Day 1

Workout Jam of the Day

“Day 1” by Matthew West

What Did I Eat Today

Breakfast – 1 L’Oven Fresh Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Round w/ 2 Tablespoons Berryhill Apple Butter

Lunch – 1 Vegan Brat (Field Roast Grain Meat Co. Vegan Smoked Apple Sage Link on 1 slice Fit & Active 45 Calorie Per Slice Multi-Grain Bread Topped w/ 2 Tablespoons Franks Sauerkraut), 1 V-Fusion V8 Diet Strawberry Lemonade Energy Drink

Post Workout SnackThink Thin Lemon Delight Protein Bar

Dinner – 1 Package Gardein Chipotle Georgia Style Vegan Chick’n Wings, 1 Cup Mashed Brussel Sprouts w/ 1 Tablespoon Melted Light Butter Plus Light Salt/Pepper

Gym Journal

It’s been a long time coming, but I finally started going back to the gym.

In case you haven’t read my about info, I once weighed 345 lbs. I am 5’9″, so that put me in a tight size 22/24. At a certain point I became obsessed with health knowledge, and I managed to lose 110+ pounds, fitting me into a size 14/16 before hitting a point of burnout. (You can see my old before and after photos on the about me page!) I was happy with how far I had come and just felt like I needed a break! This transitioned me into a phase of my life where I spent several years focusing on my emotional and spiritual growth. Over the course of that time I had a radical encounter with Christ, and my whole life changed.

On this emotional roller coaster, I managed to gain some of my weight back. Today I am back to… I hate to say it… 273 pounds (size 18). I guess if I’m going to be transparent, I have to show the new before photos (taken 1/30/20) before there are any new after photos.

I’m a single mother of an 11 year old daughter and guardian to a 10 year old girl. I work in ministry as a Published Author, Public Speaker, and Master Certified Life Coach. I am also a founding board member for two new non-profits, the Community Outreach Coordinator for my home church, and am pretty much always busy. I have also been a vegetarian for going on 3 years.

Today it was time to stop avoiding the inevitable need to fit the gym back into my schedule and use the membership at Planet Fitness that I reactivated last week. My major goal is to get back under 200 pounds for the first time since junior high, but those last pounds are always the hardest to lose.

I packed my bag, dragged my feet for half an hour triple checking that I had everything I needed, and eventually made my way there. When I arrived, the parking lot was almost entirely full. Apparently I wasn’t the only one with this bright idea! At first I was a little bummed, but then I realized I didn’t come to the gym to slack off. Parking my little red Ford Focus in the very last space at the end of the lot forced me to walk those extra few steps I didn’t want to take when I left the gym, and I had no intention of starting this by allowing myself to take the lazy way out. A decision was made that unless it’s raining/snowing, I will continue to do this with a smile even when the lot is empty. Goals don’t reach themselves, and I have to push past my comfort zone to achieve results. Even Noah in all his faith had to build the ark himself.

Initially when I walked in, my intention was to warm up on the treadmill for about 10 minutes, then move on to the 30 minute circuit. When I stepped on the treadmill, decided to hit the “Fat Burn” preset, painfully typed in my weight and age hoping nobody around me could see it, then chose 120 as a target heart rate. This is an appropriate selection for my age and desire to burn fat. (Do you know the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise? Click for an explanation.) I threw on some good tunes, and by the time I was done, I felt like I had just been getting started and wanted to keep going. It said I had burned around 100 calories and gone roughly half of a mile.

After a moment of contemplation, I decided since this was my first day back at the gym, I would stick to the treadmill and go an extra 20 minutes to ease myself back into things. Again I used the preset, but this time I increased the target rate to 125. I really started getting into my music and was mouthing the words trying to remind myself not to put sound behind them. Why isn’t there a sound proofed room for the people who want to sing along to their workout music? I looked around and noticed there were only a small handful of people at the far end of the room who didn’t have their own earbuds in. How much trouble would I get in if I just started belting “Jesusfreak” by DC Talk? I decided to not get kicked out on my first day back and settled for dancing while I power walked to the beat. Judge me if you want, I don’t care – I’ll dance if I want to.

About halfway through I got a crazy burst of energy and decided to kick up the speed to 4.5 and start jogging! IT FELT SOOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!! Thank you to the handsome gentleman who started walking on the treadmill two machines to my right. The presence of your ridiculously ripped muscles in my peripheral vision made me just self conscious enough to push a little harder, but not so self conscious that I freaked out and ran away. I’d like to think that’s the right amount of self conscious, but I also reminded myself that it’s not a competition. Comparison is a thief of joy.

Unfortunately, since I decided to use the preset, every time my heart rate got up over 130bpm, the machine would try to bring me back to the original target rate by slowing me down. Every time I tried to take my hands off the bar so it would stop reading my heart rate, it would beep at me until I put them back. I would kick the speed up then it would knock it back down. Lesson learned – next time I get ambitious, I need to use the manual setting.

I started thinking back to high school. My friends were cross country runners, track stars, and football players. They could run a 5-6 minute mile without flinching; however, I was asthmatic as a child. I hated the feeling of losing my breath fearing it could become an attack, so endurance was not in my wheelhouse. Luckily the last major attack I ever had was at age 11, but it haunted me for a very long time. I would jog lap 1 of the mile hoping to be able to pace myself, still end up walking lap 2 and 3, and intermittently run the last lap, sprinting the last stretch. My mile times were easily 14-15 minutes. When that 4.5 speed setting on the treadmill said it was a 13 minute mile pace and that felt sustainable to me, I decided to set myself a goal – someday I will run a 10 minute mile. It may not be the fastest by a long shot, but when I hit that mark, it will still be a first for me, and I will rejoice. Then I will set a goal of a 9 minute mile.

In addition, before I left my house, I threw on my new neoprene waist trimmer made by Athletic Works. It’s designed to promote sweating in targeted areas. I had it on the whole time. Honestly, it didn’t feel like it was doing that much while I was on the treadmill, but when I got in the car it felt like I was swimming in sweat to the point it was almost painfully hot. When I got home, I had to take it off in the tub, so I guess it did it’s job. We will see if it produces results of any value.

The kids want to go to the indoor pool tomorrow after church, and I think we will go so I can work on doing laps. Swimming is not my forte, but I don’t drown, so I’ll call it a win! 🙂 I like breaking up my exercise with activities rather than just going to the gym all the time, and I love the outdoors. I seriously can’t wait until winter is over and I can go hiking again. #soultherapy

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