You guys, I am in serious danger of falling off the fitness wagon.
As you may recall, during my first year dealing with infertility, I kind of let everything slide. I was depressed, I ate, I stopped working out, and I consequently put on about 10 pounds and generally felt like shit. Then, I smartened up a little and started using fitness as an outlet to deal with infertility issues. We signed up for a fruit and vegetable delivery service and started eating better. I didn't join a gym, but I started doing various workout DVD programs (Chalene Johnson's TurboFire and Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and Ripped in 30) about 5 days a week in our basement. I gradually dropped the extra poundage and started feeling good about myself again.
Then, in January, I decided to mix things up a little. I'd been pretty heavily into cardio, and though the Jillian Michaels programs in particular had a bit of light strength work in them, I'd been reading a lot about how lifting heavier weights can be really beneficial for women. I decided to cut back on the sweat sessions and focus more on muscle building, so I asked M to get me the ChaLean Extreme program (also by Chalene Johnson) for Christmas. It's a DVD program that mixes three days of heavy lifting per week with two days of abs, cardio interval training and a little yoga for stretching.
At first I loved the new program, and quickly realized that I could lift a lot more weight than I initially expected. The scale started going up a little bit, but I knew I was putting on muscle so I wasn't worried about it. The program is split into three one-month phases and online reviews pretty universally said that after gaining a little muscle weight in the first two months, in the third month I could expect a significant fat loss due to my newly increased metabolism and muscle mass. While I'm at a pretty healthy weight already and had no illusions about getting shredded, I thought I might at least finally get rid of my stubborn belly pooch and start seeing some nice definition in my arms.
Instead...I hit a plateau. Not only did I not lose any fat, but I stopped making any strength progress. I was supposed to be hitting muscle failure between 10 and 12 reps. For instance, once I could consistently do 12 reps of bicep curls with 15-pound weights, I decided to add the next weight increment (which, on my dumbbell set, is 2.5 pounds). The number of bicep curls I could complete at 17.5 pounds? A pathetic four. I ended up having to increase only one side of the dumbbell (leaving me with an off-kilter 16.25 pounds) which got me back up to 10 reps. But I've been stuck here for weeks. Seriously, it seems like 1.25 pounds should be nothing, but to my biceps it's a mountain they just can't climb.
I started maxing out on a bunch of other exercises too, so I decided to do some reading online and discovered that maybe I should be adding more protein to my diet. Unfortunately, this meant that I had to start tracking my food intake again, which I absolutely hate because it makes me obsessive and irritable. Also, unless you like snacking on canned tuna at 10:30am, getting enough protein in your diet is HARD. I spent way too much time on MyFitnessPal being told that I couldn't have an apple for a snack unless I was wrapping it in meat.
|C'mon, it's even funnier because this is an infertility blog. IRONY!|
At the end of the third month, I was completely frustrated. Which is probably stupid, because I still made some pretty good strength gains at the beginning of the program. Unfortunately, being frustrated means that I'm now also totally demotivated. I've stopped working out as regularly (I'm down to about 3 times per week) and I've been eating a ton more crap than usual. I know myself well enough to know that this is the danger zone where I either need to get back on track or else risk fucking off from a healthy lifestyle entirely, until I gain weight and the whole cycle starts again. The problem is I don't know how to find my motivation! I had thought about starting P90X next, but even watching the first video made me want to vomit and I just don't know if I can find the time commitment since most of the workouts are so much longer than what I've been doing (between 60 to 90 minutes, 6 days per week).
I need your help, internets. How do I kick my own ass into gear before I lose all the progress I've made?