Exercise

What Not to Wear – Gym Edition

When I get ready to exercise I always change out of my every day clothes and into something more flexible, comfortable and absorbent {for the sweat}.  I can’t imagine working out in, say, jeans or a polo shirt or work boots.  My typical gym outfit consists of a sports bra, a dry-fit type shirt, a light weight fleece, yoga type pants, athletic socks and sneakers.  It takes me maybe 3 minutes to get into said outfit.

After going to the gym three days a week for the past month, I’ve found that not everyone feels the need to dress the way I do for working out.  In the past three weeks, I have seen. it. all.  I try to avoid letting my jaw hit the floor when I see people dressed inappropriately for the gym, but sometimes it’s pretty difficult.  Let me give you a rundown on some of the outfits I have seen:

1) Wear Your Work Clothes to the Gym – This is much more common than I would have ever thought.  There are no less than two people on any given day that I’m at the gym dressed like they’ve just come from work.  And they probably have done just that.  I’m talking about button down oxford type shirts, khaki pants, dress socks and even a belt!  This can not possibly be a comfortable outfit to work out in.  I’m guessing that these people are in some sort of rush or maybe they forgot to pack a gym bag.  Whatever the case may be, it’s ridiculous.  Do these people NOT see everyone else around them dressed in gym attire?

2) I’m Going Clubbing After I Workout – and apparently I don’t have time to change before I head out.  I’ve seen numerous young (mostly teenage or early twenties) girls wearing skin tight leggings and glitter/sequin type tank tops while on the elliptical.  They usually have on full jewelry – earrings, necklaces, rings – and full make up – sparkly eye shadow, eye liner, lipstick, manicured nails.  They usually have their hair down and it’s perfectly straightened and highlighted. I know they’re only there to socialize and scope out guys because I’ve never seen them break a sweat and they always work out in packs.  I’ve yet to see one of these girls in heels or FMBs but I wouldn’t put it past them!

3) I Can’t Afford a Gym Wardrobe So I Stopped at Goodwill – While I totally agree that the gym is not a fashion show (see I’m Going Clubbing After I Workout), I don’t think that means you should show up looking homeless (unless, in fact, you are and in which case, what are you doing at the gym?).  Anyway, these gym-goers usually have on a T-shirt that is at least 3 sizes too big for them adorned with food and armpit stains.  They have on shorts that are either much to big or much too small and a pair of LA Gears circa 1984.  I’m sure their Sony Walkman is playing the soundtrack from Richard Simmon’s Sweating to the Oldies.

4) Oh, I Thought I Was Going to Gang Initiation – These are the guys.  You know the ones.  They show up in jeans, usually very baggy and sometimes covered in metallic designs.  They have on their best work boots, a knit hat and an oversized hoodie.  They make eye contact with no one and wear those huge headphones.  They don’t go near the cardio equipment and gather in groups near the free weights.  Don’t even think about trying to work in a set when they’re around.

It completely amazes me to see what people will wear to the gym.  I think it’s crazy but it’s also a bit entertaining. And don’t even get me started on the things that people DO while they’re working out.  I’ll save that for another post.

My New Pal

If you read my post yesterday, you’re aware that I’m eight pounds lighter than I was three weeks ago.  When I first started back to the gym, I was keeping a written log in a notebook.  I’d note the date, whether I went to the gym or worked out at home, what I did for exercise and approximately how many calories I burned.  Then last week I was introduced to a new website – MyFitnessPal.

I was a bit skeptical at first because I thought it was some sort of diet program and that is not what I was looking for.  I browsed around the site for a bit and learned that it was simply a web based journal, if you will.  It’s a place to track your fitness progress.  Not only does it keep track of your calories, but it also keeps track of all other nutrients – protein, carbs, sugar, vitamins, sodium, etc.  There is a food diary where you can log everything you eat and it calculates all of the nutrients for you.  Most foods are already in the database but if by chance something isn’t there, you can add it.  You can record your weigh ins and it will give you a visual of how you’re doing.  It also tells you, “If you eat like this every day, you will weight XXX lbs in X weeks.”  It’s a great way to hold yourself accountable for what you’re eating and how much you’re exercising.  Oh and the best part, it’s 100% free!

I’m not crediting MyFitnessPal entirely for my weight loss success, but it really does help to keep me on track.  I’m someone who needs that constant reminder and my new ‘Pal’ really helps with that.  If you’re an iPhone or iPod Touch user, you can also download the free app and have it with you where ever you go!

Calorie Counter

*Disclaimer: I was not paid in any way, shape, or form by MyFitnessPal for this post. I just like to share tools that I find helpful.

Lifestyle Adjustment

Today is Monday.  Three weeks ago today I made a lifestyle adjustment.  Not necessarily a New Years Resolution, but more of a change in the way I live.  I started to really look at the way I was doing things around the house, the way I was eating, and the way I was {not} exercising.  I knew I had to make a change and I figured, what better time than the start of a new year to turn over a new leaf.

So, three weeks ago I started going to the gym again.  I started eating better and being more aware of what I put in my mouth.  I started being more purposeful, if you will, around the house – making the bed, bringing the laundry down, tidying rooms up when not in use.  I’m planning meals for the week and trying to avoid letting folded clothes sit in laundry baskets for more than a day.  It might not sound like much, but it’s making a difference in our lives.

