Morning Workout

Don’t think you have the time to workout?  Give this morning (or any time of day) workout a try:

Morning Workout

You can do a run through of it once to get a little energized, or, you can go full throttle and do several reps to get a complete workout.

I used to love getting up early to exercise.  I felt so accomplished beginning my day with a fitness routine.  When I first started I was going to the gym.  It was a different gym than I belong to now and I wanted to go first thing in the morning because, like many, I was intimidated and embarrassed.  I wanted no part of anyone seeing me working out.  When the gym burned down I gave up for a bit but eventually picked up my morning workouts again when I began a relationship with my elliptical.

From there I moved on to other morning fitness rituals, like Insanity and Jillian Michaels, and even attending boot camp classes.  But over the last few years I’ve decided that I really like sleep.  In fact, I like sleep much more than getting up at the buttcrack of dawn and sweating it up.  And since I started teaching classes I prefer to run my sessions after the work hours.

But, spring is here and summer is coming and I’m seriously contemplating running early morning classes.  (But again, I also reallllly like my sleep!)

Now, all that being said, I challenge you to morning workouts three times a week for two weeks.  See if you can do it and see if it changes your day.  I (almost) guarantee it will.

Fall in love with the solitude of the mornings and the privacy of your living room workouts – or grab a buddy and make the above-workout part of a system routine to start your days.

Cheers.

~FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get Comfortable

Unconfortable

I really should have posted this with along with last week’s Confessions post.  

Jillian Michaels said in one of her workout videos “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  And she’s right.  So many people complain when they start a new exercise – or start exercising at all – that they’re sore, they hurt, they’re uncomfortable.  Well duh!  That’s because your body is moving in ways it likely hasn’t moved in quite some time.  Of course it’s going to be sore.  Then it will get accustomed to the new movement and it will thank you.  

Like the photo suggests – I’d rather be uncomfortable for a short time then be unhappy for life.  I’ve been there.  I refuse to go back.

~Fit Bitch

Confessions

I don’t ever remember being comfortable in my body.  Not even as a little girl. I remember being 3 years old and having an uncle call me “fatty”, and my entire life my brother has tormented me about my weight. 

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

When I was in high school I started skipping meals and eventually developed full-fledged eating disorders. I initially thought I had the control but in reality, the disorders were controlling me.  And so the struggle continued.  My weight has almost always fluctuated – up and down, up and down – until I discovered fitness those years ago.  I changed my lifestyle completely – exercising regularly and eating differently, and I saw the payoff quickly – losing close to 60 lbs in just about 3 months.  I’d gained around 30 lbs after college and the extra weight that came off was bonus.  I was quite thin for my frame and certain bones poked out here and there.  I loved it.  But I still wasn’t comfortable in my body.

Starting off my exercise routine was pretty basic – a few times a week.  Then, about 4 years ago I started doing Shaun T’s Insanity routine again.  It’s a 60 days program where you work out 6 days a week.  I did this program twice, back-to-back, rarely taking that scheduled day off, therefore working out nearly 120 days straight.  I did another 30 day program, twice, back-to-back, not taking a single day off.  Somewhere in and around these times is when I developed my exercise addiction.

via Yahoo

via Yahoo

I didn’t realize at the time that I was actually doing a disservice to my body (and mind and soul).  I was proud of my commitment to physical activity.  I was excited that I had fallen so deeply in love with exercise and I craved it.  I planned my days, no, my life around my workouts as they were the most important thing.  I missed out on social events because they conflicted with my exercise time, If I had to travel I ensured the hotel had a fitness center and was certain to pack my gym clothes, and sometimes, many times, I’d double up on workouts the few days before just to ensure I had met my own personal quota.  For a little while, it got to the point where I was working out two and three times a day just for the hell of it.  I still didn’t see any issue with my exercise addiction.  

I worked through injuries – a torn rotator cuff, a sprained ankle, and a stress fracture in my foot – refusing to give up on my exercising.  Two years ago when my eye surgery was confirmed and the surgeon told me no exercise for 6-8 weeks my initial reaction was a full blown panic attack with sobbing and tears and partial hyperventilating because the mere thought of not exercising (especially for that amount of time) stressed me out, gave me guilt and, literally scared the crap out of me.  I considered not having the surgery so that I could continue my workouts. I still did not see a problem with my exercise addiction.  I often said that “it’s a healthy addiction.”

Then my weight started creeping back up. I didn’t understand it because I was exercising every day.  So I increased my workouts and my exercise time.  And my weight continued to climb, not a lot but enough to really piss me off – and confuse me.  How was it possible that I was working out every single day; sometimes spending 3-4 hours at the gym, taking tons of fitness classes, running, strength training, you name it, yet my weight was still climbing.  I was beyond frustrated.  Every time I went to my doctor about anything, the subject of my weight came up and I’d end up in tears.

One day this past winter I was having a conversation with a cousin and the subject of my fitness addiction came up and I got really emotional – choked up, teary eyed, cracking voice.  It was the first time I realized that my love of fitness had gone beyond that and once again, something I thought I controlled was, in fact, controlling me.  Unfortunately, I tried to ignore it.  For me, the guilt of not exercising was so overwhelming that I just couldn’t fathom the idea of taking days off. So I didn’t.  And I continued to struggle with my weight climb over the winter and spring.

Then at the very start of summer I went to see a nutritionist.  Although the offer for dietitians and nutritionists have always been there, it was the first time since my eating disorder days that I decided to speak to someone.  And to be honest, the only reason I sought to speak to someone this time around is because it was my fitness instructor who’d just completed her nutrition course and, although somewhat intimidated, I also felt (semi) comfortable with her.  She knew about my whacked out exercise habits – at least to some extent – and I told her that my weight was ever-increasing and I wanted to bring it down, especially since I was working toward my certification as a trainer.  I wanted to get back to looking the part.

