Fitness Friday {By the Skin of our Teeth}

I've missed a few Fitness Fridays lately.  Actually, I haven't just missed Fitness Fridays...I've been completely MIA from my blog for most of July! However, during those weeks, I've composed a number of Fitness Friday posts in my head. :) I definitely want to update on my progress and share some of what I'm learning. 

(Author's Note: I actually started this post on July 21st. Content in black is from that original date. Content in blue was added today. :)

First, a disclaimer:  I know that many of you have way more experience and success with this than I do, and that many of you have much more knowledge of fitness -related subjects than I have.  I share not from the perspective of an expert at all, but as someone who is learning along the way.  Over the last few months, I've been challenged and encouraged greatly by others who are further along this journey than I am who have shared via blogs and other social media.

Second, the "in a nutshell" update:  Since the first of June, I have fulfilled my goal of getting to the gym at least 3 times a week.  My preference is four times, but some weeks it's a challenge to make it three!  I have finally, after losing 35+ pounds and keeping them off for two years, actually gone down two pant sizes. (Yay!!)  And this week, after a long, long plateau period where my weight has wobbled a point one way or the other but never begun to drop again, I was down two pounds this morning!  That was an exciting turn of events, even though I've intentionally not been focusing on weight during this time.  Hopefully now that I'm over that hump, that trend will continue.

In the meantime, I'm still looking forward to workouts at the gym and missing them when I can't get there.  I'm back "up to speed" with cardio after recuperating from last month's minor ankle injury, although fitting it in timewise has been a challenge lately.  My original plan was to alternate days between circuit cardio/weights and working out in the pool.  I'm enjoying the pool and the weights so much, though, that with only getting there 3 times a week some weeks, I hate to miss either!  I'd love to do 30 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of weights, and 40 minutes in the pool each time I go, but we never seem to quite have time.  I end up getting in 20 minutes of weights and 30-40 minutes in the pool most workouts, with another 20ish minutes of cardio on "good" days. 

A couple of weeks ago I got to attend a water aerobics class.  What fun that was!!  I'd love to do that more often, but it doesn't fit into our current family schedule very well.  I'm glad I got to go that once, though, as I made some delightful new friends and learned some good exercises to add to my pool repertoire.

Here it is August 15, and I have yet to finish and publish this post!  It's been a crazy summer here.  I said that to a friend the other day, and she said, "And why would anyone who knows your family expect you to have any other kind?" Okay. Point taken. :) But it really looked like heading into it that it was going to be a peaceful, productive, relaxing summer. I realize now I was highly delusional last spring. :)

Despite it all, however, we've still managed to make it to the gym at least 3 times a week.  Some days, like today, our whole schedule has had to be changed to make that happen (we're planning to go right around lunch time today, which was NOT in my original plan :)), but we've made it (by the skin of our teeth!)

One of the things I'm learning is that I don't do well when I go more than two days between workouts. I talked about that a bit in a previous Fitness Friday post, and it's become even more evident since I've gone 3-4 days between workouts a couple of times. I'm looking forward to getting on a more regular schedule with the beginning of the new school year. 

Speaking of the upcoming school year, that is presenting a bit of a challenge with our gym plans. We joined the gym the first of June, rather on the spur of the moment, and we've made a priority this summer of getting there at least 3, and preferably 4, times a week by just working it in wherever it would fit. There have been days we've ended up eating supper at 9:00 because that was the only way we could get to the gym before it closed, and days that we've skipped chores or otherwise left things undone in order to fit in our workout time. 

With the new school year starting, however, that kind of helter-skelter isn't going to work. We've got an intense school year ahead. Billy and I are also serving as activity directors for our homeschool group this year, which is an added demand on our time, and I've started working a few hours a week. Along with working out, we're trying to eat healthier while also trying to manage our food budget more wisely, which means more time spent in planning and food prep (and less driving through Eureka Pizza for $5 pizzas...eek!)

So, I need not just a plan, but a PLAN. That's one of the top priorities on this week's list. (Well, top priority after celebrating a couple of girls' birthdays, that is!)  Making that an additional challenge are the facts that we can't go early in the morning (while that would be optimal in some respects, it just isn't possible right now due to factors beyond our control), and Sundays are out (the only time we could go on Sunday would be from 1-3, and the pool is used for family swim time during that time, which would make it almost impossible to do our usual water workout.)
It's time to move our workouts from "by the skin of our teeth" to part of an orderly flow of our weeks. (Yes, I'm working on that orderly flow in all areas this year. We really, really need it!)

I would love to hear how you fit fitness into your schedule. What works for you? I hope to share more about our new fall schedule, as well as additional progress updates and things we're learning about getting healthy, in the next week or two. In the meantime, please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments here or on Facebook!  I'd also still love to hear any tips for gym newbies, or experiences with losing significant amounts of weight and keeping it off over a long period of time.

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