April 1, 2013

March Fitness

Welcome April! WELCOME!

Past fitness posts:

*Funnily enough, I wrote this post last week...over the weekend I suddenly lost every desire to do any kind of workout.  Laziness?  Spring fever? Unsettledness causing me to lose focus on everything?  Your guess is as good as mine. Hopefully this "I want to work out" feeling comes back before my class at 5:30pm today...*

1.  I went to 15 classes at the gym.  Pilates, abs/glutes classes, TurboKick, and cardio/strength training. A higher number than last month (February was 11 classes), but March also has more days.  Some days, I did pilates at home.  One day, I oddly felt the need for cardio, so I did the elliptical for the first time in over a year (eh, it was okay).

2.  Did you ever do Step classes?  You know, the cardio on the "step"??  It's part of one of the Body Blast classes I do, and I actually kind of like it.  That "high knees!" and "jumping jacks!" stuff for cardio is draining.  A step makes it interesting.  Plus, calf raises on a step are one of my favoritest exercises everrrr.  You can never do too many, in my opinion.

3.  Pull-ups/Chin-ups
For the first time in my life, I did a pull-up.  Growing up, I had no arm strength and missed those dumb fitness awards in gym class because I couldn't touch my toes and I couldn't do a pull-up.  (Now I can do both!)  Last May, I hopped on the pull-up bar at the gym thinking, "Hmmm I've been working out for a few months now...maybe I can?".  Yeah, I couldn't.  Now, almost a year later, I tried again and I was shocked to see that I could.  Scott said it's a "chin-up" because it's underhand, but whatever.  There's something so reassuring about being able to lift my own body weight (think: Apocalypse-preparedness 101).  This is a goal 20 years in the making.  I've been trying to do 5 pull-ups/chin-ups a day (not in a row..I'm not the Hulk).

4.  I did Tabata squats on a Thursday night.  Friday, my legs ached pretty badly.  Saturday, I could barely walk.  Sunday, my quads moved again.  Monday, a slight bit of Pilates set them on fire again.  The push-ups had the same effect on my triceps and chest.
I have no idea what to make of this. 

Have you tried tabata?  I've tried planks, sit-ups, push-ups, and squats.  The planks are really easy to do on your own.  Just watch a stopwatch while you plank..
0-:20  plank
:20-:30 rest
:30-:50  plank
:50-1:00 rest
Repeat for 4 minutes. 
Or, if you like math and want a challenge...
(The first time I did the second version there, I did it while watching the stopwatch without writing it down ahead of time.  My head and my body ached after that experience.)

5. Food.
I'm going to start out with my own personal opinion (supported by some facts of my own finding)
Fact: I pay money for a gym membership.
Fac:t Last summer, I spent at least 1 hour a day at a fitness class, sometimes more (usually 7-8 classes a week). 
Fact: I drove 45 minutes to go to the free classes on base also.  
Fact: I decided last summer that processed food had to go.

For me, because of all the effort, time, money, and mental energy I put into working out, I could not rationalize coming home from a cardio session and eating French fries or Kraft Mac and cheese.  It would wash my hard work down the drain.  I'm not saying I didn't (and don't) indulge.  I eat way too much in the way of dessert. I cannot end a day without something sweet (and I don't mean a square of special dark chocolate...I mean ice cream, guys). 

Again, for me, it made sense not to buy processed food.  I was living alone and it was summer vacation. I could easily cook whatever I wanted whenever I got hungry.  When school started, it got a little trickier, but not much.  When Scott came home from deployment, it got a little trickier still, but was do-able.  Over the last few months, I've officially adjusted to meal-planning.  I try to think ahead, and I shop accordingly.  I've developed a love for planning a week's worth of meals at a time, and I really do like grocery shopping.  The only prepared foods we really seem to buy are frozen veggies (does that count?), tortillas, marinara (sometimes I make my own), salsa, ice cream, and probably a few others. 
I plan out the next week on Saturday monring, shop, and make anything that needs to be made ahead of time on Sunday (pizza dough goes in the freezer, soup can also be frozen and re-heated later in the week, etc). 

A meal-planning post is in my future, but let's just say I'm really enjoying it.  I never thought I'd get such a feeling of accomplishment out of food prep.  Those years I spent reading Taste of Home are paying off.

6.  Cereal.  Cereal gets its own paragraph. Now that my self-imposed-Lenten-cereal ban is over, I can say I'm so happy I gave it up.  Do you have any idea how much sugar I was ingesting before 8am everyday?  Me either, but I was going through a couple of boxes a week.  I'm really into steel cut oats right now.  And I like overnight oats too (where you do oats, pb, milk, yogurt, etc, and let it "cook" in the fridge overnight).  I think I've actually broken the habit of eating dry cereal all day long this time around.
So that's March.  It was a long month, but I'm happy with whatever new fitness discoveries I've made.  It's a process right?  Hopefully I'll learn something new in April too.

How'd you do in March?  Anything new or exciting happen with your workouts?  How about diet?  I'm always looking for healthy recipe ideas.


  1. i've taken a class with a step in it and it is hard on your legs! i liked it! and I'm sad about the cereal paragraph as I just ate handfuls of captain crunch but you are right! i was just telling my husband after this baby comes i want to really try hard to not eat processed food and eat healthier!

  2. I think you did pretty awesome for March. Here's to a successful April. :) Have a great day!

  3. I really enjoyed this post. Seeing other people's success motivates me just a little more. I use pull up/chin up interchangeably and that drives Rob nuts. I just never remember. I look like I have no upper body strength, but I can do two pull ups! I'm still doing planks because of you, thank you. I do them for a minute each. The goal is to do four a day. I'm also running at the park, two miles. I'll get that third mile down eventually. As far as food goes, I eat anything I want, but we rarely have processed foods. I'm so excited that someone else finds planning the meals for the week thrilling. It makes grocery shopping so much more efficient! I hope you have a fantastic day!

  4. March sounds like it was a great month for you!! I'm seriously impressed that you can do a pull up...chin up...whatever. My upper body strength is seriously lacking. I'm still trying to figure out how to do more than 3 push ups without reverting to doing them on my knees.

    I totally know what you mean about working out a ton and then WANTING to eat better. The worst feeling is doing a hard workout, eating a bunch of crap, and knowing you just cancelled out your workout.

  5. Your doing great, girl! Definitely inspirational for me!

  6. I'm pretty sure that frozen veggies don't count. To me, someone grew & picked them, and then saved me the trouble of cutting them up. They were then frozen so I don't have to spend hours in the kitchen. :)

  7. I've started doing squats. Ugh. And I joined a new gym so I get 4 training sessions, starting Friday. I'm looking forward to those. I wish I could do step - but I'd seriously kill myself or break a leg. And cereal - I'm proud of myself - I've been eating BRAN flakes. Boring, but still cereal. I'm still working on sugar. Ugh.

  8. March was my worst fitness month of late. But I got the stomach flu at the beginning and a cold for the last week and a half... so you know. It sucked.

  9. We've pretty much stopped buying processed food, too, though we still hold on to a few vices. Bagels, canned stuff for use in soups, and the occasional ice cream. I'm a LOT better at the eating healthy part than the working out part. I don't even like fast food of any type and I'm not a big sweet food kinnd of person, either. Recently I've been eating Grape Nuts for breakfast rather frequently--it doesn't have sugar or corn syrup in the ingredients so I don't feel bad about it! :P

  10. I really have to give up cereal even though I love multi grain cheerios. I think I feel much better when I don't eat them in the morning!


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