My Real Hard Workout Session
I only got one of my two assigned workouts in during week four of this challenge. I was supposed to do two cardio days and one of Holly’s workouts this week on my own. I only did my one-day of cardio via the Santa Monica stairs. I did four loops up and down the stairs and ran in-between. I burned about 380 calories on this workout, but I was not looking forward to telling Holly that I didn’t fully complete the homework.
A few days after my cardio, I met up with Holly at Real Fitness in Playa Del Rey, CA for our training session. Immediately she asked if I had completed my homework, and she wasn’t too happy with my response. So she made me work hard during our session - more weight, higher intensity, and very little rest.
Although I struggled through quite a few of the exercises, I did enjoy some of the new ones she had me do. She had me slam a huge hammer down onto a tractor tire, and it was fun! Not only did it tire me out (hehe…get it?) but I felt like I was getting out some pent up aggression out on that thing!
I also got to throw a big medicine ball against a wall – which was another great way to let out some steam. The throwing and slamming was a fun way to workout without it feeling so much like a workout.
Each round finished with the massive rope ‘dance’ (which I now know are called Battle Ropes) I’d always seen other people do in workout videos. I’d never been to a gym that had them, so it was fun to experience it… for about 30 seconds. I got over it pretty quickly, though. I was so beat up when we were done with the session - I thought I was going to regurgitate a few times throughout, but I made it. It really is quite amazing what that body can handle. Mind over matter; mind over matter. Just when I thought we were done, however, Holly had another surprise in store for me… a beach run!
Outside workouts are always nice, and it’s even more of a treat when you can get down to the water. Thank goodness Holly didn’t make me do the beach run on the sand, but rather on the path. During our jog, Holly stressed again the importance of getting my own workouts in. I have to get used to doing it on my own and learn to push myself. After all, Holly won’t always be there to help me through it. Plus, my caloric allotment was calculated on the assumption that I am doing my daily workouts. It’s just has to be done - no more excuses!
Getting Motivated and Support from Friends
After my session and pep talk from Holly, I was feeling much more motivated. Regardless, I know how easy it is for me to skip a workout, so I called up a few of my bridesmaids and asked them to workout with me to keep me accountable.
We started with a quick cardio session running up and down the Santa Monica stairs. After a few rounds, we did some of the strength training exercises Holly had taught me over the past few weeks. We did Russian twists with an 8-pound medicine ball (3 sets of 10 reps per side); planks (3 sets of 40 seconds); squats with the medicine ball (3 sets of 15 reps); then back rows with a resistance band that Holly had let me borrow (3 sets of 20 reps). We finished off with two more rounds of the stairs.
We felt great and so accomplished at the end, but the icing on the cake was that we got to hang out after at the coffee shop to catch-up.
Although it took some convincing, I got myself to attend a spin class on Saturday at a studio I used to love attending. Again, I was dripping in sweat, but really enjoyed it and the endorphin rush that comes from moving! Especially when it’s accompanied by great tunes and a class full of motivated people doing it together.
I bought a heart rate monitor watch prior to starting this challenge, so I sent Holly a photo of my calories burned after the class to show her I was doing my homework!
Weekly Recap & Meal Prep
On Sunday, I went grocery shopping for the whole week, and ended up in the kitchen for a solid three hours preparing some meals that would allow me to have lots of options. Holly suggested I do this to help avoid eating out during the work week and to have low-calorie snacks available rather than eat the junk food at work.
I tried to make sure that each meal included healthy sources of carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables. I made chicken noodle soup for dinners; for lunches I made spaghetti Bolognese sauce that I can mix with zucchini noodles and whole-wheat pasta or a bowl of veggies. I also made a tuna and garbanzo bean salad (dressed with lemon, garlic, and olive oil) for a snack option. Since I was already in the kitchen and had leftover ingredients, I made a modified version of an egg white frittata I had seen online with some leeks, brussel sprouts and peas for breakfasts on-the-go. I subbed the regular milk for almond milk and reduced the parmesan cheese to two tablespoons, and cooked the leeks with just olive oil spray instead of butter.
Overall, I feel like I did pretty well this week. Sure, I had some days that were better than others, but I tried my best to adapt to this new way of living. At the start of week 5 I stepped on the scale with some timidity, but I was ecstatic to see that these challenging workouts and time-consuming meal prep is paying off! I weighed 159.8 - almost 5 pounds down from when I started!
Body Fat: 29.8% (down from 32%)
Total = 3 inches lost!