Weeks 10, 11 & 12: An Introvert at the Gym

It’s been a couple of weeks and I’m just brain dead. As you can probably gather, I’m just literally counting down the minutes to my trip. I am still trying to generally eat pretty healthy, but I know that once I’m back from my trip, I’ll need to do a full-on diet and challenge reset.

It’ll be another thing for me to learn how to deal with. I’m very dependent on routine and consistency. Once my routine is disrupted, it’s really hard for me to get back to it. This has happened to me time and time again where I have a really good thing set up and I’m working out regularly and eating well, but then something happens, and it all stops. I get discouraged and it takes me forever to pick back up the momentum I lost.

I am so determined to not let that happen this time. Even if I gain back some pounds or lose some strength while away, I will get back into it and not sulk about my lost progress on my wonderfully indulgent vacation.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been focusing more on strength training for my workouts. I’m trying to do it 2-3 times a week with cardio mixed in. Instead of doing my time on the treadmill, I’m doing sprints and just trying to really get my heart rate up every few minutes. It just seems to be a more efficient way to exercise. And it takes up a lot less time.

Cardio has always been my go to type of exercise, and I think a big part of it is that it’s very introvert-friendly. I can put on my headphones and just go. I don’t have to talk to anybody and I can be as antisocial as I want. Aside from the exercise being a great stress release, it’s also my recharging time. I can listen to my music, watch tv, and completely zone out.

Since picking it up with strength training, I’ve noticed how awkward it is to strength train in a busy gym. It’s an introvert’s worst nightmare. I mean, think about it. You go into the weight room, which is a huge open area (there’s nowhere to hide! GASP), ready to work out, only to find it’s packed and all your intended workout equipment is in use… You start walking around as if you know what your doing, but secretly you’re just walking around in circles trying to figure out what to do. Or at least that’s what I do.

On some nights, it’s harder than others to get my workout in without being in someone else’s space, or someone else being in mine. I’ve actually ditched my strength training in the past and just opted for some cardio. I’m trying not to do that so much now…

I was at the gym in the weight area the other night using the smaller 35-50 lb barbells to work on my form for doing some compound exercises (i.e. military press, front squat, deadlifts). The rack that holds these barbells is, of course, in the worst, most inconvenient spot. Everybody was crowded around it, trying to get their turn.

Anyways, I  was able to wedge myself in there to grab a barbell. I started on the lighter side to make sure I could actually do it and just to practice my form. When I realized it was too light, I went to look for a heavier one, but of course all the heavier ones were being used. This guy saw me looking and said he’d share with me. It was really nice of him to offer, but I said it was okay. He was really insistent though, so I accepted, even though the introvert in me was like Nooo.. so awkward. Especially when he was watching me while waiting for me to finish my set. For any socially normal person, this is no big deal, but I just felt rushed and anxious to get my set done. Anyways, I finished my 3 sets, muttered my thanks to him, and got out of there. I am so awkward!!! It’s okay. You can laugh at me.

So that’s just a snapshot of me and my weirdness. But the more I strength train, the easier it gets. I know most of it is in my head and I’m making it a bigger deal than it is. It will get better over time… hopefully.

I probably won’t write again until after I get back from my trip, but I hope to bring back stories and awesome pictures. And I’ll continue with my challenge when I get back!

I hope to be super recharged after my trip and get back to writing regularly. Until then!






Week 9: Less than a month until my trip!

I've been slacking, I know…

I've been distracted by my upcoming vacation. My last real vacation was last September so I am itching like crazy for some R & R. I'm going to Thailand and Hong Kong, and I absolutely can not wait!

I know we'll be doing a lot of walking, so I'm really trying to get into shape. I'm nervous about encountering all the delicious food over there that I'll want to eat. I mean, how often do you get the chance to eat dim sum at a Michelin-rated restaurant? But I'm hoping that walking a lot and other types of physical activity like hiking will balance it out.

My goal when I'm over there is to eat low carb for a big portion of the time, while also allowing myself to indulge here and there.

Her are some updates from week 9:

  • I've been satisfied with my weight loss progress so far. It's been slow but steady. I'm still eating low carb most of the time and working out at least 3 times a week. Though I confess, this past week I may have had a couple of pieces of my husband's leftover birthday cake. But I didn't gain weight this week, so I'm glad I didn't over do it. To balance last week's sugar intake, I will make it a goal to have no sugar this week, except maybe some whole fruit.
  • I've definitely been more energetic. I know this because I'm not constantly thinking about naps and feeling constant fatigue. This is a big deal because it was getting so bad that I even went to the doctor to make sure there were no underlying issues. I have energy now to do things after work, like cook, bake, knit and workout. Let's hope my energy levels just keep improving. There are still days where I'm tired, but it's not every day.
  • I'm shifting more focus on strength training but I still have trouble with it because I'm still intimidated and I don't enjoy feeling how weak I am. But I've been doing better and I know I just need to take it one day at a time. My goal is to do strength training at least 3 times a week, minimum 2 times. I do enjoy the slight muscle soreness from a good workout, though, because I feel like it's working!
  • I'm hoping to have lost a total of 15 lbs by the time I leave for my trip. It's been fun trying on clothes I haven't worn in a while and seeing that I can fit into them! For the trip, I plan to pack a bunch of workout clothes so I'll be comfortable moving and be more inclined to do more physical activity while I'm out and about.

Since I can't seem to stop thinking about my vacay, here are two photos from when I was in Bangkok and Macau years ago.

I'm so excited to go back!

Until next time!