I have a bicep

Fit Update: Week 3

January 28, 2013 by Michelle

So, I think I’m finally starting to see some results in what I’m doing to regain the fitness level I had four years ago and have slowly let fall to the wayside.  I am still getting tired in classes when it’s 50 minutes of cardio kickboxing and then we do some intense resistance band work.  There are times when my muscles simply don’t work the way I want them to because they’re too tired, but that’s good.  And interestingly, I haven’t been sore since the first day or two, so my muscles must be adjusting to the new routine, right?

While I’ve done “strength training” before, I haven’t done it to quite this extent previously.  I would do three or four strength exercises on my own at home and call that my strength work for the day.  Or I’d go through the eight or nine machines at my gym with two or three sets and call it good.  The resistance band and strength training work we’re doing in classes now is much more intense and … effective.  How do I know?  I’m actually developing a bicep again.  A noticeable and definable bicep.  And triceps.  Check it out:

I have a bicep

Is it the biggest muscle you’ve ever seen?  Is it the most defined?  Of course not.  But over the last three years, I’ve worked and created it, and I’m a little bit proud of it.

This week, I think I’ve figured out a little more what my routine will be and what will work for me and what I should be happy with.  On Monday, I went to the cardio kickboxing class – if only because the wee ones had no school and they welcomed all the kids to come hang out if we wanted to bring them.  Tuesday and Thursday, I attended the fit challenge class that kickstarted my fitness search.  Wednesday, I did a half hour of a surprisingly intense DVD that I’ll share more about later.  Friday I attended the cardio kickboxing again, which led to five pretty intense workouts this week.

Saturday and Sunday were “lazy days” but I think I’ve figured out that with the cold weather and my family, those will be my days off, for the most part.  And I’m ok with that.  When it gets warmer and we can go back to our walks and hikes, I’ll definitely do that, but for now if we play Kinect together and dance or just play active games, I’m comfortable with that level of activity.  For now.  And I like making peace with myself.  It’s definitely making me less stressed about all of it, which was a downside the first couple weeks.  I should be happy that I’m getting out and moving and getting more fit, but I was stressed about what I was not doing instead of focusing on what I was doing.

In last week’s nutritionist class, my goal was to track what I was eating all week.  I did, and I think I’ve figured out part of my problem – both why I get fatigued during class and why I’m actually gaining weight instead of losing any.  Get this.  I’m not eating enough.  I eat when I’m hungry, and I eat until I’m no longer hungry.  Unfortunately, I apparently choose foods that aren’t high enough in protein (I’m getting around 40 grams on average, daily) which doesn’t give enough food to my muscles.  And probably partly because I cook from scratch, I’m struggling to reach 1,000 calories each day.  I actually ate a Girl Scout cookie one night to put me over 1,000 calories.  And I made chocolate stuffed bread another night for the same reason.  Oops.

I also figured out that while I eat relatively healthfully, I’m not getting enough veggies in.  Fruit I do ok, but not veggies.  Oddly, I love vegetables.  Give me a plate of brussels sprouts, and I’m in heaven.  I could sit and eat sliced zucchini or cherry tomatoes or the like all day long.  Except that I’ve realized that I hate preparing them myself.  For lunch, I typically eat leftovers from the night before.  Since my husband doesn’t subsist on salads, and the wee ones will eat plain lettuce but that’s it, the vegetables simply aren’t there.  I make dinner every night.  I make breakfast for everyone every morning.  I pack lunches for the wee ones ever day.  By the time it comes to making lunch for me, I simply grab and go – which means last night’s chicken and rice or soup or whatever I’d made.

I’m focusing on getting more veggies into my tummy this week.  Talking with the nutritionist about what all of us are eating and why, I came upon that realization that I look for that grab and go.  I know I won’t simply start taking more time for myself because I have too many other priorities.  Instead, I need to make veggies into a grab and go food.  It needs to turn into just “another dinner” that I prepare ahead of time.

I bought a bunch of veggies and then poked through my fridge.  I have the makings of a great pseudo chef salad, which would definitely satisfy me.  All I need to do is prep the ingredients into containers when making dinner tomorrow night and then grab and assemble the rest of the week.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before.  For once, I won’t have lettuce just sit there slowly going bad because I don’t feel like actually making the whole salad.  I have salami and ham.  I have a couple different kinds of lettuce.  I have carrots and zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes, pea pods, eggs I can hard boil and more.  And I’m looking forward to it.

Veggies to make a great chef salad

Every week will be different.  And every week will present its own challenges.  After all, I ate out on Saturday.  I had leftovers from eating out on Sunday (yay – I immediately split my entrée into two portions when I got it, and I didn’t miss the second half).  I’m having lunch with friends tomorrow.  And the FnBers are now meeting during lunchtime, so I’ll eat whatever my friend is serving on Thursday.  Oh, and then there’s Super Bowl on Sunday.  So this week?  It won’t be “perfect” but I’m in this for the long haul.  I’m not denying myself. I’m working to make myself more fit and healthy, and that is something that will continue past this week.

The big question becomes what to do with my gym membership.  It expires on Sunday.  Right now the fit challenge class I’m doing gives me all the classes I need, but that ends in early March.  I have some time, but I need to think about how I’ll keep this going once my challenge is over.  Fortunately, I have you to keep me honest and accountable.  Right?

So how are you doing with your resolutions and goals this year?  What are you doing to accomplish them?  Share with me – I want to help keep you accountable, too!


  • Joanna Jenkins

    Wow, Michelle!! You are doing GREAT and looking good. High five.
    I have no resolutions this year but just this morning I heard my neighbor working out side with a personal trainer! I was surprised and a bit jealous. But I was also motivated to get moving myself. Of course I haven’t yet, but it’s on my “to-do” list.
    Keep up the good work.
    xo jj

    • Michelle

      Thanks, Joanna! I appreciate it. It isn’t technically a new year’s resolution, but a form of it that makes me not feel so guilty and pressured by it. I’d love to use a personal trainer, but I don’t see that in my future!

  • Tami

    Grab and go snacks are always the worst! I stopped buy ‘junk food’ and began buying fruits and veggies. It makes a difference. Congrats to you for all the hard work!

    • Michelle

      They aren’t the most healthy, but there are a few times I ignore healthy and go for them. But I still like making most of it myself 🙂

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from Fit Update Week 17 aka I’m No Michelle Obama
    Monday, 6 May, 2013

    […] do you remember way back at the end of January when I was so proud that I was starting to develop arm muscles that I could actually see?  The circuit training I was doing was making a difference that I could […]

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