Now it’s September, it’s time for back to school fitness – for you, Mom! For us, this year has been super challenging: discovering I had PTSD, a flood that led to mold discovery, another move, job loss, falling out with friends. In light of all the stressors, I laid back on my gym visits. As you might know, I am a big fan of SoldierFit, a gym that challenges me with crossfit and weight training. But after the PTSD revelation, I got bored…and stopped going more than 2-3 times a week – or less.
The problem is crossfit/bootcamp type workouts require you to stay active at the gym 4 or more times a week. So I grew weak.
How do I know that? I went from not tiring until I got to 11 or 12 pushups in a row, to struggling with 4 of them FROM THE KNEES!
In response, I signed myself up again for group fitness after a long break, starting in August – a perfect time for a school, back in shape agenda! My husband and I used to take turns with the 12 week program (“Guns & Buns”), and then I let him do three in a row. But I pushed myself to commit even though I was scared and did not yet feel secure about it.
Plus it was ugly at first. My first class was August 3rd, AND THEN I went on vacation. So class ƒ#2 I took on 8/15, after 11 days away from the gym..augh! Two days later, I had my next workout, which had me longing for a “plain” old bootcamp. The very next day, I show up for bootcamp…and our trainer decides to do a Guns & Buns class. 80 pushups and 48 grueling chin ups later..😩😫
NEXT class I took was NINETY minute bootcamp so I could hang out with a friend. That was a brutal week and did little more than sleep the rest of the weekend!
But the next week, I was determined that I would get back on track. Now that the school year has started, there is no excuse to miss a boot
So I did what I had to do, and took a few minutes of self care to get myself back on track. I figured out that with very few changes, I could get back into a routine and support myself.
So how do you get motivated when everything is not working? If you’ve fallen off track with your gym or your regular fitness routine, you can get back on track and in relatively short time. I’m going to share my tips for rebooting your exercise regimen in the new school year:
Make your food count.
It’s important to eat enough, but someone at my age and fitness level is still supposed to only be around 1300 calories a day..augh! So I make sure that everything is packed with more protein, and that my carbs are veggies as often as possible. Don’t miss a meal!
Supplement daily to support your workouts.
So I actually *can’t* supplement. Since I’m on blood thinners, EVERYTHING triggers my levels, even things my dear friends say won’t. The only thing I’ve been able to use is Juice Plus, which is actually not a supplement, just pulverized nutrients. Whatever works best for you, make sure you are getting your necessary daily nutrients one way or another.
Keep smoothie ingredients on hand.
We’d been without a blender for some time, so I took advantage of Prime Days to buy a Ninja Twisti Blender and load up on the safest organic protein powder I could find. In a pinch, a smoothie or smoothie bowl will do the trick!
PRO TIP: Dump your supplements or Juice Plus into your smoothie to make it easy on you!
Work out more often.
4 to 5 days a week is recommended. My trainer says 7 but then again, he’s a trainer. You can always mix in low impact workouts, like yoga.
Focus on your reps.
I laser focused on my workouts. Like no kidding, you can’t talk me. I’m zeroed in on doing the action right even if my body is too tight or injured to do a lot of reps. Form should always be your top concern, or you can hurt yourself doing the exercise improperly.
You don’t have a lot of choice at the gym but I learned to adapt. I actually started to like different music than I’m used to because it would play during my bootcamps. To this day, “Thunderstrike” reminds me of running pushups I did years ago. And “Country Girl” encourages me to do ONE more good, solid rep 🙂
Notice your progress.
Ok this is *totally* going to sound vain, but take stock and notice of your body. Over time, you’ll see a muscle on an inner thigh you didn’t before. Or your run will seem faster. Or, like me, you will suddenly not tire out over a few pushups anymore. With crossfit and weight training five times a week, these changes can come quickly…longer if you’re brand new, but still, fairly quickly if you’re giving your all. That’s the most important thing.
Work out to impress.
I do not mean impress someone else. You have no one to answer to but yourself – so do yourself proud! Be in competition with yourself alone. And it’s ok to give grace on the days you feel kind of slumpy.
However, if you feel it helps, you can do try to impress your trainer or have a goal that someone you look up to has achieved, even if you don’t know them. For me, I pray first for strength and energy and dedicate all my workouts like God Himself is my trainer!
If you’re dragging…
If I’m slacking/dragging/tired and it’s almost time for my group training or a bootcamp, I take a sniff of peppermint essential oil as a pick me up. Even if oils are not your thing, find a way to perk yourself up to keep that gym commitment, especially on rainy days.
For me, crossfit has provided an outlet to channel my frustration, process tough emotions like grief or betrayal, have something all my own that is actually good for me (as opposed to say, a hot fudge sundae), made me stronger physically and mentally, and has given me confidence like no other activity I’ve ever done. I’ve even raised my pain tolerance and know how to fall (or, take an injury so that it’s less harmful).
I’m glad that I’ve really gotten into working out five times a week, now that Squatober is on the horizon!
Take this time to recommit to your own health and exercise regularly especially if your kids are in school. I promise you won’t regret it!