March 2016 Goals

Why hello March, when did you sneak over here? Even with an extra day in February, it feels like February flew by. Most likely because I was out of town for some of it, but still. Anyway, let’s take a look at my February goals and see how I did.

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1.) Foam roll after long runs: B. I foam rolled after half of my long runs, out of necessity. I hurt my hip pretty badly during the Princess half, and so I foam rolled after like it was my job. I am going to start doing my PT exercises again and hopefully that helps, too.

2.) Daily devotions: C. There is no excuse. I have to do better.

3.) Walk the dog more: A We have had some cold weather, but we have also lucked up with some warm days sprinkled in so we have gone on quite a few walks. Bella really needs it because she is eating way more now that Emma Kate insists on “sharing” all her food with her.

4.) Limit night time snacking: C. Eh. It depends on the night. I have gotten better, but there is still room for improvement. Easter candy is not helping this.

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Now for my March goals. Time to get crackin’!

1.) PT exercises ever night: Now that my hip is officially not doing great, I am going back to my PT exercises and stretches I did last year hoping they will help me. I was so close to my PR and know I would have gotten a new one last weekend if I was healthy.

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2.) PR at the Crescent City Classic: Another motivator for getting my hip healthy is the Crescent City Classic 10k that I run every year. When I ran the half last weekend, my 10k split was ALMOST a PR, so I am gunning for one that weekend! It would lessen the blow of not getting a half PR for sure.

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3.) Daily devotions: I am moving my Bible from the living room to my nightstand so when I get in bed to watch TV I will see it. No excuses.

4.) Finish boot camp strong: This session of boot camp ends on March 25th, so I have three weeks left and I want to finish strong and gain more muscle mass than I started with. I missed over a week of it when I was traveling, so Tuesday was a hard first day back to reality.

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QOTD: Do you have a goal for March?

January 2016 Goals

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Is it just me or is it hard to tell what day it is in the week between Christmas and New Years? The only reason I was forced to remember days was because Emma Kate has her 15 month check up and I knew I couldn’t miss it. Anyway, I’m really glad I decided to bring back my monthly mini goals. It helps keep me on track during the year and reminds me to accomplish smaller tasks each month. So, here we go!

1.) Read a book: I LOVE to read, but I have a really hard time relaxing without feeling guilty. If I am at my house, I am constantly looking around seeing things that need to be done, and just can’t settle in to really get into a book. Since I will be out of town for a few days I am hoping that it makes this task a little easier!

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Relaxing? What’s that?

2.) List baby items for sale: Right now, half of our garage is full of random baby items that Emma Kate no longer uses as well as some of my clothes, and I need to list them on our local garage sale Facebook page, but I just haven’t gotten around to taking photos and getting them listed with the madness that is the time frame between Thanksgiving and New Years. The clutter is making me batty, they have to go. I know I probably won’t SELL them all by the end of the month, but I at least want them listed.

3.) Go to boot camp 3-4 x’s a week: Boot camp starts back up TODAY! I am so excited. We have been on a two week break, an dI can’t believe I am saying this, but I totally miss it! The last one was only a 6 week session but this one goes until the last week of March. I can’t wait to make some more gains in my strength and speed! Boot camp is offered 5 times a week, but since I also want to run (see #4 below) it’s more feasible for me to go 3-4 times a week. I’m aiming for four but won’t be mad if some weeks I only make it three.

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4.) Run twice a week: We do plenty of cardio at boot camp, but I still would like to get in one longish run a week as well as a short distance faster run. January and February are chilly and I’m a huge wimp in the cold, so this will be a feat for me!

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5.) foam roll after long runs: We do a really good job of stretching and foam rolling after boot camp, but I have been slacking on doing it after my long runs and I can tell a difference. I ran 6.2 on Saturday and my right hip started to ache a good bit the last mile. Fingers crossed it behaves during the half next weekend!

