Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Love the Pain As Much As the Glory

A few weeks ago I read an interesting article about the pain it takes to reach success. Essentially it said that while it's easy to say, "I want to be rich/fit/happy," it's the pain it takes to attain those goals that you should focus on. Everyone wants the rewards, but can you handle the hard work and pain it takes to achieve them?

Try and try as I do to make some fitness routine stick, eventually I fall off track and run in the opposite direction. Oh I'd love to have toned arms like Michelle Obama and tighter abs, but I've never been one to crave working out except for the occasional jog to clear my mind. It doesn't help that I've never needed to hit the gym because I've always been petite (sorry, please don't hate me), but I'm fearful of the Gain Weight Once You Move In With Your Boyfriend Syndrome. It's only been three months and I've already gained four and a half pounds. Now it's not that I don't want to gain weight - in fact, I need to - but I've been trying to gain six pounds since 2009 with no luck and now…four and a half in three months.

I tell myself it's because I'm calmer. Now that I'm not schlepping back and forth, commuting between A.'s place and mine, the food has a chance to stick. Hell, I have more time to eat all day because I'm stationary. And that's where the danger comes in: working from home, sitting at my desk, and making constant trips into the pantry for snacks is really not going to do any wonders for my expanding thighs. So last week A. and I started a new fitness routine in the hopes of motivating each other to work out regularly.

Mornings are for yoga. We wake up early and head on over to our mats, which seem to have become a permanent part of the decor since they just remain on the living room floor. I'd joined the 30-Day Yoga Challenge last month and so my inbox is filled with their daily videos of 10-15 minute routines. It's a great way to shake off the sleep, wake those muscles up and feel ready to tackle the day. For a longer, more intense workout, we use my Pocket Yoga app, which is good for weekend mornings when we have more time for a deeper workout.

Evenings are for P90X, the intense strength-building regimen that manages to kick my ass even though I can't even do half the things these super fit workout junkies can do. We've gone from working out zero times a day to twice a day and after working on our legs this weekend, I'm so feeling the burn and I like it. It means I did the work and improvements will eventually come. My goal is to stick with it so that the weight I do gain is converted into muscle rather than fat and to build upper body strength. The yoga will serve me well with flexibility, core strength and muscle tone. And I guess it would be kind of cool to get into pretzel position without breaking my neck in the process.

What fitnessy things have you been doing lately? A. and I have been tracking our progress on this free printable goal chart I downloaded from Creature Comforts and color in each day depending on whether we worked out or not. Our reward if March is mostly blue at the end of the month: Urban S'mores from Max Brenner and I cannot wait for that delicious victory treat.

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