ton of unhealthy crap in this burger! 50g of fat, 1332.3mg of sodium?? What the-. I chose it because I kinda don't like meat burgers. It tasted good though.

3. Pictures of people working out. Gotta love Pinterest for that. Also, reading about people being fit and healthy.

4. Health. Of course. I'm getting old. Your basal metabolic rate decreases with each decade (true story). Public Health Agency of Canada recommends 2 1/2 hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity every week. I'm sure my body will thank me in the long run.

5. To tone up and get stronger. I struggled a lot in the hospital with boosting patients. I'm super weak. I really wanted to add strength. I'm also soft. It's probably a combination of a chubby childhood and my unhealthy eating habits. I did a plank in front of the mirror for the first time. I was shocked to see my abdomen fat. It looked like I put three blocks of butter in a pouch and it was hanging off my abdomen. However, my back end has the opposite problem. I'm doing squats and leg exercises to increase my muscle and hopefully gain some cushion. Currently, I have my yoga mat (good investment), exercise mat, and a folded blanket that I use for my abdominal exercises. Sitting on my floor hurts my bones... a lot. I can hold the boat pose with my abdomen strength but it's a pain in my bum (no pun intended). Am I the only one who has this problem?

I was watching Biggest Loser the other day. It's my first time watching it and I love it. I think the trainers are SO motivating. In this episode, the group who lost had to stay in a junk food room for 4 hrs/day for a week. The food wasn't an issue as much as they were sedentary being stuck in that room while the other teams were in the gym. I'm watching it thinking, just because you don't have equipment, doesn't mean you can't work out! Planks, pushups, jumping jacks, etc. I myself was doing wall squats while watching the show! Use your own body to your advantage! On the last day, their trainer reminded them of this concept and got them to workout in the room.

What moves you?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Lazy Girl Workout (3/365)

So my 365 days of blogging will overflow into this one.

Sadly, my hopes to exercise has been futile. I went for my first run on Jan 1. It's the only run I've done. I did some moderate cardio with Tony's 10 minute workouts but found I got bored.

However, I have started getting into strength training and do it everyday. I rotate between arms, legs, and core days. Here is what I currently do when the motivation hits me (which seems to be after midnight unfortunately). I call it lazy because these aren't a full out sweat workout and the exercises last as long as my attention.

My tools of choice right now are weights, resistance bands, and yoga mat. I'm starting out with 5lb weights. I rotate my exercises in sets. I got my weights from Walmart and resistant bands from Fitness Town. I like doing planks/pushups (well I hate them) because they're the most bang for your buck. Tones your whole body in one go. I keep the tv on to keep my attention span.

Here are my ghetto drawings of my workouts. Probably googling/youtubing them would be better.

1) bicep curls (either with weights or resistance bands)- keeping my arm at 90 degrees then curling my arms up
2) arm raises- hold the weight at my head then raise up to ceiling
3) outstretched raises- Hold the weight at my hip then raise weight parallel to the floor
4) standing tricep extensions- Hold weight behind head with elbow close to head, raise to the ceiling
5) pushups- real ones!
6) various resistance band exercises- My bf got a door anchor from Fitness Depot for only $3. It provides an anchor so I can do the resistance band exercises from 4:00-5:30.

-side lying leg lifts- lie on my side and raise leg up 40-90 degrees (I don't think I'm flexible enough to do 90 degrees haha)
-wall squats
-arrowhead leg workout- Too hard to describe but I found a youtube video with butt exercises where the 2nd exercises (1:38) is it.

-Abdominal leg raises
-alternating scissor crunches- Lie on back, raise legs to 30 degree angle, bend left knee to right elbow, alternate back and forth with opposite limbs
-Sadienardini 20 minute fat burning yoga

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Harder Better Faster Stronger

Happy New Year!

As usual, I have my intentions of incorporating exercise into my lifestyle. I also really want to change my diet and eat a lot better. I have no intentions of cutting my favourite foods out BUT I definitely need to moderate. I am at the end of my mid 20's. I can't live like I'm a teenager anymore!

My bf bought some equipment to workout in.

We're going to try working out together! This should be interesting as I tend to be a lone ranger.

I have a fair amount of exercise stuff that have accumulated over the years. It gives me variety to play with.

-Pilates and yoga DVDs
-10 minute trainer
-yoga ball
-elliptical machine
-resistant bands
-chin up bar
-gravity bar
-forearm roller

I also have the great outdoors to go running in.

My hopes/goals for this year are:

1. Run 5km without stopping
2. Replace some fat with muscle and gain 5lbs
3. Actually exercise for the whole year

I will dust off my ol' Exercise Inspiration Pinterest board and start posting more too.

What are your fitness goals?