I’m three weeks into easing back into a workout routine. I want to blame my downward slide out of healthy habits on surgery, but if I’m being honest with myself my descent started back around Halloween. Candy led to Thanksgiving which led to Christmas then surgery and now my clothes don’t fit.
I read Nerd Fitness’s article Why Having to Start Over Again is Great. I like what they say about using what you already know to ‘level up’ faster.
(And I like how their nerd-knowledge about gaming translates to real life. #nerdsrock)
Here’s a few things I know that work for me:
Morning is my favorite time to work out. I’ve just a full night’s sleep (well, usually) and my coffee. This is when I feel like I can fly. In the afternoon my energy levels are all off. By the end of a work day the only thing I want to do is go home and curl up with a book. Not work out.
Setting times to eat helps me eat consistently throughout the day so I don’t have a blood sugar crash and eat everything in sight. I eat breakfast after working out, then have a snack around mid-morning that holds me over until lunch, then a mid-afternoon snack that holds me over until dinner. I even built in a snack for when we sit down at the end of the night to watch TV.
I focus on eating whole foods in the right portions. When you’re talking about real food the portions are bigger than you think.
But I’m not perfect. I still slip. That’s where the food journal comes in. Keeping a food journal helps me see where my weak spots are (*ahem* carbs, I’m lookin’ at you).
It is so much easier to work out when you know exactly what you’re going to do before you even put your shoes on. If I debate and decide the morning of that . . . maybe I should run. No, today I should lift weights. How about yoga? Yeah that sounds good. And 10 minutes into the yoga routine I’m lying on the floor chin propped in my hands, watching the video but not doing the work. I have a better chance of doing the work if I follow my schedule.
And I’m trying a few things differently this time around.
This might not seem like a big deal, but anyone who’s ever tracked their weight knows how different a Friday morning looks versus a Sunday afternoon.
Food wise I can hold myself together pretty well during the week. I pack a lunch and only bring the food I need. When it’s gone, it’s gone and I have to wait until dinner.
Weekends, though . . . man . . . those are hard.
I’m home so I have food at my fingertips and I don’t always make healthy choices. So this time around I decided to do my best, log my food and quit punishing myself with a weigh in and measurements on Sunday night.
I stopped running for a while. I tried other routines and goals, but none of them sustained me like running. I’m using the Couch to 5k app to run three times a week. The C25K plan makes it easy to increase the time spent running versus walking. Right now I’m focusing on working up back up to running 10 minutes, walking 1 minute. I’ve used this race strategy before and it works well for long distances. Once I can do that interval consistently, I’ll move on to a distance goal.
My favorite workout schedule is alternating days running and lifting weights, but I got away from that when I started doing the Beach Body workouts. While those are incredibly effective, I found it difficult to balance running and the BB workouts. Not that I couldn’t do it. Physically I was capable. But it meant two workouts and I don’t have time for that. So I’m back to alternating days.
Strength training three times a week serves multiple purposes.
For one, it helps keep me injury free while pursuing running goals. If I only run and never strength train my knees will complain (loudly) and I’ll quit running.
For another, lifting weights takes off the inches. Because, let’s face it, bathing suit season is, like, here, and pretty soon the kids are going to be out of school and rioting if I don’t take them to the pool. Pools require bathing suits therefore weights.
How are you setting your goals? I’d love to hear about it!