Sunday, June 8, 2014

My Personal Fitness Challenge: Intro & Week 1 Summary

I'm not a fitness nut. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I practically live at my computer with publishing two book series and just being a nerd in general. I can't even read on a treadmill, so asking me to write while on one is probably a bad plan.

Image from QuickMeme.com
But I do understand the importance of being healthy and fit, especially now that I've reached 30 and am painfully aware of my age. Before we moved to Vegas, I had a personal trainer. Sure, he was related to me, but trust me--that never worked in my favor. Now that we've moved across the country from him, I might be safe from his withering glare when he finds out I drank a soda, but I'm also without his guidance. Which sucks.

I've seen a lot of the 30 day fitness challenges out there on social media and decided to start one of my own. Why? Because there's no way in hell I'll stick to someone else's. And because every person has their own way of doing things, so while the fitness challenges are great and work for some people, they don't work for others.

So here's my challenge: Stick to a fitness plan consistently for 30 days. Sounds easy enough, right? Not for me. Consistency is my biggest problem. I've had weeks where I go to the gym three or four times each week, and then I'll skip for like two weeks. Not the best recipe for results. (And there's really no good excuse since my apartments have an awesome gym) So my plan consists of two parts. The first is to go to the gym 3-4 times a week and workout for at least an hour each session, starting with cardio and then moving on to strength training with a full body workout.

The second part sounds easy, but might be harder for me than the first: Eat three meals a day. I'm terrible at eating. Not over-eating. Just eating. I don't like food. Food and I have never really gotten along. Most of the time, I work on a calorie deficit. Which means working out doesn't do much for me. It's the main reason I didn't see much in the way of results when working out with a personal trainer. He kicked my ass six ways from Sunday, but when you have a severe calorie deficit vs intense workouts 4-5 times a week, results aren't going to be very good. (If you want to read more about the myths behind Starvation Mode vs the real Starvation response, I suggest this post) Yup, I have food issues. Most of my calories used to come from soda, but kicking that habit left me in a daily deficit. I actually get cranky when I have to stop what I am doing and eat.

Gif from Yup That's Me
So you can see how both parts are pretty challenging for me. My food goal isn't going to be as easy to keep track of since I am vehemently against counting calories or food diaries for obvious reasons with my food issues. I will be posting my workouts and any poundage I lose, but no selfies or before and after shots. This isn't about getting thin. This is about getting healthy. And getting healthy means being active and eating right. Right? Right. Good. So let's do this! Let's take a look at the first week and see how I did:

QUICK REVIEW: I didn't meet my gym goals this week since I only had two hour long sessions and skipped one in the middle, but it is a good start. As for food, I'm adding more color to my diet with fruits in the mornings and veggies with lunch and dinner. I'm already pretty good with veggies (asparagus is my favorite food and it was on sale this week, so it will not be a problem), but fruits always go bad. Which is why I'm making myself have apple slices, strawberries, and a banana with my bagel and turkey sausage in the mornings. Right now I am of the opinion that that means there is far too much chewing far too early in my day, but hopefully I'll get used to it. (See the above meme)

Cardio: Started off with 8 minutes of cardio on the elliptical. Why only 8 minutes? Because my earphones kept dropping out of my ears with my sprints and I got pissed. I usually have a goal of 10-20 minutes of cardio to start, so I've made a note to do better next time. And find my headphones with small earbuds for my freakishly small ears.

Strength training: I had a few more exercises lined up, but ended up cutting them out because I was spent. I'm not gonna kick myself too hard for that since I had a pretty good workout. I'll work my way up to doing everything. Also, going to up the weights for arms. 5lbs seems a bit light, so I think I am going to move it up to 10 lbs and cut back to 8 reps if needed, and then work my way up.
Dumbbell bicep curl 3x10 5lbs
Leg press 3x10 90lbs
Dumbbell raise 3x10 5lbs
Calf press 3x10 90lbs
Dumbbell lateral raise 3x10 5lbs
Leg extensions 3x10 50lbs
Dumbbell fly 3x10 5lbs
Leg curls 3x10 70lbs
Machine supine press 3x8 10lbs
Bent knee leg raises 3x10
Bridges 30
Crunches 30

Summary: Pretty good for a first day, I think. There's always room for improvement, and I'm looking forward to Day 2. =)

Summary: Skipped. And for the lamest reason too. I laid down with a massive headache and ended up sleeping for four hours. I don't do that whole "nap" thing very well. I like sleep too much. I was going to make it up Thursday, but other things came up. Then I planned on just pushing my make up day to the weekend (and I still might), but I decided honest reporting is really the best way to hold myself accountable here.
Picture from Funny Quote

Cardio: 15 minutes on the elliptical at 5 resistance, going a distance of 1.2 miles. 

Strength Training: I am way too proud that I nearly made myself puke on my own. I found 10lbs to be too much for dumbbell raises and dumbbell flies, so I'll be upping the reps next time.
Dumbbell bicep curl 3x10 10lbs
Leg press 3x10 90lbs
Dumbbell raise 3x10 5lbs
Calf press 3x10 90lbs
Leg extensions 3x10 50lbs
Dumbbell fly 3x10 5lbs
Leg curls 3x10 70lbs
Supine press 3x10 10lbs
Bent knee leg raises 3x10
Squats 3x10

Bent knee hip raise 3x10
Cross body crunch 3x10
Crunches 3x10

Summary: I'm beat, so I'm happy! Especially since I skipped a day. 

Cardio: 15 minutes on the elliptical at 5 resistance, going a distance of 1.21 miles.

Summary: Screw you, Spotify for an epic fail update (Windows Phone) that left the service I pay for NOT WORKING. Cardio without music is torture for someone who already hates cardio. 15 minutes is my minimum, though, so I'm going to pat myself on the back for making it without music. Every victory counts, people! =)

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