February 1, 2013

Fitness Currently

It was 1 year and 3 weeks ago that I really got started on this fitness thing.  I didn't really plan it out in advance.  The fact that I thought I could start running is evidence of that ("running" lasted less than a month and never came to more than 4 miles at a time).

I didn't plan to start working out because it was a new year.  I started working out because I didn't want to be bored and lazy.  I didn't want to sit at home and mope.  I wanted to accomplish something.  My goal was "don't gain weight" and "have pants still fit in one year".  I was looking at a year of deployment ahead of me and during the last "deployment" (only 4 months), I gained enough weight to make my pants not fit anymore...thanks to a steady diet of french fries, brownies, and Doritos.

So last January, I started forcing myself to stop at the gym on my way home from school.  I would run a few miles a day and it did indeed feel like absolute torture.  It was my least favorite part of the day, but it was also the best part of the day.  It was the part of the day when I didn't have to interact with humans and/or get pity from those around me whose husbands weren't deployed.

Also, in January, I went to my first TurboKick class.  A friend dragged me there.  I wanted to go to the boring, yet predictable, spin class.  She wanted to try something new.  I went.  I kicked (barely).  I punched (a little).  I almost died.  I'd never  worked out like that before in my life.

I went back every Saturday, pretty much because I HAD NOTHING ELSE TO DO.  I mean, what would you do in the winter, in Alaska, by yourself?  Sleep, eat, and workout were pretty much my only options.

Since it's been awhile (I try to talk about fitness at least once a month), I just thought I'd update you on what I've learned works for me...and what I'm still working on.  Reading back over posts (accessed through my own about me page), it seems like my mindset/progress is always changing...as soon as it does, new challenges seem to present themselves.

A win:  Planking
I try to do a plank everyday.  When I'm sick, or when I'm pouty, or when I'm irritated, it doesn't always happen.  But I try!

I can hold a raised plank for 6-7 minutes.  An elbow plank? I struggle to make it to 3.  The best advice I have is to keep going, and that's exactly what I tell myself when I set the timer before I climb into bed at night....  30 seconds here or there is going to make a difference when all is said and done.  You can't tell by my baggy shorts and hoodie (uh, dude, it's cold here), but my abs didn't start developing (truly developing) until I started planking.  I promise it will work.  (Well, as much as I, the person who has no control over you and is not your personal trainer, can promise :)

Still learning: Diet
This is where we all flounder, right?  My issues stem from having TOO much self-control and over-thinking it.  I generally am not super-hungry for breakfast (coffee and cereal usually)...I snack my way through lunch...I don't eat enough protein.  Sometimes the only thing that gets me through my one-hour evening class at the gym is a protein shake.  Then, I generally eat a pretty healthy dinner.  I'm really bad at spending calories wisely throughout the day.  I either splurge or I hoard (kinda like with money).  I'm horrible at balance. What's your pre-gym snack??  Do you have any advice to share??

Anyway, that's my update.  If you can call it that.  I just needed to get these plank pictures up for y'all.  I've had questions about planking from readers.  Only took a month....(I'm a slacker).


  1. I have tried planking and I am such a whimp! I will give it a try again and this time I will start slow and simple. As far as calories go... I don't eat breakfast which I know is very bad, but lunch is pretty good and so is dinner. It's the weekend where I flub up!

  2. YES! Plank pictures! I did squats watching TV the other night, with my husband saying, straighten your back, you're pretty good at this, stop leaning forward, yada yada yada LOL

    I like that you say you hoard your calories. It made me laugh. I don't worry too much about calories, mainly because I can't eat gluten, so I can't eat a lot of high calorie foods(Doritos, burgers, brownies, you know, the good stuff)

    But I still love the plank pictures and I'm going to start doing them!!!
    Seriously this time, I will.

  3. Ugggghh I had to do planks for training when I was in college and they were my least favorite thing EVER. But they did work!

  4. I did a few planks the other day and I wanted to die haha. Good job for holding them for 6-7 minutes.

  5. Way to go on the planks! Those are rough! I'm currently trying to get better at side planks which kill me. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to use my calories throughout the day as well...I can't work out until after work, but I am starving at that time...so I'm looking for a good afternoon snack that will give me some energy. Have a great weekend!

  6. In almost all of my dance classes, I make them do planks. It's really a great core/arm work out that does a big job in a little bit of time. I usually do them with my dancers too so I'm getting a couple of planks in a week. I need to do more!

  7. I hate planks. I have a weak lower back and it's hard to go longer than a minute but I do 3 one minute planks while doing other ab work! I think diet will always be a work in progress for us. We eat pretty healthy but if we want a sweet I'm not going to completely deny ourselves of that. Everything in moderation!

  8. I need to do more planks. My goal is 2 minutes! I can do it!

    And pre-gym snack... usually a Larabar. Yum.

  9. I was up to almost 3 minutes on an elbow plank before Christmas and then I got ridiculously lazy and stopped. Thankfully there is a lot of planking...mountain climbers...etc. in this Core Fusion DVD so I'm back to where I'd like to be, sort of. I haven't picked back up on planking before bed, though...it's been a rough month.

    I'm bad at eating too. I have found that a small snack an hour or so (any closer to my workout and it makes me nauseated) before working out has really helped, though - usually a handful of nuts or a spoon of peanut butter on a few crackers or something, otherwise I feel weak. And then I usually can't eat dinner until 30-45 minutes after I worked out, just because I feel really sick otherwise.

    That's all I got, tip-wise. Haha.

  10. My pre workout snack is usually 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt (plain with stevia), cottage cheese, or apple slices with natural nut butter. Protein is a must!

  11. I need to start planking again! I loved the planking. :)

  12. I actually have never done planking before - once this baby arrives I will have to give it a shot once I get exercising again :)

    I wanted to invite you to stop by our weekly Meet & Greet Blog Hop! It runs Friday nights thru Monday. Come link up if you have some time this weekend :)


  13. i'm impressed with your 7 minute plank!! and eating right is the challenge for me!

  14. I am very similar with food. I'm either overdoing it or not eating enough. I have to work hard on that balance. I'm going on year 2 of staying in the gym. It's become habit now. Good for you that you decided to get fit and stuck with it. I love planking! I've never tried holding it for longer then you would in a yoga class but maybe I should!

  15. Awesome to keep pushing forward! I started about 18 months ago. It is hard! My sister in law does a boot camp outside at 5:30 am. I love being outside. Somedays I would rather just eat bag of ships for dinner (and I do)!
    Found you at the meet and greet! I look forward to your posts!

  16. I am going to time my planks today!

  17. I think I'll start doing plank a day! How long were you doing plank a day until you started seeing your abs develop?

  18. Great plank options! Tring to inprove my running by building core muscles! You have a beautiful blog and I am your newest follower! Please visit my blog and take a look around. If you see something you like, I would love for you to follow me back!

  19. You and me, we are the same with money and eating. I had wrist surgery two years ago, so I can't do the elevated plank. I really want to do the plank a day thing. I just need to start it.

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  21. Do you ever incorporate Fitness Jump Ropes into your ab routine. I am a big fan of mixing cardio in because that is the best way to shred fat around the abdominal area. I have always had a nack for core exercises. Please let me know if you plan on trying this.

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  24. It was my least favorite part of the day, but it was also the best part of the day.

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