Last week I decided to overhaul my training regimen and enlist the guidance of a personal trainer for a few visits, to help me achieve my fitness goals. Why the trainer? I’d like to be stronger and faster to start with. On my runs of late, I’ve had a sense that my legs and posterior musculature (or lack thereof) were limiting my performance more so than my cardiac capabilities. If I were stronger and faster, maybe running would feel easier. In addition, I’d like to lose the 10 lbs. that have crept back onto my frame since last year. The extra booty baggage is slowing me down and it needs to go! Also, I have a friend who completely transformed her body into a jaw-dropping, trophy-winning, ripped bodybuilder within six months and I’m totally jealous. I feel like I am working out all the time and have never had that kind of result. I phoned her for advice and immediately signed up for a consult with her nutritional counselor in addition to my personal trainer.
My son’s interest was piqued by the idea of me lifting real weights and he decided to come along with me to meet my trainer. I’m not sure whether my son truly wanted to learn something about weight lifting, or whether he was just curious as to how ridiculous I might look in this new endeavor. Ultimately, I deemed his motive irrelevant as I didn’t have any other option for him at that time anyway.
My Jillian DVD is still my tried and true fall back workout, but I’m not positive her workout really counts as “weight training.” My trainer didn’t think so either as he promptly shifted me upwards from my 8 pound dumbbells to 25 pound ones. Surprisingly, I was able to complete the required number of reps and my arms did not fall off though they felt like they were floating when I was through. I also did my first ever real bench press using a bar, with 45 whole pounds. …It sounds more impressive when I say it that way, even though I was only lifting the empty bar without any extra weights attached. My trainer also has me doing planks, squats, and walking lunges in addition to a variety of other exercise machines, all of which include heavier weights than I have ever lifted before. I gave my phone to my son to catch a photo of me doing something impressive, hoping he might catch a shot of me looking ripped while slinging around one of those humongous weights.
After my first session, I felt fine and in fact questioned whether I had actually accomplished a sufficient workout so later that evening I threw in a Jillian workout just to be sure. The next day I realized that my inner voice is a moron. I had difficulty moving in and out of chairs and up and down stairs all day. I walked like a cowboy too long in the saddle, acutely aware of the long lost musculature in my legs and derriere. But it was a good sort of pain, and I recognize the necessity of that sort of suffering in order to evolve into a stronger athlete. I settled for mere walking that day, but tried to resume my running and swimming schedule later in the week.
Since then, I’ve basically added in 3-4 days of weightlifting per week to my swim and run routine. As a result, my already meager running and swimming pace has taken a nosedive with the added exercise. I can only surmise that my body is requiring exorbitant amounts of energy to create muscles that were not previously in existence. I am also likely not fueling appropriately or sufficiently. I spoke with the nutritional trainer this morning and sadly concluded that I cannot afford her level of expertise and I will have to go it alone. The internet is bound to be chock full of useful information about fueling and nutrition for wannabe athletes and everyone knows everything on the internet is true, so it should be a piece of cake. Mmmmm, cake. Scratch that. No cake for me. Perhaps there are others trained in this murky field of nutrition who could provide me with some guidance while I remain on a budget? Till then, I’ve successfully trained myself in all of my athletic endeavors thus far, so what’s one more topic to research?
Highly motivated, I started keeping a food journal. While tedious, it makes me think more about the quality of the food I put in my mouth. I am recognizing that I tend to run low on my protein intake, and I reluctantly purchased some protein powder to make chocolate shakes with. I’ve never been keen on the idea of powdered protein, but I have swapped out my beloved Chai lattes (on most days) with this more nutritious chocolate shake, which gives me a whole 25 g. of protein and only 2 g. of sugar. Other than my protein intake, I’ve also gathered from my preliminary investigation that my brownies are off the table for now and contrary to popular belief, they do not count as appropriate pre- or post-workout fuel.
Before my family begins an all out revolt, I’ve only stashed the goodies in the back of our pantry and have not yet forced my newfound nutritional conscience upon my kids, at least not in a strict sense. We still have sweets, I’m just having less of them. Furthermore, it’s Saturday night.
I feel thinner and more toned already. I can do this!