FBFF: Fitness

Up until a couple months ago, I would have just skipped this week’s FBFF post and written about something else.  Fitness was not something I cared much about.  In high school I took dance class, was on gymnastics for 2 years, and was a cheerleader for a year and a half–I was forced to quit when it became apparent I was going to blow out my shoulder if I kept at it.  But that was all fun, not working out.

In college, I didn’t do much at all, spare walking to and from classes.  I didn’t enjoy going to the gym, so I didn’t.  After college, I just worked.  At one point, my husband and I joined a gym together, but eventually it became pretty inconvenient, so we cancelled our membership.

About a year ago my husband decided he wanted a personal trainer.  He figured that having a personal trainer to kick his ass on a regular basis would really get him into shape.  I joined up too, figuring I’d go and swim or do the elliptical or whatever while he trained.  Excuse after excuse and I ended up not going–again, I just didn’t find it enjoyable, so there wasn’t any motivation to go.

Eventually, he dragged me along got me to go with.  A few visits in and I finally met the trainer he really liked, Jim, who he was working on scheduling with twice a week.  Jim invited me to train with them and, after some coaxing from the 2 of them, I did.  And I had a blast!  Who’d have thought… especially since we started out with the bench press and only used weight machines the whole time.  Far less intimidating when there’s someone there showing you how to so and making sure you do it right, and that you have fun all along.

Now I train with them twice a week.  I’ve even gotten a few one-on-one sessions on the days my husband hasn’t been able to make it.  I’ve been going for about 2 months straight now.  We started out with a lot of form-perfecting and corrective stuff to help make sure that once I upped my weights, I was doing things right and wasn’t going to injure myself. The corrective stuff has helped balance out my muscle structure, which was a little off-kilter because of the training I had in dance and cheer.  Jim is conscious of my “hot spots” when we work out–mainly my left shoulder and my right foot, and has been working with me to strengthen those areas without hurting myself.

I’ve already seen some improvements.  I’ve lost 2″ on my hips (which were a surprising-to-others 39″ and are now down to 37″) since starting the regular training.  My core has gotten stronger and I’m seeing a little definition.  I’m seeing some definition in my arms, and some significant definition in my legs.  We’ve also worked on nutrition a little, and have set some specific goals I’d like to reach in time for my 30th birthday.

I realized last night that I’m confident with a lot of stuff there.  I stayed and worked out with a friend after the training session and did 30 minutes of cardio followed by some core on a ball and intense post-workout stretching with a foam roller.  Did I ever think I’d be confident enough to use a workout ball on my own, or even touch a foam roller?  No way!  But I went through the motions last night like they were second nature, and was able to do quite a bit.  And it felt good!

I actually look forward to working out now!  A combination of seeing results, feeling really good, and having fun doing it has made going to the gym less of a chore than it ever was.  And the extra confidence I have now that I know how to use machines (and can do so without injuring myself) makes it even more likely that I’ll go with my friend and not just bop around on the elliptical for an hour (that bores me, even with music).

I’ve also discovered that it’s important to be comfortable when working out.  When I started, I just threw on leggings I had, with a T-shirt and that was that.  My regular leggings weren’t staying up and I found myself having to adjust them here and there, and my old sports bras, while they fit, just weren’t comfortable.  So when I got serious, I went out and bought a couple pairs of workout-specific pants and a couple new sports bras.

My favorite pair of workout pants is actually from Old Navy, of all places.  They’re higher cut and don’t slip down, and fit me perfect.  I’ll be getting another pair or two soon–at $22.94, they’re certainly affordable.  My sports bra of choice is the C9 by Champion from Target, which is just $16.99.  Granted, I can’t talk much about how supportive they are, since I don’t have much to support, but they fit nicely and don’t shift around when I’m lifting or anything, which is key.  I plan on getting a couple more too–the bright colors are irresistible!

I still just toss on whatever black T I have, though I have been on the hunt for lower-priced moisture-wicking fitted black T’s (I’ll probably hit up the Champion outlet this summer).  I prefer to work out in black because it doesn’t really fade, doesn’t show sweat a ton, and doesn’t get stained after awhile.  Plus it looks good.

I’ve been thinking about getting a new pair of sneakers.  I have some older New Balance runners, but I’d like something a little narrower and lighter-weight.  If I had to choose right now, I’d go try on these 4 pairs and see how they felt:  adidas Women’s CC Oscillation Running Shoe, Reebok Women’s RealFlex Running Shoe, New Balance Women’s 630 Running Shoe, Puma Women’s Cell Turin Sneaker.  They’re brands I’ve had really good luck with in the past in terms of fit, comfort, and longevity, and they seem to be along the lines of what I’m looking for.

I’ll probably use birthday money for new shoes and some moisture-wicking T’s so I’m fully comfortable when I work out.  And believe me, I never thought I’d see myself say that in a million years!

Check out other what other FBFFers have to say about fitness here.

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4 comments for “FBFF: Fitness

  1. April 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Yup this basically described me except I haven’t gotten back into it. We have a fitness center at work, so I really have no excuse not to go down there and utilize it. I did do a Zumba class recently, but that session ended, and I haven’t gone back yet.

    The elliptical is soooo boring, I agree. It’s nice to have something fun to do, and I’m sure it helps to have someone to go with to keep you accountable. Nice job! Now I have to get on the ball and wander downstairs to work out once in awhile.

    • Rachel Jay
      April 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      Jim, our trainer, says that when we do cardio, we should do it together and make it a competition. See who can go the farthest in a given time, for example. That might make it more fun, but I’d much rather lift weights, haha!

  2. April 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    I started running a couple months ago, after pretty much the same excuse-after-excuse exercise-less lifestyle I was living. It has seriously been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself! I love having the “me” time, and I actually do look forward to my daily run!

    I also treated myself to some cute workout gear at the Lululemon Outlet after I dropped a size. 🙂

    • Rachel Jay
      April 13, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      Sometimes, those rewards can be motivation themselves! 😉

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