A few things combined for this new step in my fitness training.
The first is that this month I have been systematically eating all the bad (yet delicious!) foods, like the Nerd's bourbon balls and sugar cookies, and all the baking that people have been bringing into the office. When you combine the holiday baking with the sheer volume of social engagements - - festive lunches, dinners with friends, coffee dates, and potlucks, it's a wonder that I can still fit into any of my clothes.
Now that I have released the Kraken, as it were, it will take about a week of eating properly without snacking to get my cravings back under control. One day at a time will be the key.
The second and bigger step is that I have hired a personal trainer. I received a small inheritance from my grandmother, and rather than blowing it all on hookers and cocaine I thought I would actually turn it into a long term positive by taking the next step in my fitness and hiring a trainer.
I have been working out on my own for almost 3 years now and I have lost 144 pounds (well, at least I had before blowing my brains out on cookies and lunches this month!). But it is too easy for me to get settled into comfortable routines, and even tools like the heart rate monitor that are intended to help me push myself only can go so far. Plus, as a self-taught exerciser, I have all the bad technique of the amateur, and no one to correct me.
As it happens, one of the marketers here at the Company is married to a personal trainer. I looked him up and he seemed reasonable, so I booked him to come in and meet me last week at my office. He was just as reasonable in person, so I booked a session.
I was terrified about the whole thing, because what if he asked me to do things I couldn't physically do? What if he pushed me so hard I threw up? What if we just didn't work together well? And, most concerning for me and my dark subconscious, what if he laughed at me?
Of course those of you who have trainers will know that all of my concerns were groundless - - the trainer (aka "Mr. Fitness") listened when I was having problems with a particular exercise and changed up the routine, he worked within my limits and pushed me, but not to the point of injury or projectile vomiting, and he did not laugh even a little bit. The Nerd laughed at my struggles to do sit-ups whilst punching Mr. Fitness' hands, but I only found out about that this morning, and anyways, the Nerd is entitled to tease me.
Mr. Fitness and I had discussed my cardio workouts last week and he recommended that I try high intensity interval training, which I began incorporating into my routine this week. My pattern right now is a 5 minute gentle warm up followed by 10 sets of 30 seconds at high intensity (going around 220-230 strides/minute "as if being chased by a lion") followed by 60 seconds of low intensity. These workouts are shorter - around 20-25 minutes rather than 30-45 - so I don't get the same calorie burn as my previous elliptical work, but they certainly get my heart rate up and push my body.
I did a HIIT session on the elliptical right before Mr. Fitness arrived, so I was warmed up and ready to go when he got there. While that worked pretty well as far as a warm up, my legs did get wobbly later in my session so I might not go full HIIT on my personal trainer days in the future, just to make sure I have legs left for the actual training bit.
We did pushing work last night, with bench presses, nose crushers, and shoulder raises alternated with swinging a kettle bell between my legs and up to chest height along with some squats. We finished with some core work on the Swiss ball, sit-ups where I hit Mr. Trainer's hands as I came up, and then some jab/cross/duck routines (my favourite part of the whole night) with the boxing gloves and target pads.
I was well and truly thrashed after my workout and I learned a lot about technique (especially on the squats and shoulder raises which I have apparently been doing completely wrong for years), and overall I had a good time so I consider it money well spent. With the holidays we won't be able to meet again until the 30th, but that may be the interval I need to recover from last night's ass kicking!