Pictorials.

Or shall we say Fit-torials? Anyway, fantastic workout last night, folks. Let’s walk through it, shall we?

Fitness5

First: the requisite sweaty, social media shot. (Done for Snapchat, in case you’re wondering. And no, I have no idea how it works.)

Fitness1

A bit of a smug smirk, no? And yet that’s the face you make when you’re murdering a treadmill, folks.

Fitness2

“This hurts. And you’re not smiling or smirking anymore, are you?”

Fitness3

Tiny guns growing in them arms. Also, since you see my trusty earbuds, the following artists are great for a workout:

  • Justin Bieber (I’m serious. He’s annoying, but the little boy is talented. We’ll discuss further in another post. Kindly withhold the hurling of tomatoes in this direction.)
  • Anything from the 90s. Last night, I rocked Ini Kamoze and Born Jamericans, great blasts from my past, and they had me literally running in rhythm on the treadmill.
  • Whatever floats your fitness boat, really. I’ve also rocked Carly Simon and Anita Baker in my ears while exercising, so to me, it’s whatever you prefer.

Fitness4

Closeup of the facial sheen. (I love to see myself sweating.)

 

That’s it for the pictorials. As far as last night’s regimen:

-30 minutes of cardio on the ‘mill

-30 minutes of the following: squats, Russian twists, bicycle crunches, weight lifting (again, trying to birth some guns), and my very favorite, planks. I tried to do multiple reps of each.

-At least several minutes of stretching

You read about my winter struggle to find motivation. Since then, I’ve been really pleased with the turnaround and getting back to my routine, so I wanted to share.

Tell me: if you’re a gym rat or just enjoy exercising/being active, what are some of your favorite things to do?

About your Author. (Again? For real?)

Why, oh why, are we doing this again?
Oh, you’re in rare form today, huh?pussycat

Have you been living under a rock? It’s cold. You can imagine what living in the frozen tundra does to a girl’s mood.
Hey, I’m cold, too. But I felt like it was time for another chat.

Totally disagree.
Yeah, well, you kind of have to do what I say.

Oh, flexing the muscles, huh, since you’ve been working out like crazy?
Well, I still have virtually no upper body strength, so you’re safe from the “flexing.” But, yeah, I’m loving the regular exercise. It hurts, yes, and my abs cry out for justice, but I feel healthier than I have in a long, long time.

What do you do at the gym?
By and large, I get on the treadmill for 60 minutes and do speed walking with occasional running/jogging. Of late, I’ve been ignoring my distaste of the wannabe bo-hunks hanging in the weights and head back there to also do strength training after my cardio. On days I don’t get a chance to go to the gym, I work out at home.

I thought you were allergic to the workout at home thing.
I feel more motivated now. No videos, though, because that’s just an excuse for me to sit on the couch and watch Jillian Michaels do her thing. Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve come up with some nice routines that I can do.

Are you like a exercise nut now? 
Nah.

Thank goodness. 
What if I were?

Look: I get that you’re obsessed with dying seasons and Lupita and other things, but I cannot take you as a workout nut. Like I cannot.
Would that be so wrong?

Yes. Yes, it would.
Don’t worry, pussycat. Everything within reason. I’ll keep dying seasons and Lupita at the top of the list. It’s just nice to have an active routine and feel better. For someone with a Master’s in Couch Potatory, it’s kind of amazing.

All right. I suppose I can accept that. How have you been dealing with this disrespectfully cold weather?
Double scarves, ear warmers, hats, giant coats, gloves. Like, there’s nothing more to say. It really is disrespectful.

We agree on something. Alert the media.
Oh, the sarcasm rears its head. Good times.

Anyway. What else is new in your life? Started that novel yet?
Um, no. A girl is busy.

So we’ll wait another 10 years for that, then?
Have some faith in me, will you?

Got it. 10 years. Seen any good movies?
The frozen tundra has me in the house. No movies lately.

Hmm. Seems like being in the house should give you plenty of time to be writing that novel.
All right, honey. We’re done here.

Honey? Pussycat? Oh, yeah, we’re so done.
Good. ‘Bye, sweetie.

The Unholy Hour. (Or, the Gym Diaries)

Hi. And ouch. But a good ouch. So for the past few days, I’ve been waking up at 5AM to go to the gym before reporting to the OK Corral.

