Summer Plans and Workout Motivation

Well, my second semester is just about finished… thank goodness.

I don’t know why this semester was so much more stressful than the first, but I really wore myself out with school work and my part-time job. I’ve been so exhausted the past few weeks in general – I even slept until 11:30 today, which I never do! I guess my body just needs the rest.

How I've felt every morning for the past few weeks.

I’m heading home to New Jersey at the end of the week for a nice 10 day break. I’m so excited to be home and see friends and family. I also finally get to see my dog again (who went home because she got sick), so it will be a much needed holiday. Sometimes you just need a few days of doing nothing but recovering, both physically and mentally, and that’s what I’ll be doing when I’m home!

When I get back to Chapel Hill, I’m starting a combination class and internship that will last from mid-May until the end of July. The class is a public health class, and my internship will be with the Interfaith Food Shuttle in Raleigh.  I’m really excited for this opportunity, because I think it will give me a great perspective on food security issues. Paleo can sometimes be an elitist movement (let’s be honest) so it will be great to learn the kinds of struggles that low-income people have to try and put food on their table.

Fortunately, one of the main focuses with the IFFS is the provision of farm-fresh produce, as well as cooking demonstrations, so I think I’ll have the chance to provide real food to these needy families. It will definitely be an eye-opening experience, I think, and I’ll be blogging about it over the summer. So stay tuned!

The kind of work I'll be doing this summer, picture courtesy of the Interfaith Food Shuttle

Another thing on my plate for this summer is my sister’s wedding in mid-June. I am the Maid of Honor (and the only bridesmaid actually), and I have a beautiful dress that I’ll be wearing during the ceremony. Here are some pictures of it when we bought it in January! (Don’t mind the stupid faces I’m making… I hate taking posed pictures like this.)

The one problem for me, though, is that I put on some weight over this past semester, mainly due to stress. It’s nothing serious, and nothing that really bothers me, but I’m slightly concerned about fitting into the bridesmaid dress that I bought about 5-10 pounds ago. The dress is in Chicago right now, so I won’t even be able to try it on until a few days before the wedding! And truthfully, I have no idea whether or not I’d fit into it at my current weight.

So instead of stressing about the possibility of not being able to wear this beautiful dress, I decided that I’m going to try to be proactive about losing the 5+ pounds that I gained over the past 4 months.

Now, this may seem hypocritical in light of my Paleo Women Are Fat post. But I’m not trying to get skinny or super ripped or anything crazy, and I’m not going to freak out over 5 or so pounds. If I didn’t have the wedding in June, I probably wouldn’t even really care about what my weight or size was right now.

But truthfully, I just feel like I’d be able to enjoy myself more at the wedding if I comfortably fit into the dress and didn’t feel like I was going to bust open any seams if I moved too quickly. Or worse, maybe I wouldn’t even be able to wear the dress, which would be horrible! So I think getting back on track with my fitness is a much less stressful option than taking my chances with staying where I’m at. Not to mention, a decent pair of Spanx is pretty expensive!

Trying to avoid these at all costs...

So my plan is to try and incorporate at least 3 days a week of fasted interval training sessions in the morning before work. The UNC football stadium is about 10 minutes walking from my apartment, so I figured I can walk or jog there, do about 10 minutes of stair sprinting, and then walk home. Maybe throw in some pushups or burpees to get more of an upper body workout too. I think fasted HIIT training on the stadium steps will probably be a super-efficient way to burn off a few pounds of fat over the next month and a half.

This will be me... I hope!

So that’s my ideal plan for improving my overall fitness this summer. It’s going to be a bit of a challenge, because my internship is about 45 minutes away, and I need to be able to work out, shower, eat, and get dressed for work all before 8 AM. And I am NOT a morning person!

I’m hoping by blogging about my fitness goals, that will help me maintain my motivation to get up and go in the morning. I’ll keep you all updated on how its going, since I only have about 6 weeks left until the wedding. Crunch time, I know… but its better than trying to crash diet or something crazy like that! No MasterCleanse for this girl.

Any diet that requires purchasing baby wipes is NOT for me. *blech*

Do any of you have any tips for me on how to achieve my goals without doing anything crazy or unhealthy? Let me know in the comments!