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Well friends there you have it. Hopefully I will be able to stick with these for January and set the tone for the rest of the year. Have a great day everyone!

PS- I am looking for 3-4 guest posters for next week. If you are interested, please email heatherslookingglass@gmail.com. Thanks!

QOTD: What is a goal you have for the month of January?

Jingle Bell Jog 5k 2015

I ran my first race since the spring on Saturday, and it felt good to be back! Local races and very few and far between way down here in the summer, and early fall brought lots of changes and extra work so I have not been running as much. Actually, in November I am pretty sure I ran a total of 11 miles, so I was a bit nervous about the race. On the other hand, I have been going to boot camp, so I was excited to see if it was paying off.

Of course the one race I sign up for happens to be when it’s 32 degrees outside at the start! We bundled up and headed out to the local high school. This race had a 5k, 10k, and half marathon.

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I was very thankful I had only signed up for the 5k when I realized how cold it was! At the last minute however, I decided to shed my top jacket, and I am SO glad I did. I get warm very quickly when I run, and I would have been dying in that extra jacket/third layer.

The start of this race was very…interesting. They had the half marathoners start up the hill first, then had us back behind them about 35 yards, then had the 10k runners behind us about 100 yard, but we were told we would all be starting at the same time…ok?

No one was told “if you are walking start to the back” or anything like that. I got fairly close to the front when I realized there was no starting mat, only a finishers mat, so our timer would be started on the gun even if we didn’t cross the start when the gun went off. Well, the gun went off rather abruptly, and a bunch of people just casually started walking or slow jogging. You can see in the picture below, it was like “oh, let’s go for a stroll! As we stand at the FRONT of the 5k RACE!” I can’t blame the participants though, because they didn’t tell everyone where to line up.

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Anyway, I luckily didn’t have to do much weaving because we immediately were out onto a divided highway and we had both lanes to spread out in. I hugged the median because I didn’t want to run any extra distance (insert ominous music here). I warmed up fast, and actually felt really good. Then I realized why I felt really good, we were practically going straight downhill! This of course made me feel amazing, until I remembered we would have to go back UP the hill coming back to the finish! I really wanted to just let myself fly down the hill, but I reigned it in and saved some energy for the last half. Even so, I was having a good time and felt really strong. THANK YOU BOOTCAMP! I was so happy that it was working. I ran mile one in just over 9:00, and was happy with that, considering I was holding back a little. I came to a flat part where the turn around was to the other side of the highway, and tried to speed up a little bit before having to go back uphill. I also snapped a photo of the people in front of me on my side after the turn and the people still coming. There were 1000 people in all signed up between the three races.

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Apparently, while I was running, so was Emma Kate.

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I took this next one after the race but thought it might break up some of the text to insert here. Smile

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I made it to mile two in 8:59, and couldn’t believe it. I was going UPHILL and running a sub nine after running 11 miles over the last month? Yes please! I made it to 2.5, and still had not stopped to walk once and just kept pushing up the hill, but not TOO hard because I didn’t want to burn it out before I got too close to the end. When I got to 2.75, I started to get a little concerned. I know this road very well because I drive on it every week, and knew that we were way farther away than a quarter mile. Uh oh. I kept looking at my watch as it crept closer and closer to 3.1 miles, and the school still was not in sight! When I hit 3.13 I paused my garmin because I knew the course was long and wanted my true 5k distance time. I kept running, and will admit I did slow down because by then I was frustrated that I wasn’t going to get a “true” finish time.

I made the turn into the school, down the hill, and towards the finish and there was Bobby and Emma Kate cheering me on!

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My sad attempt at waving as I went by.

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I was happy that I felt so good and so strong but bummed about the length. I finished and told Bobby the course was long, that it measured 3.45 miles!

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My finish time for the 3.45 was 31:20, but my time for 3.13 was 28:30, which I am happy with! (I ended up with 6th place in the 30-39 age group out of 56 women in that age range).

