My husband has long been worried about my obsession with going to the gym, or at least how obsessive I can get about it. Back when I first started losing weight in 2007 I was going every single day, sometimes twice a day. I pushed myself HARD and saw some pretty incredible results. I was doing 60 minutes of cardio on the elliptical most days, plus did Group Power, which is a strength training class at my local YMCA. I LOVED it and holy mother of god, was I strong. I was was using weight levels equal to that of most of the men in the class, and way above what the rest of the women were using.
But then, maybe 7 years ago, I was going to Group Power all the time. Too much. Of course, I overdid it and injured my shoulder pretty majorly and never took the time off to let it heal so I just kept reinjuring it. Plus, I wasn’t being smart about my ankles, so I spent most evenings limping and icing my ankles. Ultimately had to stop Group Power altogether because I was making so many stupid choices that my body was becoming a big janked up mess. Had to go to physical therapy and athletic therapy to try to get my should functionality back, and even know it is still kinda janky.
It was around this point that my husband became very resistant to my continuing to go to Group Power since I seemed unable to do anything other than injure myself. So bye bye Group Power. 😦 I tried just doing my own strength training routine but it didn’t have the same appeal and I didn’t stick to it. It turns out I will never push myself as hard or get as good results as a class will. It is weird, but when I took away group power I took away a lot of my gym motivation. I tried switching to Group Blast (which is an intermediate/advanced step class), which hey… its fun. Its hard as hell, and my poor ankles are usually fairly grumpy about it, but it at least pushed me and challenged me. But still, I definitely lost my mojo. Frequency of my going to the gym went down until it was little more than a couple times a month. Hardly seemed worth the money…
When the move happened and we were doing up our new budget, my husband of course budgeted for my gym membership but I told him to just get rid of it, that I wasn’t getting the value out of it and that we should save that money. He, very wisely, said that if I thought that was the right thing to do then fine, but he would leave it in for now in case I changed my mind. I went and cancelled my membership… and then promptly had a bit of a cry in the car over it. I don’t entirely know why, but not having my gym membership felt wrong. To me, the gym represents my self-care space. It is where I go to feel better, if not physically then at least emotionally. Giving up the membership felt like giving up.
A couple nights later I had a talk with my husband about it. My problem was that I had totally lost that intangible thing that kept me motivated and engaged in fitness and healthiness and going to the gym. He asked what would help and I said without hesitation that Group Power was it. That my fitness and motivation and progress was never higher than when I was going to Group Power. He, of course, was reluctant to see me start back up at Group Power and have me hurt myself all the time, but eventually gave his blessing but made me promise to quit if I was injuring myself all the time again.
Last week I went and got my membership back, just a week after I cancelled it. I apologized for the back and forth but the people at the YMCA were good about it.
I went to my first Group Power class in 5 years on Monday.
It. Was. Amazing.
On the one hand I was horrified at how little I could life, how weak I was and how far I had fallen, but it still felt so good to get back there. I hurt like hell the day after but rather than discouraging me it motivated me to get back to a point where that workout wouldn’t destroy me. Managed to recover enough to get back to Group Power on thursday, and going again tonight.
Again, knowing that I get WAY better workouts when I attend the classes, I have decided to just rock those for a while. Group Power gets me the strength training, Group Blast gets me the cardio.
This is my current gym plan:
- Monday: Group Power
- Tuesday: Group Blast
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Group Power
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: Group Blast
- Sunday: Rest
I have a lot of rest days built in, obviously, and that is on purpose. Where I’m just starting back up I don’t want to aim too high and then over do it and give up. I also think my body is going to be kinda grumpy at having to be worked so hard, so I’m making sure there is adequate recoup time. If I want to do something those days, fine, but I definitely am not setting any sort of expectations on those. 4 big workouts a week is good for now.
The goal is to get fit again, but obviously it is to help support my weight loss goals too. I know that for the first bit while my muscles adapt there is going to be some water retention and inflammation and whatnot, but in time I know that will level out and I’ll start to see some benefits.