Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fittiversary: Q&A

Well my email and Facebook messages have been flooding in with questions in response to my ask me anything request for a Q&A post. (no not really but lets pretend they have, and thank-you to Mell for my one real question LOL)

Ok so lets get the game going:

Q: Do you struggle with leaving your kids in the Gym Daycare while you workout?  
I still have struggles with regards to the kids and the gym.  My oldest daughter is exactly like me and that means she has anxiety and she often still feels insecure and doesn't want to be left in the gym daycare on her own.  Our routine is to go to the gym in the morning, and keeping that routine is important.  If I went to the gym all over the place it would be harder on them.  But they know we wake up, eat, watch tv, go to the gym.  My youngest goes to Nursery school 3 mornings a week.  So two days a week they go to the gym together and those days are easy.  On the three mornings Kay has to go on her own I will often hear that she doesn't want to go, and she will whine and even sometimes get a bit clinging or cry a bit.  However,  less then 5 min into the daycare and she is FINE.  Better than fine, she has fun, she plays with other kids and when I pick her up she often doesn't want to leave. 
 I will admit we have had some rough patches.  Once I carried her like a sack of potatoes up the stairs to the gym crying loudly, had to peel her off me and shut the door to the daycare.  I felt like I got stares of judgment from other mom's but in reality I think they just felt bad for both of us.  My anxiety was through the roof, I got on the treadmill carefully choosing the one closest to the daycare so I could hear her cry, watched the clock for 10 min and then snuck back to see if she was ok...and she was.  
I talk to the girls about why Mommy goes to the gym, that she wants to be healthy and strong, and I ask them if they want GRUMPY MOM or HAPPY MOM.  They always say Happy Mom.  

Q: Have you tried group classes? What do you like?
I love doing classes, they are fun and keep you from getting bored and stagnant in your routine.  The energy in a class carries you through a bad workout and turns it into a good one.  Most of the people  I have met at the gym have been through taking classes.  I love SPIN, LOVE LOVE SPIN CLASS.  Its a high energy, rocking, awesome music class.  Its very challenging and makes you feel part of an elite club (just by going).  I feel like the class is suited for all levels of fitness since the intensity of the class is what you put into it (you set the resistance).  BUTT your BUTT needs to get used to the seat (ouch).  
I loved pump class, it made me feel strong and empowered changing the weights on and off the bar.  But you do need to be careful, go light on the weights and slowly build up.  I injured myself twice in the class and my Chiro says Pump is his best customer.  Its easy to get caught up in the class and want to go bigger.   
I am also really surprised at how much I love YOGA.  Its a very different workout.  The first time I tried it I admit it was awkward with so much extra weight in the way and generally being unfit.  But as I lost weight, and got fitter I truly began to enjoy the class.  I loved seeing the progression in my ability to hold poses, it was again very empowering!  It also felt very very good to do after a long run day when I was tight and sore.  
I have also tried Step, and Body Combat. These classes were hard for me as you need to be able to coordinate your movements and follow a lot of choreography.  I found I would stand there lost and not getting a good workout in.  I think if I stuck with it I would have learned it, but lets face it I don't have the patience.   Running and spinning, one foot in front of the other...easy!  

Q: What are you favorite cardio machines to use?
I love the treadmill.  The treadmill and I are very good friends.  One of the reasons is simply that I love running and for me much of my running takes place there on the mill.  I like to workout in the morning and to do so my children need to be in the daycare and I can't leave the gym to run outside.  I also love the treadmill because I can control my workout and because of that also change it up enough that its not boring.  I can play with the speed and incline.  I love doing short fast runs (5km), and long (8-12km) slow runs where I vary the incline from 1-2%.  I like doing hill runs where I either use the hill program or run a song at specific inline, rest for a song and then do another grade of incline.   I also love doing intervals with speed.  The treadmill doesn't have to be boring and is by far my favorite machine.  
I am not a fan of the elliptical, or cross ramp (personal preference) but if I need cardio and can't run (ie. knee is sore looking for a non impact machine) I will use these.  I again change the speed and resistance in intervals to get a good workout in.   
Sometimes on a non run day I will do a cardio circuit in the gym.  I do this when I am short on time and want to get good cardio sweat. So I do 10 min intervals on a variety of machines using a basic 1 min hard 1 min rest.  I usually add the rowing machine and bike into the mix when I do this. I love the rowing machine, it makes me feel like an athlete, and I always envision Silken Lauman when I use it.  Here's an interesting one, all though I love the spin bike I do not like the lifecycle bike in the cardio line up.  I can't get it adjusted to fit comfortably and after 10 min my butt is numb.  So I don't use the bike for long.  For me the key is challenging yourself and keeping variety in your cardio workout by playing with the settings on the machine no matter what you like to use.

Q: I can see you love cardio but what about resistance training?