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I got my medal and some water, found Bobby, and caught my breathe. I went over to the guy with the bullhorn who had been giving instructions at the start and asked if the 5k course was long. His answer was “I hope not.” Oh. good….. I asked if it was certified and he said no…then I asked if anyone else had said anything about the course being long and he said “well…it might be a little long””. Alrighty then.

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We were freezing so we decided to head on home pretty quickly. Oh, I forgot to mention, this race was to raise money for the children’s cancer hospital in Mississippi, a very worthy cause!

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Later that night I went to check the results and came across the race’s Facebook page. A lot of people (who ran all the different distances) were complaining about the race being long. Then someone pointed out that in VERY small numbers, the organizers had put the true distances in the results. Look closely next to the work “5K” and you will see it says (3.45). Ha! I was right!

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Aside from the course being long, I really did enjoy this race, and it was just what I needed to boost my running confidence. If I can run a 28:30 with no miles hardly, then I know I can do well combining the boot camp with my running if I can get on a good schedule after Christmas. I’m excited!

QOTD: Have you ever run a long or short course?

Christmas Gift Guide for the Fitness Lover

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! I am trying to be ahead of the game with my shopping this year, so thought I would go ahead and get my gift guide up to nudge you along as well. Enjoy and happy shopping!

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1.) ASICS Gel Quantum 360 running shoe: This show came out this past summer, and it rocks! I wasn’t sure what all the hype was about until I tried it for myself, and it’s like running on a cloud! If you love a comfy shoe, give this one a try. It comes in really awesome colors, too. (Ocean not included Smile)

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2.) RunnerBox: Runnerbox is a subscription service that sends you bi-monthly boxes of goodies used by runners (and discounts, too!) and they also have a tri box and cycle box. Running stuff can get expensive, so having sample sizes to try out to see if you like are a great idea! I have gotten two boxes and liked both of them a lot, and amazed at how many products they can fit into such a tiny box. I loved the shampoo/conditioner and protein powder in this box. Good stuff!

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3.) Foam roller: Anyone into fitness gets sore muscles, and can benefit from this bad boy! A lot of people swear by their expensive ones, but I have a cheap one form Wal-Mart and it works fine for me. Just make sure you wrap it up in a box as to not give away the gift. Smile

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4.) EOS lip balm: In the winter when I run outside my lips get super chapped, and I am constantly using this stuff, and it stays on for a long time and is easy to carry around. I keep one in my purse, car, and gym bag. So many great flavors, too. Grab some to stick in your loved ones stockings.

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5.) Fitbit or other fitness tracker: These babies are all the rage lately, and now there are so many different brands to choose from. I personally have a Fitbit, but have heard great things about other brands as well. It is a great motivator on days when I am at my desk for a long time. It just helps me to be more aware of how much I am moving (or NOT moving!) throughout the day. I like mine well enough but think I would rather one that you wear on your arm. I have lost one because it popped off my pants before.

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6.) Running Skirts.com skirt: I have loved this brand for years, and they just keep coming out with the cutest patterns (check out the Kona print!) These skirts are comfy, have pockets, and you can get them with briefs underneath or shorts underneath. Lots to choose from!

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7.) Hidrate spark water bottle: I learned about this bottle via a press release a few months ago and forgot about it, then heard about it again recently on the radio while it was still in the Kickstarter phase. This bottle lights up when it’s time to drink, and connects to your phone so you know exactly how much water you have consumed through the day. So cool, and comes in cute colors. I don’t have one of these yet so I can’t say for certain I love it seems so, so cool.

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8.) Yurbuds: I have been a Yurbuds lover for many years after buying my first pair at a race expo some time ago. They are one of the only brands I have found that actually stay in my ear, and hold up to daily wear and tear. They have several different models ranging in price, but I have always gotten the cheaper pair and they hold up just fine! I am only on my second pair in five years! (and I use them a lot).

