Before you roll your eyes at that post title (and say to yourself, “Nobody likes going to the gym Natalie), allow me to explain.
If you remember, late last year I embarked on a fitness journey which was inspired by Wes’s new hobby of body building. I saw what was working for him and wanted to see if it was something that I enjoyed. I’ve always been pretty active, but I didn’t lift heavy weights very often. I mostly did cardio or workout classes at Core Power Yoga and the occasional spin class. So I started going to the gym with him five, sometimes six days a week, and lifting weights. I would do a 10-15 minute cardio warm up and then about an hour and forty-five minutes of weight training. Also, I didn’t want to sabotage my gains (80% of it is what you eat) so I started counting macros (Wes does this too).
You can read more about all of that in this blog post where I explain what macro’s are and what my typical day would look like in terms of what I was eating.
Fast forward to today – After about two or so months filled with lots of traveling I really fell out of my routine. While all of the wine and delicious food seemed worth it at the time, I was totally kicking myself in the butt when summer came around and I thought about how much progress I would have made if I would have kept with it all that time. The truth is, I was seeing results, even if I didn’t notice them at the time. I can tell this mostly by how my clothes fit. Basically – They’re tight AF now.
What’s even more sad about the whole situation is that after those 6+ weeks of going to the gym regularly, I had really turned a corner. I felt guilty if I didn’t go to the gym. I didn’t crave unhealthy food and was able to practice better self control when eating out. I was skipping events to workout or, even weirder, going to them but passing on the free wine. I had truly created better habits for myself in terms of food and fitness. That’s what it all really comes down to at the end of the day. You have to be consistent.
So I’m determined to get back to that place! I loved being in that place. Even for just the short time that I was ~ Haha!
Wes and I came up with a new workout routine for me this time. It’s made up of two upper body days and two lower. Basically, each day has two compound lifts (lifts that work more than one muscle at a time and that I try to lift as heavy as I can) combined with four to five supplemental workouts. And then I will also be doing cardio every day for at least the first month.
Would you guys like me to share that exact routine with you? I have no clue what the results will be but maybe it could be fun to try it together… Let me know.
In terms of eating, I’m counting my macros again during the week. It might seem “extra” but it’s something that really works in terms of getting the best results from all of the hard work you put in at the gym. I will be doing something similar to what I did last time – Drinking protein smoothies for breakfast, eating rice bowls for lunch with avocado (gotta get in those healthy fats!), and a low or no-carb dinner featuring a large portion of protein and vegetables. I’ll also have two scoops of protein after my workouts to ensure I reach my protein goal for everyday. That’s always the hardest part for me. I’ll also be doing intermittent fasting, where I only eat during an 8-hour window and fast for 16. Overtime, this is supposed to turn your body into a fat burner. Last time I did this I enjoyed it and felt a lot lighter. “Intermittent fasting allows you to maintain muscle mass which speeds up your metabolic rate, while helping you shed fed.”
I’m excited to be back in the gym, honestly it feels sooo great. But if you’re in the same boat as I am right now, here are some of my best tips for how to starting to working again:
*Don’t even look at a scale for at least 6 weeks. In fact, don’t even think about loosing weight. Do it because you want to be healthy and strong and have more energy and just feel better in general.
*Know what you’re going to do before you get to the gym. Even better, plan your entire week’s workouts on Sunday night. This will help you to avoid that pre-gym anxiety. You know what I’m talking about.
*Don’t overwhelm yourself. Just get there and see what happens. As long as you go that’s all that matters. You’d be surprised how much your performance will improve in just a week or two.
For more tips on how I get motivated to workout (like my gym playlist!), you can read this post here.
And! In the meantime, here are a few, cute active wear sets that I have my eyes on: