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starting over: getting in shape after a break

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When I moved from Virginia to Nashville, it was a huge lifestyle change. I went from having a very small social circle, from a regular schedule of going to work every day, followed by the gym, then crashing at home with great dinners to a crazy and unpredictable work schedule, a bigger family of friends, and lots and lots of dinners out. Working out was the LAST thing on my mind, even though living in apartment complexes that had gyms and pools was always a priority. As a result, I lost all my muscle tone and stamina and gained almost all of the 40 pounds I had lost back. I’m back with a gym membership now and working to get back into a healthier lifestyle – not only working out madly again, but also eating better. It’s definitely not easy, though – it’s taking a lot of focus and motivation to get back into it. Here are some ways I’m inspiring myself to get back in shape!

Here Comes the Sun: It’s tough to feel inspired to get outside when it’s the dead of winter – in January, Chicago had EIGHT DAYS of sun. That’s not enough sun. I’m hacking my circadian rhythm by using a blue therapy light for 30 minutes every morning. My doctor recommended it to help out with my depression, but it’s making it much easier to get up in the morning and stay awake all day by simulating sunlight earlier than it actually comes up. (Plus, working out is a HUGE mental health boost.)

Reward Yourself: I was super inspired by this Mashable post about a girl who chronicled her weight loss on Instagram – one of her tips was to make a list of “rewards” when you hit a specific goal weight or milestone. I made a page in my bullet journal so I can flip open for inspiration anytime I want to skip a workout or eat something unhealthy, so I always have my eyes on the prize.

Motivate Me: Similarly, I love following people on social media who have gone through similar fitness journeys to get inspiration, motivation, and workout ideas. I found this Chicago powerlifter through a Buzzfeed article and love that she taught herself the basics of lifting. (A set of bars for my house is on my wishlist.) Hopefully, I’ll be as ripped as she is someday! Read more…

February 10, 2017

Deny, Deny, Deny

Posted in Living, Personal, Work Out by

Even though I have been running for over a year and am training for my first triathlon, I still don’t think of myself as an athlete. Or at least, I didn’t until last week. Sure, I’m competitive, but not overly so. I love training and running, and while I do tend to build my weeks around workouts, I never thought it would feel overly earth-shattering if I had to take a break.

Turns out, it is kind of earth-shattering.

Sometime in mid-December, I was feeling a twinge in my knee. I just figured it was runner’s knee (even though, at the time, I was focusing much more on lifting and cross-training). Since it wasn’t constant and was never uncomfortable enough for me to stop, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it, just pretended it wasn’t there. I taped both knees up for Tink (as I always do during races) and it was fine. When I came back and started doing my BodyPUMP classes (2-3 times a week), the pain was finally unbearable. It got so bad that I actually had to leave during last Monday’s class, and I haven’t been back to the gym since.

ice for knee pain

This is my life now.

I have a race this weekend, and even though I don’t typically feel the pain while running, I’m still scared. The plan was to go back today to my favorite BodySTEP class, but I’m nervous even of that now. The physical therapy exercises my doctor gave me are helping a little, but the pain got worse after I went in to see her. It’s just so frustrating to not be able to do something I want so badly to do. After years as a lazy couch potato, I finally just want to work out, and my body isn’t cooperating.

Yesterday, I was sitting in the bathroom on the phone with Sixx. I heard someone run past outside, doing laps around the concourse, and I just lost it.

So here I sit with ice on my knees, extra-large bottle of Ibuprofen at hand, just hoping for the best when I try to go to the gym tonight.

February 12, 2014