I've always like physical fitness. My fitness history include my running days as a child, my dancer days in high school, followed by dabbling in a slew of fitness options: weight training, belly dancing, kick boxing, circuit training, yoga, pilates, strength training with exercise bands, balance ball, stepper, swimming, cycling, basically 'you name it.' Let me put it this way - I have a stand alone heavy bag in my living room and both boxing and heavy bag gloves... I don't play!
I never really worked out to lose weight until an attempt last year. I'm 5'4", 154lbs (I was 150 in high school) and fluctuated between wearing a size 8 - 11 over the years. Thing is people actually think I'm skinny, lol! Well, I'm not, but I'm not obese either. I fall in the Beyonce, Ashanti body-type range (and Ashanti, if you ever want to give away most if not all of your clothes, I'm right here sister, right here!). I have a body. The boobs aren't spilling out over my turtle necks or anything like that, but I look like a woman, and I love that. But I am getting older, and my metabolism will start to slow down, especially as my son gets older and starts doing even more for himself, so I figure I need to get my body on a path that will indicate how I live the rest of my life, however long that will be.
Last year I purchased the Wii and the Wii Fit software, including the balance board. I worked out 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours daily from November to April, and I lost 2 friggin pounds. That, my friends, pissed me off. Even though I did feel stronger, I didn't lose any weight. As I mentioned earlier, I never really tried to lose weight, with the exception of the time period after I gave birth (and even then, the first 20 pounds disappeared in 2 days, and those last 10 pounds seem to take forever to melt away). Now I want to try something different, especially since the weight on me is acting differently. Now I have a little something going on in the ab area that doesn't include the idea of hand washing clothes there. And there is a little bit of a jiggle thing going on at various points on my body. So even though I still wear my clothes well, I know what is behind the curtain and, ummm, hell no!
So, I purchased some 5 lb ankle weights to add some more resistance when I workout on my mini stepper. My apartment isn't large, especially large enough to have a separate work out room, but it's like I need workout gear around me. Here's a list of the workout equipment I own (that I remember):
- hand weights (2lb, 5lbs and 10lbs)
- exercise bands (various resistances - I LOVE these things)
- balance ball
- ankle weights
- heavy bag with the appropriate boxing and heavy bad gloves
- Pilates stretching band thingy (I don't remember the exact name)
- Yoga mat, blocks and band
- Jump rope (another great workout)
- about 20 workout DVDs including a boxing workout with weighted gloves
- Will Fit plus w/Balance board, as well as Gold's Cardio Gym workout
- Upcoming: the Zumba workout for Wii (that should be coming in the mail this week)
And the interesting thing about this ridiculous list is I use it all! I love it, but I'm not manic - I don't look like some thick-neck-vein covered, steroid using health nut. Plus I'm a Gemini, I get bored easily so I need variety, but now I'm going to take things a step further. I'm going to attempt (this is my safe word, just in case I end up not doing this), to count calories burned - I am not disciplined enough to count the calories I ingest. Actually, it's not that I can't do that, I just don't want to! It takes the fun out of eating! Eating is supposed to be fun, not homework, so I choose to count calories burned, especially since I already exclude so many things from my diet anyway.
So, right now I am creating a profile on the SparkPeople website (check it out here)
I am just completing my profile, and at this time there are groups being recommended to me as a result of the goals I checked off in the process. I have chosen to enter the following groups:
- 30-somethings with 10-24 pounds to lose (my goal is 20 - I don't know about this, but we shall see)
- New York Team
- Parents of school-ages children (6-11 years old)
- Women of Color Unite
I can also start my own team, but I am in no way an expert so I will hold off on that. Only if I see some long lasting results will I go that route because I am a big 'work in progress.' Right now, I'm off to do 30 minutes of cardio/strength (mini-stepper w/10lb ankle weights and intermittent bicep curls with exercise band). Anchor's away!
EDITED LATER: I did about 45 minutes on the stepper with the 10lb ankle weights, and I feel good but I need a freaking shiatsu massage! I'm not breathing like I'm a second away from an asthma attack, which is good, but I am sweating like a runaway slave (I never sweat in high school after 3 hours of daily dance practice, so this sweat thing on me is a bit unnerving). The competitive part of me wants to continue with a boxing workout (I feel like hitting something), but I'm going to stretch a bit and then stop because I never know if I'll end up having to roll out of bed tomorrow morning as opposed to just sitting up like a normal human being. I feel some ache in the lower back, but overall I feel good.