Stronger not Smaller (per se)

You might remember I blogged a while back about how great 2012 was treating me. I discussed four of my 2012 goals and the progress I had made with each of them. One goal was to lose 15 pounds by April, I lost 12! I didn’t reach my goal but I was determined not to be discouraged. I set another goal to get down to 145 lbs. by my birthday, but that didn’t quite happen either. Again, I was only a few pounds off around 148. I just can’t seem to stay active and eat right around my birthday. The lure of cake and laziness is too strong for me to fight. Anyway, right after my birthday I said I was going to jump right back on track and hit my goal (145 lbs.) by July 13th (as I have a trip planned for that weekend). If you couldn’t tell I love goals, as a self-aware procrastinator they are necessary.

Even though I had been making progress, I realized I needed a new approach – a new outlook, if you will. You see I, like most women, have always been focused on cardio, cardio, cardio! I mean I did some “lifting” in my Body Works/Body Sculpting group gym classes and when I have hired a trainer in the past I’ve used the weight machines. So I know that having strong muscles is important. However, I had previously fell victim to the idea of low weight, high reps being the key to “toning”. Isn’t that what they who they hell are they anyway always tell women?

One day I asked one of my really fit female acquaintances what her workout routine consisted of and boy did she tell me. This chick went hard in the paint? ! My reply was, “Ummmm, I can’t do that!”. In that Facebook convo she helped to change my mindset. She challenged me to focus on my progress in terms of strength gained instead of weight loss. She encouraged me to be focused on that goal instead of running to the scale every day and weighing myself (I still weigh daily, but my focus is on my strength progression). She said start with 5 real pushups and then shoot for 7, 10, 12.

Luckily for me (or not), my new boyfriend, Old School, (who I never actually introduced you guys to – sorry) is a part time trainer. He agreed that I should focus on gaining strength and provided me with a workout plan around late February that definitely contributed to the initial 12 lbs. loss. SN: Our second date actually started with a workout session. His plan included exercises that I was familiar with but had been previously performing with low weight or just my body weight. Squats and deadlifts that I used to do with 10lb dumbbells in class increased to a barbell weight 95 lbs, shoulder presses that had meant grabbing 8 lbs. dumbbells now meant find a set of 20 lbs. dumbbells and girl pushups became real pushups.

My goal now is to get STRONGER! The great thing about that is that the side effect of building strength is a leaner healthier body that burns more calories at rest. I hope my quest results in a tighter-higher butt, defined arms and legs, and a flatter tummy. Thankfully, Old School had just the program in mind for me to reach my goals. Check out my next post 16 Weeks to a Stronger Tip to find out how I’m going to start my journey.

Anyone else ready to commit to working towards a better, fitter self? If so, join me! You don’t have to do exactly what I’m doing, you can commit to 30 days of 30 minutes of cardio daily or whatever you like. Or have you already made this commitment and already reached your goal? If so, tell us your story. Any pointers?

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