Workout WINsday – how to workout after work !

Oof, just slammed three breakfast tacos from taco cabana down my throat. Had intended on going to the apartment gym this morning but instead watched the news and got breakfast, oops. Kinda scared of the nutritional information for them from MyFitnessPal, not such a pal today, more like buzzkill. No real worries, because I plan to burn all of the calories off after work, which leads me to my topic today. I would like to review ways I have found that I have been successful in going to the gym after work. Keep in mind, I don’t have children, so this may not work for everyone’s schedule, but it has helped me in getting myself sweaty.

  1. Pack your stuff the night before
  2. This is similar to those who say that you should do this for the morning workout. Around 9:30-10:30, I will get each outfit for work and for working out and at least put it near my gym bag so I have everything packed. Working out after work is just easier to me because you don’t have to end up packing all the extra stuff like towels, brushes, and/or makeup that you would if you were going straight from the gym to work. Some fancier places provide towels, but mine doesn’t, so I go the easy route and opt for the evening, but it makes it even easier when you have all of your stuff ready to go before your work day is even started.

  3. Put your gym bag on your desk as a reminder
  4. This is one that I discovered serendipitously. I had planned on going after work once and I ended up grabbing both of my purse and my gym bag. I kinda just started doing it. My bag isn’t huge, but it stick out, and much to all of your surprise it isn’t hot pink. Anyway, some people use Google calendar, I use a big bag on my desk as a reminder. It reminds me of that expression, “out of sight, out of mind”. The gym bag on the desk is a constant visual cue to myself that this task needs to be done, so therefore I do it.

  5. Don’t go home
  6. Despite having mini-facility in my apartment, I have a gym membership. Having a destination makes the experience a little bit more enjoyable, plus there is a better variety of strength and cardio machines than a residential place can offer. One of the traps that I get into however, is coming home. I could easily walk to the gym, but laziness will take over, and lookie there I am in an X-Files Marathon now! Yes, I am unrepentant couch potato, and if you put me in that environment, I will do what comes naturally and vegetate for hours. The remedy, stay away, just avoid that environment. As humans, we get into habits, the cues will always be there, but you have to change the response. Well, if I am going to be a couch potato, it will be after I get my workout completed. You don’t want to reward sitting all day with more sitting, so at least break it up with some workout time!

  7. Eat something to stave off thoughts of dinner
  8. This one is difficult, but I have learned that I will usually eat too little for lunch, and be compelled like a zombie to go grab something to eat or come home, which breaks my resolve as indicated above. So, with my schedule, I will typically have something to eat right before work ends, just so that I am not tempted to come home or worse, go to a fast food place and undo my good intentions.
    breakfast_taco

  9. Have a plan.
  10. Finally, I think this is the key to staying consistent. Right now, I haven’t been too heavy on weight lifting (yes, I am well aware of the pun), but I have been doing the c25k runnning/walking plan and this has been helpful in staying committed with the other items listed. I don’t have to workout 7 days a week, but why not, really? The recommended activity for adults is 150 minutes a week and that is at least 30 minutes a day. I try to get up and move around just at my office because of the new warnings about sitting, but exercise is so beneficial. Fitspo is one thing, but really the mental well being means more than any picture of six pack abs, but getting into the habit can be a challenge. I am telling you, though, once you do you will never quit!

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Day Twenty-Four

Yay weekends, yay closing in on another week of Whole 30. Originally when I considered doing this plan, I thought the weekends were going to be the most difficult. They are turning out, however, to be the easier when given a full refrigerator of food. My weekends pre-Whole 30 generally consisted of a lot of fast food, read sodium and bloat,  which would send my Monday morning weigh-in through the roof. Now, I just will have a moderate breakfast/lunch, fruit and nuts, then a stir-fry for dinner. Also, the weekends give me so much extra space to makeup for the workouts I may have missed throughout the week. (I am looking at you Thursday).

