All I can say is ouch. My legs hurt. They hurt bad. I almost wanted to cry or just lay down and curl up in a ball. Actually, saying “my legs hurt” is too broad. My calves hurt. The rest of me felt just fine!
Monday night I worked out pretty hard and burned 1000 calories! It may not compare to the workouts on the Biggest Loser, but that’s a LOT for me in one day of working out. Plus that was in only 90 minutes! First I took a class at the gym called Step/Chisel/Ab. It was hard but totally do-able and actually FUN! There were varying degrees of intensity throughout the class, but I was moving the whole time. There was a lot of stepping (obviously), squatting, kicking, knee raises, etc. I felt great after the class so I decided to do a little more on my own. I hopped on a treadmill and jogged for 15 minutes at a nice slow pace. Then for another 15 minutes, I walked at a high incline and threw in a few short segments of running (without the incline). Once I saw how close I was to 1000 calories, I didn’t want to stop until I got there! I had burned almost 600 calories in my class so I expected that I would get up to about 800 or 850, but 1000 was really exciting.
Anyway, I left the gym feeling great and even a little cocky because I was able to burn 1000 calories and feel just fine. Sure I was tired, but I didn’t hurt or anything. I was mentally calculating how much weight I could lose if I could do that workout everyday. Then came Tuesday.
I felt fine during the day but Tuesday night the pain set it. It was almost exactly 24 hours after my workout and out of nowhere my calf muscles (or tendons or something) felt like they were trying to ball up. My legs were so tight that it hurt to stand and stretching felt like torture. I kept trying to stretch (even though it hurt) because I didn’t know what else to do to releive the tight feeling. It was worse after sitting and especially after sleeping Tuesday night. Wednesday morning it was painful to stand up to get out of bed! All day Wednesday my legs hurt off and on despite my attempts to stretch. I was planning another trip to the gym Wednesday night but I wasn’t sure if I would be ABLE to work out the way my legs were feeling.
I’m SO thankful I went! I actually felt better afterwards! (Crazy, right?!) My legs were still tight and sore during my walking and jogging, but I figured they would only get tighter if I stopped using them. Then I took another Step class. Once I got going in the class, I totally forgot about my legs hurting. After class I talked to the instructor who explained that it’s normal to have sore calves when starting out with step classes because no one steps perfectly each time, etc. She also confirmed my assumption…I needed to keep moving and stretching. She assured me that the soreness would go away as my muscles adjusted.
I worked out again Thursday night and Saturday morning and I can tell you that my legs have not gotten any worse! They are definitely feeling better than Tuesday/Wednesday. Now I have a general soreness all over from my other workouts rather than intense pain in my calves. The point is – DON’T QUIT! Even when you get sore, just take it easy and work through it because it will get easier as your body adjusts. If you quit every time you get a little sore, you will never reach the part of getting used to it because each workout will be like starting over and you will always be sore.
I know what you’re thinking! Why in the world would anyone want to work out after hearing this story? Because it’s worth it! Yes, I was sore, but the pain was only temporary. The pride will last much longer than the soreness. I am proud of myself for working out hard. Each sore spot reminds me how hard I am working and makes me think twice before having a Dorito-fest!
When I think about how much work it takes in the gym to burn 1000 calories, the last thing I want to do is blow all that work by pigging out. Plus for some odd reason, I feel thinner after a workout. I know it is 100% in my head, but when I feel my stomach muscles all tight from a workout, I feel sexy and slim. I feel like if I keep doing this, maybe I’ll be able to FINALLY wear a tank top or (gulp!) even a bikini next summer.
Those are some of the things that keep me going. Figure out what your reason is and be specific! WHY do you want to lose weight or get in shape? Instead of a general statement like “I want to feel better,” you could say “I want to have energy to play with my kids” or “I want to be comfortable wearing a tank top,” etc. The important thing is to be specific. When times get tough you need to remember your WHY to keep you going. A vague statement like “feeling better” is not enough to keep most people going. When you don’t feel like working out, remember your “WHY” and discipline yourself to JUST DO IT. I really didn’t want to go Thursday night but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go so I just told my inner lazy voice to shut up and I went anyway. And I didn’t regret it!!!
YOU CAN DO IT! I really NEVER thought I would be working out in a gym, running, and trying group fitness classes. I had failed so many times that I just didn’t think it would ever happen. Now I can’t imagine going back. It is a process and it will not happen overnight, but just keep going. Don’t give up. There will be set backs and bumps in the road but just don’t quit. IF I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT!!!