Show Your Stripes!
I firmly believe that if it’s a priority, then you will make it happen. There are only so many hours in the day, but if something is important enough then you will find the time to get it done. If you are not fully committed then it’s easy to make excuses why you can’t make it happen. For example, working out. Not everyone enjoys working out, but the truth is we all should include it in our weekly routine. It’s good for you! Walk. Run. Lift weights. Dance. Play. Whatever. Being active has always been a part of my life because my parents are active, and I was involved in sports. In college, I stepped away from sports, drank alcohol, ate cheeseburgers and what-a-ya-know…I gained weight! Yep! Guilty as charged. Eventually, I snapped out of it and remembered that I had a free gym membership (to the rec center) and got back to exercising. My freshman and sophomore years of college were really the only times in my life that I didn’t exercise regularly…until I started having heart issues- then I was restricted on what I could and couldn’t do. Details. Details. When your resting heart rate tends to be in the 40s, the doctors get a bit concerned, and then when you start firing 20,000+ PVCs a day they get a bit more concerned…then after cardiac arrest happens they realize you’re a hot mess and they kick you to the curb. Ha! Just messing- at that point, they are like, “What the hell is wrong with you, woman?!” They definitely pay attention to what you can and cannot do when it comes to exercise, though. They never said, NO to exercise, but I all I could do was basic walking, yoga or light elliptical type stuff. Anyways, after my brief college stint (and pre heart issues), I got back on the heart rate train my junior year of college, and what-a-ya-know…I toned up! Crazy how that works!
If you want to lose weight, then you can’t expect to just work out, but you have to also commit to eating right. Again, this goes back to priorities. I don’t really understand the Paleo diet, or the Atkins diet, or really ANY kind of diet. I think eating right has to be a lifestyle change. You have to drink water, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables with a balance of healthy carbs and protein. Look, sister, I ain’t the master of eating right. I don’t particularly love vegetables, but I do love me some Chick-fil-a french fries…and Coke…and pizza. BUT if I really wanted to do something about it then I’d make it a priority. I haven’t found the perfect balance yet, but I definitely find that focusing on regular exercise is the first step to being a healthier version of me. (Others I think need their eating habits mastered first and then they add exercise; I prefer to master exercise habits and then tackle my food intake.) I am not big on New Years resolutions; but my doctors released me to start exercising again, and I set the goal of exercising 2 days a week. I set this goal low for 2 reasons: 1- I want to meet my goal and 2- I wanted to be realistic on chemo weeks. I also decided that once I proved I could master that goal, then I’d crank it up to 3 days and eventually to 4 days a week and maybe even 5. It feels good to meet goals, so I think starting small is okay. It’s rewarding and gives you a benchmark. You also have to set something reasonable and attainable. It’s not realistic for me to set the goal of running 10 miles next week…not happening…my heart would be like, “uhh…what the hell?! We almost died last year, can we try to not die this year?!” Another way to set yourself up for success is to have someone hold you accountable. Work out with a friend or just have friend that you talk to regularly help keep you on track. I made a bet with Mike, and if I don’t meet my goal I have to pay up. It keeps me focused, and I don’t like losing!
My goal right now is not on weight but on being healthy, tone and strengthening my heart. I tell Fischer that, “Mommy is working out to be healthy!” I want him to know THAT is the reason I’m working out…not because I want to be thin…but I do! Can’t lie there…definitely want to be thin, but I don’t want HIM to think that is my motivation. My main motivation is to be healthy. I’m proud to announce that I have met my goal! This month I have worked out a total of 11 times so far. (Notice I have an app that I keep a log of my workouts, so I can hold myself accountable…smart, right?!) Even this week…I start my 12th chemo round tonight, and I knocked out workouts 1 and 2 yesterday and today. Anything else I do this week is bonus! It is a priority. If you want to exercise and be healthy, then you’ll make it a priority too! And a bonus to working out is that your butt looks better in your jeans, and your arms have less wobbly bits when you wave! Score!
If you want some workout ideas, here are 2 helpful ways to get you going with little to no equipment needed:
1- Pop Sugar Fitness: This is a free app that you can download, and they have a ton of videos and workout guides that you can follow. You can watch them on your phone, computer or TV. They have full body workouts, cardio, dance, arm, butt, tummy, leg, etc. They have 10 minute videos, 20, 30 or 40 minute videos. You can’t go wrong- lots of great options that you can do at home and it’s FREE!
2- Amazon music Tabata workout tracks: Download Amazon music, and search for Tabata Training Tracks. They are free! (At least for Amazon Prime members, but really- is anyone NOT an Amazon Prime member? I mean, if you’re not, then you need to get on board; it’s pretty life changing to be able to have everything delivered to your door with free 2-day shipping!) Back to exercise and not shopping, right. The premise of Tabata is this: 20 seconds of intense exercise, 10 seconds rest. Do this for 8 rounds (4 minutes basically) then recover for 1- 2 minutes. Then it will start another Tabata track. The tracks play music, and then a gal tells you to “go to work” and you work hard for 20 seconds, then she counts down from 3 and tells you to rest. After the 8 rounds, you get to recover. You can do this while you are running, or doing lunges, squats, crunches, whatever you want. Mike will jump rope for a round. I am terrible at jumping rope- it’s kind of embarrassing how uncoordinated I am at this cardio activity. (I guess if it were a priority, then I would work on it…but it’s not…so I don’t.) I like to get on a treadmill for a few Tabata rounds, then switch to a Tabata round of lunges, then maybe a round of squats (keeping the booty from following gravity) that alternates tricep isolations (trying to keep the arm wobbly bits away). It’s just a nice way to help you organize a work out and get free motivation.
Okay- happy exercising! I mean, if your motivation isn’t about making your heart healthy then how about spring break being around the corner, or the fact that pools will be open in 3 months?! Yikes! I mean, if having to be in a bathing suit in public is not motivation enough, then I just don’t know what is. I went to Target the other day and got all excited about their new cup-sized suits until I saw the matching bottoms. When I held up the piece of cloth I couldn’t tell which was the front or the back?! Clearly the girl who is wearing this suit is not going to be chasing a 5 and 2 year old around the neighborhood pool. That bathing suit is a lay there and look pretty bathing suit. I need more coverage! You’re welcome, Reunion Country Club!