Monday, January 21, 2013
Why do I Lift?
I've had trouble getting motivated for my lifting sessions lately, so I decided to take a cue from my husband. As part of his pre-workout routine, he watches videos on YouTube of crazy strong guys lifting insane amounts of weight. Being me, I am partial to my "Fitness Inspiration" board on Pinterest, so I decided to scan through my pins and a couple videos and it made a UNIVERSE of difference.
I usually schlep into the garage begrudgingly, with a "let's get this over with so I can say I did it" kind of attitude. Then I wonder why I "can't" lift as much as I should be able to. This time, I started with a slightly heavier warmup weight and actually focused on what I was doing instead of thinking about the million other things I could/should/would rather be doing. If you're in a workout slump, I highly suggest spending 10-15 minutes watching videos or listening to music that gets you pumped before your workout.
My husband is also great at calling me out on my crap like how I talk about fitness on my blog but I seem to hate working out. Well, that's when I started this list. This way, if I need a kick in the pants, I can remind myself WHY I lift. So here we go, in no particular order:
1. To prove that mommies can be strong too. You don't have to give up on yourself once you have a baby. You can get your body back, but it takes work! After eight months, I am now below my pre-pregnancy weight and my muscle definition is starting to return. I want to be able to say, "I didn't have a flat stomach until after my daughter was born. You can do this, too!"
2. To provide a good example for my daughter. I want her to see that the power rack isn't just for the boys. It makes me sad that so many women miss out on this opportunity to better their physical health because they are intimidated by the equipment. My baby WILL NOT be afraid of the weight room.
3. To practice what I preach. I feel horrible giving advice to people about making time for your work out, getting motivated, living an active lifestyle, etc. and then sitting on my couch for days at a time before finally dragging my feet to the garage for a session. I won't be that girl anymore.
4. To defy my genetics. I look forward to being in great shape well into my golden years. My grandmother had two heart attacks and was diabetic. My father is only in his early 50s and has already had a heart attack. My aunt actually died of a heart attack. I won't accept the idea that it will happen to me. I refuse to succumb to my predisposition for health problems. I will break the cycle.
5. To beat the boys. I love knowing that I am already stronger than most girls my size and age. I want to be stronger than the boys, too. I've always been a little competitive that way.
6. To reach, and then surpass, any goals I set for myself. There is nothing more rewarding than looking back on the progress I've made and remembering that there was a time I couldn't do what I am doing now. Every rep, every pound, is progress toward my goal. Then I get to imagine how much further I can push myself.
7. To crush stereotypes and misinformation about lifting heavy weights. There is life beyond the treadmill and your 5AM spin class. Those things may help you lose weight, but they won't make you strong. Lifting heavier weights will not make you look like a male bodybuilder. Lifting heavy weights won't even make your husband look like most male bodybuilders. That's what steroids are for. My current deadlift max is 155# (don't judge, I'm just getting back to training) and I looked in the mirror a few minutes ago. Just for your reassurance, I'm definitely not the Hulk.
8. To raise eyebrows. I have imaginary conversations with strangers in my head, and I want to be able to tell them, "Yes. I do work out." And when they ask, "Like Zumba? Pilates? What?" I will be able to say, "Pssh. I can lift more than you weigh, bro." And leave them speechless. Bam! Silly, I know. But I want that. I want the reaction. I can't help myself.
9. Because strong is sexier than skinny. People go to some dangerous (and not-so-healthy) measures to "lose weight" when they really should focus on how they treat their body, and some people are what we call "skinny fat" which means they are thin but don't have very healthy habits. I deserve to be healthy. I deserve to be strong. I deserve to look and feel beautiful. I am worth the effort. And so are you.
10. To look better naked, because who doesn't want that?