Friday, June 22, 2012

the club

Apparently runners are like smokers. Of course there are some obvious lifestyle differences, but I’ve discovered one thing that makes them similar. Being a smoker automatically puts you in the smoker club—you’re friends with any smoker you might find standing outside on a smoke break. And being a runner automatically puts you in the runner club—you’re friends with anybody you jog past on your morning run. I’ve gone jogging/walking nine times now since I started training, and every time during those runs I’ve come across someone, I’ve felt an instant kinship. It doesn’t matter if you can jog 60 seconds at a time or 20 miles at a time—you’re in the club.

I’m feeling really good at the end of Week 3. This new level of intensity isn’t as hard as I feared. I think a lot of it is mental. I went into this weak with the motto: “You are so much stronger than you think.” I do believe that acknowledging that helped me along. I’ve noticed, too, that I’m not getting as fatigued as before doing things I do almost every day, such as going up the stairs at work. On top of feeling good about the week, I’m also happy to report I improved my weight training time by 00:25 from last week. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but any progress is good progress, no matter how small…

…and I am making progress!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

realistic inspiration

First things first, an update on my progress: I’ve finished 2 weeks of my 18-week training plan. Every two weeks, the walk/jog workout increases in intensity. The last workout of the first two weeks felt really great—I eased right through it and didn’t feel too fatigued at all, so I think the plan is just the right pace. We’ll see when I start the next intensity next week. Honestly I’m a little nervous that it’s going to be too hard, but I have to remind myself that on Day 1 that’s how I felt, and two weeks later that same workout was easy for me! One day at a time!

Now I want to talk about expectations.

The other day I went to Pinterest to find some inspiring quotes and images to help keep me motivated as I go through this 18-week process. I searched for “fitness inspiration.” Here are a couple of the many not inspiring images that came up:

 <— Girl 1.

Problems: This girl is a model—therefore she is undoubtedly airbrushed. (Trust me on this—I’ve done many a paper on the subject of the portrayal of women in media. Those legs have been painted!) Also, most of us will never be that skinny. Her frame is just small. Also, her legs look stronger than they really are because she’s standing on her tiptoes.


girl2<—Girl 2.

Problems: Again, genetics play a big part here. I could never look like this as my ribcage is much larger than this lady’s. Also airbrushed. This woman is a celebrity—it is her job to look her best. Do you have a full time job? Is it to work out all day? Do you have a personal chef and a personal trainer and spend your entire day working on how you look? No? Then you cannot look like this woman.


There are so, so many images like this floating around as “inspiration,” on Pinterest and other places. I’m not really sure why we women (sorry, guys!) feel like we have to look like these people to be fit! It’s ridiculous, but even more so, it’s sad. We have to have realistic expectations about ourselves and about the potential of our own bodies.

I don’t mean to make this sound like, no matter what level of health you’re at right now, you’re not capable of being fit—every body has the potential to be lean and strong. But your “fit” will look different than my “fit,” and most of our “fits” will never look like the ones in the above images.

While you may not be an airbrushed model who works out eight hours a day, you are beautiful. You have the ability to be healthy and feel better.

And if you need some motivation, maybe these images will work a little better:



Now get out there and find out what your body can do! :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

1 down, 17 to go

Hello, blogosphere! It’s been quite some time since I posted here on The Antivanity. I’ve been wanting to get back into posting for some time, and I feel sufficiently inspired now to start again!

A lot of things have converged in recent months to motivate me to start working out again on a regular basis. 1) My recent discovery that I have a blood clotting disorder has made working out essential, but until the start of this year I hadn’t quite figured out a routine that I could really stick to. 2) I tried last year to do Couch to 5k training and I let it beat me—I’m ready to defeat it this time! 3) I’ve wanted to do the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for a couple years now, so I’ve finally committed!

I’ve decided that, in order to keep myself accountable, I’ll post some (hopefully weekly) updates to the blog about my progress. I’m a creature of habit and I love lists, so I made this handy spreadsheet to track my progress:

Week 1

As you can see, today I officially finished Week 1! Couch to 5k training is normally 9 weeks long; but since I’ve never had any conditioning at all, I found that training was too hard for me last time, and I gave up. This time, I’m spreading the training out over 18 weeks, doing each week twice. This will coincide with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s almost perfectly, which happens 18 weeks from today! The WEA is only 2 miles, but I’m pretending it’s the 5k I’m training for to keep myself motivated!

The C25K training includes 3 days of cardio training a week, so I’ve added two extra days to that: one yoga day and one weight training day. The yoga is more of a rest day, and the weight training is wicked hard, so it’ll balance itself out.

While I’m tracking my progress by distance jogged, number of workouts a week, and even weekly photos of myself, I’m not tracking my weight. I almost included it, but I will stand by my conviction that if I work out and eat well for the next 18 weeks, I’ll look and feel better, no matter what my weight is!

I’ve never felt more able and determined to stick to a training program—this is it! I think having the WEA at the end of training is the charm that makes me feel so resolute. Alzheimer’s took my grandfather’s life and devastated my family, so I feel very passionately about both fundraising and taking care of myself for the cause! If you want, check out my personal WEA page for some details and ways you can help.

Look for more updates in the coming weeks!