Friday, January 13, 2012

Slow Start Continues and It's Friday!

Slow Start to the Gym Continues

My slow start to the gym seems to be working.  I have only had normal post-workout soreness and no injuries; I have not experienced that debilitating soreness that goes on for days.  Perhaps more importantly, because I've set my expectations of myself uncharacteristically low, I am meeting (and exceeding) my expectations!  Here is how my program has progressed so far:
  • Week One- get up, get to the gym, and do something for 30 minutes or more, 5 days a week (no calorie or heart rate monitoring; no "programs").
  • Week Two - do a little more; push myself a bit on the cardio (still no monitoring or tracking)
  • Week Three - begin a program of 3 cardio and 2 strength training sessions per week
  • Last week:  Begin Couch to 5K (C25K) program; pay attention to weight and reps; begin gradual increase in weight or reps (not both).
  • Begin tracking calories burned (that is this week); also because of C25K, I am noting distance. 
  • Next week:  Increase cardio to 35 minutes or more
  • The next step, which will probably be in 2 weeks, will be to start monitoring my heart rate.
I feel great and my motivation is high.  That's priceless to me!

Friday Tips, Tricks and Inspiration
This week's theme is making changes to reach your goals in this new year -- or to take another shot at the resolutions you've already forgotten about!

My tip for you this week is to put support in place for yourself.  I currently have 4 kinds of formal support:
  1. I attend weekly Weight Watcher's meetings (for the weigh-in and the community atmosphere); 
  2. I have my text friend with whom I exchange "get up and get to the gym" text messages every weekday;
  3. I have my weekly call with my long-time support partner (although it isn't necessarily about weight loss);
  4. I exchange a weekly email with a friend on a similar eating plan
  5. Informal support systems:  My family is very supportive.  They don't offer temptations to me and my hubby makes sure I get to attend my meeting.  They all are so encouraging of my efforts.  I also have tracking and sharing websites (both for weight loss and fitness) that I frequent and a bunch of blogs I follow.  All these little things add up to a lot of inspiration and motivation.  
Yes, this is a lot of support.  And it turns out with 5 kids, that's how much support it takes to for me to keep me near the top of the priority list.
The trick is to keep some (or most) of your goals attainable and short term.  My next fitness goal is to walk/run a 5K in about about two weeks.  I have another scheduled a month later.  After that, we'll see!  My short term weight loss goal is to be "in the box" every day for 3 weeks.  Once I attain that, I will set a new goal. 

This week I offer a tongue-in-cheek look at the gym for your inspiration.  My friend Colleen shared it with me and it is too good to keep to myself.  It is both funny and true -  let me know which ones make you smile!


Knights' Mama said...

Okay, so I had a really long comment that disappeared into cyberspace the other day, so here goes again. What I wanted to know is if you've built in a reward system for your goals? I decided to do this with exercise, but then was flummoxed, because usually my rewards for myself center around food, surprise surprise.

But I came up with a list I'm excited about, including a yoga class, new workout clothes, a massage or a facial. I haven't assigned specific rewards to specific goals yet, but thought I might just let myself choose instead. So at the end of January, if I've exercised for at least 5 days a week in some form or fashion (true exercise, not just goofing around) I'm going to give myself one of my rewards.

Have you tried this? Pros and cons or pitfalls?

Saw this article today that suggests the same idea generally:

Thanks for all the great posts! It's really helping me stay inspired and encouraged.

Dreena M. Tischler said...

Well, this is an interesting can of worms you've pried open, lady.

Some time ago I read a book called _Punished by Rewards_ . . . (see my Bright Life blog, July 12, 2011); anyhow since then I have been trying out Kohn's theory, which is, in short, that rewards don't work.

Not wishing to make guinea pigs of my entire family, I have applied a lot of my experimentation to myself; and so far, it seems to be working.

Somehow those rewards just seem to be pitfalls to me; they somehow tempt me to "not obey." I am a very rebellious person by nature!

That said, I do have one reward in mind and it is a silly thing; when I reach my 1998 weight, I am going to buy myself a Wii game called Walk it Out. No reason other than I want it and really can't justify it.

The reward I really look forward to -- a "natural consequence," really -- is "shopping in my closet" because I have a lot of nice clothes I haven't worn in YEARS (uhm - pre 1998) but can't bear to throw out -- and a few with tags on still. Yikes.

Long answer -- but what do you think?