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saunaWhen I started typing in here today I didn’t have a catchy title in mind (well, catchy in my mind, at least).  Usually that’s what inspires me to start writing.  But today, I’m doing the opposite.

I’m looking back on the 3 (!) weeks since starting the Lean Eating for Women program at Precision Nutrition.  I remember how I was a little frustrated that I would be out-of-town the first few days we started in late July…I didn’t want to miss the boat right off the bat and feel behind. How frustrating, especially not really knowing what to expect!  Well, on the other hand I was at Silpada National Conference, and my life was gloriously not my own for 4 days of jewelry sisterhood in Kansas City!

Now, dare I say, I’m kindasorta getting used to the habit of working out at the gym after work (and also on the weekends too, when we do have a workout scheduled in our daily plan).  It’s nice going in and feeling good and familiar with the gym surroundings, seeing the regulars there and hoping I’ll soon seem like a regular as well!  And feeling confident about just doing the workouts I need to do, no matter how good I’m doing or how much I might suck.  Man, I’m so glad I started this new health and fitness journey in July, not January!  January is such a cliché for things like that (and the gym – as I’m sure most of them are – is completely bursting at the seams that month).  Then, it thins out a bit.

As far as eating goes, I’m practicing the habit of eating food slowly (with a heavy emphasis on practicing), and having a small meal or snack every 2 to 3 hours.  This REALLY helps me get through that late afternoon ‘crash’ I used to feel at work during the week, and it was that feeling that made me tired and unmotivated to get some exercise after work, whether it was going for a walk or getting in the gym.  I’d get home and plop down on the couch with a big bowl of pasta and pesto or whatever, eat too fast and then feel bloated and miserable the rest of the evening.  Wow, just a few small changes make such a huge difference in my energy level!  And I don’t feel nearly as hungry or wiped out at the end of the workday!  And so refreshed and happy after completing my workout!  WOW!!

J’s been very supportive as well.  On Friday he came over to help me take my body measurements.  We have to post our weight and measurements online every week…now, personally I find taking my measurements every week a bit much, but this is the process we need to follow and I’m trusting it.  On the other hand, I don’t like just posting my weight weekly – I know, I’m rebellious.  I find it much more accurate to weigh myself daily and then take that weekly average.  Our weight fluctuates all the time for numerous reasons…so I do follow the process and post my weight for the date I need to upload it, but I mentally track daily weigh-ins to see my overall trend.  For example, yesterday my weigh-in weight looks like I dropped half a pound from the previous week.  But, my weight was a full pound lower for 3 days  in a row prior to my weigh-in date weight.  Weighing myself daily helps me not freak out when it looks like – according to the weekly weigh-ins – that I’m not making any progress or even gaining weight.  AND, of course, muscle weighs more than fat, so I’m not going to freak out if I don’t steadily drop weight week after week.  This is a lifestyle change getting back in the habit of regular exercise, and I can’t possibly correct years of gradual weight gain in just 3 weeks.  Nor would I want to!

Anyway, on Friday I made us dinner – General Chang’s chicken – a fun twist on chicken with Asian-style spices…and gluten free.  J and I have both been super busy.  Man, there’s so much more I want to do together before the summer slips away and the weather turns.  But, I try not to stress about it too much.  August is flying by, but September is usually good weather too.  Anyway, as we were finishing dinner, he was talking about how he’s thinking about joining my gym too…mainly so he can take saunas, which he loves to do!  (He’s Swedish, by the way…OK, yes, those stereotypes start from something, right?).   And he thought, why not go check out the gym right now?  Man, that sounded good to me…those dirty dishes can wait!

We hopped down the street to the gym and I gave him the 25-cent tour.  It was a pretty light crowd inside – 9:00pm on a Friday night with beautiful weather and all.  I had to laugh as I’d not set foot in the steam/sauna section of the gym in years.  I couldn’t even remember if it was a co-ed area or if there were separate, private areas for men and women.  The locker room for me is to keep my clothes and purse secure while I work out and nothing more.  I live so close to the gym so I typically shower at home…driving 5 minutes in sweaty clothes isn’t really a big deal to me.  So I’d not been through the windy, twisty hallways in the back of the women’s locker room past the showers since the gym remodel a few years ago.  Then, suddenly, there was the big hot tub and the steam and sauna rooms…and there was J on the opposite side of the room!  HA!  Too funny…so the steam/sauna area IS co-ed!

As we were driving back home, J said he really wanted to take a sauna…and was happy he had some extra shorts with him.  I quickly changed into some synthetic workout shorts, a sports bra and a light t-shirt and we headed back to the gym yet again!  I don’t have a bathing suit that fits me any longer – yikes – and have been completely reluctant to even think about shopping for one given the size I am right now.

We did both the sauna and the steam rooms…ah, complete with a little eucalyptus aromatherapy too!  I need to do these in short stints until I get more used to the feeling…and make sure to drink plenty of water before and after.

What a great way to wrap up a busy week!  And now it’s time for a little shopping…I’m going to need more than one sports bra that fits, and while I love my bootleg-cut black yoga pants I’m getting a little sick of them too.  How funny that my closet is full of workout clothes from my size 6 years (OK, year) in 2004!  Hopefully I can find some stuff on clearance that hopefully will be too loose in good time!