Quantify

April 30, 2010

I called my scale a liar this morning. Then, I did the same thing to my tape measure.

I have kicked ass for the last four weeks, I haven’t missed a single workout, and I push myself a little further on a consistent basis. My eating, while not awesome, hasn’t been horrible either, and I’ve tracked it every day for a month and have made positive adjustments. Yet there has been no movement on the scale and no difference in inches. None. Zero. Zip. Nada.

However, I have seen progress in other ways. When I look at myself in the mirror, I believe that my face seems thinner, my belly less poochy, my butt a little more perky, and there’s beginnings of definition in my calves and arms. My body feels stronger, more comfortable to me; it moves easier, I have more energy. I sleep more soundly at night.

Then there’s a WORLD of difference in something that’s harder to measure – my attitude, my discipline, and my self-image. I’m damned proud of myself for finally gaining the consistency that I’ve historically lacked in my exercise habits. Proud of myself for sticking to the plan without wavering. And VERY proud of myself for not allowing my disappointment in the lack of tangible, measurable progress derail my mood, my discipline, my outlook. I’m going to stick to the plan, keep on keepin’ on, and continue to strive for my goals.

So, to me, I’ve made a ton of progress.

How do you quantify progress, when the scale counters what, in your mind, your efforts should have achieved?


No Equipment Needed

April 29, 2010

Speaking of discipline…

I am a total exercise (and apparently blogging) slacker, as my lack of posting here will attest.  I tripped over this one today though, and I like it.  Part of why I like it is that there is no equipment required and it could basically be done with the television on in the background, some music, whatever.  My kid can interrupt me (or do it with me), my dog will be thrilled that I’m down on the floor, which will hopefully be more of a pro than a con.

The biggest reason I like these though is that a lot of lower body work tends to put tremendous pressure on the knees, and my knees are shot:  genetics, cheerleading, years of jobs where I stood for 14 hours a day, and, frankly, obesity have all taken a major toll.  Those noises that you hear people’s joints making sometimes?  The crunchy noises?  Those are called crepitations or “joint mice.”  My knees don’t have mice; there’s a 3-ring circus of Rodents Of Unusual Size in there.  So, it’s a very important thing to me to avoid all those damn lunges that are apparently required in virtually every lower body/butt workout ever made.  But not this one!

Find a good wall and check this one out:  No Equipment Needed


New Weights Routine

April 5, 2010

I’m waiting to digest my lunch before I continue my workout. I started with weights this morning, performed in supersets that work complimentary muscle groups. Then I had to stop for a meeting, and by the time the meeting was over I was STARVING, so I decided to eat lunch. After I digest, it’ll be the elliptical and some abs work (crunches/lying leg raises today). I find cardio to be mighty boring, and I absolutely DETEST AND LOATHE abs work, but I’ve got to say I’m enjoying my current weights routine. I incorporate weights three days a week, and I’m switching things up so I’m doing two sets of 15-20 for the next few weeks, rather than three sets of 10-15. Here is my current routine:

Day One:
One Arm Rows / Incline Dumbell Press
15-20 x 2, rest 90
Dumbell Shoulder Press/One Legged Dumbell Calf Raises
15-20 x 2, rest 90
Dumbell Curls / Overhead Tricep Extensions
15-20 x 2, rest 90
Dumbell Squats / Stiff Legged Deadlifts
15-20 x 2, rest 90

Day Two:
Dumbell Squats / Lunges
15-20 x 2, rest 90
Leg Extensions / Lying Leg Curls
15-20 x 2, rest 90
Single Leg Dumbell Calf Raises / Dumbell Upright Rows
15-20 x 2, rest 90
Dumbell Calf Raises / Tricep Kickbacks
15-20 x 2, rest 90

Day Three:
Two Arm Bent Over Dumbell Rows / Incline Flys
15-20 x 2, rest 90
Bent Over Lateral Raises / Two Legged Dumbell Calf Raises
15-20 x 2, rest 90
Hammer Curls / Lying Triceps Extensions
15-20 x 2, rest 90
Wide Stance Dumbell Squats / Dumbell Lunges
15-20 x 2, rest 90

After a few weeks, I’ll add a set and increase the weight used for each exercise, and decrease the resting interval from 90 to 60 to 30 seconds. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend The Body Sculpting Bible for Women – it’s where I got this weights routine from, and it very clearly describes and diagrams the proper form and technique for a BUTTLOAD (technical term) of exercises. And look, there’s one for men, too.

Cardio/abs are performed on the non-weight training days, except that I had to combine them today because I skipped yesterday like the slacking slacker that I am. I’m starting to get more specific with my workouts now, since I’ve had a couple of months of working up the habit of incorporating exercise on a consistent basis. Now I have specific goals, have baselined on my weight and measurements, and for the next fourteen weeks will be trying my best to be really disciplined about things.

We shall see. Discipline is not something that I posses in vast quantities.


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