It may be cloudy and rainy outside, but I’m feeling cheery inside 🙂
I actually woke up to my alarm today! I left the apartment (with coffee in hand) at 6:30am and by 6:55am I was on my first machine at the gym. Today was a hardcore workout. I started off with one of the most intense elliptical sessions ever, which lasted 45 minutes. Then I did 10 minutes of speed walking on the treadmill at an 11.0 incline. I was bright beet red after cardio. I’m not one of those girls who look sexy at the gym.. I look like I’m working out! After cardio I did 15 strength training moves, hitting arms, legs, shoulders, back, and abs a couple times each. I finished with some deep stretching. All-in-all it was a long workout, roughly 1 hour 45 minutes, but it felt amazing.
One of the biggest changes between how I used to work out and working out now is how I spend my time in the gym. When I was obsessively body-conscious and self-critical, it was all about cardio. If I didn’t do an hour, I wasn’t working hard enough. An hour of cardio was the most important goal, even if it meant there was no time for strength training. I became 100% focused on calorie burn and forgot what exercising is really about, strengthening with variety.
Now, I do 30-45 minutes of cardio with each trip to the gym. I do at least ten minutes of strength training when I don’t have much time. When I do have time, I aim for 10-15 strength training moves. I also take the time to stretch. I never used to stretch at the gym, and I think that’s because I didn’t care about my body, I cared about how thin I was. In those days, stretching seemed like a waste of time, it doesn’t burn calories. These days I feel more connected to my body, so I take the time to stretch to show my body that appreciate the hard work it just did.
After the gym I walked home in the chilly rain and hopped into a hot shower the second I got into my apartment. At 9am I went to work making breakfast: oatmeal. What a warm, cozy, and comforting breakfast to have on a drizzly day. I made my oats with 1/2 c oatmeal, water, a few spoonfuls of protein powder, 3/4 banana sliced, a sprinkle of raisins, several shakes of cinnamon, and a doll-up of natural peanut butter on top. Mmm it was delicious.
An interesting fact: I don’t know if I’ve ever used 1/2 cup of oats to make oatmeal. I’ve always used 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup. I told myself that the 1/2 cup was too much because it’s 150 calories, which I thought was a lot for just a pile of oats. I also read a lot of food blogs and many writers say that they only use 1/4 or 1/3 cup oats in their oatmeal, so I thought that 1/2 cup was too much. That maybe I would be glutenous for using more than they did. But today, after my hard workout, I thought to myself… 1/2 cup sounds perfect to me! To most people, this internal conversation about oatmeal sounds silly or stupid. But for people who have dealt with food issues, it’s important to see that old rules can be broken, and that food choices are a very personal thing. You should never decide on how much food will satisfy your hunger based on how much others eat. Your hunger is unique to you, and you need to eat what makes you feel good. And my bowl of oats this morning made me feel all sorts of good!
Now I’m going to spend one more hour relaxing, followed by lunch, meetings, class, and studying. Busy day.