When I first began this blog 5 years ago, it was to hold myself accountable by sharing my daily workouts and progress. I’m excited to get back to those roots. Recently, I had my sweet baby Leo and now, it’s as if my fitness journey is beginning for the first time.
Surprisingly, I’m really excited to be a beginner again and I thought sharing the journey would be beneficial because so many of us can relate to:
1) starting as a true beginner
2) taking some time off from fitness and getting back into the groove
3) being more advanced yet finding inspiration and new discoveries through remembering what it was like to be a beginner.
As you know, I’m a science nerd (pre-med major/dental school drop out – not really a drop out because I chose to leave to pursue this but I like that title haha). With scientific research, we talk about quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data can be measured with numbers: example: weight is 200 pounds, length is 2 inches, growth is 50%. Qualitative data has no numbers; it’s more interpretive data.
I’m choosing to track my journey without any quantitative data and instead I plan to only use qualitative measurements. This means that I don’t care about what I weight or how many inches my waist is measuring. I care about the qualitative stuff… my mirror progress pictures, how I feel, the muscle I see, etc.
The biggest reason I’m choosing to do so is because weight is irrelevant.
One week after I had my baby, I was 4 lbs away from my pre-baby weight. Another week later, I was at my pre-baby weight. Yet, my body looked SO different and it still does look completely different. I have much less muscle and muscle definition. I have way more cellulite now. My strength and endurance has completely decreased.
My point is that my body composition and physical fitness are completely different even though that number on the scale is the same.
For that reason, I’m not about numbers. Plus, it’s so liberating to not worry about the scale.
Side Note…. if you’re someone who still cares about weight, read THIS post I wrote! It helps so much!
Where I was at – August 2016:
Last year at this time, two things about my body really stand out.
1) Muscle Definition – muscle definition is like a two step process because you must first have sizable muscle and then you must have a low enough body fat to see that muscle definition. Last summer, I was very proud of my ability to maintain and grow my muscles while remaining lean enough to have is visually apparent.
2) Strength – last summer, I began adding in more traditional weight training movements, especially sumo deadlifts, back squats, bench press, and clean and press. It felt so good to be able to push heavier weight, to challenge myself each and every workout and to make progress in this nonphysical way. I love taking pics and seeing progress in my body but it’s fun to see progress in weight increases as well.
Where I am at – August 2017:
I don’t want to list all the “places of improvement” I see in my body, but I want to keep it real for you because there are thing I can and will do to get physically fitter. I’ll list those in the fitness goals below.
Over the years, I’ve developed an amazing ability to love my body yet want to improve it at the same time. I can look at myself and say “let’s focus on arms to grow those biceps” or “let’s add in a bit more cardio and nutrition tweaks to tighten things up” without it affecting my self confidence.
Our bodies are amazing! We can literally exercise and eat in ways that change our physical strength and physique – that’s the coolest thing in the world!
Current Fitness Goals:
1) Increase Muscle Mass – obviously, I’ve lost quite a bit of muscle mass. I’ve just started my weight training program. I actually started the original Weight Training Plan and am doing the optional beginner phase to start with the basics. I’m focusing on form, using very light weight to get back into the rhythm.
2) Decrease Body Fat – although this can be accomplished through fitness, this progress is really going to come from nutrition. For overall health and fat loss, I plan on taking one walk (eventually a ran) each day in addition to my workout.
3) Focus on Endurance – I really want to be more physically fit overall. I tire really easy right now which is common when you taken time away from fitness but I want to build back up my endurance.
4) Core Strength – I’m choosing to focus on strengthening my entire core
5) Intensity Increases – it’s been almost a year since I made my training goals centered around increasing the intensity through weight. I look forward to being able to up my weight with every workout.
Current Nutrition Goals:
1) Cooking At Home – although this may seem like the usual to most of you (and it was once my norm), I’ve been doing a lot of take out lately. My goal is to get into the habit of grocery shopping, doing my LG Protein Prep (HERE is the how to on that if you’re interested) and cooking my meals at home.
2) Less Snacks – I’ve become a bit of a snacker. This often happens to me when I feel extra busy. Instead of taking a few minutes to make a meal, I grab a little snack here and then a little more and before I know it, I’m full off of snacks, so I hope to turn snacks into more regular meals.
1) Weight Training Plan – so, I’m using the beginner phase of my weight training plan but adding in a few things that are specific to me right now (post-natal), such as core rehab, low-impact exercises, etc. Eventually, I’m going to create a pre and post natal fitness plan, but like I’ve share, I want to go through it firsthand to really know how to help others best.
2) Baby Steps – when life is full (full of good or full of not so good), it’s easy to get overwhelmed so one of my plans is to just take baby steps. I am enjoying home workouts until I can make getting to the gym every day work for me and my schedule. I don’t want to set 52 goals then get upset I didn’t hit them. I’ll take baby steps to get to where I want to be!