It was 1 year and 3 weeks ago that I really got started on this fitness thing. I didn't really plan it out in advance. The fact that I thought I could start running is evidence of that ("running" lasted less than a month and never came to more than 4 miles at a time).
I didn't plan to start working out because it was a new year. I started working out because I didn't want to be bored and lazy. I didn't want to sit at home and mope. I wanted to accomplish something. My goal was "don't gain weight" and "have pants still fit in one year". I was looking at a year of deployment ahead of me and during the last "deployment" (only 4 months), I gained enough weight to make my pants not fit anymore...thanks to a steady diet of french fries, brownies, and Doritos.
So last January, I started forcing myself to stop at the gym on my way home from school. I would run a few miles a day and it did indeed feel like absolute torture. It was my least favorite part of the day, but it was also the best part of the day. It was the part of the day when I didn't have to interact with humans and/or get pity from those around me whose husbands weren't deployed.
Also, in January, I went to my first TurboKick class. A friend dragged me there. I wanted to go to the boring, yet predictable, spin class. She wanted to try something new. I went. I kicked (barely). I punched (a little). I almost died. I'd never worked out like that before in my life.
I went back every Saturday, pretty much because I HAD NOTHING ELSE TO DO. I mean, what would you do in the winter, in Alaska, by yourself? Sleep, eat, and workout were pretty much my only options.
Since it's been awhile (I try to talk about fitness at least once a month), I just thought I'd update you on what I've learned works for me...and what I'm still working on. Reading back over posts (accessed through my own about me page), it seems like my mindset/progress is always changing...as soon as it does, new challenges seem to present themselves.
A win: Planking
I try to do a plank everyday. When I'm sick, or when I'm pouty, or when I'm irritated, it doesn't always happen. But I try!
I can hold a raised plank for 6-7 minutes. An elbow plank? I struggle to make it to 3. The best advice I have is to keep going, and that's exactly what I tell myself when I set the timer before I climb into bed at night.... 30 seconds here or there is going to make a difference when all is said and done. You can't tell by my baggy shorts and hoodie (uh, dude, it's cold here), but my abs didn't start developing (truly developing) until I started planking. I promise it will work. (Well, as much as I, the person who has no control over you and is not your personal trainer, can promise :)
Still learning: Diet
This is where we all flounder, right? My issues stem from having TOO much self-control and over-thinking it. I generally am not super-hungry for breakfast (coffee and cereal usually)...I snack my way through lunch...I don't eat enough protein. Sometimes the only thing that gets me through my one-hour evening class at the gym is a protein shake. Then, I generally eat a pretty healthy dinner. I'm really bad at spending calories wisely throughout the day. I either splurge or I hoard (kinda like with money). I'm horrible at balance. What's your pre-gym snack?? Do you have any advice to share??
Anyway, that's my update. If you can call it that. I just needed to get these plank pictures up for y'all. I've had questions about planking from readers. Only took a month....(I'm a slacker).