Cardio Psychology

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I had the last two days off work, so I gained a little over my weekend, dipping my toe above the 190 threshold.  Oops.  But I’m not that concerned.  If I stick to my sammie/salad/fruit routine I’ll be in the 189s by tomorrow morning.  And by the end of my workweek I should have a little more distance between me and 190.  Weekends are tricky, since I am pretty physically active at work.  It takes some extra planning to burn as many calories and not eat too much on my days off as my days on.  I’m still working out the bugs, but I made better choices this weekend than I did last weekend, so I’ll count it as a win.

I want to write this morning about weightlifting.  But that would be the cart before the horse.  The horse, in this analogy, is writing about why I haven’t been weightlifting, and how I envision a weightlifting routine for myself at this point in my efforts.  And before that, we have to start with my cardio routine. But, why?

I have been doing only cardio since I started this blog, because, well, why have I been only doing cardio?

I suppose I started there because I thought it would be a gentle way to get back into working out.  I have a back injury (and a shoulder injury as well, oh, and a wrist thing too) from lifting heavy boxes improperly at work, and it gets exasperated every time I go to work (and continue to lift improperly).  Also, my feet just generally hurt because I’m fat and I walk/stand on concrete 8 hours a day.  So I’m coming to exercise carrying a substantial amount of extra weight, and I have preexisting injuries.  Because of these circumstances, I wanted to find a way to work out that wouldn’t make my body hurt more than it already does, as more pain seems like the fast track to quitting this whole endeavor.

So has cardio been gentle?

Well, yes and no.  Psychologically, it has been easy to go to the gym and walk on the treadmill.  Before worrying about losing weight from exercise I first just need to start going and keep going: first I need to form a habit of going to the gym.  And in that way this minimal cardio has been effective.  I have gone to the gym and walked every morning I have told myself I would since I started trying.  This is huge for me.  Mentally, I am forming a habit of going to the gym.  I actually look forward to waking up and going in the morning.  I look forward to watching the news on tv and seeing the people that are at the gym every morning at the same time as me.  I don’t mean I’m making friends, I mean I just like the routine.  It is comforting to me.  It feels good.

But walking at a brisk pace actually hurts my back.  My lower back and hips are tight from the injury, and so while I don’t want to run, I think it might actually be better for my back.  I think the gait I keep while walking quickly makes my injury worse.  I also don’t think I should be walking or running every morning.  I think I should be doing it every other day.  And I’m not going to stop going to the gym every day, so weights will be what I do on the non-running days.  I think my body will feel better if I change my routine every other day.

Also, I have always enjoyed weights much more than cardio, so I am looking into a weight routine for the days after my running days.  There is a lot of research to do, if I am to do this properly.

(Side note: I did skip the gym today in order to do this research.  But I went last Wednesday, which was normally my day off, so I could skip today and not feel like I was skipping altogether.  I think that kind of thinking, of skipping a day for no serious reason, this early in my efforts, is another sure fire way to quitting altogether.  I know it doesn’t sound very serious, but too many times I have justified skipping a day during previous weight loss efforts, that then leads to quitting full stop.)

First, what days am I doing what?

I’m going to start with 3 days of cardio, three days of weights, one day off. I want to start my work week with running (despite the pain of walking, and not looking forward to running, I do enjoy the feeling I get from running, and I think that will be a nice way to start my work week), so I’ll run Sat-Mon-Wed.  This leaves Sun-Tue-Thrs as my weight days.  Friday will be my day off, that’s my Sunday anyway, so it’ll be nice to sleep in.

I have run in the past, but have no idea how to start now from my current state.  So I goggled “how to start running when you’re fat” and found the Couch to 5K app.  This isn’t an endorsement, since I won’t start using it until next week, I just wanted to record what I’m using and when I’ll start.

For weights, I am fortunate and have a friend that’s a trainer.  I referenced her in my last post.  We didn’t make it to the gym together that night, but I’m meeting her Thursday at her gym.  She told me to come with lots of questions, so I’m going to ask her to help me figure out a weight routine, including how to start and how to progress.  I have used weights in the past, but they were always the weight machines, and I imagine using free weights is going to be B’s suggested route.  I will start with an embarrassingly low amount of weight.  I have to be ok with that to do it right and to progress.  Ouch, my ego.

If you don’t have a friend and you want to start working out I suggest you check out Nerd Fitness.  They have tons of free info for beginners, and it’s presented in a very approachable way.

So for this week, I will just keep going for my 30 min walk at the gym in the mornings to keep up the good routine I have going so far.  I’ll take Friday off, too, to start my new routine and to give my body a day of rest before my first day of running on Saturday.

XOE

 

 

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