Leg Workout

I wasn't feeling the gym today so I decided to put together a leg workout of my own. It's important to work all parts of the leg and from as many angles as possible. Most important though is proper form in order to avoid injury!

I performed the following workout as a circuit, from start to finish with a one minute break between sets. I did three sets of 15 reps each (15 each leg for single leg exercises). Don't forget your warm up and save the stretching until you're done.

1. Dumbbell Squat - You can also do a basic squat. Be sure your knees do not go over your toes and keep your back straight.

2. Forward Lunge with Ab Twist - I used a 10 lb weight. Again be sure the knees do not go over the toes. I find it helpful to be mindful of pushing back to the starting position with your heel.

3. Stiff Leg Good Morning - I used a 10 lb weight held behind my neck - but not resting on my neck. Be sure to bend at the hips and do not curve your back.

4. Glute Bridge with Dumbbells - I used two 10 lb dumbbells rested on my pelvis. You can use one dumbbell, a medicine ball, a weight plate, or you can nix the weight altogether.

5. Standing Bodyweight Calf Raises - I did this on part of the frame of my Bowflex. You can do it on a step or anything else that is sturdy. Or you can do it on a flat surface.

6. Plie Squat with Dumbbells - You can hold the weight(s) up or hung between your legs. You can add in a bicep curl, shoulder press, lateral raise, etc., upon standing. Same with the basic squat. More bang for your buck. Doing compound movements uses more muscles and burns more calories.

7. Step Up with Backward Lunge - These are my favorite because they get my heart rate up pretty quickly. When starting out it's best to start with a low step and work your way up. Move slowly so as to not lose your balance. Also dumbbells can be incorporated as you progress.

8. Stiff Leg Dead Lift with Dumbbells - As with the Good Morning bend at the hips and don't curve your back. Bend down until you start to feel a pull in your hamstrings and slowly rise back up.

9. Single Leg Calf Raises - This can also be done standing on a flat surface if you don't have a ledge of some sort. Be sure you have something to use for stability, such as a wall or railing.

10. Donkey Kicks + Fire Hydrants - I did the set of donkey kicks followed by the fire hydrants for one leg and then switched to the other leg. I feel it more when performed this way. But you could do a set of DK for each leg then the FH for each leg.

I was dripping sweat at the end of this circuit and my legs were a little shaky. I felt great!

I hope someone finds this just as exciting as I do!

I Don't Want to Be...

Yesterday I started thinking about my goals and where I'd like to be in the not too distant future. I was pondering how I wanted to be when I come out on the other side. I started to mentally make some lists of what/who I do and do not want to be.

I don't want to be...

...a big shot Hollywood trainer.
...an exercise DVD guru.
...stick thin.
...a fitness model.
...an object of envy.
...financially rich.

I do want to be...

...an inspiration.
...a source of comfort.
...one who teaches.
...one who practices what she preaches.
...personally successful.

Stepping into the health and fitness field feels like I've finally emerged from my cocoon. It's where I was meant to be. It's natural for me. Did I always think this is where I wanted to be? Absolutely not! But I did know I wanted to work in a field that would enable me to help people one on one. I never quite knew how or how to even go about figuring it out. I trusted that in time it would come to me and finally it has.

I feel very reflective this morning. More answers have been revealed to me. I can now make sense of certain situations and the lessons they afforded me. I can now see how I got to this place. I am grateful for each and every bit of it.

I really want to help people realize their full potential as well. I want to show them that perseverance may be painful at times but it is rewarding.

We are all capable of wonderful things. We just need to believe in ourselves.

Chasing a Feeling.

Like Alice wandering down the rabbit hole, I feel as though I'm compelled to chase this unknown.

I have this deeply intense feeling in the pit of my stomach. Like a caged animal trying desperately to break free. Only I can't pinpoint what it is.

It's simply a feeling.

I know better things are on the horizon. I am so very ready to chase them down. One by one. Catching them like beautiful butterflies in my net.

Yet I'm hesitant.

For some time I've practiced turning inward in order to seek out an answer. I write, meditate, run, or sit silently weighing all of my options. But right now I'm seeking validation. My instinct is screaming at me to make a decision. A simple decision. After all most decisions in life really are simple yet we complicate them. So why do I need the world's opinion about this?

If our instincts won't lead us astray, why can't I do what I feel I should do? What is best for me in this situation?

I wholeheartedly believe this. I'm certainly not scared. I don't fear what comes next. I know it will work out in the right way.

While this isn't sinking me it isn't serving me either. It isn't doing much of anything to propel me forward. I've exhausted all positive angles, learned all I'm going to learn from this. I see the value in this experience. I believe everything - big or small - is meant to teach us something. Nothing is insignificant. 

But I think the well has run dry.
And I think it's time to find a new well.

A New Body Reality.

I've made significant strides in the acceptance of my body.

I eat healthy. I exercise. I rest when needed. I don't sleep well (due to stress) but I'm working on it. I have completely omitted the word "fat" from my vocabulary. I am conscious of the content of my self talk. I am careful to push out negative thoughts just as soon as they start to appear. I treat myself with kindness. I focus on what my body can accomplish rather than how it looks in the mirror.

Yet still I would like to lose a little of what I call my "squishiness."

I follow a lot of body positive Facebook and Instagram accounts. I read about body positivity all the time and do my best to reenforce that concept within myself. It's working. I mean that in all honesty.  I feel really good about myself. I'm confident about my outer appearance because I am even more confident with who I am on the inside.

Yet I still would like to get back to the fit physique I had prior to the onset of ED.

June 2011

But then I had a thought today. What if the body I want isn't the body I am meant to have? What if my set point is where I'm at now?

By 'standards' I am average in size. I'm more physically capable than some and not nearly as much as others. I accept that.

I work hard to take care of my body but I know I am still battling some internal effects from my ED. I believe I have digestive issues that are making it very hard to lose any weight/inches. I accept that and I'm working to correct it. But I have to admit it's extremely frustrating.

I don't need to look exactly like that photo above. I think it would mean more to feel the way I did when I took that photo. I had just finished a five mile run with nearly no walking breaks. It was a huge accomplishment for me. The thought that I may not accomplish that again, not due to size but due to some physical pains, is crushing. I know how hard I worked to get to that point and some days I feel like I work 10x harder now.

Looking slim and fit was the icing on the cupcake for me. And yes I want that back. But what if I'm just not meant for it? How do I learn to accept a new reality?

I won't give up and I certainly won't fall back into harsh restrictive patterns in an attempt to achieve what I did once before. My mindset is stronger now. I'm doing right by myself. That is what matters most. I will continue to honor my body and my mind for what it can achieve.

The way I look on the outside is not my measure of success.