Maintenance

Thank you for your comments on my last post. Quite a few of them suggested that I didn’t make myself clear and I want to revisit the issue again, after I’ve had some time to process. I did appreciate responding to all the comments. It quickly became clear that I wasn’t quite sure what exactly I was trying to communicate with that post, but the more I responded to comments the more developed the idea became. The post also inspired a couple of email/text/message exchanges that enlightened me. I hope to write a follow up post soon.

In the meantime, I want to write a little about maintenance.

I’m getting pretty burned out on my Jillian Michaels DVDs and started abandoning that extra 30 minutes on my thrice weekly workout. Most of the time I just hit the elliptical for 30-45 minutes and leave it at that. At first I was feeling really upset and disappointed in myself about it, but as I sailed through the increased candy consumption of Halloween without my pants getting tighter (I never get on the scale anymore and just gauge where my body is by how my clothes fit) I realized I don’t have to commit to the duration and intensity of exercise that I had before. I have arrived at my ideal weight. I feel really good about the way I look, the way I feel and the way my clothes fit. I am where I want to be, and it doesn’t take as much effort to stay here as it did to get here in the first place.

I still need to exercise–for me it’s more about mental than physical health at this point–but in the absence of my former regimen I’m unsure how to maintain strength and endurance without burning out.

I want to add in a once weekly yoga session of some kind because I definitely need to make stretching a priority again, and yoga does wonders for my piece of mind. I have one audio track I can follow, but I know I’ll get bored of that quickly so I should find some DVDs or apps that can help me get on my mat once a week.

I know I’ll keep up the elliptical because aerobic exercise is what calms my thoughts and releases the endorphins that make me feel good. I doubt I’ll tire of that 30 minutes because it provides one of my only retreats to read blogs or a good book.

The strength component is what I’m least sure of. I downloaded the 7 minute workout app and really like the free full-body workout. There are other, more targeted workouts for your upper body, core and lower body and each one only costs $1.99. I think I’ll try one and see if I like it and if I do, I’ll invest in the others. Maybe doing a circuit of those throughout the week will be enough for me to maintain my strength and form without burning out.

It struck me as I’ve been trying to develop a workout regimen that I can stick to for the long haul that I haven’t made exercise a priority in my life for a long time. It used to be something I always made time for, but when I met my husband I set it aside to spend more time with him (sadly exercise is not a priority in his life at all). I am thankful that the stalled weight loss after my second pregnancy inspired me to return to exercise again–it really is a positive addition to my weekly routine.

I am also using this realization to inspire me on the minimalism front. Right now the work I am doing is hard and time consuming and exhausting (and emotionally fraught), but if I keep it up, and get where I want to be, maintaining those changes will require a lot less effort. I’m lucky that this initial push is producing results that inspire me to keep going, despite the ambivalence I sometimes feel (much like my initial workouts changed my body in ways that compelled me to keep putting on a sports bra even when I just wanted to watch TV). If I can get to a place of maintenance in this aspect of my life, my day to day experiences will be much improved.

How do you maintain the routines that work for you? Do you have to change things up sometimes to stay motivated or interested?

{Oh, and any suggestions for yoga or strength DVDs/apps/audio tracks would be most appreciated!}

7 Comments

  1. I hate working out. HATE. I started T25 and didn’t hate it, but it’s really hard with my schedule to do even just 25 minutes 5 days a week (and actually, it’s 6 days unless you do two workouts in one day… plus one day of stretching – false advertising, people!). I couldn’t keep up through the fall with all E’s appointments and getting ready to move, but I’m going to pick it up again. It’s a pricey set but maybe you can find it online from a giver-upper like me 😉 (I’d let you borrow mine if I weren’t poised to pick it back up again soon!)

  2. I love this comparison re the hard work and maintenance. You’re inspiring me on both the weight loss and cleaning/organisation fronts.

    Mel has recommended the Yoga Studio app, and it has got me doing yoga regularly for the first time in my life. I love it. Classes at all levels, and routines from 10 – 60 minutes.

  3. I absolutely change things up to stay motivated. I have 4 things I can do easily at home (INSA.NITY routines, kickboxing, treadmill running, and resistance bands) and six things outside of home that I can do when there’s time to get away (INSA.NITY, bodypump, bodysculpt, and turbokick classes at the Y, treadmill running at the Y, and running outside). Between those at-home and out-of-home options, I workout 6-7 days a week… But I like to find new things to add to each location option. I’m going to try to start the elliptical soon and a new class starting in January. I need to find something to add to my at-home options.

    Maintenance is tricky. Because working out is really my hobby (I love it!), I’m not sure how I’m going to reduce to a maintenance schedule when it’s time. I’m actually thinking about that a lot!

  4. That’s pretty awesome that you could ease off and not gain weight. I gained several pounds this past few weeks, 100% due to dietary indiscretions. This does not bode well for the holidays/travel coming up where not only will I be eating crap but I’ll be off my exercise routine either due to travel or due to the gym being closed, or workout classes canceled for the holidays (and the weather isn’t shaping up to look conducive to outdoor running).

  5. Hopefully looking for your next post.
    ALSO
    Trusting you will write when it is correct for you (not me, I would vote for 3 times every day, because I don’t do the work involved) and hoping the silence is not due to illness or other disasters.
    AND
    TOTALLY CLEAR I am very much in awe of how frequently and fabulously you do this feat.
    Sending good wishes that your family is happy and that the season is not overwhelming you at work or home.

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