Cardio Exercise Gym Healthy Habits Reflection

This Is What I’m Doing

I’ve said this many times before, but I’m going to say it again. Our bodies crave exercise! Our hearts love it, and endorphins are a powerful thing. Sometimes it’s tough to get started, but I have never completed a workout and regretted it. In fact, most days my workouts make me feel refreshed and proud of myself. If you’re not already doing it, start now (after checking with your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough to exercise, of course.) You’ll be glad you did!

My workouts suffered severely during my first week in Oklahoma because I was in overdrive trying to do fun things I knew I wouldn’t be able to do regularly, but the last two weeks have been pretty solid. I joined the YMCA for a month so I would have access to the cardio room, weight room and pool, and it has been an incredible experience for me.

When I started this journey in 2009 I struggled to last 30 seconds on the elliptical machine. It was killer! And I didn’t try again until a cold day last winter when the power was out at home. I knew it was important to workout, and the only machine that worked at the gym I was in was the elliptical so I did my best. My best was about 20 minutes which was good enough considering I was doing it in the dark.

Then a month or so later, in Aruba, I found myself in the gym around midnight most nights. The first night I did a treadmill 5k then decided to try the elliptical machine again. I completed 15 minutes or so which was more than enough after being on the treadmill for 50 minutes. I increased my time on the elliptical each day, and I lost weight on that trip.

Now it’s almost the end of summer, and I’m in Oklahoma. The cardio room at the YMCA has several treadmills, and I had planned to use them. But the elliptical machine called out to me the first night, and I’ve been hooked ever since. πŸ™‚

Now I do at least 30 minutes (about 2 miles) which burns about 400 calories. Burning 400 calories in 30 minutes = awesome! Just saying. I used to be so afraid of the elliptical machine. As a heavier person I worried about it falling apart beneath me though that wasn’t a big issue since I couldn’t stand to do it for more than a few seconds. Now I embrace it. We were once enemies, but now we’re close friends.

I’m also a big fan of swimming laps right now. When I started swimming last week, I surprised myself (and my dad) by doing 10 laps. It may not sound like much, but I did it without stopping so I felt pretty awesome about it. The last several days I’ve done 16 laps, and my goal is to work up to 32 (one mile.) I think I might swim until I can’t swim anymore one day this week because I want to know how far I can push myself. What do you think Dad? Want to try it with me? πŸ˜‰

Exercise is and has been an essential part of my weight-loss journey so far. It helps me lose weight, and it gives me confidence in myself. It makes me feel strong! Working out also makes me more conscious of what I’m eating and makes me crave water which is another important element of weight-loss. We all know that, right? πŸ˜‰

I’m looking forward to hitting the gym later today, and I’m going to give it my all because I have some big goals, and reaching my goal is one of them. I’m worth the effort it takes to keep moving forward, and I’m worth the effort it takes to become the best version of myself.

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  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Good on 'ya Kenz!! I've been too sick to exercise for almost 3 weeks now and I certainly miss it. But hopefully I'll be back into it in the next few days (fingers crossed!!)

  • Reply
    Deb Willbefree
    August 23, 2010 at 6:22 am

    πŸ˜€ I'm going to have to try that elliptical!

    Sounds like those endorphins are working for you, girlfriend! πŸ˜€


  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 10:00 am

    GO YOU!!!

    youre on a roll…Im looking to refind my roll this morning πŸ™‚


  • Reply
    Sean Anderson
    August 23, 2010 at 10:11 am

    You inspire me to push harder in the workout department! Thank you!!
    I've watched you, I've been there—and for anyone that hasn't–let me tell you, this woman knows how to rock a workout. You completely push it and rock it, without slack, without gravitating to lesser challenges—You get it done, every time.
    You're a wonderful example! Love the pictures and video!!!

  • Reply
    Shane G.
    August 23, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Go Kenz, Go Kenz, Go GO Go Kenz! I too love a good workout. I am starting to get in good enough shape now i need to start really pushing myself. I just wish school was over with so I could have one less obstacle.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 10:59 am

    I so admire you for growing to love the elliptical machine! I can't stand it! When I had foot problems and couldn't do the treadmill, I tried the elliptical several times, but ended up riding the stationary bike! My sister told me yesterday that she just started Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, and I know you do that workout, too. I'm going to try it as well. I've got to get back into the exercise habit. I was doing really well until the above-mentioned foot problem set me back for several months!
    Keep the momentum going! You are such an inspiration!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 11:52 am

    You are so right! I completely hurt my ankle in July and I haven't been able to even walk on the treadmill without my foot swelling up. Of course I missed my running so badly so I started doing more crunches and I'm still trying to conquer the push-up. Ha!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Boy do I hate that elliptical, lol…I did it for several months in a row and never got used to it…it burns every time!!! lol Definitely a good workout though. I changed it up and started doing 10 mins on the elliptical to get my heart rate up and then walk 4 miles on the treadmill…that's my normal cardio workout. I've been out of the gym for a couple of months now, but signed up at a new one this wknd, closer to my new apt. Woo Hoo! I love your pics and video…you're definitely putting in the work….proud of you! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    What a great post! I loved the photos and video. You're such in inspiration. I'm lucky to do 15 minutes on the elliptical. Keep up the awesome work!

  • Reply
    A New England Girl
    August 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    "Our bodies crave exercise!"

    What a GREAT statement. I love your enthusiasm and drive and the inspiration that you are. While I've been more of a lurker than a commenter lately, I still love the goals you set for yourself and your unwavering determination to achieve them.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    You and Sean's blogs have inspired me so much I've just signed up for a 10K run in October… at the moment I can barely jog 3K but I can do this πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Good for you. It sounds like you're starting to feel better, even though I'm sure you still have challenges going on.

    I've come to love swimming. It's one of those exercises that I do because it feels great and doesn't even feel like exercise.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    That's awesome Kenz, I love swimming too and it's such great exercise!

    Keep up the great work!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    That's great! I'm glad you've found what's working for you! I know you might not be ready for it now, but it might be a great alternative if you start to plateau, but I'd suggest taking group fitness classes. The ones at the YMCA (or YWCA) usually have a low key atmosphere and are fun.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Kenz, lose the big sweatshirt and long pants, you'll be much more comfortable and I bet youll notice your endurance is stronger when you do. I have been there. I have been almost the exact size that you are right now and I know how hard it is to show skin at the gym. But just do it. I dont care even the tiniest little bit anymore and have been stripped to booty shorts and a sports bra while running in 100 degree weather (but I run fast and dont stop so as not to offend anyone πŸ™‚ Seriously, I know that of which I speak.

    You do rock. I have been lazy lately and it shows.


  • Reply
    August 23, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I am so proud of you.

    You are an amazing example of sticking with your exercise plan through it all. I'm so glad you are doing what is best for you even when things are less than stellar.

    It also seems so 'generous' to me for you to be encouraging others right now. All of these things in turn are so good for YOU at this time. [the exercise, being in a routine, reaching out to others!] Keep it up.

    And wow, you on the elliptical, yes, inspiring. I am dressed and ready for my 'wog' (walk/jogging), kinda putting it off a bit..and why? Like you say, I have never completed a workout and regretted it, and I always feel so good, and proud when I'm done.

    After watching you and reading your post, yeah, here I go. Thank you. Chrissy

  • Reply
    Susan Astramskas-Simpson
    August 23, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Kenz I've been a member of a gym for 2 years but have never tried anything but water aerobics and tredmill. Your blog makes me want to actually go to the gym…thanks

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