When Ryan and I got engaged, like 99% of brides-to-be out there, I decided I wanted to get in shape for the wedding. Besides changing my eating habits, I decided to a join a gym. Luckily for me, I didn’t join just any gym: I joined VIDA, which is known for being one of the best gyms in the DC area. VIDA completely changed my outlook on fitness. By attending classes at VIDA and listening attentively to the instructors, I quickly learned that weight lifting is incredibly important for women, that cardio is terrific but isn't king, and that establishing a routine is paramount to the success of any workout regimen. Most of all, going to VIDA taught me that hard work truly does pay off. For the nine months that I went to VIDA, I lifted weights at least twice weekly, sprinkled in cardio, and made sure that I consistently went to the gym. I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin and had so much confidence at our wedding.
When I changed jobs in January, I had to cancel my membership to VIDA because the location was no longer convenient. Since then, my workouts, fitness level and body weight have changed; my workouts are much less consistent, are typically focused on cardio, and I don't lift weights as much. As a result, I’ve watched the scale creep up. In part, I place blame for these things on my current gym (Bally's), which I think is terrible. The classes are boring and are at inconvenient times, and the instructors aren’t motivating. However, I realize that I need to personally shoulder most of the blame for my loss in fitness and higher body weight. After a recent mini breakdown that was brought on because I felt so uncomfortable with how much my body has changed, Ryan and I had a long heart to heart. I came away with a reality check about what I used to do right for myself and what I have been doing wrong.
Here's a synopsis about what I used to do right:
- I used to make working out just another normal part of my day. Even if I didn’t feel like going to the gym, I did anyway. Going to the gym was like going to any other sort of appointment that I simply had to keep.
- I did different types of exercise. On any given week, I would practice yoga, go to a Zumba class, lift weights and do intervals on the treadmill. This kept things interesting and helped to make sure that I didn’t plateau with my fitness or weight loss.
- I made exercise social. I often took classes with Brenna and Jennifer and ran regularly with Amy.
And here's what I've been doing wrong:
- I have been relying on running to keep me fit and to keep my weight in check. I think this is a common mistake that people make all too often.
- I haven’t been diligent about lifting weights. I personally need to lift weights two to three times a week to see and feel results.
- I don’t mix things up like I used to. Yoga hasn’t been a part of my routine for some time and neither has Zumba.
- I haven’t been consistent. Period.
- Each Sunday, I plan to map out the upcoming week's workouts based on my schedule. This way I will be able to make sure to build workouts in around work, travel and social obligations.
- I'm going to start to work out in the morning so that I don't have to worry about fitting in a trip to the gym when I'm tried at the end of the day. I already know that this is going to be hard for me since I have a really hard time getting up in the morning.
- I plan to work yoga back into my routine. I bought a Groupon for 10 yoga classes and already signed up for a class this weekend. Once the Groupon runs out, I'm simply going to have to build yoga classes into my budget and make it a priority.
- I'm going to purchase some new workout dvds that focus on strength training.