Because I Love My Body

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Another day, another high protein soft serve breakfast. And another picture of a cat…seriously I’m surprised that they aren’t in all of my photos of food, they sure try!!

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I talked a few weeks ago about how I feel like I just don’t have enough time to fit in all of the exercise that I want to do. I want to lift weights more, run more, hike more, walk more, do more yoga (need this), and still be able to try out new exercises.

Short of overdoing workouts (I try to keep it at 90 minutes max per day) I just can’t seem to fit it all in. I know plenty of people who do spend 2 or more hours a day working out and pushing their bodies (and some who don’t think rest days are important) but I want to make sure I have a balance in my life and I exercise to treat my body well, not drive it to exhaustion.

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I guess in a roundabout way I’m trying to say just how lucky I feel in my relationship with exercise. I love to workout. I love to be active! It is an integral part of my life that brings me so much joy and satisfaction.

There is a motivational picture floating around that perfectly sums up my feelings….

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It wasn’t always this way. When I first started trying to lose weight (well the many times over the course of a few years that I tried) I didn’t love exercise. I was intimidated. I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t sure I was doing it right. It was hard. And it was painful!! I thought “oh I have to exercise to look good.”

Well, that obviously got me nowhere. Finally, when I started exercising in the spring of 2010 in hope of losing weight before my wedding, I found the right approach for me. I went into exercise with no pressure or assumptions. I just started to do it because I wanted to and not because I thought I had to and I tried to make it enjoyable. I started by run/walking around the neighborhood…no pushing myself; I would run till it hurt and then walk until I thought I could run again. I did this a lot and finally one day I found myself sprinting as fast as I could and loving it!!

The first time I tried to run I doubt I even made it .10 miles, seriously. But with time, persistence, and a little sweat I eventually trained my body to run further and faster…and actually enjoy it! Now I have 2 half-marathons under my belt (contemplating more this fall) and I regularly run 4-6 miles during the week.

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Same thing happened with lifting weights, I started out just doing things I saw in magazines and eventually I really fell in love. I hired a personal trainer to help teach me more (I used them for 2 or 3 months) and by the fall of 2010 I knew weight lifting would stick with me forever.

I never did have a problem with loving to hike…I just needed to be in better shape so I could actually enjoy myself out there!

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I have changed my way of thinking from “I have to work out to look good” to “I want work out because it makes me feel good.” Exercising is an integral part of my life and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I feel lucky that I have this relationship with sweating. It’s not a form of punishment or torture. It’s not a way for me to “burn off that cake I had last night.” It’s just a part of me.

And as much as I love exercise, I love the way it makes me feel about myself. Instead of looking in the mirror at the gym and picking apart my appearance or cringing when something jiggles, I actually am very proud of what I see. “Fat talk” and thoughts never cross my mind when I am working out. Instead I think “damn you go girl…lift that weight, run that mile, you look good!”

Okay…let’s be honest…there are times when I look like a complete goober (jumping lunges anyone?), but my body confidence is never higher than when I am sweaty and pushing myself. Even when I am struggling with a move or a fast sprint, I get the biggest grin from the fact that I am there and I am doing it.

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There’s a reason I love to post pics (on intagram) after my workouts and it’s not just because I love looking at myself. Well maybe it’s slightly because of that. After a sweat session, I’m always so happy and high on endorphins and I want to spread the message of how awesome and empowering working out is!!

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With that being said, I encourage you to just get out there and get started. Experiment with different forms of exercise until you find what works best for you. Just because you don’t love running doesn’t mean you won’t love Zumba or Pilates…just give it a try!!

On that note, here is my workout from Tuesday that was amazing. My biceps are still a little sore today.

Tuesday’s Workout – Chest/Tricep/Bicep

(I also accidentally threw in some back stuff while I was waiting for the other side of the cable machine to clear out)

Warm-up of 5 minutes on the elliptical – I try to do 10min but sometimes I’m just too excited to get started lifting1!!

Cable Machine

  • Single Arm Chest Presses (I think up to 30lbs?)
  • Lat pulldowns
  • Tricep Pulldowns (60lbs!!)
  • Increasing weight static bicep curl holds (35, maybe 40lbs!)
  • Row (80lbs)
  • Cable Flyes

Free weights

  • Incline Chest Presses (the next weight up weren’t available, so no progress)
  • Incline chest flyes
  • Hammer Curls & Bicep Curls (got up to 25lb curls!)
  • Tricep Extensions (20lb extensions!)
  • Tricep Dips
  • Pushups (I can finally do lots of “real” pushups! 40)
  • Midway bicep curls

Followed by 2 miles of HIIT on the treadmill including sprints and up to 12% incline for walking.

Now I’m off to go enjoy my most favorite type of exercise:

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What’s YOUR favorite way to get your body moving??

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2 comments

  1. Hi, Shelley! Just to emphasize my parallel feelings on the soft-serve, I must tell you that I had it this morning, as well. This time, I sprinkled on some sliced almonds, raisins, cinnamon, and a couple chex! (: Yum!!

    Also, this post depressed me a little, not going to lie. Today is my rest day (my body is definitely telling me I need one), but I hate rest days… exercising makes me so happy, too!! I must go outside now or I’ll go stir-crazy. Stupid 91 degree weather at 9am! ): Happy hiking, xx

    1. Rest days are vital! Your body needs rest to repair and recover from exercise. If you simply must exercise on a rest day I would consider “active rest” like walking or yoga. I won’t like, I would melt in 91 degrees!!

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