After working my butt off, dropping almost 50 pounds, and going a little crazy in the process, I took a little break from working out. I told myself that I’d continue to eat right, and it was only going to be until the end of finals. As soon as I was on my two week break, I’d hit the gym again, I’d read all the books I’d been meaning to read, and I’d do it all with a smile on my face.
In fact, I took the two week break to stay in bed and do absolutely nothing. I ate fast food (a lot of it). I drank soda, coffee (lots of cream & sugar, thanks!), alcohol… whatever I felt like. Hey, I was on vacation. Why not? I made another promise to myself: As soon as I get back in school, I’ll get back into the gym. I’ll eat right again. I won’t gain any of that pesky weight back.
That sound you’re hearing? It’s my palm smacking my forehead and the accompanying D’oh!
I went to the gym once in the first 5 week session of school. I was taking 3 classes at once, and trying to keep my head above water in the rest of my life. I didn’t have time or energy to go to the gym. And cooking right? Pfft. Who has time to cook? Pizza, Chinese, Italian, burgers, subs… they’re all easily delivered to my door.
I gained 5 pounds back. I’m sitting at 195 and hating myself for it. My jeans aren’t fitting me the way they were 2 months ago. I’m hating what I see in the mirror. I’d fallen into a pretty serious depression and hadn’t realized it. Ok, maybe I realized it, but I allowed myself to believe that I was ok. Because I didn’t want to be That Person again.
Monday, my first day back in the gym, I knew I was going to hurt. A lot. I decided to do cardio instead of hitting the machines. I did 35 minutes on the elliptical and burned just under 500 calories. Then I limped to the group exercise room (it’s empty at the time I go) and stretched for 20 minutes because my legs hurt so bad I didn’t think I’d be able to move.
Tuesday, I was feeling better, so I decided that I could do 40 minutes on the elliptical. 7 minutes into it, I was ready to give up. My knee was aching, I was out of breath, and I just knew I was going to pass out. I jumped on Twitter, begged for my cheerleading section, and dropped the time down to 10 minutes. Don’t judge. I was hurting. When the timer got to 9:30, I decided I could go for 2 more minutes. When the timer got to 11:30, I moved it up 2 more minutes. I ended up tricking myself into staying on that damned thing for 45 entire minutes. After I left the gym, I felt GREAT. My endorphins were kicked into high gear and I was on an exercise high (I can totally see how people get addicted to this stuff). I almost wanted to go back to the gym and work out some more! I didn’t though, cause I knew I’d pay for it Wednesday.
Wednesday, I could only do 13 minutes on the elliptical. I wanted to do at least 15, but my legs couldn’t do it. So, I did what I should’ve done anyway and worked on upper body. While I was doing so, Jose saw me and we talked for a few minutes. He gave me a free session because he was so happy to see me back in the gym, if that gives you an indication of how long it’s been since I’ve been in the gym.
Yesterday, I did 12 minutes on the elliptical (10 minutes + 2 minute cooldown) and hit the lower body and core HARD. I’m going to be sore as hell today, but it will be worth every single minute.
I feel amazing and I’m seriously wondering why on earth it took me so long to get back into the gym. This is one of the best forms of stress relief in the world! Like the fabulous Elle said in Legally Blonde: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy…”
Because I hit the weights so hard yesterday, I’m going to take it easy (ish). I’m going to go to the pool and swim a few (dozen) laps first thing in the morning. Then, I’m going to take my daughter to the clinic so we can go get *shudders* shots for school.
I can do this. I want to be healthy again, and allowing myself to stay in bed for a month or more is not the way to do it.