O is For Open

O is for Open

….Open to change, that is. When it comes to my workouts, I admit I can be stuck in a rut, or stubborn about changing things up. There are a lot of reasons for doing the same thing each time: it’s comfortable and familiar, sometimes I worry about not doing what worked to lose 100 pounds, and sometimes I’m just lazy and don’t want to be creative at the gym.

Lately I’ve realized I needed to be open to change in a lot of ways. I need to be open to opportunities around me and not just stay stuck in my rut because it’s what I know. I need to be open to trying new things with my daily diet. I need to be open to changing up my workout routines.

The biggest “success” in terms of changing things up for me has been Spin class. For years I scoffed at Spin class. I didn’t think it was the same as riding a real bike. I didn’t “get it” and didn’t think it would be a good workout. I am SO glad I changed my mind and tried it. I cannot express just how happy I am that I’ve been able to keep a cycling base throughout winter. Even if I’m only doing 15-20 miles a week, that’s mega compared to previous winters where I did NOTHING.

So what am I finally open to changing in my routine? A lot. I’ve stated before that I am a cardio junkie and prefer to do the long, boring cardio workouts when I SHOULD be doing HIIT interval training and weight lifting. I know that my habits tend to be zoning out on a treadmill or elliptical. It’s time to step out of the habit and be open to doing something else.

My current routine is: 2 swim days, 1 spin day with a run before class, 2 cardio days with weight lifting. That’s a lot of cardio. Spin is staying because I need to train for Spring cycling. Swimming is staying because I love it. So what about the two cardio days with weights? I can certainly give up at least one cardio day. Dare I say, maybe two?

Instead, I should be focusing entirely on weight lifting.

It’s scary. It’s freaking me out to drop a cardio workout. Will I gain weight? Will I miss it? Or will I LOVE IT? Either way, I need to figure it out. So I’ve decided this:

  • 2 Swim days a week will remain as normal, but I’ll try to do more sprints in the pool
  • 1 spin day a week until the weather is nice enough to start biking to work again
  • 1 cardio day with running and weight lifting
  • 1 weight lifting day–ONLY weight lifting!

Eventually, if this works, I might drop another cardio day and make it entirely weight lifting as well. I won’t know if this is the trick I need unless I try it. I need to be open to changing things up. Besides, if I don’t like it or don’t see a change, I can always go back to the same ol’ same ol’….

QUESTION: Are you open to changing anything in your life right now?

A-Abstinence * B-Balance * C-Calories * D-Vitamin D * E-Emergency * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining * G-Gym Bag * H-Happy Weight * I-Intervals * J-Jumping * K-Keeping Sane * L-Losing Weight * M-Measuring Mistakes * N-Nemesis *

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

22 thoughts on “O is For Open”

    1. Glad to know I am not the only one! I am definitely a cardio junkie. I do strength train but not nearly enough. I need to shake things up. And I’m with you on the wine. I decided I’m going to limit it to weekends the best I can.

  1. YES! Definitely focus on weight training more – even though you don’t have any more weight to lose you will changes in your physique that you won’t get with cardio.

    I am a reformed cardio addict myself. I used to spend an hour doing cardio 4-6 times a week and yes, I did lose a little weight, but my body fat % was still too high. Then in December I started working with a trainer. He made me lift much heavier weights that I ever felt like I was capable of doing. Long story short, I am now a strength training addict and I have to force myself to do cardio! LOL! It will get easier once I can run outside again. 🙂

    As for switching things up – your article is so timely today. Tonight, I will be starting a ballet workshop! I used to dance when I was young but haven’t been inside a dance studio for at least 10 years. I am hoping that I will be able to regain some of the flexibility and balance I enjoyed when I danced regularly, and figure it will be a nice way to round out my fitness. I’m excited for class, but nervous too!
    Cheryle recently posted..Plank Club (and general fitness): Update Time!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Cheryle. It’s nice to hear from another cardio addict who DID give some of it up and saw a difference. I guess one of the things that has held me back is the unknown….cardio has worked, if I stop doing a lot of cardio will it change my body? Will I gain? Those are things I think about. But I truly enjoy weight lifting and I would like to do more of it, I’m just struggling to find the time with all my cardio days.

      That’s cool that you are starting ballet. I bet that will greatly improve your balance and flexibility–two things I don’t have much of!

  2. I have been in quite a bit of a rut lately. Not a bad rut- just a rut. Moving to England is pushing me so far out of my rut I am not sure if I am seeing straight yet. I am so excited for this new adventure I can hardly stand it! I have to wait until June………… 🙂
    Jill recently posted..Back to “Normal”

    1. Moving will DEFINITELY get you out of your rut. It may be difficult to find your groove over there though. My suggestion is to make a schedule or structure. Like “I will walk on Tues/Thurs” or something. I imagine the disruption of your workouts/bike rides is scary too!

    1. Thanks, Carla. I like that. I like to tell myself that I am open to change but really I’m like you–wrapped in routine and schedules. It’s nice to be shaken out of that once in awhile!

  3. I love cardio, but I love it because I always think that’s what I need to do to lose weight. I’m excited to try some biking this year – I need to be open to changing some exercise activities too.

    You’re absolutely right though, if it doesn’t work you can always go back. I think the key to success is you kept some things that you loved (swimming) so you’re in a good place to tweak those extra cardio days. Plus I know a lot of people who will do 10min of cardio just to warm up the body before doing a long weight session, so that may be an idea too.
    Alison recently posted..How Quickly Things Change

    1. My research has shown that weight lifting is more effective for weight loss than cardio, because lean muscle burns calories! So you lose weight while resting, as well as when you are exercising. Since cutting back my cardio I have had great results!

  4. My (very cheap) gym offered spin classes for a few weeks and I fell in love with it, but then they decided to cancel them and I was so upset! It was a great form of cardio for me that wasn’t running. I’m terrible at doing strength, and it’s the one thing I really want to get better at right now. I also wish I could swim, but can’t afford to belong to a gym with a pool right now. I hope your plan works out – I’m a bit of a “zone out cardio” junkie as well and think I would miss it. Can’t wait to see the updates!
    Jodi @ Jodi, Fat or Not recently posted..These oats were made for talking

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jodi! I am also a “zone out cardio” junkie. This morning I zoned out on the elliptical and watched two Curb Appeal shows on HGTV. I don’t even remember the workout. 😛 I think I need to “reconnect” with my working out and be present.

  5. I used to be a cardio bunny and lost next to no weight. It sucked. This time around I am lifting weights 3 times a week and doing cardio 2-3 times a week. I am seeing great results (15 pounds lost as of this morning!) and I have found that I actually LOVE weights. I used to think I would get bored with them, but because I am changing what I do every 3-5 minutes I can’t get bored! I also do a new program every month, which helps with the boredom.

    I don’t think you will put on weight by dropping a cardio day, or two! You may notice a slight increase in the first few weeks, I did, but ride it out and I hope you will see some amazing results!

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