She and I discussed my routines and I disclosed to her that, over the last four years I’d logged every single workout I’d done – I accounted for every exercise, every class, and the amount of time I’d put into the workout.  She said to me “So, you can tell me, for the last four years, how many days you’ve worked out and how many days you’ve taken off??”  Of course I can.  (And I’m certain the number of days I’ve taken off from working out can be counted on maybe 3 or 4 hands.)

After a little more discussion (and soul-baring) she determined that I have adrenal fatigue syndrome and over-training syndrome.  That, because my body has been under constant stress for the last 4 years – with little or no rest – my cortisol levels have been elevated for so long and it’s the reason for my weight gain.  She told me I had to start resting and with rest, eventually my weight should start to decrease.  Coincidentally I had an appointment with my doctor the next day, discussed this all with her and she concurred. 

So I started taking rest days.  And I felt no guilt.  I feel no guilt.  What’s really sad – really sad – is that, deep down I knew what the problem was.  Hell, I’d JUST taken the PTS course and read over and over that one only need exercise 3-5 times a week.  Yet, I did not allow myself off the hook that easy.  I think maybe I needed someone to actually tell me that my over-exercising was the root cause of my weight gain but until that happened I wasn’t ready to let go of my addiction.

When it comes right down to it, addiction is addiction.  If I were hooked on heroin or an alcoholic I wouldn’t be able to just quit in the instant because I knew it was bad for me.  And even though exercise is wonderful and so good for your health, I couldn’t – no, I wouldn’t – allow myself to grasp that my over-training was detrimental to my health.  I was so proud of my lifestyle change over the years and my successes that I was determined to keep going, to keep striving for this stupid idea of perfection, to finally feel comfortable in my body.  I still haven’t reached that point yet.  I have a feeling that this will be a lifelong journey and struggle, and although fitness and healthy living has become such a huge and important part of my life, that one little meeting back at the start of summer helped me realize that it doesn’t have to be my whole life.

~Fit Bitch

How Much to Exercise Each Day

From Jillian Michaels:

“You may have heard the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation of at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week (and that breaks down to just 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week). What’s important to understand is that this is intended for people who want to maintain the most basic level of fitness — but not for people who want to lose weight. But if you want to drop those pounds, you’re going to have to be prepared for a bit more work.

I much prefer the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 60 minutes at a time as a starting point for my clients — an hour is ideal to get the most out of your workout and see significant results. Your 60-minute workout sessions should always include a 5-minute warm-up, followed by 50 minutes of your primary cardio or strength-training exercises, followed by at least 5 minutes of cooling down and stretching.

Push

Of course, putting in more time will get you more results — but there’s a limit. Excessive intense physical activity releases stress hormones, such as cortisol, into the body. This can actually inhibit weight loss, causing your body to react by storing fat and retaining water out of self-protection. So, to reach your goal, I recommend limiting intense exercise to no more than two hours a session.”
~Fit Bitch

Skeptical

I am a fan of Jillian Michaels and her workout videos.  She also provides really great information in her web series.  However, I am somewhat skeptical about her her weight loss claims.  I believe she’s lost weight thru diet and exercise, no doubt, however, as someone who’s been overweight and slimmed down thru diet and exercise only, I find it hard to believe that Jillian has had no “work” done.  As a petite 5-foot, 2-inch girl who’d packed on 175 pounds, Jillian shows no signs of sag or stretch or anything that most people I know who’ve lost a ton of weight (myself included) show.  I think it’s fine if she has had a tuck or the lot here or there, but own up to it.  If I had the opportunity I would consider getting tucked and tacked in certain places too.

The only "fat" photo of her found on the web

The only “fat” photo of her found on the web

 

 

Sizzling Hot

Sizzling Hot

Now, I’m not stating that Jillian Michaels has has plastic surgery, I’m simply suggesting the possibility.  BECAUSE…We need to be realistic.  If an individual is making lifestyle changes in order to lose weight – especially a dramatic amount – he or she needs to be aware that the outcome may not be truly represented by Jillian Michaels and other fitness gurus.  Yes, it’s realistic to lose the weight but in my weight loss journey I still have jiggly bits.  And I would be happier if my boobs were a little higher.  Not everything on my body is as smooth and sleek as Ms. Michaels’.  I am still a progress in motion.

Please don’t let this deter your goals.  Sleekness certainly is attainable.  It just may not be attainable for every person…and that is certainly okay.  Our perfection is our own.  We should not strive to be anyone else.  Be proud of who you are and of what you have done yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Q & A

I often hear or see questions about health and fitness and magic tricks to lose weight so I thought I’d begin incorporating some of the questions into posts.  The following Q&A is from Jillian Michaels’ website*.

Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels

“ARE THERE REALLY FOODS THAT BURN FAT?  IF SO, WHAT ARE THEY?”

Not really, but there are foods that contain fewer calories than the body uses to digest them. Therefore, when you eat these foods (cruciferous veggies, leafy greens, and so forth), you’re helping create a calorie deficit.

That said, there are also certain foods that will crank up your metabolism by releasing the right hormones. Protein will release more human growth hormone. Foods with selenium and zinc will support a healthy thyroid. You can boost your metabolic rate by eating clean, whole, fresh foods and avoiding processed foods and chemicals. But there is no food that will magically burn off fat. You have to get off your butt and get moving!

 

~Fit Bitch

*My previous post on Jillian Michaels may read like a disclaimer but I really am a fan of hers.  As mentioned in the last post, she offers a lot of information and has great workouts.  And I find her motivating.  I read her dailies and find them informative and, therefore, am happy to refer to some of the articles she provides on occasion.