Check my workouts!

Older fit woman
[lastupdated] (see bottom of post for updates)

On 30th April 2012, I decided to start an intense workout regime with the goal of getting myself into the best shape of my life (big call!). It consists of gym work 6 days a week over a three month period.

On 25th May, I did a call out to others to join me, and some amazing folks heeded the call.

I’m putting this page here so that you (random strangers and friends) can check on my progress, shout encouragement at me, demand progress photos (ha! Good luck with that!), and generally be supportive and fabulous.

The link below will take you to my workout log so you can see how I am faring:

Ferns’ Workout Log

And also *fanfare… drumroll*, let me introduce the brave folks who have agreed to join me AND to let strangers peek in their windows:

Peroxide – 23, m, blogging about his progress here
slapshot – 57, m
jaimeV – 25, m
Tom Allen – 54, m
Mystery Date – 32, m, blogging about his progress here

If you want to send us props and support, go wild in the comments here!

If I feel like adding more thoughts (whining, gloating, or any of that sort of thing) I will just edit this post to add it. I’ll try and keep the whining to a minimum…

Feel free to leave comments, ask questions, you know… the normal stuff.

And if you want to join me in this fitness blitz, please please do (if you want some motivation, the woman on the right is 71 years old… seriously… wow!).

Progress Updates

30 May 2012: If you are using some *other* web site that has a tracking mechanism, please still feel free to join us! With your permission, I will put a link to your tracker here and we can still give you support and encouragement.

31 May 2012: I’m really pleased to say that a note from one of the ‘crew’ (we need a cute name!) actually kicked me out of my procrastination and got me out the door to the gym… You know who you are, thank you! So yay for the concept actually working (well, for me anyway… that’s the important thing you know…).

Also look above… I’m naming names and providing links… kudos to you guys!

2 Jun 2012: Gym etiquette. Is it really rude to go up to a man who has been doing wide grip pull ups in perfect form, slow and deliberate, to failure, over and over and tell him how incredibly sexy that was to watch? Discuss.

Side note: Thank you pull-up guy for making my cardio so much better today.

3 Jun 2012: Oh no! I have strained/pulled/hurt something in my hip/arse (cue sympathy!). I have no idea how. It came on yesterday afternoon for no apparent reason. It is a little better today (rest day), I am hoping it will be gone by tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

5 Jun 2012: I did a lower body workout yesterday, and my injury didn’t even twinge, however I ran today and after ten minutes, I felt it escalate from niggling to ‘uh oh, that’s not good’. I’m really bummed. To my credit, I tried the elliptical machine AND the bike after the pain kicked in and did finish the session on the bike (which I HATE!) where there was not a hint of pain. Yay me! Going to get it seen to and hopefully quickly fixed.

8 Jun 2012: Today I wanted to give a shout out to Peroxide, slapshot and JaimeV up there who have ALL been uber diligent with their workout schedules since they ‘signed up’ with me in this. Not only has that been encouraging in and of itself, we have been exchanging little notes, chit chat and support and it’s been quite wonderful. So kudos, and thank you, gentlemen!! *applause*

9 Jun 2012: I should have added above that I have really appreciated all the *private* notes of support from friends and strangers (you know who you are)! Really, thank you.
As an update on my injury (see 5 Jun above), it is getting better quickly, though I am still cycling instead of running to give it a chance to rest. I hate cycling, but I hate giving up more.

12 Jun 2012: I added Tom Allen’s link to the page above, he is a cycling freak from way back, and will be blogging his progress. Yay Tom!

17 Jun 2012: I am all smug because I missed a workout yesterday, but then I went to the gym at 9am on a Sunday to make up for it!! I know this doesn’t sound like much if you are all gym-ey, but in my past life, I’d have secretly gone ‘Whhheeeee!! I don’t have to go!! Not my fault!’, but this time I got all bummed about blowing it, and then GOT UP EARLY ON A SUNDAY TO GO TO THE GYM! Yay me!! *insufferable smugness*

25 Jun 2012: I was really happy to have the scheduled day off yesterday. Not gymming really agrees with me… (shame that!).

This is week 9 of the 12 weeks I promised myself. I see changes, namely hardness in my quads, calves, arms, that wasn’t there before. I enjoy that. Still too much softness in my stomach, and arse for my liking. I have lost a few pounds even though that isn’t my goal. My hips look slimmer, sometimes, when I am in the right mood, though my clothes all seem to fit the same as they did before I started. My measurements seem not to have changed much: An inch or so off my waist, I guess (I never trust measurements, it’s just too hard to ensure you are in the same spot with the same tension).

