Monday, January 21, 2013

If it doesn't challenge you ...

To lose weight and get healthy takes consistent effort. About 8 or 9 years ago, I wasn't making any effort. Then I finally started going to the gym, but I didn't change anything about my eating habits. I barely lost any weight.

Then I started to change my eating habits (quantity not quality) plus exercise, and the weight started coming off a bit more.

Finally I got the combination right -- exercise & eat clean. That's when the real progress happened.

That's where I'm at right now ... but where to go from here? I obviously still have a long way to go, but if I'm already following that winning combination, what do I do next?

I feel like each step has involved a reevaluation of my goals and a recommitment to fitness. I had to accept that I needed to step up my game in some way in order to see the change I wanted to see. Exercise was good, but it wasn't enough. Watching my portions was good, but it was not enough. I needed to do more.

There were many times when I thought - Wow, how much more can I do?

The truth is, the little slip ups here and there (the 'one doesn't matter' mentality) were adding up. I wasn't ready for that. It wasn't working for me.

When I was talking to one of the trainers at my gym about the soreness I was feeling after doing the burpees he said to me -- That's when you need to push harder and do a few more. That's when your body will change. 

So that's where I'm at right now. I'm still working on cleaning up my diet more and in terms of exercise, I need to make sure that even if I'm doing a few exercises (new rules of lifting only involves 4-5 exercises per session), I need to make sure I focus on form and technique and push myself. It's good if it's tough. That means my body is working harder towards achieving the changes I want to see.

It was after talking to him that I decided to push through with the burpees. I knew that the soreness in my thighs wasn't an injury - it was just my muscle reacting to the exercise. The thing about resting for a day or two is that I had to go through that initial soreness again.

For the past 4 days I've been banging them out and I'm really happy to say I don't have any soreness. I can definitely feel their impact, but I'm not wincing in pain with every step. It feels good to know that I'm getting stronger.


Ironically, even though we signed in at work to start our semester yesterday, we didn't have work today ... and aside from our first day of class tomorrow, the rest of the week is off as well - gotta love Kuwait University! :)

I took advantage of the day by getting in an early workout and then heading to another acupuncture session. The acupuncturist wanted to see me twice this week to kind of kickstart the process, and then I'll continue once a week for the next month to see if the treatment helps at all with my pain reduction.

Did you know there were that many pressure points on our head? 

I've gotten used to the feeling of the needles, but the dizziness and light-headedness after the session is really annoying. I had some dates with me for a bit of sugar/energy after the session. I needed them!

I really wanted to go home and sleep after the session, but I forced myself to go to the supermarket. My fridge and pantry are in desperate need for some sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and salad stuff.

Having lunch pre-prepared was a blessing! I definitely need to make sure I stay on top of that because once the semester really gets into full swing, it'll get easy to start slacking.

A quick lunch, a nap on the couch, a few tasks around the house plus a few blog comments throughout the afternoon.

I had a killer kickboxing class this evening. Marc has really upped the intensity of our combinations and I'm happy to say that I'm keeping up! It felt brilliant leaving the club drenched in sweat.

Tonight's dinner was out at a buffet -- luckily they had several options of delicious fish. I really enjoyed my meal. I ate a bit more than usual, but nothing terrible at all.

Today's Workout
Weights: NROL - Workout 2B (about 30 minutes)
Burpees: 60 {challenge total: 590/20,130}
MMA: cardio kickboxing 45 minutes @ ClubFit
Stretching: 15 minutes

Today's Food
Breakfast: Banana & 3 dates (one after my workout, 2 after acupuncture)
Lunch: baked white fish with 1/3 sweet potato (leftovers from yesterday)
Dinner: variety of seafood along with salad, some lentil soup, and baklava


  1. You do eat healthy. Sometimes when neither of us wants to go out or fix a big meal, I'll bake myself a yam with a side of black beans for dinner. What is your ultimate fitness goal?

  2. I've never tried acupuncture, although I definitely believe in it's healing properties. Good to know it can make you lightheaded!

    Your meals always sound so good...

  3. Hi Dr. PlumPetals! Anyway, in the middle of this post, I was thinking about "where do I go from here?"

    I'm turning 45 years old this month, so, age-wise, I have lived a fitness future you haven't gotten to yet. I think you are smart to diversify your fitness--because that protects the joints for your older years. You should think about who you're going to be when you are your mother's age, and treat your body appropriately--meaning protect yourself from reckless exercise.

    You're intelligent, so you will be able to know how to draw a line between a good challenge and a reckless challenge that has too high of risk of injury. Don't do an exercise "just because I can" because that's how injuries happen. Injuries heal, but can lead to arthritis in the joint in later years. So recklessness should be avoided. Bigger, better, and more is often *not* better. Draw the line, and thank me when you're in your 40's and 50's.

    Lastly, when I got to the point where I didn't want a heavier bench press, it got more boring--until I started helping others learn how to bench press. Encouraging others is awesome!

    There's always something new and better to do. I think I'm very alert to my age on my birthday month, hence the I'm-an-old-fitness-lady advice. :D

    :-) Marion

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