In Part 2a of the series The WHY, WHAT & HOW, I talked about The WHAT?, being DIET & exercise. In that post I focused on DIET, because for me it’s by far the hardest AND most important of the two factors to CONSISTENTLY control. In this diary entry, Part 2b: The WHY, WHAT & HOW – The WHAT, I’d like to talk more about the exercise. While the drive to exercise comes easier for me, it was hard for me to break out of my comfort zone and to understand the importance of strength training in addition to cardio.
What I’ve learned about the comfort zone is that it’s not a place you want to stay too long as there isn’t any growth there. Until I put it all together, I had been doing the same exercise routine – Spinning® for an hour 3 days a week. Spinning® is a great workout, you burn lots of calories and I absolutely love it. After all I am a certified Spinning® instructor so it will always be apart of my lifestyle. It was a good start, it helped boost my metabolism and helped get me into an exercise routine.
I realized that I was starting to plateau, not from a numbers perspective but from an overall fitness perspective. I was giving an all out effort on the bike but I did not feel like I was improving. My total body wasn’t getting stronger! From an appearance perspective, because I was loosing weight I was starting to get “turkey neck” when I lifted my arms. I’m an expressive talker and I use my arms and hands A LOT. I recall one day talking to one of my close friends and her eyes kept going to the skin wobbling as I lifted my arms as I used them expressively. I didn’t allow this to make me self conscious, instead it empowered me to strive to do something about it. For some surgery is an option, but not for me and my situation, so there had to be another way to tone things up.
That’s when I decided to try TRX®, suspension training, and boy was there a HUGE learning curve ahead of me. I fell into a class of TRX® “pros”, this was a strong group of mostly ladies and one guy. They welcomed me “the newbie” with open arms. I’d see them suspended from the straps, horizontally and inverted, thinking I’ll NEVER be able to do that! My instructor was encouraging and made sure to keep an eye on me the whole class for the first few weeks. Her encouragement helped me to keep coming back, class after class. She was able to show me modifications and explained that I’d be “hanging around” with the best of them as soon as I built up the strength from coming to class consistently. It took time, commitment and patience but she was right. One class, I remember her saying, “Adrienne are you sure you haven’t taken TRX® before? You wouldn’t know it by looking at you”. I was focused and determined to get it and before I knew it I was doing this…yup, that’s me, just “hanging around!”
Jumping that hurdle was a huge confidence builder. Before long I was into everything – personal training, boxing, crossfit and adding variety to my cardio by running (getting over this hurdle is the subject of a future diary entry).
My personal trainer explained to me that even though the number of calories burned during strength training appears to be lower, it increases your resting metabolism. Therefore, the burn actually last longer throughout the day as your muscles continue to burn fat – and who doesn’t want to do that. The more muscle the longer the burn. The high calorie fitness level burn I get from Spinning® and running lasts for the time that I am actively doing it. The two need to work together and the combination essentially helped me to achieve goals that I hadn’t even set for myself.
I’m not sure at what point the transformation to my arms, shoulders or back started to appear but look the “turkey neck” is gone! I’m still getting comfortable in my new skin but I’m embracing the new stronger ME!
5 Tips to Remember
- Commit to the journey
- Start Slow commit to three 10 min segments of exercise and then expand from there.
- Plan Plan Plan out your exercise for the week, put it on your calendar and make it non negotiable.
- Never sit idle make use of every opportunity to keep it moving. Instead of sitting and scrolling through social media in the waiting room – walk around, walk the steps, anything to keep moving.
- Variety is key to transformation. Don’t be afraid to try something new. If getting to the gym is an issue, make use of your surrounds.
Summarizing Part 2a and 2b of the series, both DIET and EXERCISE were both equally important parts of my journey. Now that I’ve incorporated them to get this point, I continually strive to find ways to keep them at the forefront of my mind and as part of my lifestyle. Depending on the person one area might be easier to incorporate than the other, for me it was exercise. It’s human nature to push in areas that come easier to us, so why not step out of your comfort zone and push in that area that isn’t as easy to commit to. Let go of those things that are keeping DIET and EXERCISE from working together to support you in getting to your goals or as in my case that untapped hidden potential that wasn’t even on my radar. I am sure that once you make that commitment your growth and transformation will be EXPONENTIAL and you will find a few hidden gems of your own! Think about it! Bye for now….
Part 3 of the series The WHY, WHAT & HOW – The HOW, in my next dairy entry! Stay tuned!
Living Transparently on Purpose