I am in a slight panic about only having a month left because I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t feel like the results of all this work have been worthwhile, I will just stop doing it completely. That’s not really what I want. What I want is at the end of the 3 months to go ‘OMG, awesome! *flex pose*‘ and then either strive for even better, or continue with some sort of less intense maintenance program.

Still, my motivation is still pretty high and watching our little team of kinky exercisers work at it is great fun. Check out Peroxide’s blog entries about his progress here, I love that he updates so regularly and we get a little story about how he is going.

27 Jun 2012: This is what ego looks like:

Doctor (while palpitating my abdomen): “Wow, you are really thin, I can feel your aorta pumping here.”
What I hear: “You are in amazing shape, better shape than most people who come in here, I’m impressed…”

Doctor (still palpitating): “Can you relax please?”
What I hear: “Your ab muscles are so damn hard, nice work!”

*laugh* Thanks Doc! And before anyone starts to worry, I am not *too* thin, I promise!

5 Jul 2012: I committed to 12 weeks of this workout program and I am nearly there. Only 2 weeks to go! While I really don’t enjoy going to the gym, it is now just a ‘thing I do’ and *not* going is really not an option. Compared to how I was when I started, where I had to do a whole bunch of self-talk to get out the door and there was always the chance that I *wouldn’t* go, it’s a big, and positive, change.

Oddly, I’m starting to stress a little about the results because *I’m running out of time*, which is ridiculous of course. The 12 weeks is an arbitrary period of time chosen because it was a period I thought I could commit to, and it was long enough to see *some* results. I am not sure yet what I will do after the 12 weeks is done. Lie on the couch and eat chips and ice cream? Heh.

So today, lower body (my favourite because it’s shorter!)

Biceps, baby!
Me, July… guns, baby!

22 Jul 2012: Yesterday was the last day of my 12 week gym blitz!!!

I was so excited, I wrote an entire post about it: Gym bunny update.

And here’s where I get to be all schmaltzy, like I won an award or something.

The men in my ‘workout crew’ (links above) have been so wonderfully encouraging throughout, whether it was via email or twitter or even through just being inspired by their workout ethic.  They have really helped me stay on track when I was not feeling so much like going to the gym on any given day.

While I am doing the ‘speech-like’ thing, Jay has been amazingly supportive, even though he hasn’t joined in ‘officially’. I take him to the gym with me on my iPhone and he texts encouragement at me when I am working out, often making me laugh, and text-shouting at me when I am whining. It is beyond awesome.

In short… having encouragement and accountability has been both fun and useful for me, and I hope I have provided the same from my side. Thank you, gentlemen *blows a kiss*.

28 Jul 2012: I have to marvel at how much my mindset has changed since I started this workout blitz. This week, my birthday week, I ‘took the week off’ from the gym. That means I only went three times instead of six (weights only, no cardio), and I went to Pilates only once instead of twice. And I feel like a total slacker. Too funny!

To complement my ‘week off’ and because, well, BIRTHDAY!, I have also been eating a lot of rubbish. Heaps of yummy chocolate things, crunchy things, sweet things, fatty things… pretty much whatever I feel like. It’s been great, but I have a very tenuous hold on this ‘fitness kick’ thing, so I can already feel how lovely it would be to just stop it and not have to head off to the gym every day.

Back into it next week. Another 12 weeks. Of course I can do it!

18 Aug 2012: It’s week 4 of round two of this ’12 week program’, which I guess makes it no longer a ’12 week program’ at all. I am doing well at it in terms of not slacking off from my 6-day-a-week regime, but my head is in a slightly different place this time around. I think the fact that the 12 week results were not as radical as I had hoped dampened my optimistic enthusiasm somewhat. Still, I don’t need enthusiasm as much as dedication and I am still faithfully sticking to the schedule.

On the down side, this pain in my abdomen, which I have dubbed ‘Harold’, has not resolved itself. I picture Harold as a rotund, sneering, and sweaty little man who pokes at me from the inside. Harold flares up when I run, he’s internal, and lives inside the left side of my abdomen. I’m pretty sure it’s not muscular and he doesn’t make himself known with any leg work, with cycling, with ab work… none of that. Somehow it’s the jarring of the running that causes him to scream at me.

I first tried resting Harold for weeks (cycling instead of running), but he came straight back when I ran again. Ugh. This has meant that my cardio workouts have been lacklustre at best. I have come to *loathe* the bike, so I am trying ‘fast walking with incline’ on the treadmill instead. I never thought I’d ever say “I wish I could run!”, but running is my least-hated cardio activity, and the one that makes me feel most like I did the work, so I really really wish I could run.

Fucking Harold!!

