Starting Points

Workout Jam of the Day

“Alive” By: Hillsong Young & Free

What Did I Eat Today

Breakfast – 2 Simply Nature Organic Cage Free Grade A Large Brown Eggs Scrambled, 1 10 oz Naked Green Machine Juice, Elderberry, 1000mg Vitamin C

LunchLittle Salad Bar Sunflower Chopped Salad Kit (Green Cabbage, Kale, Red Cabbage, Green Leaf Lettuce, Carrots, Italian Cheese, Edamame, Sunflower Seeds, Quinoa, Sweet Onion Vinaigrette), Added 2 Servings Lindsay Naturals Medium Pitted Black Olives

Post Workout Snack – Two Hand-fulls Peanuts, 2/3 Cup Sundae Shoppe Mint Chip Light Ice Cream (90 Calories & 7g Protein), 1/2 Cup Raw Broccoli

Dinner – 2 Quorn Meatless Fillets, 2 Green Giant Extra Sweet Mini-Ears Corn, 1/2 Cup White Rice, 3 Tablespoons Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce (It’s basically the best sauce you will ever taste!)

Gym Journal

We did follow through on going to the indoor pool yesterday! Sorry, no Super Bowl for us. Don’t get me wrong – I know how to play the game, can throw a spiral, enjoy participating in touch football once in awhile, and even don’t mind sitting in the bleachers or on the sidelines. I just don’t like watching football (or any other sport) on TV (exceptions will be made for American Ninja Warrior). The degree of separation from reality takes the fun out of it for me. So the girls and I went to the pool instead.

That was great! My legs weren’t exactly sore from Saturday, but my muscles were a little tight. The water was a great place to stretch them out. I even went in the lazy river, immersed myself up to my chest, and started “running” against the current. 49 laps is a mile, and I did roughly 10 that way. What an endurance trial! Obviously running full speed in water isn’t exactly possible, and going the opposite direction of the flow increases resistance, but I loved it!

This afternoon I made my way back to the gym for visit number 2. #forminghabits

Today was all about gauging where I’m starting so I can better understand where I’m going. This is an important part of beginning your journey toward any goal! Identify and accept where you’re at now so you can more clearly see point A and point B to measure the distance between them. When you know that, it’s easier to subdivide and set mini goals that will step you toward your larger one! In the future, I won’t always detail every single exercise I do, but this is my starting record for a point of reference, so the details need to be there. 🙂

First stop was back at the treadmill. Learning from last time, I hit the manual setting for 10 minutes. I started right out the gate doing the 5.0 speed setting (12 minute mile) and just wanted to see how long I could run before I wanted to stop. I made it to the 3 minute mark before the tightness in my chest started to bug me, so I dropped it down to 3.5. At the 9 minute mark I kicked it back up to 4.5 to finish not realizing the manual mode does a 3 minute cooldown. Overall, there was a brief moment where this was sad. A part of me had hoped I would not have lost quite so much progress over the years, but then I reminded myself that I could be at home on the couch. I also could have stepped off the treadmill at that 3 minute mark, but I didn’t. At least I’m making the effort, and it’s ok to start somewhere. Yet another life metaphor.

Since I’d been doing so much with my legs the last few days, I decided to visit my old friends – the arm machines – and see how much I could lift. Admittedly, this was a bit scary to me, because my arms are definitely the weakest part of my body. Even when I used to go to the gym regularly, I never got past doing sets at 60-70 pounds. I want to get rid of what I jokingly call my “farms” (flabby arms). Every machine I went to, I started at 40 pounds of resistance. Just to clarify, I follow standard protocol. If I say “set”, I mean 12 reps (repetitions).

The Shoulder Press machine did not turn out to be the most inspiring place to start! LOL 40 pounds felt like trying to lift a building! One set of that was a big fat NOPE, so I shifted to 25 for the second and third sets. Sigh.

The Tricep Extension machine made me feel much better! The 40 pound setting was so easy I thought the machine was broken or something! It didn’t feel like the weights were even attached, so I did the second set at 50 and the third at 65 pounds. The last set it started to get challenging enough not to want to raise it another 15 pounds.

I don’t know why, but the Pulldown machine is one of my favorite for arms. Set one was a breeze, so I bumped it to 55 for set two and 70 for set three. They changed this and several of the other machines since I used to come years ago, and I’m so glad they did! The bars used to be connected – both handlebars would move even if you only pulled with one hand. Now they are independent from each other. What this means is the strength of one arm can no longer compensate for the weakness of the other. Each arm has to independently do the same amount of work, which adds an additional challenge of keeping your arms moving together evenly. My right arm has always been much stronger than the left, so I’m grateful to be forced to even it out.

The last arm stop I made was my former nemesis – the Pectoral Fly/Rear Deltoid machine – where the first set was 40 pounds and the second and third were 55 pounds for both front and back. It wasn’t as bad as I remembered. Now my nemesis is the Shoulder machine, but I will be victorious!

Before moving out of that area, I decided I wanted to check out the Seated Leg Press. It occurred to me that if I can’t sit in a chair and press at least my body weight with my legs, then I am probably abusing them daily by carrying around my body weight simply walking. It turned out I could press one full set at 190 pounds and half of a set at 220 pounds, so I’m not quite where I used to be. My legs have always been pretty strong, but now I look forward to taking the stress off my body by raising that number and lowering my weight.

My last stop before leaving was planking. Oh boy. This is one I did not want to flop on! I will never forget the first time I ever tried to plank. It lasted 5 seconds and I immediately regretted it and dropped in pain. No bueno. From there, I followed a workout challenge I’d found online where you hold it for two seconds longer every day, and after a month, I could hold a plank for a full minute! I was so proud of that accomplishment, and I never ever wanted to go below it again.

Well… I made it the full minute! Just barely. Down to the second. It was painful. I’m fairly certain the grunt I let out when I hit the mat was heard on the other end of the building. Woman down, send help. BUT after a couple minutes of recovery, I pushed myself to do another 30 seconds for good measure. So there’s that…

This is actually a big win, because I injured my right elbow last spring, and I have been terrified of trying to plank ever since, afraid I might hurt myself. I struggle with pushup positions, because my arm won’t quite fully straighten out anymore. Close, but no cigar. However, I prefer to plank on elbows and that didn’t hurt. I felt it a little later on, but not enough to bother me. Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus!

On the way back to the locker room, I glanced in the large mirror and realized it’s a view I rarely see. There are no full length mirrors in my house and haven’t been for… well… most of my life. My mental image of myself is emotionally and spiritually healthy, so I see that physical representation in my mind. The mirror can be so jarring sometimes. The comfiest gym clothes will always reveal every roll or bump.

It’s the same way I felt when I first came to Christ. It was the first time I really saw myself the way God sees me. I saw that He loved me, but I also saw my sin and didn’t like a lot of the stuff looking back at me in my spiritual reflection. Just like God did for my sins years ago, I forgave the flaws I saw on my body in the mirror at the gym today. What’s inside this bag of flesh is precious and priceless, and I believe fully that if I stay consistent and do what I know I need to do, my outsides will match my insides. If I never hit my goal, it won’t lower my value as a person or a child of God, but I will be better for trying to reclaim every aspect of health that I can in this temporary life.

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