Spring Clean Your Body

I wish I hadn’t missed one of the recent #fitblog chats on Twitter. The topic really interested me and for once I was actually going to be home during the chat (and not at the gym). But Michael and I ended up going out to spend some quality time together and I missed it. I wanted to bring up the topic here because I think it’s a fun one.

The topic was spring cleaning your body. Whenever the weather starts to get a little nicer here, I get in a “spring clean everything” kind of mood. I start cleaning out my closet and my house and getting rid of things I just don’t want around anymore.

Q1) Time to come out of hibernation! Fess up time, do you slack off on workouts in the winter? 

I do not slack off during the winter. My fitness definitely changes in the winter time because I spend more time in the gym instead of doing activities outside. Rainy weather in Oregon discourages me from commuting by bike year round, or running outside.

Winter is also a good time for me to focus on strength training and doing what I can to increase the frequency of it. It’s harder for me to fit in weight lifting during the summer months because I’m doing so many things outside.

All in all, my workout schedule stays regular and consistent all winter long and I feel better for it.

Q2) Now that the weather is nicer, how will this affect your fitness plans? Fewer classes, more outdoors?

This winter I went to Spin class once a week to keep my cycling fitness at a decent level. It was the best decision I made! Last winter when I stopped cycling it was HELL trying to get that fitness level back once spring arrived!

Now that the weather is better, I won’t be going to Spin class much anymore because I can go back to biking to work once or twice a week. Another change: I will be running outside again instead of on a treadmill (thank goodness).

I’m also going to start training for a full Century this year.

Q3) What is the one fresh fruit or vegetable that you start jonesing for as soon as spring arrives?

So many! I am really excited about eating the vegetables from our garden again this summer. The lettuce last year was so fantastic and so much better than store-bought. There are also a lot of local Farmer’s Markets here.

What I love most about summer veggies is grilling asparagus or eating cherry tomatoes right off the vine. The fruits are my favorite part of summer though. I love berries. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are the highlight and so are the local cherries.

Q4) What’s something that you noticed you did over the winter this year that you plan to improve next year?

I regret not taking more advantage of the snow on Mt. Hood this winter. I had so many grand plans for snowshoeing on a regular basis and I also wanted to try cross-country skiing. I just didn’t get around to it. 🙁

QUESTION: How would you answer these questions?

The End of a Scale-Free Summer

It began on June 1st–the start of an experiment. I was going scale-free for the summer. I was tired of giving that stupid little device so much power over my emotions. That number on the scale had the enormous potential of MAKING or RUINING my entire day. I had lots of anxiety about going scale-free. Would I gain a bunch of weight? Would this be a huge set back after how far I’ve come?

I was faced with a lot of challenges and temptations this summer. Road trips and lots of restaurant eating. I tried to make good choices when it came to eating out but there was a LOT of eating out. More than I would have liked, to be honest. But the food was good.

Speaking of good food…The annual Brewfest and a family reunion had good food. Celebrating my third anniversary with Michael involved food.

Even with all those temptations and food orgies, notice that I balanced them out with fitness. I swam two miles for the first time.  I was still committed to working out at the gym and I was commuting to work on my bike in preparation for the Portland Century. I biked, I swam, I ran, I hiked.  It is my opinion that continuing my normal fitness routine, plus the additional training, kept me on track.

Not to say it was all puppies and kittens this summer. I did struggle with going scale-free in the beginning. I was convinced I had gained about 10 pounds. I was sure I could see it when I looked in the mirror.  Sometime around mid-July I made peace with it. I honestly FORGOT about the scale and forgot about how much I weighed. I stopped wondering what that number was, or feeling like I had gained 10 pounds. I just enjoyed the summer. 

It was a refreshing feeling. Freedom. Freedom from feeling bad about myself based on a number. While I don’t think it’s wise to completely go scale-free for the rest of my life, I think I can go in spurts where I take a break from the scale. As it stands I’ll go back to weighing myself once a month if I feel like it.

So what was the outcome? What number was on the scale when I finally ended the Scale Free Summer?

I was 144.2 in June when I started this experiment.

After going Scale-Free for the summer: 144.4

Exactly the same as far as I am concerned. I might have fluctuated up and down a few pounds but I never saw it, so it didn’t happen. I ended exactly where I started in June. I am so happy that my experiment was a success. It gave me even more confidence that what I’m doing works– The affirmation that I needed. It proved to me that I’m secure in my routine, my habits, my life.

Where do I go from here? With the hard decisions I have about the gym situation, my hope is that my waistline is not affected by the hiatus. I will probably weigh-in for awhile until I figure out what my gym/workout decision will be just to make sure I stay on track.

QUESTION: Were you surprised by the outcome of my summer experiment? How often to you weigh yourself?