I'm at The Gym

me approaching those double doors
 I've had quite the love hate relationship with the gym and working out over the last few years.  Mostly hate hate if I'm being honest.  I boycotted the place for close to two years and only worked out sporadically after my work schedule changed from getting off at 3:30pm to getting off at 5:00 pm.  Morning work outs are so never happening for me and I have only so many precious hours each night.  After a hard days work I feel entitled to come straight home and relax.  I never made excuses for myself.  I just knew that when the right combination of cosmic forces came together just so that eventually I'd be back.  I could not force myself to go and that was that.

So where have I found myself twice a week every week for going on 3 months?  The gym!  It is practically a miracle but somehow I found it within myself to start going.  It was a goal of mine for the new year but I actually started taking action in December.  I went once or twice before Christmas.  Then, when I had that long 10 day Winter break from work I went quite a bit.  I was hoping it would kick start me into the habit of going once I went back to work and it did. 

My rigorous exercise regime:
  • Two work outs per week minimum at home, the gym, or any other form of exercise of my choosing for a minimum of 30 minutes.  So far, I've mostly been going to the gym and doing the Elliptical but I could do classes or home exercise videos or anything else. 
  • Every other week those two work outs need to be 60 minutes minimum and include some hard core cardio.  I usually do 1 hour on the Elliptical where I burn between 500-600 calories but it could be anything else that gets my heart pumping and my body sweating...a lot.
  • Thorough stretching at least 1 time per week up to and including the splits.  This could mean doing an exercise video or just making the time to get some stretching in on my own.
  • I also throw in a minimum of 100 crunches while I'm watching TV or whenever randomly if I didn't do them at the gym.
That's it.  I am so not hard core.  Some would call my work out schedule pathetic but I don't care.  It's what's working for me right now.  I figure some is better then none and if I push myself more then I want I will grow to hate it and go on strike again.  If I worked part time or not at all I could definitely see myself going a lot more and enjoying it but not with an 8-5pm full time job. 

When I've had a long day at work and didn't get enough sleep the absolute last thing in the world I want to do is drag myself to the gym, change clothes and spend an hour sweating but I've been doing it.  I used to exclusively do the treadmill.  I can't believe how long its taken me to discover the Elliptical.  I can burn more calories on it in a shorter amount of time AND it's still low impact.  I used to only listen to music but right now the only thing getting me through those work outs is TV.  There are tons of flat screens around the gym and mounted on some of the machines.  A couple weeks ago it was Basketball Wives on VH1 and Judge Judy on KUSI.  I watched Hugh Hefner and his new fiance on CNN and there's always Dr Oz or catching up on the local news.  I also downloaded some new uptempo techno work out music.  Whatever gets me through the work out.  On my light days it makes it easier to go knowing that I will be in and out.  I'd like for at least one work out per week to be at the gym to keep me in that habit and so far I have.  I've even exceeded my work out minimums some weeks just because.

And what is my reward for giving up my beloved couch, DVR and pajamas right after work every day?  I feel better about myself and a little bit less like a lazy bum.   I'm getting my long lost flexibility back too.  As a former gymnast it made me feel sad and down right old when my splits started to get too uncomfortable.  I'm back to putting my face to my knee in the splits on both sides.   I love food but have a tendency to under eat so even with just these work outs I've lost weight.  My mom wouldn't be too thrilled but I'm not mad about it.  I weigh less then I did on my wedding day and the only downside is that some of my pants are hanging off of me.  Not a cute look.  It sucks getting myself there sometimes but I really feel great after a work out.  I enjoy feeling fit, toned and active.  It's not just about losing weight.  I'm giving my heart, my bones, my body what it needs and that's a good thing.  If  I was physically unable to exercise I know how upsetting that would be so simply because I CAN is a good enough reason to go.  Getting back in the gym was a long time coming and now that I'm there I need to stay.


Natalie said...

Sounds like you have a plan that works for you! I am envious of your flexibility, I have never been able to do the splits.

chelsea said...

good for you! I've been venturing through those doors more lately too, keeping my mind on warm weather around the corner!

jacin {lovely little details} said...

haha i love the "my reward is the couch" comment! i feel the same way!

Dancy said...

I'm SO with you on the "not gonna happen in the morning" and the whole "post work = chill time" points. However, I actually didn't mind going to the gym once I made it part of my routine - like brushing your teeth. My problem is I can't find a gym around us that is a decent price. $300 down, $80 a month AND I have to pay if I wanna take any classes?!? Insanity. I have to find a planet fitness around us. That's the one that's $10 a month right? The search continues... although I have to admit, I'm not exactly on top of it. :)

Random Musings said...

My dad bet me $1000 that I would not be able to still do the splits on my 35 birthday.

I am losing it a bit but I NEED to start looking out for me and just DO IT ALREADY!

I am the queen of procrastination. However starting monday I have a work out buddy to hold me accountable.

Anything that works right?

I also need to put it on a calendar that way I hold my self accountable

Lil' Woman said...

Go girl....I have no motivation after I get off of work to work out.

Cait said...

woohoo :) get it girl! i actually didn't work out today and i wished i had! way to be motivating! xo

Mrs. K said...

Hey, something is better than nothing. You could have chosen to be sedentary but you didn't. :). Like you, I hate the gym too for many reasons. I hadn't been in months but I'm doing workout videos at home which is good for me right now. Don't know when I'll grace inside of a gym, if ever. I definitely have an aversion to it. LOL. Keep up the good work :)

Guys, Girls and Love said...

I hate gym too but I think a work out is really important to keep us fit and healthy. So go for it!! Keep it up.