Back to the gym today, thank goodness! I did ten minutes on the elliptical as a warmup, then took a 30-minute intensive class called Iron Power Blast. The instructor was a lean, all-muscle, tomboyish Paleo devotee who spent a good portion of the class talking business to her friend who sells her own raw protein bars, and "educating" the class about them and how they can buy them through her. They sound great but I didn't appreciate the commercial on my time. However, the class was still good. We started with lunges back and forth across the studio; followed by squats, and some pretty tough ab work. I went my own pace, and the only thing I had a problem with was the final move, a fast lunge starting from a wide kneeling position. You were supposed to come up from that to a squat. It just hit all of my trouble spots --- knee, hip, and the toes of my right foot --- not the right exercise for me, especially at speed. I asked for an alternative but it was still not great for me. Clearly this is a class for people who are regulars and in better shape than I; I could hang in, but I'm not sure I liked the vibe enough to go back. At any rate, I got some good sweat on and I am very happy to be back to the gym!
In the pic above, I'm wearing my new Fit Club t-shirt. Fit Club is a FaceBook support group started by internationally known tenor Larry Brownlee, for singers and their friends. It's got a great positive vibe and is just a nice place to go for a little encouragement every day. We are all shapes and sizes and fitness levels there, and everyone is at a different place in their journey, but it doesn't matter. The most important thing is to show up and sweat!
Members are encouraged to post photos of themselves working out in their t-shirts, so this was my contribution. I baptized that shirt with sweat today.
Groups like Fit Club are a great way to help yourself stay motivated and accountable. After my healthy lunch of greens topped with tuna, avocado, a few olives and a little bit of cheese, I was tempted by some commercial peanut butter crackers that came with the goodies in my opera welcome bag. I picked them up and had them in my hand, and then I thought about Fit Club, and thought, "No way! I'm not eating these! They're nutritional trash!" Sometimes the thought is all you need.
The club motto is "Onward, downward, and fitter!" A good mantra for health seekers. After the last few days, I am reminded that the two most important parts of that motto, for me, are "Onward" and "Fitter". Although I need constant reminders, focusing on weight loss is not the healthiest thing or the best way to acheive my goals now. Onward --- with every good food choice, with every trip to the gym, with every effort to stop negative self-talk and replace it with encouragement and acknowledgement of successes --- we move forward towards our goals. Fitter --- every healthy choice, whether it be about food, exercise, or how we treat ourselves --- that's the ultimate goal.