Workout Journal, Day 1

October 31, 2011 | By | COMMENTS

Are you more or less likely to quit the gym if you blog about going?

This is the question I’m putting forth as I return from the first day of the rest of my life (the 3rd time in 3 years I’ve had the first day of the rest of my life by joining a gym).

Here’s what I have going for me this time: a trainer. I paid for 5 half hour sessions that I’m spreading out over 5 weeks. Therefore, I’ll have at least 5 weeks of accountability. And after that, I’ll probably continue to pay to see the trainer once a month because, once again, accountability is key for me. Having someone to report to, to check in with and who can monitor what I’m doing will be a big help.

Plus, this trainer guy, Danny, is pretty cool. The last time I tried a trainer the guy was an ex-boxer who led me up a flight of stairs and told me to hit a punching bag for 20 minutes. Danny, on the other hand, really related to my situation as a food writer who eats fatty foods for my job and has to compensate somehow to burn more calories than I’m taking in. He’s a foodie too and talked to me all about his favorite L.A. restaurants.

Today, though, was a perfect example of my dilemma. I decided to scout the best doughnuts in L.A. for a post that I’ll do either tomorrow or Wednesday. It’s an epic post–five doughnut shops in all (spread over 3 days)–but today I hit 3 of them. And at each, I took one bite out of a doughnut to evaluate it.

This all happened in the morning; the last one was at Bob’s at the Farmer’s Market. There I grabbed lunch at Loteria (a chicken burrito in a red pipian sauce). Then it was off to a coffee shop where I edited 184 pictures and wrote that post about a salad and drank an iced coffee.

At the gym, I did the routine that Danny laid out for me (I met Danny last Friday so this really wasn’t my first day at the gym. But it was my first day working out on my own). He sent me a schedule for Monday through Friday with lots of different things to do each day to keep things interesting. Today I did 30 lunges, 15 pull-downs (75 pounds), and 15 sit-ups on a medicine ball and repeated that sequence three times. After that, I did interval training on the eliptical for 20 minutes. That was absolutely brutal. He has me start at 25 resistance for the first minute, go up to 50 resistance for the second minute, then back to 25 and so on and in minutes 8 and 9 and minutes 18 and 19 I can go down to 15. It sounds easy, but that resistance had me gasping for air. I’M SO OUT OF SHAPE. So this was kind of a big-break through moment for me: “If I can get through this, I’ll be stronger and better next time I do it.” But I have to confess that at minute 9–when my towel slipped through my hands and landed on the floor and I had to stop to pick it up–I almost considered quitting. But I didn’t.

But, oh, those doughnuts. And that burrito. These are things you shouldn’t eat before pushing yourself at the gym. Well, a burrito may be ok, but doughnuts just leave your mouth feeling greasy. And by the time I was done killing myself on the eliptical, I felt a bit queasy.

Tomorrow, when I go back for Day 2 (and 20 minutes of interval training on the treadmill), I’ll eat a simple turkey sandwich first. That should make things better.

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