I have to admit that I love the cardio, I love the rush, I love the sweat, I love the way it makes me feel.  My fitness regime has been very heavy in cardio.  When I started at the gym I did pump twice a week but then I hurt my elbow and took a break for 4 months.  I lost a lot of muscle during that time (cardio like running breaks down some lean muscle as well), my weight loss became stagnant and my arms got flabby LOL.  Remember that post about a month ago where I was shocked to find out that my body fat % was 44!  Well that would be largely due to the lack of resistance training.  I have now added free weights and body weight resistance training, in twice a week for about 30 min.  During this time my body fat % has dropped 3% and I lost 6 pounds.  More importantly my clothes have begun to fit much much better (in particular the stuff I bought that was too tight hoping that one day it would fit LOL).

Q: What's up with this Daily Mile and Facebook...?

I have likely driven my friends mad this past year with my Daily Mile posts on Facebook.  Katie Squires ran 5km and felt great.  Katie Squires picked her nose and felt good LOL.  For my friends that have put up with all my 'brag' like posts and commented with 'way to go's I thank-you!  I really really thank-you!
Daily Mile is a site online that tracks you workouts and gives you fabulous facts like how many donuts you have burned and light bulbs you have powered.  It allows you to connect and share your workout with your friends on Facebook.  The encouragement that I get from my friends online is a BIG reason why I have stuck with it.  Every 'like', every 'way to go' has FUELED ME.  I push through a crappy workout, and get my butt to the gym on days I don't want to simply because I want to post my workout.  I also love seeing my friend's updates on their workouts, their successes have inspired me time and time again.  The positive encouraging network that you can set up online is an amazing thing.  

Q:  Knowing you for several years, I know that you have tried this and that only to fall back into old, unhealthy habits. What was the defining moment a year ago that motivated you to join a gym and what was so different this time around that it finally clicked and you stuck with it?  **my one real question thanks Mell :)

My defining moment a year ago was 2 fold.  One my weight had begun to for the first time in my life cause physical pain.  My back was sore standing in line at the grocery line.  The little bones in my feet hurt all the time after walking a moderate distance.  I felt sluggish and physically uncomfortable in my body.  The other reason was that I struggled for well over a year to get pregnant and I had a strong feeling that my weight was playing a role in that.  (funny thing, we stopped trying so I could focus on getting healthy and now I have no intention of adding another diaper wearing tot to the crew LOL).  Even the 6 months prior to joining the gym were marked with attempts to get it 'right'.  At the beginning of that year I took a scrapbook and health/weight loss class thinking that  do the trick (really??scrapbooking and weight loss?).  Then I joined a 30 day do a scrapbook page a day group and thought I would devote each page to my journey to get healthy.  Both these attempts failed.  But I do think that 
I was mentally preparing myself and trying to find my way.  

So what finally clicked?  I think it was the gym.  I had tried walking, walking in the evenings when I was tired and had no desire to leave the comfort of my house.  I tried walking with kids in tow in the double stroller, which was marked with whining and crying. I tried doing workout videos like the SHRED in the basement.  Sweating in your basement tripping over toys while yelling at your children to give you 20 min was not empowering.  My husband started working out at a gym about 4 months before me and kept encouraging me to join.  I kept resisting it and telling him that I could do this on my own.  I guess it goes to show you that you have to be READY.  Well, on May 19th, 2010 I was READY!  I went in to the women's gym and signed up.  I went in thinking that I would be working out in the evenings 3-4 nights a week working around the kids bedtime schedule.  I was dreading having to workout during my scrapbook time. Then I learned about the day care at the gym and found out that it was actually 'AFFORDABLE' (for real and we are a single income, stay at home mom family).  That was the first CLICK.  I had an hour each morning to myself, where I got to work on me and feel good.  You have no idea (or maybe you do) how much I began to to treasure this time.  The 2nd click came when I started sweating and pushing myself and seeing that I was a lot stronger than I had given myself credit for.  It felt so good to workout, I left each workout filled with pride and HOPE.  Going to the gym and being active has honestly been easy every since.  The food part has been more of a struggle, but I have made major changes just based on the fact that I feel good and want to eat healthy (most of the time).  

So your thinking ok have a gym, and a daycare to put your kids in, of course its easy!  But how do the women that have full time jobs to go to, or can't go to the gym, or have to workout with the kids in tow do it?  I agree its much much harder.  But I think if you can find that first click and get a taste of how it will change your life you will find a way to make it work. I know on the days that the kids are sick and I can't go to the gym I find a way to  make it work. I workout in my basement or go in the evening.  Its not ideal but I do it.  Now that I crave it and need it I choose to get up early on the weekend and holidays to get my sweat on before the activities of the day start.  I choose to because I would honestly rather being doing that than sleeping in.  

I know its not an easy road to get to, but its so worth every false start and struggle to get there.     


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