In the past three weeks, I’ve lost 8 pounds.  This is a big deal for me.  It’s not that I consider myself overweight or anything.  It’s just that I know that I can look better and feel better.  Not for anyone else, but for myself.  I want my children to see me as an active and fit parent.  Now, three nights each week, I go to the gym and they know that mommy is going to exercise.  On the weekends I use our treadmill at home. After dinner I get ready to leave, my husband cleans up the dishes and then gets the girls ready for bed.  Not only is this a chance for me to work out, but it’s a chance for me to have alone time.  It might sound crazy that I actually enjoy going to the gym, but I do.  It’s the only time that I get to drive in my car completely alone listening to whatever music I choose as loudly as I want.  And when I get there I don’t have to unbuckle car seats or lug anyone or anything in with me.  It’s amazing.  And while I’m there working out, I can read my Kindle or watch TV or stream Netflix on my iPhone.  It’s really quite relaxing.

When I get home, the kitchen is {usually} cleaned up, the girls are in bed, and my husband is waiting for me.  He’s very proud of what I’m doing and that makes it even more rewarding for me.

I don’t believe in dieting.  I’m not saying that it doesn’t work for some people, but for me, it has to be a lifestyle change.  I just have to eat less and move more.  And that is what I’m doing.  The scale doesn’t lie.  Eight pounds of me are gone and I hope they never come back!

Hitting the trail.

On Friday Scott and I were out doing some shopping.  We stopped in to a sporting goods store so he could look at some golf equipment and home gym stuff.  We had both of the girls with us which always makes shopping for anything more difficult.  As Scott was browsing the weights and pull-up bars, my eye was caught by a stroller.  For a few months now I’ve been looking for a double jogging stroller.  Our new neighborhood is perfect for walks and it’s a great way for me to get some exercise in.  Well I have previously attempted these walks with our tandem Graco stroller and man, it was a workout!  The stroller itself weights nearly 40 pounds.  Nora weights about 23 pounds and Brinley weights about 33 pounds.  So I was pushing nearly 100 pounds around my hilly neighborhood.  But I digress..

Anyway, I had been scouring craigslist and local tag sales for a jogging stroller, but just couldn’t seem to find one that was in pretty good shape for pretty good money.  So, I peered over to the double jogging stroller sitting near the bike display in the sporting goods store.  I could see the tag hanging from the handle but couldn’t quite make out the price.  All I could see was the last part of the price, $79.97.  I knew there had to be a number in front of the 79 but I couldn’t make out what it was from where I was standing.  So, I grabbed Nora and left Brinely with Scott to go and scope it out.  I walked over and read the tag:  InStep Safari TT Double Jogging Stroller with front swivel wheel, Price $79.97, You save $179.00.

At this point, Scott was by my side asking me if that could really be the price of the stroller.  I thought to myself, there is no way!  I kept thinking back to the insane deal that I thought I was going to get on a Britax Marathon car seat about a year or so ago on Target.com.  The car seat was listed for like $40 and it’s typically nearly a $300 car seat.  Of course I added it to my cart and thought I had scored such a deal.  A few days later I received an email from Target saying that it was a pricing mistake on their part but they could not honor the price.  I received a $25 gift card for my disappointment.  Again, I digress…

So now a sales person walks over to us asking if we need any help and we ask him if that is really the price for the stroller.  He says yes and it’s because they’re getting rid of them to make room for the new models.  He checks to see if they have any left in boxes but we find out that the display model is the last one.  I strap both girls into the stroller afraid to leave it where it is because someone else might snatch it up.  We decide that we’re going to buy it.  Scott continues shopping for his golf stuff and I take the girls to play with the balls.  But they’re starting to get antsy because it’s just about dinner time.  We head over to Scott and I tell him that I’m going to pay for the stroller and leave with the girls to get them dinner (we had separate cars).  When I got up to the register I was still worried that the price would be wrong, but lo and behold it wasn’t and I scored a $280 stroller for $79.97!!

Fast-forward to this morning…  The weather is beautiful.  The sun is shining but the humidity of the past, I don’t know, two weeks is gone!  It’s about 70 degrees and breezy.  Perfect for a nice walk.  One of the many awesome things about our town is something called the Rail Trail.  It’s a former rail road route that passes through 8 connecting towns.  When it’s complete it will be about 25 miles long.  It’s completely paved and lined with fencing.  It’s open for non-motorized use including jogging, walking, biking, rollerblading and skiing.  So this morning, I decided to grab the girls and go check it out.  We drove about 2 miles into town (I would have walked it but the street to get there is pretty busy and has no sidewalks).  I strapped the girls into our new stroller and started a route on the iMapMyWalk iPhone app.

It felt great to be out in the fresh air taking advantage of such a great feature.  Having the new stroller really allowed me to move faster but with more ease.  The girls were well behaved for the most part.  I worried a little that with them side-by-side they’d annoy each other.  They were perfect for the first 3 miles.  They just sat there and took in the scenes and ate their snack.  At about mile 3, Nora started nudging Brinley and Brinley started nudging back.  We still had a mile to go before we were back to the car.  So I did what any mom would do… I started singing!  Old McDonald, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Nora’s favorite (thanks to Mimi) How Much is that Doggy in the Window!  It took their minds off of bugging each other and they started singing along.  Passers by were looking at me a little funny but I didn’t care.  We were having so much fun and I got a great, brisk 4 mile walk in before 10:30am.

I’m going to try to make this a regular occurrence.  It felt great and now that I have the right equipment there’s no excuse not to!

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