Yesterday and this morning, I felt glued to the bed, but I had the company breakfast to attend yesterday, so getting up early was necessary and Metal this morning. This morning just started off just crappy. My boyfriend and I got into a fight, which by the way caused me to leave my fitbit AND sneakers at home. The hesitance to get up also preempted my breakfast and barely had enough time to choke down some coffee before the day started. Metal class was good except that I really need to get over this body dysmorphic shit that I have going on. It isn’t a good look to be staring woefully or angrily at other students who are younger/thinner than I am and I guess by that logic, hotter. To make matters worse, the teacher went into Hanumanasana as we were all in . I am sure my eyes radiated with chartreuse lightening bolts as I struggled to go into a king pigeon, but clearly not ready to attain. I don’t want to come off as whiney, but my body feels pretty gross right now: flabby, slack, and not even toned as I thought I would be this far into the journey. Is this what I have to look forward to in my 30’s? Like I said, I probably look great, but my stupid perception is getting screwed up somehow.

My shoes are at home, I hope. Need to dance some more to feel better. Even though I ate more than I should yesterday (all clean). Still should have done at least something to get my steps up to 10k. Oh well, two hours of dancing tonight should take care of that.  Still, McKayla is disappointed in my performance:

 

Day Twenty-Three

If this don’t make your booty move, your booty must be dead. Okay, so the thing about motivation is that you are only going to do what you want to do, and I am finally finally learning this. I don’t think that I am a lazy person, in fact, I have this to prove that I am not:

That was my report yesterday that tracked my 90 minutes, yes 90!!, of dancing that I did to some kickass tunes. Not sure how dancing is factored into the device. Just from observing the step monitor, it would register multiple steps if I was bouncing up and down. Oh, it is aerobic alright, very fun and very bouncy. One thing I would like to improve is the sedentary time that is being recorded. If you look at this chart:

I still have nearly 12 hours of sedentary. I am no expert, but I think someone who is really dedicating their life to fitness should have a maximum of 10 hours of being sedentary, just for health purposes, but at least the numbers (not sure how accurate considering the weight might be a little off) reflect that yesterday I burned 2200 calories, cue the naysaying, “exercise won’t make you thinner” refrains. Yeah, I would probably be skeptical, except for this fact from MyFitnessPal:

This indicates (today is negative because I haven’t tracked yet) that I am actually at a deficit when I factor in the movement I am doing, so fuck yeah! But, back to this whole motivation thing. Reading this article kind of inspired me to get off my tush, because really you are the only person keeping you from not moving around, unless you have already been pushing yourself to the limit (I hadn’t), there is no excuse not to at least do SOMETHING! The best slogan in the world: Just Do It.

Music motivates me a lot, too. Kickboxing and spin classes are great but the music that gets played is just plain awful in my opinion. The neighbors and I got to enjoy my own version of this dance party where I flailed my arms, kicked my feet, and hopped in a manner that would more closely represent Julia Louis Dreyfuss in the late 1990’s rather than a sexy go-go dancer which at one time I could claim to be, could I? Regardless of how ridiculous I looked, it was so much fun to get all fist-pumping to the build up and breakdowns of the beats. Maybe, I am just a sucker for sequencing, overly pronounced kick drums, and vocoded lyrics, but these tunes really get my ass a shaking:

Also this one a bit NSFW, but so stompy:

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Day Seventeen

Just gobbled a bunch of berries for breakfast. Day numero trois for the whole 30. Today, unlike yesterday was good for stress relief because I did make it after a 3 day break to yoga for the Metal (\m/) 60 class. Walking, walking walking to please my fitbit, but also snuck in some elliptical (it is all the same to its motion sensor). Would have done “Hot Cycle” but was a little bit too sweaty, so it was embarrassing , if you know what I mean. Still need to put in more strength training, as that always gets neglected, probably because I like to zone out and read articles/listen to music and you really can’t do that when you are pumping iron. Get it right, Lever.

Yesterday’s breakfast was easier than I thought it was going to be, given that it was at a local Mexican restaurant, but I managed to stay whole30 compliant by ordering the fajita omelet sans cheese, ranchero sauce on the side, and opting out of the tortillas, beans and potatoes that normally accompanies the dish. Still, I ate lots and lots of fruit, which probably means I am not becoming insulin adapted as the intention of the program is. It is all “good” sugar, though, and I move the equivalent of 5 miles everyday, maybe Melissa and Dallas would disagree, but I think I am counterbalancing the sugar with movement.  Speaking of sugars, namely the artificial ones, it is getting a lot easier to avoid the diet coke, and my beloved coffee is becoming easier to chug without diluting it with ice/cream/sweetener.  Overall, I say day two, despite the extra fruit was a success, and I have been eating a lot prettier to boot:

That was lunch: mashed avocados, strawberries, blueberries, and canned tuna. The tuna could have used some more seasoning, but overall a healthy and satisfying lunch. Ever battling the stress monsters, they seem to become less apparent when I bring order into my life. I do believe, again, that there is a certain harmonious atmosphere that order creates. Routine for me, is a bit blissful in that it creates a certain that limits the anxiety of having tasks/projects looming over you, also it brings about a sense of accomplishment even just completing certain tasks like straightening up. Maybe it is all in my head, but it certainly feels better to “take care of business” as it were.