  • Bette

    I suggest doing a barre workout, it’s based on slow and controlled movements and isometric holds and it burns fat fast. Suzanne Bowen has a good video catalogue on her website: https://suzannebowenfitness.com/sbf/accounts/signup

  • Marion

    I’ve recently lost volume – a pants size, exactly. I insist on the word volume, because I’m on the whole30 and I can’t weight myself. And you know what? I’m completely convinced the not weighting myself was a huge part of the volume loss. No scale in view = no weighting myself = no additional pressure on the morning = no additional pressure on my body = less fat zones needed to handle the stress.
    Not even sure I lost ‘weight’ because I built some pretty muscle.
    So my suggestions would be : strict paleo and no scale in the bathroom. And you’ll look wonderful without a doubt ;)

  • Rebecca

    I could meet you at the football stadium and yell at you to keep going and go faster haha ;)

    Also, if you want to do hill sprints, check out the huge ass hill on Glendale right off of Franklin st. Biggest hill ever. My sis and I do sprints up that hill occasionally

  • http://paleoresources.com/ Julien | PaleoResources.com

    Hi Laura -

    Here’s what I would do, it worked very well for my wife. I’m using it also when I just have 20 mins to work out, all-in.

    Work out 1 day out of 2, or 1 out of 3 to start with if you feel sore. Focus on bodyweight movements you can do everywhere, even at home, even if it is small.

    Use 2 protocols:

    1) Combine 2 or 3 tabata workouts. 1 tabata workout = 4 mins, with 20 secs of effort and 10 secs of rest alternating. Combine 2 to 4 of them (so max time = 16mins). You can do a full tab at with one exercise, then do a full with another, etc. OR you can do 20 secs of 1 exercise, followed by 20 secs of another exercise, and repeat the cycle. Obviously, if you alternate, it won’t be as challenging, but still very effective.

    2) Use a deck of 52 playing cards. Each type of card represents an exercise, so you have 4 different exercises for each workout. Then draw a card at random and complete x reps of the exercise designated, where x is the number of the card, 10 of a figure, and 11 for aces.

    For the exercises, just concentrate on the basics: squats, push-ups, planks/sit-ups/v-ups, pull-ups if access to a pull-up bar, shoulders (could be static handstand, or any easier variation), dips on a piece of furniture, etc.

    An excellent book by a great guy for all body weigh stuff, plus a number of great conditioning routines you could use: Never Gymless http://paleoresources.com/paleo-primal-resource/never_gymless

    If you have an iPhone, here are 2 free apps for Tabata timer intervals and one simulating a deck of cards at random ;-)

    http://paleoresources.com/paleo-primal-resource/tabata_lite
    http://paleoresources.com/paleo-primal-resource/draw-a-card

    Any questions, I’d be happy to answer :-)

  • http://www.modernpaleo.com.au Jodie

    Hi Laura, love your blog! My suggestion is to look at what you were eating, how you were sleeping and what activity you were doing when you gained the weight. It is all to easy to beat ourselves back into shape, but if we’ve been through a stressful time the best thing to do is rest, relax and let our body recuperate. I have been doing Chris Kresser’s Best Your Stress Month and have lost 2 kilos (14 stone) without even thinking about it. I reduced my exercise, increased my sleep to 9-10 hours per night, went out with friends and had a good laugh and generally kept my diet Paleo clean, currently indulging in 99% chocolate and espresso each morning! Good Luck..

  • http://www.womensstrengthcoach.com strength training for women

    5-10 pounds? that’s 2-4k? Gosh I fluctuate like that just through the whole month. I wouldn’t think losing 2k in a week is that difficult, seeing we all know it is not that difficult to put on a 2k. Try Bikram Yoga or a hot vinyasa class for 3 days in a row?? I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it :)

  • v

    i would be careful of injury, but then again that is coming for a 47 year old. i would do sprints fasted, not that many, and then go somewhere where i would leisurely walk around for like 2 or 3 hours (mall, zoo, wooded trails) with someone nice to talk to who wouldn’t tempt me to eat. Make that person eat before they go with you. Around 2pm eat, even later if you feel ok. if you feel dizzy or super weak, eat sooner of course. just eat til satisfied. if might be a lot less than you would think. stop eating at like 5. no computer after 7pm. plan your day to avoid stress. good luck!!!

  • v

    also lay out in the sun- find out how long you can safely lay out with the book the vitamin d solution by michael holick. i’m part italian and i rarely burn, so i lay out for 30 min on each side right now. i cover my face. i am slowing building a base tan and filling up my vitamin d stores. sun gives you more than what the supplements do.

  • Cosmo Brown

    Incidentally, I think you looked quite lovely in your 160 lb. photo, too. In my view, there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with your physique.

    But, I realize that one has to feel good in their own skin.

    -CB