Okay, so I’m not gonna lie, I’m kind of embarrassed to post this but i have to get this out there.
I’m hitting a slump in my workout routine so I’m hoping this pulls me out of it.
Right now my life outside of Work and LSAT studying consists of the following activities:
Running, Yoga and Lifting
Each one does something different for me, mentally and physically; at the same time, they all compliment each other in terms of helping me find balance in my life. I’ve always found the fitness lifestyle as something admirable, and I took it on as a hobby for most of my life.. but I never thought of achieving it as it was, a lifestyle change.
Sometime in my last quarter in college I signed up for a Spartan Race and everything changed from there. I was like, fuck, I’m not in as much shape as I want to be. I can’t keep slacking on my workouts, eating poorly, sleeping weird hours, and expect results. It just doesn’t work that way.
Sometime in August or September my brother and I joined an LA Fitness gym by my house. they weighed us and took our body fat %. At 138lbs on the left picture (Sept 2012). I wasn’t thrilled with my weight, but I mean I was happy with it.. until the trainer at the gym tried convincing me i could drop a few lbs of body fat. He tried to make it seem like I wasn’t going to reach my goals without the help of a “professional”
I knew what needed to change in my diet and I knew I was going to have to change my workout routines, and his disbelief in me made me that much more determined.
In September 2012 I was building up my running miles. My workouts were mainly Cardio oriented. I tried changing my diet a little bit, but I wasn’t sure if I was burning fat or muscle.. and my weight kinda stayed the same for a while. My brother introduced me to weight training. I noticed small differences but it was SOOOO BORRRING for me. Who gets excited about pumping iron?!? LOL. it was still new for me so I was impatient for results to start showing. For the spartan race I wanted to build up as much endurance as I could. It was a race of 8.5 miles and 20 obstacles. (BTW that race was in January and it was the best experience ever! I’d do it again in a heart beat).
January came along and I was getting fairly strong. I still preferred cardio workouts and even took up yoga again to work in core training and stability exercises to help with my lifting. Pretty soon, the three things combined helped me find peace and balance.
Running: I was never a very fast runner. I played sports in High School but I was fairly average speed and I always had the excuse that asthma was holding me back. BIG MISTAKE! I used to give up around mile two and convince myself my chest was too tight to push any harder. Breathing is everything in exercising. I was focusing too much on the mental battle I faced each time I hit the pavement instead of what mattered most, breathing.
a little taste of what goes through my mind during my 7 mile runs…
Mile 1: ugh, this is easy, why do I even bother. Is my pace okay? I still have 6 more miles to go. That’s a little under and hour. What time is it?
Mile 2: Okay i’m reaching some incline. My thighs are starting to hurt. Am I tired already? it’s only mile two. Okay, how’s my breathing. Good. Pace? good. Geez, why am I tired already?! Maybe I’ll do a 5k instead today.. no, I said 7 miles, I GOT THIS!
Mile 3,4,4.5: … inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth, hmm, it’s a nice day outside today. That path looks cool. I should try it next time. Watch out for cars. Cool, another runner!
Mile 5: woot! I feel great! Is this what a runner’s high feels like? Dang, I’m not even tired. Am I making good time? It’s like I’m flying. It’s so pretty outside.. why don’t more people run, this is living.
Mile 6: almost there.
Mile 6.5: Okay legs, don’t give up now! Shit, I know you’re tired but pick up your feet please!
Mile 7: phew! damn.. that felt good. I’m exhausted.
Most people wear headphones when they run to tune out their thoughts, I find it easier some days to do distance runs without music. I can really focus on my breathing that way and It’s all the more satisfying to go through that internal struggle on your own and prove yourself wrong. Running is seriously 90% mental.
Yoga: I started yoga my last quarter of college. Beginner’s yoga with this really indie chick instructor. She was the best instructor I’ve had. I was afraid of yoga at first because “i’m not flexible,” and i’m not built like most “yoga chicks” okay, those were all stupid assumptions. Yoga welcomes everyone. It is personal. Your own practice. There are modifications for everyone and you do what makes you feel comfortable. Be mindful of your body, accept its weaknesses and work on them.. embrace its strengths and be thankful for them. throw away all the negativity for just that 60-90 minute practice. yoga has taught me how to challenge myself, my body, and my mind. to be mindful of what my body is telling me. It sounded like a silly thing when I first started practicing. When my instructor would urge us to accept our weaknesses in the middle of a deep lunge where my legs were burning and screaming at me to give up. I remember thinking “this chick is crazy, there’s no way I can do this shit, it’s so uncomfortable!” and then at the end of the hour, i’d walk out feeling so happy.. so at ease and glad that I came. When I took it up again a few months ago, I start practicing the way she taught us.. and I got better quickly. It became really personal to me. It helped me be happier and more comfortable in my body and now Im convinced that there’s no limit when it comes to yoga. Keep challenging yourself. You’ll get there if you continue with your practice and once you do, it’ll feel delicious and beautiful. ^_^ Namaste!!
Lifting: OMG, this one was tough. Who likes lifting doee? this chick. LOL. I hattteeeeed it. Hated the macho dudes at the gym that had disgusting upperbody strength but teeny tiny little legs. I hated the protein shakes my brother would take after every workout. I used to yawn throughout my weight training workouts coz they weren’t exciting. LOL. and then I started doing deadlifts. SHIT. Meet my bitch. Lol. I hate those darn deadlifts. Calluses. Sore forearms. Poor grip strength.
I started doing a lot of farmer’s walks to improve my grip and those hurt like crazy too but it was a challenge I chose not to let go. The other day I PRd my deadlift at 135. WHAT? plates?! you’re crazy? I wanted to punch my friend for making me do them. Was he nuts?!
Little did I know, that was the day I had my feeling of bliss when lifting. “Pick up heavy shit, then put it back down” that’s exactly what I did. LOL. Once I tuned out the voice in my head that was discouraging me from trying, I beasted that work out and I was so happy I ran off and practiced my handstands. (I do handstands when I’m happy lol)
Anyway… I think I’ve said what I wanted to say about my journey and where I found balance in my training. The far left picture.. I was 138lbs, my workouts were purely cardio and some clean eating. The middle picture I was 130lbs.. I’d started doing weight training and kept up my yoga and running. The far right is the most recent. I am 127 lbs.. I’ve completely upped my weight training goals and trying to eat clean, for the most part but I love food -__- I still yoga every damn day and run about 2-3 times a week.
&that’s me. :P *blush.