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9.) Love Grown Foods: Love Grown was one of the sponsors of the Refresh Summit, and I really enjoyed their hot oats for breakfast. If you like to give food as a gift, this is a great one!

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10.) Fabletics Salar Capris: These are my FAVORITE tights from Fabletics. They are stretchy and fit great, and they come in adorable patterns, with new ones online every month. So far my favorites are these northern lights ones.

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However, you can get a whole outfit for $25 if you become a VIP member (feel free to email me for more info on this, or click the photo below {affiliate link}).
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QOTD: What is on your Christmas wish list?

Full Body 20 Workout

Happy Wednesday friends! We have made it to the middle of the week, it’s all downhill from here, right? In the past 2.5 weeks I have been doing a lot less running and a lot more full body work, and I feel GREAT. Do I plan to keep running? Absolutely, but I just needed to change things up a big and wanted to get stronger more than I wanted to get faster…plus I knew getting stronger would help me get faster anyway, so it seemed like a win-win.

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I have been going to boot camp at my gym, but the time I go is not offered on Fridays and I don’t go on the weekend, so I have been coming up with things I can do at home instead and wanted to share one of them with you today. All of the below workouts can be done with just your own body weight so NO EQUIPMENT IS REQUIRED. If you aren’t sure on a move, be sure to Google it so that you are using proper form. I hope you work up a good sweat like I did!

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Also, thank you for all the congrats on six years of blogging yesterday in the comments and on social media. I appreciate you all so much. I know blogging can have ebbs and flows so I am thankful that I have such awesome readers that stick around. Stay tuned for things coming up in the next couple of weeks like a Christmas gift guide for fitness lovers, a giveaway, and more. Have a great day everyone!

QOTD: Which of these exercises is the most difficult for you? For me, it’s burpees!

6 Year Blogiversary

Oh friends. I did it again. Every year it seems that this sneaks up on me. As of Sunday, I have been blogging for SIX year! Every year I go back and read that first post. I want to edit it SO badly but I leave it alone on purpose just to show how far I have come.

If you have been reading for awhile, you know that originally this blog started as an accountability journal as I prepared for my very first half marathon. Back then I knew nothing about the blogging world, particularly because there just weren’t that many health and fitness blogs back then to go off of. Things have changed a lot in that department for sure!

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As I think back on my blogging journey, I am reminded of all the wonderful opportunities I have had, the amazing people I have met, and friends I have made. (Yes I say that every year I think, but it’s so true!) Blogging has had a lot to do with how I have been shaped as a person over the past few years. I have learned about about the world, about myself, and about being true to myself.

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I have changed names, changed headers, changed focus. There have been ebbs and flows, highs and lows, and lessons learned. Putting yourself out there on a daily basis can be tough at times, but it has also been very rewarding. Other than sharing my heart with whoever is willing to listen, my other goal has always been to encourage and inspire others. I hope over the years I have encouraged you all in one way or another, because that is truly what makes me happy. There are SO many more things that I want to do and accomplish, and I am sure my blog will continue to evolve and change as I do the same. It’s a scary but exciting prospect, and I hope you will stick with me and follow along!

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As always, a huge thanks to my wonderful readers. You guys make it all worth it! You emails, comments, shares, questions, advice, and inspiration keep me going. I love the conversations we have had, and laughs we have shared (mostly at my expense!) Thank you for giving me grace, and remembering that I make mistakes and am always learning, too. God has blessed me with some amazing encouraging folks through this blog, and I am so grateful.

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I hope to have the opportunity to meet more of you this year, laugh with you, learn with you, and grow with you. THANK YOU for making THLG a great place, and for hanging out with me over the years, you rock. Let’s keep going, I have so much left I want to do!

