Day 39 – Strong is the new sexy

When Women Lift WeightsI love images like the one above. It makes me want to get in the other room and exercise RIGHT NOW.

…of course, today happens to be my recovery day. XD

I’ll be honest, I have been loving my strength training more than my cardio lately. I see more results, even when there is still a layer of padding. My triceps have made themselves known, my legs (about mid-thigh down) are looking good, I marvel at the definition in my calves when I shave, I run my hands up and down my arms… It feels good to do the SparkPeople Boot Camp videos and a move that had me wincing in pain from tired muscles last week wasn’t so bad this week.

I remember when I used to say, “I’ll do cardio until I drop some fat, then start on the strength training.” While I do believe starting with cardio to build yourself up is good (even if you just do 10 minutes) so you get used to exercising again and don’t burn yourself out, seeing results with strength training is more motivating to me. I’m seeing definition in my arms and legs, and feeling my abs get tighter, so that makes me WANT to exercise every day so other people can see the changes too! In addition, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn from your aerobic workout…hell, you burn more calories just sitting and breathing!

I made a pact with myself recently: I have 1 week left in my 100/200/200 program and in the SparkPeople Boot Camp. I am going to get through those, because I promised myself I would see them all the way to the end. But once they are over, I’m starting a new program that is based on strength training. Shorter days (where I get through the sets a little faster than others) and off-days will get some cardio in, but for the next month I’m going to focus on building muscle and strength. I’m also going to focus on stretching and flexibility to make sure I don’t injure myself.

You really should change up your exercise every 4-6 weeks to keep engaging different parts of your body, so this change will come at the perfect time. After a month, I will probably go back to the 100/200/200 (this time, doing the hardest level and maybe even doing my push-ups on my toes!) and another Boot Camp-like program. I may also switch up to something like Couch To 5K instead of the stationary bike (although doing so in the middle of a steamy North Carolina summer fills me with dread!) or maybe…just maybe…consider joining a gym. After that, who knows? I’ve been looking at P90X and Insanity. Those are still WAY down the line for me, but why not look toward the future? Because I’m not thinking, “IF I get through this next phase…” but “WHEN I get through this next phase…!”

I want to have fun with this, and I want to look good. It’s exciting to see changes, and I can’t wait for more changes to come!

And so, yesterday’s report….

Ugh, I still felt full after the previous day’s treat meal. I even feel somewhat bloated, which I’m guessing is the salt. I’m not used to salted fries anymore! They were good, but my body was not happy! All I wanted to eat yesterday was salad and fruit. I couldn’t–that’s not healthy–but that’s all I wanted.

Meal #1: Greek yogurt is higher in protein than “regular” yogurt, and has less sugar. I made my own fruit yogurt by mixing in a snack cup of peaches (in juice, not syrup).
4 oz. plain Greek yogurt
4 oz. snack pack of peaches in juice

Meal #2: Our spring mix was going bad, so I picked out as much of the good lettuce as I could for a salad. Note to self: that store’s salad is not that great. Go back to spinach when I shop there.
Pork mini-meatloaf
1 c Spring Mix
1/3 c strawberries

Meal #3: I was busting ass on homework and didn’t have time to cook. Ktok went out for food, and I was still craving salads. This is what he came home with…my favorite! I left off the granola and only used a little of the salad dressing. But yay for lots of salad, grilled chicken, a little cheese, and fruit!
Chick-Fil-A  Chargrilled and Fruit Salad (no granola, ~1 tbsp of the Berry Balsamic vinaigrette)

Water:
3 Liters

Exercise: I have REALLY gone over my exercise requirements for this week, according to my heart rate monitor’s program. I think I’m going to have to change my program from “Fat Burning” to “Improve Fitness” since that’s what I’ve been aiming for lately.
SparkPeople Boot Camp video #7 x2: Upper body workout with resistance band
Stationary Bike: 45 minutes

Sleep:
7 hours

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Posted on May 22, 2011, in Daily Update and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’ve done the Couch to 5K program twice now, and I highly recommend giving that a shot! 🙂 I find having these structured programs really helps get me motivated. I love being able to progress through it. Maybe it’s because it’s kinda like a game, we’re leveling up and taking on the heroic content! 😛

    • I tried doing it once a few years ago, and thanks to not realizing how old my sneakers were I managed to bruise my knee and ankle joints pretty badly by the end of the first week. Now I’m armed with new shoes, but my main concern is the weather. I believe it was 73 degrees F last night (~23 C) around 1 am last night, so unless I get up AT sunrise (groan!) the idea of running honestly scares me. (It’s 87 F/31 C now, and just about to tick over to noon.) However, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, just to say I’ve done it. And you’re right! You get through a week and it feels like progression! Especially when you can look back on Week 1 and go, “Remember when that was HARD?!” So yeah, whether I do it now or wait until the fall, C25K is on the list of “RL Progression Raiding.” I guess the achievement “mount” is like Running Wild where you get to run faster, but I wish there was a fancy title you could wear over your head! XD

      • Well, you might not get a title, but you’ll look amazing in your new gear! 🙂

        I hear ya about the heat, though. I’d rather run in the snow than in the heat! I’m luckily a morning person, so I get up around 5:30-6 to run. It’s been usually between -5C and 15C when I’ve gone out this spring and it’s been great. This morning it was about 20C and that’s about as high as I ever want it to get! It doesn’t get too warm here, so I doubt I’ll see many mornings above 25C. But some days it’s just too hot/humid to get out and do anything!

        Hope you’re able to find a way to work it in. Otherwise, maybe in the fall or spring it would be more doable.

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