Gregg reynolds | william lutsky family ymca
The final one!
"Hey you're looking good! That's something that is almost never said to me, but it actually happened twice this week and it really took me by surprise.
Two people I hadn't seen since I started the challenge came up to me on separate days to tell me I'm looking more fit and honestly it's the best feeling ever. When you see yourself every day, it's hard to notice any changes, which can be deflating if you're really trying to lose weight or tone up.
Just because you can't see the chance in yourself, doesn't mean other people aren't noticing. I know I feel better and am stronger now, but honestly don't see any change when I look in the mirror. I think it's an important lesson to remember going forward, even if you don't see a difference, as long as you feel healthier, stronger, and happier...that's all that matters! Plus, you might run into someone that will tell you how good you look and that makes all those sweaty hours in the gym worth it."
Thanks again for everything, it's been a pleasure taking part in this!
Can I do this all alone?
That's the biggest question I've been facing this week and it's starting to terrify me a little bit. I've seen and felt such incredible progress since starting this challenge in January; the thought of it all coming to an end is a little scary.
When I'm doing my one on one or group workouts with Jannine, I feel like I push myself so far out of my comfort zone and get the absolute maximum out of my body. When I'm alone, it's really hard to push myself to that level and I'm not sure how this is all going to go when the challenge is over.
Over the last 2 weeks we've tried a new intense running program on the treadmill, I do really well with my trainer and seem to walk a lot alone. If I continue to struggle alone, I might look into bringing my fiancé with me, or asking a friend.
Since day 1 I've struggled with accountability, so maybe having someone with me at my workouts is a solution going forward."
"Something happened this week that is kind of terrifying.... I bought my wedding suit!
My whole reason for joining this program was to build healthy habits before saying "I do" this summer, so I can look great in my pictures and continue that lifestyle as a married man. After getting custom fitted for my suit this week, I realized I have to stay the size I am now until my wedding day. So after this challenge is over I can't let myself slip at all; gotta keep eating right and pushing myself at the gym.
As scary as that is, I also know having a program like this is a fantastic way to hold myself accountable, which I've told you before is something I struggle with. I don't think I'm alone with that; it's really hard to eat right and push yourself to your limits at the gym when you're just going through the motions in your day to day life. I think it's important to have a goal, an old pair of jeans or a newly fitted suit, in the back of your mind to keep you on track.
I've also started to notice the less you eat "bad" food the less you crave it. Once you cut out the McDonalds, chips, pop etc. from your life, sure you go through the period of craving that stuff, but once that's over you really don't miss it. Hopefully I can keep on track, so I'll actually fit into my suit this summer!"
How can I fit in a workout on my busy days and weeks?
Scheduling was a huge eye opener for me this week. Honestly, right now I'm very lucky, I have a great job with hours that allow me to meal prep and be at the gym for as long or as little as I'd like. I know it's not going to stay that way; kids are definitely in my future plans and who knows what can happen with work.
I talked this week with my trainer about how to fit in a quality workout in a shorter amount of time. When I do cardio, it's always at least an hour, when I do weights; it's about 90 minutes or more. My trainer showed me how a half-hour workout can be actually more effective than longer ones. On our “one on one” this week we started on the treadmill and we did incline sprints, they were intense, but after a half hour or so of doing that I was done! Not only done, but it was a way better workout than my normal hour on the treadmill of running at a steady pace with no incline.
If you don't think you have time to go to the gym and be healthy, there are great tips online, and even apps you can download, to squeeze in a great workout in a short amount of time.
Seeing improvements and working around injuries.
One thing I've loved about this challenge so far is noticing different improvements in my health; things I never even thought I'd want to or have to work on.
Last week I mentioned to my trainer how incredible it is that my rate of recovery is so fast now compared to when I started. Did I ever think about working on building heart rate recovery at the gym? No! But I am glad I am.
The other huge positive, I've noticed about working with my trainer, is the way we work on strengthening my old injuries and working around new ones. On my own I'd just avoid painful areas or use them as excuses to quit, now we find ways to work the same areas without pain and it's fantastic.
I am starting to see the finish line - and it honestly scares me. Can I still workout like this on my own? Will I go back to my old unhealthy habits once this is all over? That's my biggest struggle right now - the fear of trying to incorporate all this into my regular lifestyle as I press forward!
"This week was a real struggle for me mentally.
After coming off such a successful week, my eating habits slip a little bit. I told myself “you've been so good, you deserve a little treat here and there!” The problem is, It’s a really slippery slope, one treat leads to many and before you know it, you're eating unhealthy every day.
I also found out pretty quickly how a negative attitude can impact my time at the gym. For the most part, I'd say 98% of the time I'm happy, up beat and positive, but we all have those crappy days when we're just off. My fiancé and I call it "the funk” and I went through “the funk” for 2 days in the middle of this week and it really messed up my group workout for me. I didn't feel like I could do anything during the workout, I was tired and sluggish from the start to the end. Yet after the workout I could feel that dark cloud lifting right off me!
This time of year I think it's natural to feel off every now and then, it's always cold and dark and it gets a little depressing. If you've been going through “ the funk", like I did this week, a workout out could be the trick to snap you out of it. Even if you don't feel like it was your best workout, be happy that you went and do it again the day after. The more you go the quicker “the funk” could be gone!
Progress! In my last 2 weeks of personal training I've started to notice serious progress during our workouts.
