I do not like to sweat. Or get my heart rate up. So I’m sure it comes as no surprise working out – or any physical activity – was never at the top of my to-do list growing up. When my parents forced me to join the basketball team, I did have to lift some weights and running (gross), but it wasn’t until I went to college I finally got into the whole working out thing.
See, I was terrified … I mean T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D … of the Freshman 15. I didn’t know exactly what caused it and I wasn’t falling victim to it. Naturally, because I’m rule follower who’s pure of heart, I thought the real reason was because you were eating dorm food and didn’t have your mom breathing down your neck to eat your vegetables all the time. I didn’t know it was because people staying up late drinking alcohol and ordering pizza at 2 a.m.
My roommate and I began taking step aerobics and other group campus workouts our first semester freshman year. Then the next semester we got into going to the weight room and started using the cardio equipment. That was mostly because the classes cost money and it was adding up and the gym was free to students. 🙂 I really started to notice definition in my arms and waist and I couldn’t believe it! All you have to do is do a little bit of exertion in sweat-appropriate clothes and you too can have the body of a goddess! Score!
Working Out In Your 30s, Post Baby
After college, I continued working out, but it wasn’t until I had my first baby I realized I needed to work out a little bit harder to have the same effect. (Suck!) And I kind of liked lifting weights. I definitely liked it more than cardio, so I found a Crossfit gym and started working out there. I was immediately hooked. Nothing made me feel more powerful. Then the gym changed and got away from the true Crossfit principles (which was fine by me) and moved into a more strength and conditioning gym. Love it. All is well in my happy, weight lifting world.
One of my favorite weight lifting stories happened just a few years ago. It was during performance week where you tested yourself to see how much weight you can do for a single exercise. We were doing deadlifts. I lifted 250 pounds and I felt like an absolute boss. A woman who was checking out the gym saw me and asked if I was married. I said yes. She said, “I hope your husband is afraid of you because you could throw his ass out at any time!”
I then replied, “My husband is definitely afraid of me, but it has nothing to do with my weight lifting.” HAHAHA!
That powerful feeling was such a high. Then I had my second baby, hip surgery and apparently began the downward dissent into middle-aged old lady. Suddenly, lifting heavy weights didn’t make me feel powerful. Everything hurt and I thought I was dying. The euphoric feeling I would get from bench pressing a new max effort wasn’t there anymore. I was so sad.
Finding My New Work Out For An Unmotivated Momma
I tried working out at the local Y for a bit, but I found I was too easily distracted. I know too many people and they would all want to talk to me. Being a chatty Cathy myself, I easily obliged, but then would realize I’d been at the gym an hour and done absolutely nothing. I had blown my workout hour talking! Damnit!
Plus, it was hard to motivate myself to lift heavier weights or finish the sets I had decided to do once it got too hard (or I got too tired). I needed other people who were working hard alongside me to motivate me by proxy.
Then the Orangetheory Fitness opened near me and I am a convert. It’s absolutely spectacular. You just have to show up, they tell you what to do and then you work hard for one hour and call it a day. Everyone in that room is working their butts off too, so when you start to feel like stopping you just “breathe and move” as my former trainer used to say, and keep on trucking.
If you’re not familiar with Orangetheory it’s a group class that kind of feels like personal training. Orangetheory is a 1-hour, full body workout, focused on training endurance, strength, and power. We use heart-rate based interval training, which burns more calories post-workout than traditional exercise. You wear a heart rate monitor and they track your calories and splat points (splat points = the number of minutes you spend in the orange or red zone. You should aim to achieve 12 each class). The last part really isn’t the end all be all of the workouts, but it’s fun to track and know where you are!
The last five months I’ve FINALLY been losing weight after a year of straight up struggling and working out at Orangetheory has helped tremendously!
So if you’re thinking about getting back into working out or feel like you’ve hit a rut, I definitely recommend Orangetheory! Or you could find a group workout class where you can show up, workout hard and leave. Don’t worry about anyone else looking at you or judging you or noticing you have to modify exercises (I modify exercises ALL THE TIME because of my damn hip) because they’re all working out as hard as you are and are only focused on themselves anyway!