Fitness journey… begin!

If you couldn’t tell, I’ve started on a fitness journey. Today is my 18th day of consistently “working out”. My sister was the one who motivated me when I saw how she was rocking her workouts. She explained how easy some of the exercises were, that one didn’t have to Jane Fonda her way to fitness. And I hated how I looked, felt, and moved. I didn’t feel healthy, and my blood tests weren’t that healthy. My last blood test was borderline diabetic. And there was a slight sibling competition in there, too, because I can’t let my sister be the only fit, strong gal in the family.

In the very beginning, I was basically only working out the body parts that didn’t hurt. I stared with abs, then moved on to arms, back, chest, etc. Eventually, I was just sore every day, and on those days where everything was sore and I couldn’t work on a specific body part, I did an entire body yoga stretch. So far I’ve done some stretching twice weekly with a strength-based workout every day.

The biggest struggle was (is) with my asthma. It gets triggered with uphill hiking, stairs, jumping, and aerobics. I can walk for awhile on flat ground, but if it involves some kind of height, my asthma doesn’t like it. Therefore I looked up every low impact, non-jumping workout on YouTube and in 18 days have found so many workouts. I can’t even list them all. I’m so thankful there is so much for people like me to start with. There are even knee-friendly workouts I can use until I strengthen my legs enough to do those deep, heavy squats.

So I wheezed through the first 10 days. It sucked, literally and figuratively. I was sucking in so much air that first week that I could’ve stood in for a shop vac. There were times I just laid on the ground, sweating, cursing, and wheezing. I didn’t want to do all the easy alternatives, but I had no choice. The most important thing for me was to keep my heart rate under 140 beats per minute, because above that, with exercise, is when the asthma kicks in. At times, I’ve had to stop and wait awhile for my heart rate and wheezing to calm down.

Fortunately, my asthma’s reaction to exercise has eased up. I can now do some things at a harder or more intense level without dying. I’m still not jumping, though.

The results? I still hate how I look. Yet I can feel the difference in my body. I’m stronger, and moving, in general, feels much better. Carrying grocery bags are a lot easier. Going up and down two flights of stairs doesn’t bother me at all. I haven’t had to worry about straining my back whenever I bend over to pick up something. Also, I keep reminding myself that my blood tests will get better: lower LDLs, higher HDLs, lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure.

Mom says she can see a difference. I can see it in my legs and butt, that’s about it. It’s hard to find motivation when I don’t see results everywhere. However, I just don’t want to stop until I’m close to fitness model level. (Well, I shouldn’t stop, but you know what I mean.) I’m keeping on until I can wear a sports bra and yoga pants without shame. I’d like to wear crop tops and tight shirts. I want to wear a body-con dress and rock it. But it’s the blood tests and medical measurements that deeply motivates me.

As for diet, I’m not one one. I hate limiting myself on food. I love food too much to restrict myself to boiled chicken and steamed broccoli every meal. The only things I’m doing is that I’m eating less rice, starch/carbs, and drinking a whey protein and creatine shake every day. I’m also trying to eat a handful of blueberries and a kiwi (with the skin) every day. When I go out, I try to eat at CoreLife Eatery and go for Panera’s salads and soups. Other than that, Mom cooks foods from scratch, and she’s a generally healthy cook (she’ll substitute butter with oil — sometimes this works, sometimes this… doesn’t). I’m not going to avoid ice cream, popcorn, or the random candy car. I will cut down on how much of them I snack on, and instead snack on nuts. I’m also not giving up coffee (when I do have it, which is not that often), my chai tea, or my BodyArmor drinks. And I’m not giving up my dark chocolate.

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