It's interesting how feeling stronger and healthier gets me inspired and excited to come back for more time after time. I find myself counting down to my next session with my trainer Jannine, because I know she's going to push me harder and more out of my comfort zone, but I'm really starting to love that.
I feel like I'm just starting to scratch the surface on what I'm capable of when it comes to health and fitness and it's such an exciting feeling! The only thing scaring me now is that this challenge will eventually be over and I'll be on my own in the gym again. I'm trying to be as much of a sponge as possible during each workout, so I can keep things going by myself.
It's also been exciting to see progress on the scale recently. I've never been too concerned about my weight, but I knew I could stand to lose about 10-15 pounds. When I weighed myself this morning, I'm down 9 pounds from when I started out in this challenge.
Can't wait to see what challenges in the gym I can conquer next!
This week was all about teamwork.
Last week I talked about trying to push through that mental wall during my workouts and this week I was presented with an article by one of my group members Andi. The article is written by a long distance runner and talks about how you need to not think of it as a "wall" but as a "Blerch" because you can easily outrun and outlast "the Blerch". It it's much harder to defeat a wall - an obstinate immovable object!
Not only is it a great switch mentally during my workouts, but also I really appreciated the team mentality encouraged by Andi. Just a few weeks in and we're already trying to help each other achieve our goals and get through our individual struggles in any way possible.
As great as the workouts have been, my eating is still really poor. I forget to track my food and I still tend to eat whatever I want. That will be the biggest struggle, not only for the remainder of this challenge, but also for the rest of my life!
The theme of this week has been trying to get BACK on track!
This is the first time I've ever done anything to try and improve the way I eat, and I'll admit it's been a little harder than I anticipated. Last weekend I forgot to track any of my food and it became a bad habit for the start of this week too. I finally got back into it around Wednesday, I realized you have to be SO diligent about using the tracking program every day or you'll fall behind and it is tough to catch up. I can't remember what I did 2 hours ago, let alone what I ate for breakfast 2 days ago! It was challenging to eat healthy while going out to eat (and drink). A night out with friends at an Oilers game during the week really made it hard to eat healthy and stay on track.
My greatest success this week was pushing myself outside my comfort zone - on my own! I'm trying to take what I'm learning during my group and individual workouts with Jannine and use those exercises on my own. I really hate being on the fan bike, or as I call it “the devil”, but that's because it's such an intense workout. I know that I NEED to do more of it, so as I went to the Y on my own this week, I made sure to incorporate the “devil” into my usual routine.
"I can’t do it! Well maybe…?”
Those words have come up time and time again this week. During my one on one personal training session, Jannine and I talked about pushing through the mental wall. During my workouts I will just stop when I want to stop. Instead of completing the last 10 seconds or last few reps my brain takes over and says "ahhh I think we've done enough” Our goal over the next few weeks is to help me break through "I can't do it" attitude and show myself that I really can!
One thing I'm really starting to love about this challenge is the group workouts. I came into the workout this week and Sandra asked how my week was going health wise and I was honest... not very good! Eating poorly again and I wasn't able to go to the gym as much as I wanted to. She told me about a couple great apps she uses to not only help with the eating struggles, but to get a quick, challenging 10 minute workout done at home. Andi is the one that helps me push harder, so if I want to stop - I look at her and try to mentally push through!
My greatest challenge this week was going out for dinner and tracking what I ate… it's really hard to be good when you go for pasta!
Overall great success this week as I’m pushed out of my comfort zone during group and one on one training. I'm doing exercises I never thought I could do!
Accountability. Coming into this program I knew that was my biggest challenge and it slapped me right in the face this first week. Until now I could skip the gym, or eat a bag or Doritos and not feel bad because I wasn't holding myself accountable for my actions and neither was anyone else. Wednesday morning was my first group workout and when my alarm went off I thought to myself... ughhh it's cold and my bed is warm... do I really have to go? Normally, I would have stayed in bed, but I didn't want to let my trainer or my group down so to the gym I went. Once I was there, I was so happy to be working out but if I didn't have those people counting on me, I definitely would have skipped another day at the gym.
Seconds after leaving that first group workout I ran into one of my major health challenges... snacking!
On my way to work I stopped at 7-11 for an energy drink and bag of chips. Why? I have no idea. I guess I woke up kinda early (for me) so I thought I earned an energy drink and how can you have that without chips right? Growing up we always got rewards for our actions, for example after a 6 am hockey practice we'd go get McDonalds. I think I've just continued that as an adult and it needs to stop. The real eye opener was later that day entering the bag of chips into the WeightWatchers food tracker... 11 points!!
Not worth it, at all.
I was terrified to track everything that I put into my body and rightfully so! I went over my daily allotted points by lunch on my first day, but it is so nice to finally have something holding me accountable for what I'm eating.
I am the afternoon drive host on CISN Country 103.9, which means most of my work day is spent sitting on my butt talking and listening to music.
As much as I love my job, it doesn't exactly help me stay fit and active, which is a big problem for me because this is a very important year for me. Not only did I just turn 30, but I will be getting married this Summer! I want to look back at my wedding pictures and be proud of how I look, which is why I decided to take this challenge on.
Currently, I go to the gym four-five times a week but never see any drastic improvements on the scale or in the mirror. My biggest challenge is healthy eating.. .if I want fast food, I'm going to get it... even if I just ran 5km. I'm hoping by joining this challenge I'll learn more about self control and how to avoid those unhealthy food decisions.