22 Aug 2012: Today I added Mystery Date to the workout crew *~waves to Mystery Date~*. He’s just started running again and is blogging here about his progress. Yay!

29 Aug 2012: I have decided to cut my workouts down from 6 days a week to 5 days, plus two pilates sessions which I have been doing throughout. I am struggling a little to get out there on Saturdays (cardio… ugh), so I am going to cut it out for a while to see how it feels (versus not going, and then feeling bad and guilty about it).

On the plus side, I sent the newest workout crew member, Mystery Date, some of my progress photos, then nagged him for some encouragement, which was so wonderful, I am sharing some of it here:

“You’ve got a nice pop forming in your bicep… Your tricep, which can be a problem area for a lot of people, is tight. Your deltoid and the rest of the muscles in your shoulder/chest area are downright bite-able. The curve of your waist into your hips is remarkably pleasing to the eye. And your belly button is adorable.

Me, Sept – more definition… raawwrrr!

I see signs of a six-pack in your stomach. You seem to have a lean swimmer’s body. Your arms and chest look powerful, though I can’t see them well in the picture. Your trapezius is downright obscene…”

This makes me sooo happy and raaawwwrr-ish (though I had to look up both ‘deltoid’ and ‘trapezius’) because it makes me feel like the work is *doing* something, and I struggle with that because I am not yet where I want to be. Me, a perfectionist?! Come on!!! Thank you so much, Mystery Date, and welcome to the crew!

18 Sep 2012: I am struggling a little with motivation, and just realised that I haven’t put my progress charts up behind my front door in my new place (I check off each day that I go to the gym, for the concrete visual confirmation of the work I am doing).

I know I need to change my workouts somehow. Even though I do 2 exercises for each muscle group, I have been doing the *same* two since I started. I don’t like change, and I chose the exercises I liked most, so instead of biting the bullet and doing that, I have instead been trying s-l-o-w reps: 4 seconds up, 4 seconds down. This makes the workouts both tedious and very difficult, which makes me feel bored and weak. NOT good for motivation.

What I need is a submissive man with the mad gym skills to be my personal trainer, because that would be awesome. Takers?

28 Sep 2012: I have been doing slow reps (4 secs up/4 secs down) for several weeks, and this week, I went back to normal speed reps.

Lo and behold, I pretty much beat every personal best record for every exercise!! I was gobsmacked and delighted and it made me uber happy since my motivation has been low lately, and this helps give it a bit of a kick.

So, upshot: slow reps might make you feel weak and be really tedious, but apparently, they really do work to increase strength. Hmmph. There you go.

1 Oct 2012: Why the workout crew idea works: Pride and shame. Yesterday I gave Peroxide a bit of a hard time about missing a gym day, and he (amazingly!) made it up with a double workout the next time he went to the gym. Inorite?! Nice work Peroxide!!! That’s not yet my point though…

Today I went to the gym in the early afternoon, forgetting that it was a public holiday and it was only open for a few hours in the evening. I skulked home with all the motivation sucked out of me and was all, “Eh, I’ll just miss a day, it’s not really my fault…” I felt pretty bad about it, but… oh well. Then I thought about having to fess up to young Peroxide and the other crew members that I didn’t go. I was too proud to fail and too ashamed to confess that I had failed – double whammy. So I went.

The End.

10 Oct 2012: I have to face the fact that I need to do something about my poor eating habits. I don’t actually eat that much, and I don’t eat a lot of junk, but I have really inconsistent habits and poor nutritional content because I don’t pay attention.

In the past, I have not had a great relationship with food and the only reason I have been slim all my life is because sloth beats greed. Nowadays I don’t really think about food much, which is good and bad. Good because I only eat when I’m hungry. Bad because when I eat, it’s whatever is around and it’s generally not great food. I refuse to have junk food in the house because I will literally *eat it all* if it’s available, but by the same token, I don’t cook, so the options aren’t all that diverse or healthy.

So, I am essentially hindering my muscle building efforts by not eating the right stuff at the right times to support the work I am doing. To address it, I have bought some protein powder (in a HUGE tub, like a proper body building type! This makes me laugh!), and I have set an alarm on my phone to eat something every few hours and will try to make sure that those small meals include some protein.

So far, I am finding it hellishly annoying and I am thinking about food *all the time*. “Is it time to eat yet? When will the alarm go off? Now? Now? How about now?” I will give it at least a week to see how it goes, though I am not sure how to measure ‘success’ in this.

As an aside this is my last week of my second run at the 12 week program. I am uber impressed with myself *super smug look*. I have NEVER managed to stick at a gym program for 6 months consistently. So, yay me!!!

I think I will take these updates into the main part of my blog from next week. They feel lonely back here…

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