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<3 Heather

You ARE Enough

I first met Tasha when I visited Under Armour headquarters a couple of years ago, and we were ambassadors together and roommates. She has become a wonderful and inspirational friend who is very dear to me, and I am honored to have her guest post today. She has an amazing story of overcoming shame, guilt, and anorexia that she is sharing here today. I hope you will read it, it’s worth it!

Shame, as defined by vocabulary.com, is “a painful emotion resulting from an awareness of inadequacy or guilt.” In my life, it defined an entire period of my life, a darkness, a private hell that I lived in and out of for far too long. With my daughter just turning twelve last week, memories of how my life came crashing idem, all over my weight, shortly after her birth came flooding back. I decided, now, more than ever as she enters a very delicate period in her own development, to really acknowledge how I got there, how I can deal with any remnants of what was and make to decision about walking in freedom about my body and my weight and being a worthy example for her to follow.

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Six months before I became pregnant with my daughter, I had just successfully lost a little over forty pounds. I had been dating a man for a little over a year and had gotten “comfortable” and had ended up getting very close to two hundred pounds again, something I promised myself I would not do. I had gotten a membership at the local YMCA, cleaned up my diet and was really really proud about being under 160 pounds, a weight I had not seen since my first year of college. Within a month of reaching a healthy weight, my boyfriend proposed and we were married three months later. I became pregnant three months after that. All of the quick changes (not just getting married but losing my job, going through a custody battle over my oldest child and moving to a different city) made gaining fifteen pounds SUPER easy. I felt “happy” but out of control. So many people were inspired by the changes I had made and I was now feeling as if I was letting them down. That guilt on top of the guilt of being put on a diet by my doctor for gaining too much weight (as a pregnant woman) on top of no longer having a job on top of feeling bad for being “vain” about my body when I was supposed to be taking care of myself to bring another life into the world. The weight of it all was super heavy on my shoulders.

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When I gave birth, I became obsessed with losing the weight. I wouldn’t go visit family and friends because I was ashamed of what I had become, or in my mind, become “again.” On top of severe post partum depression (which I’m sure was affected by the way I felt about myself), I exercised excessively. I battled my second round of anorexia. I rarely slept. I almost killed myself. I felt trapped, again, all because of a number on a scale. It’s amazing how trying to be what we think is acceptable to others will destroy us.

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I have battled the same thing since entering the fitness profession some eleven years ago. Shame is what led me to a binge eating disorder. I was a yoga teacher. How does a yoga teacher explain to her students that her emotions are our of control and she is ashamed of her body when she is telling them to breathe and love themselves? I shoved brownies down my throat before class in the corner of the parking lot where no one could see, cried for ten minutes and then went to play the role. That’s what shame does to us. We play roles to feel “accepted” and hide from who we really are. When I came to terms with who I really was and that it was o.k. that I was super small or that I didn’t dress a certain way or that I wasn’t a runner and that who I was indeed was ENOUGH, my battle with shame became less and less and less and while I still struggled (honestly, struggle) with body image from time to time, I no longer hide from people or the issue. When I feel that way, I get to the root of the issue and not just accept it as before. I have not only had to change my thinking but there are times I had to change environments, friends, who I was following on social media, where I was shopping and what I watching on television. If it made me second guess myself, it had to go.

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Shame is hard. Suffering is hard. Silence is hard. It secretly kills. If you are in a shame cycle,may I encourage you with these words: you ARE enough. Shame attacks us when we feel inadequate. You are more than capable and more than worthy. When we believe in our own worth and power, shame dissolves. When shame dissolves, we can see who we really are and go from there. There is nothing wrong with self improvement. We just can’t become undone trying to undo who we truly are. Be encouraged. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you Tasha for sharing such a personal story! If you are not already, please be sure to follow this amazing lady on her social channels, here are a few: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

QOTD: Can you relate to Tasha at a time in your life? How did you overcome these feelings?

Body After Baby: 12 Months

Note: This post is about body image, weight loss, and eating. If this may be a trigger for you, please feel free to skip this post and come back tomorrow. I have an exciting announcement for that post!

