So how’s the body, Ferns?

I haven’t talked about my body project for a while. There are a few reasons for that, but the main one is that I’ve been in a kind of ‘maintenance mode’ for quite a while and that’s boring to write about.

No further gains, in fact, something of a slip from what I consider my peak.

The main reason for the flattening out is that I realised that for all of the work I was doing (and at the high point, it was a LOT, including seriously good eating and protein loading), I really wasn’t getting my body into the shape I really wanted. I think my goals were too lofty to be honest. And without a solid goal that I think is achievable, I lose motivation.

My current challenge wall at rock climbing
My current challenge wall at rock climbing

The gym was boring me stupid and I felt like I was phoning it in, so I wanted to try some other things instead. So recently I changed it up a bit to try and get some of that motivation back.

I now have (and use) memberships for the gym, pilates, a high ropes course and rock climbing. And I’m considering trying out crossfit.

I really WISH I was as fit and ripped and strong as all this makes me sound. But I’m not.

Not having a habitual routine and relying on the weather (ropes course is outdoors) and on others (rock climbing requires a partner) makes substituting other activities for the gym all a bit hit and miss.

I’m a woman who likes habit and ritual and accountability and metrics so that things like exercise just become part of my daily routine and I can measure results and feel smug about myself. Secretly (well, okay it’s no secret!) in my heart, I am super lazy and I *will* latch onto excuses why it’s all just too hard and flop on the couch instead (sound familiar? I KNOW, RIGHT?!).

I’m a bit scared of crossfit, not least because I feel like it will stress my body pretty badly and I have issues with my ankles, knees, and back (I am a delicate flower!) and really don’t want to risk an injury. But also because it always looks so ‘rah rah!’ full-on with the irritatingly happy groups and the team work and everyone knowing your name and all that social crap that I hate. But there’s a special offer at the moment that I’m really tempted by.

So yeah. I’m probably going to sign up to another new thing to try and knock me out of this lethargy.

Wish me luck!

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10 Comments

  1. I can relate. And some goals may not be realistic. I remember when I was in college, physiology lab I think, and the instructor wanted to hook me up to a EKG or something because I had the best muscle definition. Another male student took exception to her choice, saying he was much stronger and could throw me out the window. She pointed out that she was not looking for the strongest guy, she wanted the guy with the best muscle definition, a different characteristic. Not because of anything I do, simply my genetics, I suppose.

    I will point out an interesting and apparent contradiction of a sort in your post. You say that you need a goal to achieve, but then say you like routine. But that you are falling off your routine. I have known many people who have a goal, but do not stick with their routine once they achieve their goal. I know for me that the routine of going to the gym to stay in shape, or running to stay in shape is a routine that I struggle with. Part of it for me is to get enough sleep and do the routine parts when I am friskiest, in the morning. That helps a lot in that I am less likely to find an excuse not to do it.

    But I have always found new skills to develop. I am not so much goal oriented as learning new skills oriented. so trying new things that teach me new skills is a big help. that and reminding myself that the routine stuff is what lets me stay in shape enough to learn the new skills and do the things that I love to do, such as sea kayaking at the moment.

    So you might want to ponder how you balance achieving the goal vs getting into a routine. Maybe if you get those better sorted, it may help you feel more motivated to sticking with a routine?

    I have a colleague who does Cross fit, so I have been curious enough to do some research. It works for him in part because he is a people person and because he travels a lot, but can go anywhere and still find a cross fit place to workout and jump into their activity du jour.

    But is sounds like it has potential risk in that it changes things up but also drive participants hard enough to cause injury potentially. since I am an introvert and like to avoid injury (harder to do as the years go by, smile) I decided it was not for me.

    Cheers!

    1. I’m not quite clear what you are saying with goals and routine. If I am to reach a goal that requires some specific work, I do it best by making the work a routine part of my day, a habit.

      If the goal falters or the routine falters, I’m in trouble. The goal here has faltered (followed by the routine). So I need a new goal, and I need to commit to it and I need to start the ‘goal + routine’ process up again.

      I’m changing things up to see if and how it alters how I feel. So far it’s not quite working.

      And I agree with you: Crossfit scares me for the injury risk. I’m attending a set of 6 ‘newbie’ sessions, so I guess I will see soon enough if I can manage it in a way that I still feel safe from injury.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

      Ferns

      1. Sorry I was not clear. What I was trying to say was that if your goal is primarily to change your appearance, and you find that is not attainable, it is understandable that you would lose motivation and slack off.

        However, knowing humans as I do, it is not uncommon to focus on only part of the situation, tending to discount or ignore other factors.

        So, for example, if you had more than one goal, say changing your appearance AND staying fit for other activates you like, such as wall climbing, then you might be able to stay motivated by recognizing that you are still achieving the second goal.

        Just something to think about, in case you had not.

        Cheers!

        1. Ahh, I understand now. Thank you for clarifying.

          I am a funny thing, though.

          I DO have goals for the ropes course (doing it faster, I have a spreadsheet!) and for rock climbing (the challenge wall), but ‘getting fitter/faster/stronger to achieve those things’ doesn’t interest me. I don’t know why exactly, but I know it doesn’t (just like doing things like signing up for fun runs or marathons as a way to have something to work towards is of supreme disinterest to me).

          I appreciate your thoughts though, thank you.

          Ferns

  2. I know it’s wildly tempting to be all about the gym…but the diet thing is central. This is the guy I’d follow into fire these days [Mark Sisson]…he’s so right about so much, it’s scary. And it’s scary how much bad nutritional “science” is out there…and destructive lore. It’s simple: no grain, no beans/legumes, no manufactured oils, no sugar (relax: yes to wine and dark chocolate). Be the carnivore you are, 1/3 of your calories come from fat. Lose the chronic cardio…move lots easily throughout the week, sprints 1-2 times per week, lift your own bodyweight. Transformative. Utterly. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-primal-blueprint-21-day-challenge/#axzz3FUPu6Jcu

    1. I think it’s only right and fair that anyone touting the wonders of their approach and recommending the same MUST submit photo proof of the result…

      I’ll wait right here… *taps foot*

      Ferns

      1. Honestly…not my approach…I mean, I didn’t author it. Just one I’ve found that has fixed a lot of my own shit. Not there yet, but over 80 lbs down (20 or 25 to go, so no snaps as yet). I also understand this is the approach some bodybuilders use who bulk up and then “cut.”

  3. “I have issues with my ankles, knees, and back (I am a delicate flower!)”

    I know just what you mean here. I am having trouble with knees, ankles and elbows and even though I’m not a delicate flower, (more like an old weed) I find that I’ve had to use more care at the gym.

    I can also commiserate with you on the lack of motivation to get there. The gym can be really boring, plus the additional drag of a heavy work schedule. Hence, my wanting to flop on the couch (or chair in front of my computer desk) tends to be a no-brainer when I stumble through the door.

    I think that the high ropes course and rock climbing are a great idea and you’ll get more out of that than you will doing the same old routines at the gym every week.

    That climbing wall looks like a lot of fun!Good luck on shaking things up a bit!

    1. “I can also commiserate with you on the lack of motivation to get there. The gym can be really boring”

      A big part of it for me is when I stopped seeing visible improvements and realised that if I wanted to ramp it up I’d have to get capital S Serious (and I was already about as serious about it as I was prepared to get: I had *protein shakes* FFS!).

      Fingers crossed my bits all survive Crossfit!

      Ferns

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