The other day I weighed in for the first time in weeks and I realized it’s been a full year since I’ve started strength training…thanks to all that I learned from my fabulously focused trainer friend Shannon Olsen and from the kind and inspiring Kristine Rustand of BMS Bootcamps . Prior to working with these wonderful ladies, the majority of my exercise was cardio based with a bit of strength training. For the past year, I have focused on strength training with a bit of cardio. It’s been a complete change in the way I train to maintain my health and wellness. I love the focus and pride weight training gives me.
Because our society can be so weight loss centered…here’s my weigh-in results after one year of strength training:
I lost a total of 0 pounds.
That’s right I weigh exactly the same one year later.
If I were to base my results on the scale, I would feel like I failed or at the very least I would feel like I didn’t make a whole lot of progress.
Weight Loss: 0
Strength Gain: I’ve increased the weight I can lift by over 100% in some areas. From squatting my body weight, to squatting 140 pounds for several sets. I’ve gone from a shaky total of 12 pushups to 3 sets of 12 incline pushups. I’ve gone from a dangly no-hope-of-pulling-up-my-own-body-weight to actually being able to do a couple of pull-ups unassisted. That’s HUGE for me. A year ago I had no idea what a deadlift was, today I deadlift a couple of times a week progressing in weight as I gain muscle. At the moment, I’m at 3 sets of 12 lifting 110 pounds. It shocks me each month that I can increase the weight I can lift in every area. It doesn’t seem possible in my limited mindset.
I was always intimidated by the “guy zone” at the gym. The weight training area was off-limits. I felt like I had no business being there. My biggest sense of joy comes from the confidence I have in that area now. When I see the squat rack free, I get all excited. ha! I used to spend my entire time at the gym on a treadmill, running to nowhere. There’s definitely a place for running, but now it’s a part of the plan….not all of my plan.
Aside from my new-found-happiness via weights, the greatest gift has been through the incredibly motivating and uplifting people I’ve met this year by consistently going to the gym the same time of day for a few days a week.
The man who was run over after his motorcycle crash…he spends hours at the gym strengthening his new legs.
I met a man the other day who has two brand new knees. After 6 months at the gym and rehabilitation, he was able to climb the rocks in Mexico and jog on the beach with his grandchildren. He said this to me last week: “take care of your body, because when you get to my age, you need it to enjoy your retirement.”
I met a Mom who found self-confidence and purpose through fitness as she coped with her kids leaving for school.
I met a man the other day who showed me how to use battling ropes. He’s got some years on me, but he kicked my ass! As he showed me all he can do, I could feel how proud he was of his progress. Seriously, kicked. my. ass.
I met a woman who progresses every time I see her. She leaves her heart on the gym floor and through one little compliment I gave her about how she motivated me to work harder, we now exchange smiles and hellos rather than two strangers passing by.
And finally, I’m always encouraged by a man who walks the track as he recovers from a stroke. His strength of body and spirit amazes me. He just keeps going and if you could see the expression of determination on his face you would be inspired to just get out and walk a lap along with him.
I’m sharing all of this today because for years I was caught up in judging myself based on what a stupid scale read. I know many of my friends struggle with this as well.
If you have worked hard towards your goals and you are frustrated with your progress, I want to encourage you to focus on the strength you are building in both your body and mind. Focus on how much farther or longer you can run. Focus on the uplifting of your spirit as you sweat out the stress. Focus on increasing the weight each session or the amount of reps you can do. Focus on uplifting others through the joy you feel. Get out and live! Remember where you started, but more importantly WHY you started. Where you are at today in your fitness, is another person’s goal. Be good to yourself and enjoy the ride.
This past year has been a gift as I’ve learned so much more about the limits (or what I thought was my limits) of my mind and body. The correlation between the two in undeniable.
If you don’t know where to start with weight training, go hire a trainer. It’s worth every dollar! Check out: http://www.bodybuilding.com . Great resources for free! (who doesn’t love free)
From my heart to yours,