Working out as a working woman

Guess who’s back? It’s me again and let me tell you, graduate school and a balanced life are not the easiest things to manage. However, it’s a new year and I’ve got some things to say- so here we go.

So today’s post is all about working out on a work schedule, and trying to get fit and healthy. I hope y’all wanna be healthy too, because even in the short amount of time I’ve been breaking a sweat, I can tell the difference already in my posture and the way I move.

So back to the point- as you all should know, recently Paula Deen has proclaimed she was diagnosed with Type-II Diabetes three years ago. While she is still one of my favorite chefs to reference for some good ol’ Southern dishes (y’all), I have always understood that eating food saturated with that much butter couldn’t be good. I mean if your favorite food was fettuccine alfredo would you eat that every night? I hope not! Its all about moderation, always. So while I am disappointed in Mrs. Paula and some of her choices, it doesn’t influence my opinion recipes I like from her.

Regardless, here comes Bobby Deen to save the day with “Not My Mama’s Meals,” a new show on the Cooking Channel. Well I am here to say something– Bobby Deen may be able to pull off “Not My Mama’s Meals” and make things better again in a whiz (ok, I am really interested in the lighter recipes he’s making but it doesn’t really assuage the situation), but he obviously doesn’t have to deal with the genes passed on from his mother. After all, he’s a man, so I doubt he has the same weight issues as her.

Changing the fate of Bobby Deen just means taking out those extra two sticks of butter for “flavor” and cutting back on the doughnut hamburgers, but for us ladies, it’s a whole other ballgame. To change my fate, I would have to create a show called, “Not My Mama’s Thighs.”

As women, we all have these “trouble spots.” Perhaps you can’t get abs even though you workout constantly? Maybe you have a muffin top that seems invincible or perhaps you’re like me and seemingly can’t combat thighs no matter what you do? Well let’s face it, sometimes the gene pool is more powerful than your power workout. That’s life. But here’s where I say- challenge that idea!

For my entire college career, I’ve considered my “American thighs” to be part of nature– just live with it. But recently I’ve started to question my logic. Maybe I just wasn’t targeting the right areas and didn’t really apply myself. If  you really want to accomplish a goal, do some research, find a solution and go for it! For me– it was finding some great workout plans on Pinterest and actually picking out some that seemed realistic and putting them to use!

My workout of choice is currently from Prevention.com and focuses on the premise that slower sets achieve quicker results. The workout incorporates a two alternating plans six days a week. Plan A focuses on arms, abs and a 30 minute “fat-burning” cardio session. Plan B targets legs, butt and back and has an “endurance” cardio session, basically a 30-minute power walk. All you need to do the exercises are a pair of light weights (or I use 5 lb-ers and they work fine), some space and a chair. My favorite part about the Prevention workout is that the goal is to do it for 14-days and then assess results. For me its great because, come on, who can argue against a 14-day workout?? Just two weeks and see where your progress is. Anyone can do that! And if you really like it and see results, just keep going.

Altogether, the actual workout is about 50 minutes (for me at least). That’s less than an hour. For me with nine hours of classes per week, plus a 20-hour work week and homework, dinner, weekend visits to see my boyfriend- I can still manage this commitment without it feeling like a drag. It’s not so long that I think of all the OTHER things I should be doing instead but it’s long enough that I feel like I am making strides to get fit. Not to mention the moves are not complicated, check them out here–

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So now that you’re in the loop, before you run out and start you’re own workout plan, here are a few tips I’ve come up with since I started working out about a month ago:

  • Start with a couple weeks of cardio before committing to an intense workout plan. You’re much more likely to give up when you jump in over your head before you’re body is ready to handle a regimented plan. Commit to 30-minutes a day of SOMETHING, anything active, for a few weeks before starting that P90X video, Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred or the Prevention plan I recommended. It will seem MUCH harder if you start day-one with no prior activity (thus making you think you can’t do it!)
  • If you find a plan you like on the Internet, print it out! I actually printed out all the directions and pictures (maybe 5 pages total for you tree huggers) for my workout plan and taped them to the wall where I do my workout. This way if I need to reference the directions (like every 5 minutes) they’re right there and I can keep up my heart rate without skipping a beat to go look up what’s next. Same goes for a plan you find in a magazine- rip out the pages and put them up on the wall. Or if you’re really creative, dedicate a special chalkboard or whiteboard and write out your plan in a cutesy way that works for you.
  • On the note of decorations- add some inspiration to the walls! I have a large mirrored closet where I workout and I can easily write and change messages to myself with erasable markers. Find a special quote that gets you going and put it on the wall where you can see throughout your workout. Then that little voice in your head that might be saying, “Ugh, let’s just stop there” is countered by your more rational thought saying, “Keep up the hard work!” However, I would not recommend posting pictures of little bony models on the wall- that’s not motivation, you shouldn’t use a comparison of your unique body to someone else as motivation. Keep the motivation positive.
  • Keep track! For my workout, you’re supposed to workout six days a week. For people who like to check things off lists or stay organized, and especially those who are unorganized, write down every time you workout. I have a calendar in my kitchen that I pass every day and I put a little “W” in the corner of each day I workout. This is either a happy little mark of recognition or, if you’ve missed some days, a glaring sign that you need to get back to business. For me it acts as a sort of check-and-balance system so I know exactly when I’m on schedule and if I’ve been putting off a workout for too long. Plus later down the road you can tally up your marks and it can act as a progress tracker!
  • Music! This is essential, or at least some kind of entertainment is. For me I have trouble reading on a treadmill (unless it’s on the Nook, which rules out my research textbook) so I usually jam out with some tunes. Check out Pandora or Spotify for some specific workout tracks. On Pandora I can listen to “Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout Radio” and after a few days or thumbs upping or thumbs downing songs- it’s not too bad.

So I hope this helps y’all on your journey to sexiness, health, bikini season or whatever it is that motivates you! Do something for yourself this year. If you want some more tips or motivation feel free to send me a note. Good luck–

Callie

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