Let’s Talk Fitness 1: My One Year Gym-iversary

[Note: I’m going to be doing a ‘series’ of blog posts talking about fitness and the gym and what not.  It’s something I’m really interested in discussing with people so I’d definitely love to hear any and all feedback, suggestions, etc.!]

October 31, 2010 marked the one year anniversary of when Jay and I joined our local Gold’s Gym.  I had wanted to join because I had stopped exercising as much as I had in the past, gained weight and was unhappy about it.  I also wanted to get in shape because we had a lot of really awesome, exciting things lined up in 2010 and I hoped to look my best for them.  Basically, I weighed on my higher end & wanted to get back to my lower end.

There were some working out related “issues” I’d previously had that I was aware of.  The main reason why I stopped exercising as much as I used to was because my knees are completely burnt out from the a good 20 years of running on them.  It was starting to hurt to just walk up and down stairs.  I was also prone to working out too much.  For example, when I briefly was a member of Lucille Roberts in winter/spring 2007, I was taking at least 2 of the hour-long classes in the evening and walking for an hour in the morning before work (my “podcast listening, calm-before-the-daily-working-at-BTR-storm” time).  The final problem I’d faced in the past was despite my Uncle Lou’s constant urging that I vary my workouts, I rarely did.  I’d run, run & walk, or on a rainy winter day, do the Gunnar Peterson Core Workout.  That was basically it.  To me, the longer/more I exercised, the more calories I’d burn, blah blah blah.  I never wanted to believe that you needed to switch it up.  So my body was used to those workouts, had adapted to them and they basically become ineffective.  At 25, I wanted to be smart about working out and I didn’t want to start an exercise plan that would be great at the start and fail me at the end.  Honestly, the whole “body getting used to exercise so quickly” thing was my biggest concern, then it was my busted knee.

So I began a winter schedule of swimming for cardio and pilates for strength with walking mixed in when it was nice enough outside.  I love my walks just as much as I love my old runs.  I’ve since tried running a few times because I miss it but I’m just not built for it anymore.  Someday I’ll try running regularly again, but for now, I’ve found swimming to be a great low-impact, high work-out activity.  Between the pilates and the swimming, I was really getting into working out again.  I’m a person who loves routine.  But more about that will be in a later post.  It was difficult to stick to that routine in regards to not working out “too much.”  I wanted to time any upping a workout for the Lost Finale Party.  Starting a fitness routine in the winter worked perfectly.  I hate the cold so it’s easy for me to hibernate in front of a fire with a Winter Lager and a book.

Anyway, for encouragement and support, Jay went with me to the pool on Sunday, November 1 for my first attempted swim workout since October 2005 (I swam once-twice a week/ran daily/walked daily/took a yoga class twice a week/took a pilates class once a week/danced daily at rehearsals all in order to get into shape for The Rocky Horror Show.  Told ya I used to over-exercise.  I think yoga & dancing did the most for me at the time because it was what my body wasn’t used to doing.)  At our gym’s pool, every 9 laps is a 1/4 of a mile.  My goal was to do a half mile.  I basically thought I was going to die after 5 laps haha and took a lot of breaks in order to make it to 18 laps.  Jay had his fill of swimming after about 15 minutes, but it took me a half hour to swim that half mile.  He cheered me on the rest of the time from the jacuzzi that’s next to the lap pool lol.  I still appreciate him going with me to swim those first few times, even though the high amount of chlorine in that pool bothered him a lot.  I like to work out on my own, however, so I wasn’t too upset when he had to stop swimming with me after he got sick one night.

By Thanksgiving, I saw a little bit of an improvement.  I thought so at the time but when I look back at pictures from Thanksgiving 2009, I cringe because in hindsight…not so much lol.  I don’t think I started doing pilates two-three times a week until the beginning of December.  By Christmas, I was able to fit into clothes that were a little smaller but it was basically one of those “closer to this size when you were in between sizes” kind of thing.  I don’t enjoy looking at a lot of those pictures either, which I know is straight up sad and melodramatic.  I’m not overweight at all.  I wasn’t out of shape at that point.  I felt wonderfully powerful and in shape when I wasn’t looking in the mirror.  I just needed something else, I suppose.

In January 2010, the amazing April, who I used to intern for at the Long Island Press back in the day (ah good, good memories) and who now has a pretty kick ass band (my good friends Rob & Kolkie featured them on [The] Media Junkyard if you remember back to the days of Summer 2009), introduced me to a site called The Daily Plate.  And that’s where I’m going to leave off for tonight.

Next time, I’m going to talk about The Daily Plate and tracking calories/weight.  In the future, I’m planning on talking about stuff like having/meeting goals, learning to understand how your body works, comparing yourself to other people, eating right vs. exercising, routines, fitness tapes, and whatever else I can think of or is suggested.  I’m not trying to be a self-help exercise motivational blogger at all or anything other than a girl who wants to talk about her fitness experiences after a year of gymin’ it up.

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