Sorry about the cliffhanger in my last post. I figured it would be easier to split things up instead of having one giant ramble.
I’m turning 32 next month. The abundance of advice I have read about being in your thirties all seem to spew the same nugget of wisdom: get your health under control now, because this is when things start going south. I’ve been extremely fortunate to be in good health my entire life (knocking on some IKEA wood right now), but it’s definitely in the back of my mind that my luck will run out if I don’t take better care of myself. Eating right is the first step, but I know long-term health will depend on staying active.
I’ve never been someone who enjoys exercise.* While I grew up dancing, that never felt like exercise to me. I like to walk, but walking outside in Florida during the summer could be used as a torture method. I’ve had gym memberships over the years, but I never really knew what the heck to do with weights and found the cardio machines boring. But I think by far my biggest exercise setback is that I’m a crappy self motivator. I don’t push myself enough to make much of a difference. Plus, my exercise routines were normally only a short-term complement to whatever weight loss quick fix I was doing at the time. Fitness was never my goal.
Given the above, you can imagine my trepidation about trying out Orange Theory Fitness, a high intensity interval workout that uses a mix of treadmill, rowing, and weights. It was once described to me as “Crossfit for women,” but judging by some of the ripped guys in my classes, that is not the case. This is a kick butt workout for everyone. And it’s the type of workout I would typically have zero interest in, because I never thought I could do it.
After hearing some very positive things about Orange Theory from some very fit members, I thought what the heck. Your first class is free so it didn’t hurt to just go see what it was like. I was certain I would cry/faint/get injured/something catastrophic would happen and that would be the end of my Orange Theory experience.
Well, something surprising happened that day. I went to my first class and while I really struggled, I realized if I could stick to something this tough, I would definitely see results. I signed up for a month of Orange Theory (you can just go month-to-month rather than sign an annual contract). My goal was to go 3 times a week for a month and see how I liked it. I was still pretty confident I would weasel my way out of it at the end.
I’m almost done with week 4 of my first month, and something even more surprising has happened. I’ve not only stuck with it, but I’ve totally fallen in love with it. Not only do I leave my classes panting, sweating, and near passing out, but I also leave feeling strong and excited for the next class.
This is starting to sound like a paid infomercial. I promise this is not a paid post, I’m just a raving fan.
In addition to Orange Theory, I will also be walking 2-3 times a week. This is pretty easy to do since I work from home now and like to take walking breaks during the day.
That’s the plan for fitness. I will write a thorough review of the actual Orange Theory experience once I officially finish my first month.
As far as nutrition, I’m using My Fitness Pal to track my food. You input your age, gender, height, weight and how much weight you want to lose and it tells you how many calories you need to eat every day to hit your weight loss goal. My daily calories are 1,300, but with all of my workouts it ends up being a lot higher. After you put in your exercise, it recalculates your daily calories to account for that. For example, after burning 545 calories at Orange Theory, I got 1,856 calories for the day.
Believe me, that feels like a ton after 26 Weight Watchers points. You can also set daily goals for your “macros” (fat/protein/carbs), so I’m aiming for 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat each day.
I went a little nuts with protein on this day since I worked out.
Another thing I like about My Fitness Pal is you can set a notification for it to remind you to track meals (example, I get a reminder at 9:50 am if I forget to track my breakfast, then another one at 1:50 pm if I forget to track lunch, etc.). Since I suck at tracking my food, this is a big help so far.
I can also track my weight in My Fitness Pal. I’m still not sure what I am going to do on that front. I’ve toyed around with the maybe posting my weight here once a month for accountability. I still don’t know if I want to weigh in weekly, monthly or what.
So, there’s my new plan. Nothing crazy, but a much-needed change to keep me focused and motivated.
Have you ever tried Orange Theory or used My Fitness Pal? I’d love to hear your thoughts/tips!
*I do love me some Zumba but unfortunately that doesn’t have a strength component.