Well, here we are. I had a baby a year ago. Today is actually my due date, but we all know Emma KAte was a week old by the 30th last year!  The excuse of “I just had a baby” can no longer be used. trust me, I milked it as long as I could. Honesty moment: I always used to roll my eyes when people said they can’t get rid of the baby weight. I mean really, it can’t be THAT hard right? Well, it IS hard, but it is also doable. I have realized you have to really want it more than those chips and queso, and honestly, sometimes I just really want the chips and queso, yall.

In the beginning, the weight came off really fast. I got cocky, and thought I would be back to my old weight in no time. I think I lost something like 17 or so pounds in the first few days. (I gained right at 30).

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One month postpartum

I stopped breastfeeding after a month, and I know that didn’t help matters. Between November and March I actually GAINED weight while marathon training (I always gain about 3-5 pounds marathon training), so that was really frustrating.

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end of March 2015, 6 months postpartum

I looked at myself in April/May and was not happy with my progress and knew I needed to get serious if I wanted to see changes. I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself after I got back from Disney in May and had gained weight again. I was 8/10 pounds from my pre pregnancy weight, and 15 pounds form my “happy weight.” I knew it was my eating, because I was working out plenty, but I also knew I wasn’t doing the right kinds of workouts.

I decided right then that I was going to be more mindful of my eating . There have been some ups and downs since then, but overall my attitude towards food has greatly improved. I thought when we bought Orange Leaf, that I would gain a ton of weight eating frozen yogurt every day, but I actually LOST weight because in the beginning I was working 13 hour days at the store 3-4 days a week, running back and forth, on my feet all day, with no time to snack. So yeah, froyo was my lunch some days, but there was no mindless snacking all day long. However, because of my crazy work schedule, I have only been working out 3-4 days a week since August. My half marathon training plan got completely derailed, and I started just kind of floating through the weeks.

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September 2015, almost 12 months postpartum

My new plan is to continue running 3 days a week, but I am also going to sign up for a special 6 week HIIT class at my gym that starts the beginning of November. I think the accountability will be good for me and just what I am needing right now. Between now and then I plan to do some strength training on my own 1-2 days a week as time allows. I don’t really have much of a “plan” other than that right now. We have a lot of personal things up in the air at this moment so I feel I’m not in the best place to make concrete plans far out in the future. I know  I’m rambling a bit, I guess I’m just lacking focus an direction at the moment, but I know it is just part of it, and that it will come back to me.

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12 months postpartum

With that being said, I am currently ONE POUND away from my pre pregnancy weight. Of course I would love to be AT my pre pregnancy weight, but close enough, right? However, when I got pregnant I was about 5-8 pounds over my happy weight, so I still have a little bit to go, and I’m hoping the HIIT class will give my body a nice shake up and be just what I need. I want to gain MUSCLE and be STRONG. (PLEASE note, that I understand it’s not all about the scale. I could stay at this exact “weight” but have muscle mass and fit into my clothes better and be perfectly happy, I am simply giving a range based on the past.) I am happiest with myself when I feel strong, and I think that is what I have been missing since having Emma Kate. Sure my arms aren’t that bad from picking up my 24 pound child, but I feel quite flabby. I’m not after being skinny, I’m after being ripped! I think that will help with my running, too.

So, here we are, one year later. On the right path, but not there yet. I plan to “check in” again in a few months, maybe 3, maybe 6, I’m not sure yet, to check on my progress. I hope you will follow along with me. I have a lot to learn and a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I’m excited for it! Time to get stronger and faster!

QOTD: Have you ever been in a fitness rut? Do you struggle more with food or working out?

Time to Refresh

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that not only do I have a passion for fitness and social media, but I also have a love for encouraging and helping others. At the end of October, I will be heading out on a solo road trip to Tennessee for a couple of days. I was presented with an amazing opportunity, and I hope to see some of you there (hurry only a handful of spots left!)

