Not surprised by the slight gain this week–it is nearly that time of the month again, and this is par for the course for me and my body.
I started a new strength training program this week (thanks to my teaching partner, G, who is also a personal trainer: BONUS!). I knew G had been a trainer (this had come up in conversation before), and asked him on Monday afternoon while we were working on a lab what I could do to build muscle mass because I hadn’t been doing much toward that end. He got excited that I was asking for his expertise (I am also his mentor teacher, so he is usually the one on the receiving end of my expertise) and started writing out a workout plan. He carefully explained each exercise, then told me to go through each set twice–“You might not be able to make the circuit three times the first week, but that’s okay” he said. After I asked some clarifying questions, he asked me, “So when are you going to start this?” I told him the plan was to start that night once I got home and changed clothes since Monday nights were one of my usual gym nights anyway.
So I did. I went to the gym, followed the plan G wrote for me to the T, and sweated from pores I didn’t even know I had. I felt fine afterward though. Now he had warned me as we parted ways Monday night, “You’re probably going to cuss me when you’re done. Or not, you might cuss me tomorrow. But you’re going to hurt.” I knew I would hurt, but not as much as I actually did.
Tuesday morning I woke up and was fine…until I tried to go down the stairs at school on the way to my principal’s office. Then it was an entirely different story altogether. I seriously thought I was going to die every time I went down a set of stairs, sat down, or got up and down off of the toilet. I was in pain from muscle soreness most of the week. It did work itself out by Friday night though, just as G said it would. Mid-week as I struggled to go down the stairs at work, I was not convinced but I toughed it out. I’m better now, although my pecs are hurting today from Friday’s iteration of the circuit. I did the push-ups a little lower than before, so my muscles are sore from the change in angle.
Since beginning swim lessons, I’ve pledged to make at least two trips to the pool at the rec each week on days that are not strength training days (there are three of those each week). I want to get better at swimming so that I can do it as routine exercise. I did learn after going earlier this week that I definitely need practice at the strokes so that I can build up my stamina in the water–I can’t quite make it the 50 m across the pool yet. I am registered for another go at the beginners class in December. I just want to get really good at swimming so that I can learn more difficult strokes (like the butterfly and breaststroke) so I can swim as a regular part of my fitness routine.
The plan this week is to continue aforementioned strength training workout and swim at least twice, body (Ma Nature’s due this week and I hate swimming while she’s here) and schedule permitting–this week is a super busy one as we approach giving our first exam in class, an alumni association function Tuesday night, Rotary Board meeting the next night, and hitting up the State Fair on Saturday, where I expect to walk no fewer than 5-6 miles. I have learned to try hard to make myself a priority, which has been a tough thing to learn especially when so many others rely on me for so much. But if I don’t put myself first, I can’t be any good to anyone else. That lesson was learned from an ex-boyfriend a long, long time ago who said those words to me during our second breakup conversation–we dated two different times in our lives. I like to say it was the only positive thing I got out of the relationship. 🙂
I am starting to see definition in my legs as the muscles get bigger, and this is exciting. The cottage cheese quality of my thighs, on the other hand…that leaves a lot to be desired. But I am learning to be okay with the wake left behind from the lost fat. A hard lesson to learn, but one that needs to be learned quickly since plastic surgery to get rid of the excess skin is not an option for me. I am trying hard to learn this lesson of self-acceptance and love, but it’s tough when all I am used to is self-deprecation and loathing.