Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pyramids Aren't Just for Egyptians

Hey Preps!
Pre-Distance you can see, still a little chilly in this picture,
but it won't take long until I am sweating, even in this cold weather.

"It's like a secret that running can transform your life in more ways than you know"
-Mary Whittenburg

Happy Sunday Funday! What do y'all look forward to most on Sundays?  For me, it's a distance run.  All who follow my blog, know my love of classic fashion, and all that it entails.  Classic fashion should be matched with a classy personality.  That personality is who you are, it's your character.  It isn't something that you put on for others and then take off when you are out Saturday nights.  (Ok yes, a rant...sorry) The point is, that is who I am.  I want my fashion to reflect my character.  Another thing my fashion does is reflect my lifestyle.  I live in my duck boots.  Literally.  I wear them to the gym, to class, wherever.  I don' care if I look ridiculous in them or if they are worn to death...they match my on the go lifestyle, and I'm proud of who I am...that is reflected in my duck boots.

Part of being a prep is living a clean life.  A prep is classy, they know how to carry on a conversation about practically anything, they dress in a way that is put together...but not over the top, and they are into a healthy lifestyle.  For me, a healthy lifestyle means being emotionally stable (I truly think everyone should see a psychologist at some point in their life), independent, and practice good nutrition and fitness.

Fitness and nutrition are very important to me.  I recently found out I have a wheat allergy, and have had to go on a Gluten-free diet.  It has been hard.  There are times where I cave-in because all my friends are grabbing a pizza to split and it looks tempting so I grab a slice.  The next day, I wake up feeling hungover from eating the wheat.  It's really not a fun process, so being able to hold back my impulses has been something I have been striving for.  Gluten-free diets do allow you to eat certain types of rice and other carbs, but basically it forces you to stick to a 'clean eating' lifestyle.  For me, I tend to eat a ton of raw veggies and fruit and will grill a week's worth of chicken to keep my protein levels up.  I have noticed that by doing so, I feel great.  I don't wake up feeling sick like I did before I found out I was allergic to wheat.  So, I highly recommend you try eating clean as well.  It allows you to see what is really going into your body in contrast to the many processed foods we Americans eat today.  Just a thought if you are trying to get back into shape.

As for fitness, I am a runner these days.  I grew up a lifelong swimmer, and in addition did cross country and track in high school.  However, swimming is one of those sports that you can easily get burnt out on...especially if you have done it competitively for a long now I stick to my runs.  I run virtually every day.  I have two off days where I run a one-mile warm-up before I lift.  The other days I either am doing short distance interval sets (three to five miles) where I build into a sprint and bring it back to a steady jog...and then I have days like Sunday where I will do an eight to 14 mile run.  Ughhh.  I know I sound sick, but I love it.  It's my release from the world where I get to just do my own thing for a little bit.

If you are trying to get back in shape, I am not recommending that you just go whip out 14 miles.  No, start slow.  I have said this before, I gained 35 whopping pounds my freshman year of college, and it took a rude awakening for me to understand that I really needed to get back on track.  Never did I think I would be back to the teeny sizes I was as a teenager, but I did it through a lot of sweat and hard work.  The weight loss path is not easy.  There is not magic secret regardless of what infomercials tell you...but it's completely worth it.

One of the happiest days of my college career was making the decision to try on a pair of size 0 jeans that I just couldn't seem to give up.  I zipped them up and they fit.  They fit?! I ran around my apartment screaming.  I had accomplished something I thought was took time and commitment, but I did it...and I know that if you are struggling with a similar situation, that you can do it too.

I teach a fitness class.  It is an intense circuit weight training class with plyometrics in between each circuit.  At the end of the class there are the three hardest circuits.  They are called burnouts, pyramids, and declines.

A burnout is when you strive for as many repetitions of an exercise in a period of time.  For my class we do a 30 second burnout followed by a 25 second and 20 second burnout (resting 5 seconds in between).

Pyramids are my favorite.  I build mine in 5 sets.  The first set we start by repeating an exercise 12 times, followed by 10, 8, 6, and just when your muscles are starting to burn...we finish with a set of 15.

Finally, there are declines.  You can lift a little heavier when going for declines (usually 5 lbs per arm).  I do my declines starting with a set of 20, followed by 18, and then 16.  They burn.

All of these circuits are great because they allow your muscles to keep burning fat long after your workout.  So if you are heading to the gym today try doing a burnout set of bicep curls, or a set of declines squats.  I promise you will feel it the next day!

If you ever have questions about fitness, feel free to e-mail me.  I am all for helping others with their fitness goals and encouraging them along the way.  Everyone needs someone to motivate them, and what better motivation to have than from a girl who has gone through the weight gain/loss process.

Weight loss doesn't happen over night, I know the feeling of disappointment when you step on a scale after working your butt off for a month, and it not being the number you wanted...or stepping into a dressing room where the lighting just isn't helping the way your hips look in the cheap mirrors.  My suggestion?  Measure yourself.  Measure your legs, hips, and waist...that's the best way to see results.

People always think I am about ten pounds less that I am, because I have muscle, and muscle weighs a whole lot more than if you feel like you look good, and your measurements show that...don't worry about that forsaken scale number.

I promise, if you stick with fitness, it will help your life in so many ways.  It helps me to stay focused, it is something I am proud of, and is the 'me' time I need during the week when I am stressed to the max.  Don't make excuses, and get out isn't easy...but it is completely worth it.  Don't think you are athletic enough to get started?  I suggest reading Run Like a Girl by Mina will completely change the way you think about yourself and those around you.

I will leave you with these inspiring words:

"In other words, if we say, 'I am a strong athlete,' there's a good chance that's what we will be."
-Mina Samuels

Be strong.  Be persistent.  Be preppy.  


Anonymous said...

I definitely understand not eating wheat--I recently discovered I have an intolerance for gluten and it has definitely made me become a "cleaner" eater--something I think we all should become!

sSe said...

Holy Moley, you are one FIT lady! As someone who gained way more than the freshman 15 I am always on the lookout for practical fitness tips from people who have been in the same situation.

EJM said...

Great advice! Can't wait to try this out!

Grace said...

I'm not a runner, but this is some great advice! I totally agree about living a healthy lifestyle!

Emily said...

I can't believe I found your blog! I love it! I'm a preppy girl too but I love fitness. My whole blog is about self improvement involving both of those. Congratulations on your weight loss that's incredible. You look amazing! I'm in the process of loosing weight and so far, I'm down about 16 pounds. I'm so happy I found your blog, now I know someone who relates to both lifestyles and how they intertwine! Now following! :]

Milady said...

Melanie here! I enjoyed this piece, please email me--I have a question about your blog. MelanieLBowen[at]gmail[dot]com

Stephanie said...

Ever since I read this post, I've been getting back into running. Planning a half marathon in September. Thanks for the motivation. :)

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