Hello and Happy Thursday. Also a Happy Birthday to my Dad!!
A little #throwbackThursday Prom May 2008, how has it been 8 years since high school?! My dad was going to the Chicago Symphony that night with a friend so he was dressed up too.
Alright back to present day, I feel like April is absolutely flying by now. I am loving every moment of sunshine I get not just during lunch but also after work at home. I felt my patio doors were useless through the winter as I wasn’t home during the short daylight hours. It has made me so much happier to have more sunlight and even see the sun starting to rise when I come back from the gym at 6am.
Speaking of the gym, it was a year ago that I got back to my weight lifting as Yoga Teacher Training came to an end. Due to the demands of yoga training and working full time, I canceled my gym membership and then I moved too.
I really wanted to be able to do a pull up unassisted (which I was able to do about 3 years ago and lost the strength) and I finally can do about 2 in a row today! I am so happy I have been building my strength back up. I started with about 70 lbs assistance and now do reps with 10-15 lbs assistance after attempting 2 or so without assistance.
Of course there are plenty of strong yogis out there, especially when it comes to handstands and advanced moves. Heck, just doing chaturangas and balancing poses like warrior 3, builds strength. I do love yoga, but I love it as part of a balance of all my working out.
I believe I have a deeper love for weight lifting. Weight lifting makes me feel empowered, strong and more confident in myself. I also feel that my body responds well to weight lifting, toning up the muscles and losing excess tummy fat. I actually struggled in yoga training because I have a bad shoulder and other parts of my body, like my foot or knee would start to act up sometimes. As soon as I got back to weight lifting, these were less of an issue. Remember that every body is different.
I used to be that girl who would never touch a weight. Actually I never even would go to a gym other than to swim from time to time. I was never a cardio junkie and while people thought I was in amazing shape, I really could hardly run and discovered I was actually pretty weak during my first time at the gym.
In Fall 2010, Brian introduced me to weight lifting. We were both newbies, though he started in the summer and could see the difference in his body that weight lifting was doing. He was more tone and losing fat. Together, we would do workouts a couple mornings before class, sometimes my suite mate would also join. It was so much fun! From then on, I fell in love with weight lifting. I honestly felt the best in my body than I probably ever have at that time in my life.
When I moved home in June 2012, I joined a local big gym and though I was hesitant to work out by myself and lift weights, I did what I could. In college, I did more deadlifts, barbell squats and bench press than now as I still feel the need for a spotter, especially to increase my weights, but mostly for my form. I know my form needs improvement especially with deadlifts.
I focus on form, I focus on what I can do in the amount of time that I have and you know what? I feel great! Could I improve more? Absolutely. Could I work harder? Probably with someone with me. But mainly I go to the gym for me. I go because I love it. I go because it destresses me and makes me feel better. It’s become part of my lifestyle. When I increase the weights and push through the reps, I feel so proud of myself.
One day, hopefully Brian and I can work out together more and I can improve the big 3: deadlifts, barbell squats and barbell bench press. But for now, I am proud of what I have accomplished on my own. I am proud of my progress. I am proud that I get up at 4:45am to get my workout in at 5am. I found a way to make it work with my schedule because it is important to me.
I should also mention these last 2 months, I haven’t been entirely by myself as I participated in Becky’s core bootcamp last month and currently doing her booty bootcamp (so much harder than core for me!).
Having a 20 minute or so workout laid out for me to tag onto the end of my working out is perfect and I really did feel so much stronger in my core and even my posture felt better after the month of March with the core bootcamp. I highly recommend it. Booty Bootcamp I have had to modify a bit just as I am not quite strong enough to fully complete some of them, but I do already notice my butt shaping up lol.
That’s a little bit about my story of weight lifting. My goal is one day to become a personal trainer, especially to share with other women who might be hesitant to weight lift, how good it is for you and how amazing you can feel. In case you need more reasons to weight lift as a woman, check out Lauren’s blog post from the other day.
What’s your favorite form of exercise?