That’s right, I will be attending (and speaking at!) Refresh Summit South at the lodge at Deer Run!

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My friend Bobbi has done an amazing job with Refresh, and I am stoked to be a part of such an amazing weekend where I will get to learn, grow, speak, listen, be inspired, and hopefully inspire others. my faith is so important to me, and sometimes a weekend away to reconnect and listen to God speak is needed, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for me and all the crazy things going on in my life!

I will be leading a workshop sharing from my personal experiences with social media, but not in the sense that you would think. I am going to be sharing my heart about the ups and downs social media can cause. The pitfalls, the comparisons, the haters, and how I handle it all. I by no means have it all figured out, but dealing with the damaging side of social media is something that has been on my heart for awhile now, and cannot wait to share what God has been teaching me.

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As I mentioned before, there are NINE spots remaining for the summit, and I hope you will consider going. We will be up in the beautiful mountains in Tennessee, working out together, eating together, learning and worshiping together, and having a lot of fun! Be sure to check out the website for all the important details. I hope if this is something that interests you that you will pray about it and consider coming!

QOTD: Have you ever been to a retreat similar to Refresh? Do you love the mountains?

Getting Over Gym Fear

A lot of people really don’t like the gym, but I’m sure you already knew that. I totally get it. A lot of gyms can be intimidating, especially if they are large, or full of super star looking athletes throwing weights around and grunting loudly (not knocking superstar weightlifters, but you have to see how it can be intimidating to some folks), or are filled with perfect looking young women who don’t look like they have an ounce of fat on them, and are always in the most perfect gym outfits.

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My parents are some of those folks. They are 60, and want to stay fit but don’t fit in with heavy lifters, or young moms in spandex shorts taking classes or playing tennis (again, nothing wrong with those things, but it intimidates a lot of people!) They used to go to a very large, fancy country club type health club simply for convenience (it’s right across the street from their house), but they slowly started going less and less because they just didn’t feel comfortable working out there. This made me really sad, and I am really glad my parents did some research and found the type of gym that works for them.

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That’s the great thing about the gym industry and it’s growth right now, there are so many options! Something for everyone! There are 24 hour gyms, country club type gyms, crossfit boxes, Koko fit club (where my parents go) among other things. So what if you don’t have a lot of options? What if you have one gym to go to, and you just have to make the best of the situation, then what? Below are some of my best tips for getting over any fear or anxiety you may have about going to your gym.

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1.) Schedule some time with a trainer: One of the biggest reasons people don’t use machines at the gym is because they don’t know how to use them and don’t want to look stupid if they can’t figure something out, or are using a machine wrong (this used to be me before I started strength training!) A lot of gyms will give you a free hour with a trainer or employee to get you familiar with all the different machines, and help you to know how much weight you should use, and how many reps you should do. This is a great resource!

2.) Go with a friend: When I first started lifting, I would go with my husband and he would help me get going. Not being there alone really helped to build my confidence in the beginning.

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3.) Avoid busy times: Early in the morning and after work are very busy times for gyms. You may not have a choice, but if you do, try to go in an off peak time so there will be less people in the gym to make you feel awkward.

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4.) Mentally prepare yourself: Remind yourself that there are probably other people nervous to be at the gym, too. Remember that most likely no one will ever even know you are having any anxiety about being there. Also, most people are so busy and into their own workouts that they don’t even notice other people (I don’t notice most people at the gym, I’m in the zone!)

5.) Suck it up: You have to decide what is more important to you. If getting to the gym is your top priority, then you just have to do it. Most likely, the more you go the more comfortable you will become and soon your fears will be gone. Take a step out of your comfort zone and just do it, one time. The second time should be easier, so it’s just taking that first step. You can do it!

QOTD: Do you like going to the gym? Were you ever intimidated by going?