What’s Up?

Sorry for the lame title-sometimes the creative juices are flowing, other times they aren’t. I’ll give you three guesses to which scenario is currently true…

Just wanted to send a quick update out there, I’m on rest day of Week SIX doing Hammer and Chisel. Six weeks, y’all! I’ve been doing this faithfully for six weeks! I’m finding I really like some of the workouts and really hate some of the others-but that’s true of any exercise program I’ve ever done, so no surprise there. What I didn’t expect was how much I truly enjoy weight lifting. I’ve always been an “all you need is your body” type exerciser-less hassle, more fun (gymnastics, yoga, martial arts, running…) but Brian and I did have one summer where we lifted consistently at the local Y several times a week. I always felt a bit like an interloper in the gym rat world, and although I learned how to use some equipment really well and I enjoyed the actual physical lifting part-I never learned to like the gym environment. Too many people around making me self conscious. So since weights are at gyms, no more weights. But this Hammer and Chisel stuff has let me do weights in my living room where the only hecklers are young enough that I can send them to their room in time out if I need to. And I really like weights.

weights

Form is crucial, so it is less slinging heavy objects around like a bulky behemoth (my previous weightlifting premise) and more carefully and precisely manipulating an object in conjunction with your body. Think more rhythmic gymnastics than tire lifts. I’m more aware of how I’m holding my back and abs, where my weight is in a squat, what muscles I’m isolating and “holding under tension” in every move-I’m learning and growing a lot in my simple understanding of how to exercise effectively. And it shows, literally. I’ve seen the most difference in my legs and my shoulders/upper back. My legs have slimmed down, revealing the muscle beneath the skin, and my shoulders and back have added shapes and lines marking out muscles that were previously almost non existent. My weight dropped the first four weeks, and has remained constant for the past two, but even though the scale doesn’t reflect anything in numbers, my physique continues to change. I love it!

I feel so strong, too! I’ve been tandem carrying both boys for awhile, despite them getting so big, and it used to make my arms and shoulder ache almost instantly. Now I can double carry them for a quarter mile while singing with no problem. It’s true I’m almost constantly sore, but I just feel powerful. I’ve got some fabulous thighs, y’all, those things are powerhouses, it is such an awesome feeling. I’m still struggling with pull ups and chin ups, but my push ups have improved without a doubt.

When starting this program I figured I’d stick it out for the 8 weeks and then immediately find something else-like PiYo, Cize, or p90x again. But now I think I’m going to hybridize my next workout schedule so that I keep Hammer and Chisel as part of it. Yeah, the routines are generally longer (35-45 minutes) but I like weight lifting that much.

It isn’t too late to join our 7 weeks ’til Spring Challenge group (even though it’s less than 7 weeks now, haha) and we’re getting ready to start new challenge groups in March and onward. It is never too late to get started, but it’s also never too early-you won’t see change unless you change. 😉  Email me if you have any questions, find  me on Facebook , and follow me on my recently added Instagram account @slowisapace .

Toodles!

It’s More Then Weight Loss – An Update

I have this wary relationship with scales and measuring tapes. Growing up with a mom who was (among the many hats she wears) an eating disorder specialist made me keenly aware of issues like self image, the media’s portrayal of normal, photoshop, food relationships and assumptions, etc., etc., etc. And for that awareness I am truly thankful. I have a little voice in the back of my head that checks my “healthy binges” to remind me not to overexercise, to cherish the body I’ve been given (its lack of curves a source of much angst in high school), and to wear what makes ME feel pretty-societies fashion opinions be darned. But it also makes me leery of scales and measuring tapes.

So. With a mild sense of concern I “taped”  and weighed myself within the first week of starting PiYo and recorded the measurements. I’m in the middle of the last week of the first month (how’s that for precise, ha) and I’ve been sporadically weighing myself throughout. Anyone who weighs themselves consistently knows that your weight fluctuates from day to day- your “water weight”. And you are also heavier or lighter at different parts of the day so you should weigh yourself at the same time and the same place to get consistent results. I didn’t do any of that, I weighed myself whenever I both remembered and there were no kids present. It came as no surprise that at one point I had lost three pounds from my starting weight or that recently I had gained a pound, but even though it isn’t a surprise-it’s still frustrating. You workout daily, you want to see results gosh darn it!

Tonight I casually took a few measurements just to see if that made any difference (even though my weight “loss” was only a few ounces according to the scale) and I was VERY surprised, and gratified, to discover I’d lost an inch around my natural waist, and half an inch around my legs. Progress! Measurable progress! I LOVE progress!! It’s not so much that I have a lot to lose (5-10lbs max), more that I want to redistribute the weight-get me some muscle, lose me some fluff. 😉 I’m actually really glad I taped.

I don’t have target numbers-maybe I should, but I don’t. But I did take a “Before” picture. I want to be fit and toned, I want my body to be sound, my immune system strong, my energy levels high, I want to physically be in excellent health. And thanks to my mom, I know that doesn’t mean just numbers on a scale or on a measuring tape. Tonight, however, that measuring tape was a nice concrete reminder of progress in my “weight redistribution effort”.

I s’pose measuring isn’t so evil after all.

P.S. It also holds me accountable. Maybe one of the reasons I shied away from “Before” pictures or measuring in the past was then I couldn’t rely on the, “Well my jeans feel a bit looser I must be doing ok” as a measuring stick. That’s a pretty subjective measuring stick and one that didn’t really hold me to my efforts. If I really want this, I need to admit I want it, ESPECIALLY to myself. Pics and measurements are a good place to start.