Over the course of the last year, my fitness routine has changed. As I was losing weight, I tried to get in 5 or more workouts a week – getting that burn was integral in seeing a steady loss each week/month. But now that I am in maintenance mode (for life, might I add), my workouts have changed a bit. Over the course of a few years, I have learned a TON about my body and what it can/cannot take.
For example, I have learned that I can take a full week off [of workouts] without seeing any changes on the scale. Yes, I know the scale can be a controversial subject – some are diehard against it and some are all about it. Personally, I use the scale as a tool to keep myself accountable. In fact, the scale was a great friend as I was learning to balance workouts and food intake. As long as you don’t think of the scale as the be-all-end-all then it can be a fantastic partner in weight loss/maintenance. Long story short: I have learned that I can take a full rest week as long as I eat clean and don’t overdo it.
In addition, I have learned that I can get in an amazing workout in 30 minutes or less. HIIT, sprints, and all-in-one workouts (combining cardio bursts with strength) are where it’s at. I would much rather go hard for 30 minutes than go moderate for 60 – well most of the time anyway. But again, that’s a personal preference.
Finally, I have learned that even when I am crazy busy – I NEED to put my workouts high on my priority list. I am in my second quarter of grad school and I’m feeling the pressure of being 4 weeks in. It’s around this time that things really start to pile up, due dates approach, and of course, midterms loom around the corner.
Last week, I let workouts fall to the wayside. Sure, I continued eating clean and I’m cool with taking a week of rest. BUT, I need those workouts for an energy boost. If I take a break from studying/working to get in a solid 30 minute sweat, then I come back refreshed and ready to go. Basically, the workouts keep me going and help me avoid burnout. That may sound counterintuitive but it’s just how I work. Note to self: reread this paragraph when you’re in doubt about taking a break to workout.
Also, I need to utilize incline treadmill walking. It’s an amazing way to squeeze in a workout while simultaneously studying/reading articles/catching up on shows. This seriously saved me last quarter and I need to remember that when things get tough.
So, you may be wondering where I am going with this – right?
Well, my solution to avoid putting workouts on the backburner was to sign up for a 10k! The longest I’ve raced is a 5k – so I’m pretty excited. The amazing thing? Having a deadline (race day) has motivated me to get back into running! I am super competitive (mostly with myself but with others as well) – so I definitely need to prepare.
Plus, I recently realized that I really MISS running. A lot. I miss the zoning out in-my-head feeling. I miss the post-run endorphins. I miss the satisfaction of reaching that new distance/speed milestone.
Running (and exercise, in general) is therapeutic, mind-clearing, and energizing – all three of which are very necessary for my sanity and health. :)
April 6th is the BIG DAY – so LET’S GO!
Anyone else signing up for a spring race?!
On an unrelated note, if you’re looking for a new side dish to jazz up your dinner – try this steamed kale with a creamy vegan cheeze sauce:
It’s simple – lightly steam about 2 cups of kale (to save time, get the bag of organic precut kale from Trader Joes OR you can prepare it yourself by pulling the kale leaves from the stem), blend up the creamy cheeze sauce, and enjoy! Two-step side dishes = love.
Creamy Vegan Cheeze Sauce
- 2 T. of your favorite hummus
- 1 T. tahini
- 1/2-1 T. non-dairy milk (hemp, almond, coconut)
- 2 T. nutritional yeast
- handful of spinach (extra greens, yay!)
- dash of freshly ground sea salt + pepper
- optional (but recommended): smoked paprika, minced garlic
This also makes a perfect drizzle over a veggie-packed cauliflower crust pizza (in lieu of cheese). Now that was a great dinner!
MOTIVATIONAL PUSH: Your fitness is 100% mental! Your body won’t go where your mind doesn’t PUSH IT!
Moral of the story: PUSH YOURSELF BEYOND YOUR LIMITS. CHANGE DOESN’T HAPPEN IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE, IT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PUSH BEYOND THAT COMFORT INTO NEW TERRITORY. Honestly, this is applicable to life in general.