Let me here your body talk, your body talk. If I haven’t mentioned this already, I had to hide my scale in the closet because I would weigh myself multiple times a day, and the Whole30 forbids that. Don’t know if the program is making me lose weight or not, but I definitely thing my stomach is looking more toned.  Struggling through my own insecurities in yoga this morning. This is super silly, but I get really self-conscious about going to the class with all of these skinnier chicks. I am no Moby Dick, but even the teacher today was rather svelte and I felt like a giant Pear in comparison.  Hips, for crying out loud, what the hell is wrong with hips??? Could just be the caffeine on an empty stomach giving me strange fixations, but now that I am not in the room focused on looking at these other chicks, quick where is the tumblr thinspo??,  I feel a bit better. As obnoxious as I am sounding right now, I’d like to have a smaller trunk, hopefully I will be nice and tiny like a dancer at the end of this program.

 

Day Two

What a bummer, most of the weight which as I had feared was mostly water is creeping back up on me. Yuck yuck yuck. 126 lbs read the scale, a far cry from the 110 that comes naturally at being 18, but you can’t live your life for 12 years ago. Pish posh, at the very least I want to get back under the 20’s.  One thing that was very striking to me this morning at my work’s breakfast was my boss’s remarks about weight loss. (Yes, I talk about it way more than I would like, obsession might be a word to use).  Anyway, his advice and he is lost 20 pounds, so I will take it, was to approach it holistically. This is so true, and with that I have noticed five themes that keep repeating in my research for becoming more fit and sexy, and these are: hydration, nutrition, sleep, stress reduction, and movement.

The big three, ahem, the ones that people can make the most money on are respectively movement, nutrition and stress reduction. Think gym memberships, gimmicky diets, and overpriced yoga classes. The other two sleep and water, well I guess there is money to be made in those with special beds and water filters. Regardless of how money is to be made on it, I just don’t have the money to spend and the journey I am taking is frugal, but I have the luxury of not having anything pressing like a wedding to lose my weight, just wanting to be able to eventually fit in my Skinny Pants, and of course that means getting skinny. Plain and simple, skinny. Oh, say “fit is the new skinny” all you want, but most chicks just want to be skinny and that is the truth. It may be a struggle and it may never happen, so I guess I will settle on being fit and sexy. Oh, wait, already sexy!

But, back to the health aspects of it. The thing about exercise problems, is that I can’t help feel a little bit cynical about any workout program that promises results without an extreme amount of exercise. We are talking fitness model dedication, not that this wouldn’t be an admirable goal, but I am not sure if I can achieve it. Fear of failure is the ultimate de-motivator, and perhaps that is what I am struggling to overcome. Regardless, I purchased a LivingSocial deal for CG Arena to see if getting in with a group exercise will help me with my asocial problems as well as helping me rid myself  of the breakfast taco belly acquired from living in Austin for five years.Because my apartment provides a shoebox gym, I do not have a real gym membership, and been working out with the BodyRock routines in my living room (sorry downstairs neighbors for the jumpy plyometric earthquakes).

Nutrition is such a challenging thing. It is all about balance. You don’t want to be a calorie depleted psychopath even though from my experience it really sheds the pounds, but the right way takes patience and dedication, and even then you are going to feel hungry. The best thing I have done this year is swear off buffets. Those things are a chronic dieter’s nightmare. It reminds me of the move “Spirited Away” where the parents turn into hogs stuffing their faces with food. It frankly disgusts me. Again, I am no model of a healthy lifestyle, just yet, but it is almost impossible to track what you eat in that quantity, despite my professed disgusted, I do miss a good Chinese buffet. Today’s lunch is going to be nonfat yogurt with three tablespoons of non-salted sliced almonds. Okay, a buffet sounds awesome right about now. Nutrition, girl, you and I need to get a better relationship.

More about water, sleep and stress reduction in the next post!