Posts tagged ‘balance’

September 13, 2011

Exercise–Where’s the Line?

One of the reasons I adore blogging so much is because there are so many like-minded people out there who allow me to reflect on both myself and the world around me.  Being surrounded by so many incredible people has really given me the opportunity to grow in so many ways, and I truly appreciate all of you! 

Last week, after posting about my foot injury, Lauren posted this comment:

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While the entire comment is meaningful, it was one small statement within it that had me thinking for days about my relationship with exercise. 

“I got comfortable with not being super active all the time”

I can’t tell you how much this resonates with me, as I have always struggled with finding a balance with my exercise routine. 

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[sprained ankle in Aotearoa, circa 2006]

I’ve always been an all or nothing type of person… if I’m doing something, there’s no half-assing it – I put heart and dedication into it.  One of the most difficult parts of my [long] weight loss journey is the fine line between “healthy” and “unhealthy” weight loss methods [although I wish I were one of those people who could just eat intuitively – eating what sounds good when the urge arises – I know that, for me, if I’m not eating 100% clean, I’ll eat 100% dirty]. 

When it comes to exercise, the first seventeen years or so were nothing.  Then I put the pedal to the metal and was in the gym five days a week for 30 minutes at a time.  Once I got to college, I dedicated myself to five/six days a week at the gym for an hour minimum [most days I’d do 30 min cardio + 45 min weights + 15 min abs]. 

Since moving home, I’ve gotten into the habit of:

Mon: Teach TurboKick [60 min] + Weights [LiveFit – 45 min]

Tues: Weights [45 min] + Swim/Yoga/Run [45-60 min]

Wed: Teach TurboKick [60 min]

Thur: Weights [45 min] + Swim/Yoga/Run [45-60 min]

Fri: Teach TurboKick [60 min] + Weights [ 45 min]

Sat: Rest

Sun: Long Run/Hike [60-120 minutes]

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My schedule now feels balanced to me.  I spend time both outdoors and indoors, I get to inspire others by teaching, and weight training makes me feel strong.  Both my body and spirit have come to love exercise, and it has become both my alone-time and moving meditation.  I don’t feel overly obsessed with keeping to my schedule [if I miss a training run or weights session it’s not the end of the world].  I feel like this is me taking care of myself in the best, healthiest way possible; I’m energetic, strong, and athletic! 

And yet, when I take a step back, I start to realize that the relationship I hold with exercise may not be the healthiest.  Yes, I want to live an active and healthy lifestyle, but there’s a fine line between staying active and obsessing over the calories I’ve burned and having distorted feelings about the way I look if I miss a day or two [I swear my bulge is bigger today than it was yesterday].  Rather than eating – say, when I’m hungry? – I calorie-count to make sure I’m getting the equation right for my goals [what? Jillian Michaels told me to].

And that’s where this whole thing baffles me. 

Over the years, I’ve tried all sorts of methods and I’ve found what works for my body – mixing up my workouts, eating high-protein, taking out dairy, gluten + sugar, measuring what I eat – but I have yet to find what works for my spirit. Yes, I’ve found an incredible link between my creativity [writing, cooking, jewelry-making] and my self-esteem, but I’m now specifically interested in how to just be okay with my physical body and not feel the need to push myself so hard [after all, it is 90% nutrition anyway!]. 

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How does one know what amount of exercise is honoring for the body and spirit, and what is too much – driven by ego and a distorted self-image? I ran eight miles on a foot that told me to stop after the first, and I’m paying for it now.  Because as my body told me lay off, my mind kept saying you’ll be fine – the pain will cease and the rewards will be greater than the costs. 

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I’ve always been interested in the emotional aspects of weight loss and healthy living, and I think it’s high time I open up the lines of discussion.  Obviously I have no real answers, but I think there’s a lot to be learned through shared experiences and speaking one’s truth. 

So, here I am.  Nine plus years into my weight loss journey, wondering where to draw the line between pushing myself to be the best I can be, and pushing myself because I’m trying to change some aspect about myself that is innate. How do I accept myself as I am and continue to push myself to grow?  

My healing process started long ago, but there is only so much one can do alone and I still have so much to learn. 

How do you feel about your relationship with exercise?

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

April 20, 2011

Busy Body

Hooray, it’s Wednesday!  Smile

I worked my butt off yesterday to get everything set for today [papers : written + proofread . presentation : prepared . kickboxing demos : lined up!].  My throat’s still funky and my nose won’t stop dripping, but I’m dealing with it like a big girl [whining to my hubby and guzzling Immunity Soup].

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” 

-  Henry David Thoreau.

Yesterday was so busy that I didn’t even have time to enjoy the fact that it was my first legitimate day away from the officeI had a feeling I’d still be busy without the full time job, but I didn’t realize I’d still feel like a chicken without it’s head for a while.  I enjoy being busy, but I really feel imbalanced lately and need to reconnect with myself again.  I know that there will always be tons to do, but I’m grateful that things look like they’ll start calming down once these papers are turned in Smile.

Speaking of the search for balance, check out the view I had during my online class last night:

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I obviously couldn’t just sit inside and listen to my professor discuss ANOVAs and regression, so I took a little study break to take this photo from the deck:

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The universe is really good at reminding me of what’s important when I need it.  Last night, the sunset was a reminder that, often times, the balance I’m searching for is right in front of my eyes… I simply need to take a second to look up from what’s keeping me so busy (or in a rut).

Ripped In 30 Update

I started Jillian’s Ripped in 30 program last week (it’s one of my 10 in 100) and just completed my first week today.

The DVD is just supplemental to the workouts I typically do anyway, as I’m really trying to sprint to the finish line in my Final Fifteen, but I think the program is rigorous enough to do on its own if you’re looking to tone up and lose some weight, especially if you follow her diet plan for the 30 days too [nutrition is a huge part of seeing results].

My nutrition plan works for me, so I’ve decided to stick with it for these thirty days.  And I am also staying true to my one day of rest per week rule, which Jillian also talks about in the program, to ensure that my muscles and mind can repair.  There are four interval workouts, one for each week of the program.

So, what do I think of Workout One?

I was actually surprised at how basic and simple it was.  Don’t get me wrong, the workout gets me sweating like a mofo, but Jillian really drills home technique and form in this workout (something I really appreciate).  As always, she has two women with her, one modifier who does the simplified moves and the other showing more advanced moves.

What really struck me was how do-able Workout One felt.  I think it’s a completely accessible workout for everyone, especially beginners.  Even if it feels impossible to do some of the moves the first day, as the days progress, so does your ability.

Equipment Needed:

  • A set of light weights
  • A set of heavy weights
  • Mat

The one thing that’s tricky in this workout is that Jillian never tells you when to use which set of weights, so I just guessed most of the time.  I used heavier weights (10 lbs or my 15 lb kettlebell) when doing lower body exercises like dead lifts, and lighter weights (5 lbs) to do shoulder presses and the like.  You start to realize what works for you after a couple of workouts.

Overall, I really enjoyed workout one, although it didn’t make me sore, so I think it was a bit too easy for me.  I did up my military push-ups back to 20 this week (no modification!), so I’m glad to see improvement there!  And I’m excited to really push myself and find out what Level Two is all about tomorrow!

Off to do some demos for a Health Fair, then attend my final committee meeting!  Have a great day!

Have you tried any Jillian workouts? 

What helps you stay balanced when you’re feeling spread too thin?

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

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