The weather this past weekend was actually sort of nice, so I started doing my cardio routines outside. I discovered that I am TERRIBLE at running outside! I'm pretty sure that I can walk faster than I "run." Forget treadmills from now on (unless the weather is really bad) because increasing my outdoor speed will be my #1 priority for April. Luckily, I live across the street from a high school, so I have easy access to both a standard track and an unpaved running path. In May, I'll start practicing on a variety of terrains so that by June I will be ready for the 5K course. I'll still work with my trainer and do my strength exercises several times a week so that I can conquer the obstacles on the course as well.
Workouts for the week of March 25th:
Monday - re-do workout from last training session
Tuesday - 5K outside or inside if there is rain/snow
Wednesday - training session at the gym
Thursday - 5K outside
Friday - 5K outside, stop after every mile and do 20 squats, 20 ab reaches, 15 push-ups, and 10 burpees (trying to simulate the obstacles I will encounter throughout the course in June)
Saturday - run 3 miles outside... possibly on the beach? :-) After, do 20 lunges with each leg, and two upper body exercises with free weights, repeat 3 times
Sunday - half hour run outside (it's Easter and I'll be with boyfriend's family, so I kind of just have to take 30 minutes wherever I can find it)
I realized that my lack of motivation last week was an emotional response to some criticism I got from my trainer and some negative comments I heard from other people at the gym (not about me... but it created a judgmental vibe that I otherwise hadn't felt at my gym). When I told her that I was trying to exercise for 30 days in a row, she cut me off and said, "You already exercise more than enough. What you need to do is focus on eating right. If you were half as dedicated to your diet as you are to your exercise, you would lose a lot more weight and could actually exercise less." It just completely took the wind right out of my sails.
Of course, she's right. I could follow the 1,400 calorie diet they recommended for me and I could lose about 10 pounds a month even if I only went to the gym three times a week. But I never once said to them that I want to weigh a certain amount by a specific deadline. In fact, when they asked me if I had a goal in mind like fitting into a certain dress size in time for a big event, I said no. I did tell them that I need to stop being overweight and that I needed to generally improve my health, but that my ultimate goal is to be able to do things like run faster, be stronger, etc. So I kind of resent the pressure to lose weight fast by following such a restrictive diet. I'm trying to make permanent lifestyle changes, not just look good in a bikini. Believe me, I can count calories and drop a lot of weight in a short period of time (in fact, it's the only way I've ever lost weight in the past and I got pretty good at it), but the problem with this strategy is that you can't keep it up forever. As soon as I stop counting every calorie, I put the weight back on. This always causes a cycle of being calorie-obsessed to the point of having anxiety over every morsel of food ("Is this a medium banana or a large banana? Should I measure it? What if I'm accidentally eating an extra 45 calories?") which then devolves into rebellious periods of binge-eating. This is why DIETS. never. work (for me... if you've only been on one diet in your life and the weight stayed off forever, then hooray for you I guess). I do need to lose more weight, and I could definitely be more disciplined with my eating habits -- my trainer is 100% correct about that. But I need to find a strategy that works for me in the long-term.
Here is the progress I have made in three months: I've lost 11 pounds, lowered my blood pressure, increased my energy, improved my mood, and I've gotten a little bit stronger and faster. I want to be a lot stronger and faster, so now that I am completely over my illness, I should push myself a little bit more. When I meet with my trainer, I will give her 100% of my effort without any negative attitude. She is a great trainer who really knows what she's doing and always balances out some "tough love" with positive encouragement. Maybe I just need to talk to her about how I've been feeling so that she can help reconfigure my fitness plan to be less about numbers and more about overall health. By focusing on the positive, I have renewed my motivation.