Truth. But it's getting better.
Truth. But it’s getting better.

Yep, you read that right.

Since you’re getting to know me here on TSP, let me educate you on a few things about me:

1. I generally feel that 5AM is reserved for murders, crime, and anything unsavory. That explains the whole unholy hour thing.
2. Like a newborn, my eyes don’t function…before 7AM. In other words, I have no ability to open them and/or use them prior to that time.
3. I am a night owl, so waking up that early is usually very painful and accompanied by a primal scream here and there.

In short, I don’t like waking up early. I loathe it.  But I’m also committed to new this healthy lifestyle I’m aiming for, and I fully recognize that this includes a regular exercising schedule. Most of the time, I prefer to work out in the evenings–there’s a dance aerobics class that I enjoy going to in the evening, I tend to be more cognizant and lucid at sundown, etc. But this also means coming home with the endorphins all wild and crazy and having a difficult time winding down and finally getting to sleep. A friend of mine suggested that I exercise before work. No, I didn’t push her down a flight of stairs for suggesting that I rise at the unholy hour and exercise. (By the way, it has to be 5AM, being that I commute to work and need time to both exercise and head back home and prepare to arrive at the OK Corral a reasonable time.) I was just convinced that it wouldn’t work, being that when I tried it in the past, it petered out in a week or so. So initially, I thanked her for her suggestion, didn’t push her down a flight of stairs, and kind of moved on.

Then last Sunday, I woke up and went to the gym in the morning. Like I just woke up and did it. And I enjoyed it immensely.

Yeah, man.

It gave me energy throughout the day. Check.
It felt great. Check.
I got it out of the way. Check.
The gym was virtually empty, which is my absolute favorite thing in the world.
Check, check, check. run

Essentially: hook, line, sinker. So far, I’ve been enjoying it. And the belief that waking up so early would tire me out for the day? Hasn’t happened. Why? Because this night owl has been going to bed at 9PM! Whaaaaat? Could This Square Peg be letting go of her nighttime-is-the-right-time ways? I’ll say this: it feels good to get a good night’s rest. Just call me Captain Obvious, why don’t you.

Lest I throw all my exercise eggs in one basket, however, I won’t be doing it every morning. Thursdays are still reserved for my aerobics class in the evening (7:30PM), which still gives me time to get home and force myself to shut these newborn eyes at a good time. Anyway, onwards and upwards, rig

ht?

Tell Me: What time of day do you prefer to work out and why?

Hibernatin’.

Ask me the last time I went to the gym. Go on, ask me. It’s ok. Ask me. Go on.

Me on the couch. As usual.
Me on the couch. As usual.

I can’t even remember.

That’s right. All the good work I accomplished in the summer with walking and working out has gone to the dogs. I can’t even remember the last time I entered my local gym, which is sad because the gym doesn’t forget to extract their monthly membership, do they?

So in case you haven’t heard, the East Coast in currently consumed by an arctic cold. Somehow, we’ve entered the mid-January type dredges of winter one month into autumn (no surprise there. Autumn lasts about 5 minutes in these parts). That means that from morning to night, there’s no comfortable place outside of your home. Everywhere is painfully cold. Scarves wrapped around frozen faces, ineffectual gloves covering our poor fingers, big winter coats that are kind of powerless against the unrelenting chill in the air. Now: combining all of the latter with shorter days and darkness by 5pm? Means that I won’t ever leave my house to go to the gym ever again. Not until next year. Next spring. Next summer. I mean, it is cold, you guys. And where it’s not cold is my living room, where I have my couch, some ginger ale, and episodes of Castle and re-runs of Murder, She Wrote. One cannot expect me to abandon those things for an hour on a loveless elliptical. Why not work out at home, someone may ask? Well, that’s why I have a gym membership. The motivation for me to work out at home is as powerful as my desire to walk outside right now without a hat and gloves. In other words, when at home, working out is the last thing I want to do.

So what’s the solution here? How can I marry my desire to stay in the house with my slightly muted but admittedly very present desire to keep my exercise routine going and not diminish all the strides I made this year?

*crickets*

Right. I’m staying in.

(Especially difficult is the fact that I want to ingest every bad carbohydrate ever created while sitting on the couch with my remote. All is lost, my friends. My face is getting dangerously puffy.) exercise

Any suggestions?