Sunday, June 9, 2013

What I've Learned About My Fitness Self

We had a phenomenal weekend over here, and I need just one more day to recover. In the meantime, I typed up this little post the other day and had fun thinking about all the quirks I've come to recognize in myself when it comes to fitness. I'd love to hear similar realizations you've had about yourself!

1. I simply won't do core work by itself. I have done it before, sure. And I've even created what I think are some pretty awesome core workouts, such as:

But I've learned that I'm not good at following through on pure core work attached to my workout. During Best Body Boot Camp, Tina usually scheduled cardio and core together on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I almost never did the core work. I used the excuse of being too sweaty and not wanting to get the carpet gross after a workout (hello? could I not just pull out a yoga mat or towel?). Or I claimed I would do it before bed. Yeah, right.

2. I really love working out in the mornings... Because it feels great to get it over with early in the day, it frees up my evenings, it energizes me for work, and it sets a "healthy tone" for the rest of the day.

3. ...but I'm very good at talking myself into staying in bed. The thing is, I rarely skip a workout, so when that alarm goes off at 4:30, I very easily negotiate with myself: "Well, hey, if I don't get up now, I'll just do the workout later." And I do. It's not a now-or-never situation, so I just bump it back. And then I kick myself later for not getting it done and having to drag myself to the gym at the end of a long day.

4. Even though I love to work out, I have to convince (bribe?) myself to get out there and just do it. Sometimes I tell myself I'm not allowed to have a drink or dessert unless I get the workout done. Sometimes I procrastinate by cleaning house, prepping dinner, whatever. Sometimes I put on all my gym clothes and then just wander around the apartment, convinced that I'll eventually get there.

5. But once I get started, that lovin' feeling comes right back. It usually only takes about five minutes for me to get in my groove, especially if I have some decent music or a little extra motivation, like beautiful weather. Just getting started sucks, and then the rest feels great--about 95% of the time. Sometimes I just never hit my stride, and I take it easy that day, no harm done. But often I find that the worst starts end the best--I'll set out thinking, "Okay, just walk two miles," and then before I know it I'm running my fourth mile and feeling like I can do more!

6. A short workout is better than none at all. You know I love to squeeze WAY too much into my days, and sometimes I just don't make time for a solid hour workout, which is my ideal time frame. Still, skipping the gym altogether just mentally puts me into a funk. So I'd rather bust out a super short strength circuit or a 20-minute HIIT than not do anything at all. And I feel so much better!

Some of my favorite short workouts:

7. Workout DVDs are totally hit-or-miss for me--and usually it's a miss. I have one yoga DVD, Yoga Fitness Plus by Elise Gulan (<--NO WAY!!! I just found it on YouTube! YAY! You can do it too!)--that I've done for years. It's one 45-minute routine, but somehow it never bores me and still gets me just as sweaty and fatigued as it did the first time. But other at-home exercise options aren't so successful for some reason. Once in awhile I'm all about it, but usually I get bored or annoyed 10 minutes in and quit. Any suggestions for awesome DVDs? I would love to try a Cathe video--she seems amazing.

Yeah, that's happening. I didn't do this video. 

8. I absolutely need a plan for my workout. I actually like to plan out my gym time for the week if I can. I like knowing what I'm going to do, visualizing the workout and the results, gearing up for a great time at the gym. I guess it just mentally prepares me and gets me all amped up! (I'm actually the same way about food. I like preparing my palate for what I'll be eating, and if I am expecting one thing and don't end up getting to eat it, I sometimes feel really bummed. But I think that's just weird.)

9. No matter what, I feel best when I'm feeling fit. I hope that never changes, because it keeps me pushing myself and ensures that I will stay active!

What have you learned about your fitness self?


  1. number four for me with cardio.

  2. Thanks for that yoga/youtube tip! Can't wait to try it out. Paying for classes at studios gets so expensive!

    A few things I've learned about me: I need something scheduled, or it won't happen. I love scheduling workout dates with friends - fun way to catch up (GloKo!) plus it keeps me accountable. I am NOT a weekday-AM workout person. I do enjoy an early Saturday workout for the same reasons you do (get it out of the way, set the tone for a healthy day, energizing). And the competitive nature in me loves group exercise classes!

  3. You would LOVE Cathe. She is the only workout DVD trainer that I will consistently do and enjoy. Been doing her workouts almost a decade and still love them all.

    PS - this is a fun post and I may have to steal the idea. with credit, of course. :)

  4. #3... very me. Love these realizations!!

  5. #3-- so very me. Great realizations, so important for us to be honest with ourselves.

  6. Thanks for the youtube link to the yoga video!
    I agree with #1--I almost always skip core and tell myself I'll do it in the evening. I have never in my life followed through..

  7. so funny, I think we have very different fitness personalities. Which is such a great thing to remember as a trainer!! I really do love getting my sweat on and motivation is rarely an issue, but all I want to do is run.