Hey everyone! Today’s guest post is extra special. Laura, doesn’t yet have a blog, but wanted to share a bit about the importance of weight lifting! You can follow her on twitter @lauradafinch. As for the photo at the bottom of the page, I think it’s a ball pike. It’s one of my favourite moves too 🙂
Almost 3 years ago, I stepped on the scale and had a shocking surprise: “omg, I weigh what!?!” Something had to change. I had lunch with a friend who, a few years earlier, had dropped a good amount of weight in preparation for her wedding. We got to talking about weight, especially how she was able to keep the weight off, and she shared with me that she’d been following the routines from the book The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Cassandra E. Forsythe and Lou Schuler. From this book, I learned two good things:
1. I need to be lifting weights.
2. I need to be lifting heavy weights and heavy isn’t 10 lbs.
So I tried their routine, went to weight lifting classes at my gym, found things online…and the weight continued to come off! I was feeling good about myself and I was feeling strong. But I still had moments where I thought, “oh man, I’m working so hard and can’t do another rep. It’s okay to stop. I’ll work harder next time.” But truthfully, I didn’t follow through. I continued to make excuses. I continued to stop early, skip workouts, and lift light weights.
It wasn’t until I joined a new gym and as a part of my membership, I got four personal training sessions. I liked it so much; I bought a package of 10 more sessions. Even though I didn’t continue after the sessions ended (I’m just a teacher!), what I learned about strength training paled in comparison to what I learned about myself, my capabilities, and my own strength. I pushed my heart rate to go faster than it ever had. I told my trainer I’d never run faster than a 5.4 on the treadmill – seriously! I hate running! She made me run my short little legs up to a 7.2 and I couldn’t say one word and she told me THAT was my sprinting speed! I did many exercises I’d seen others do and never thought I would be strong enough to do! But the biggest thing I took out of personal training, and the thing I continue to work on and remind myself of every day, is that strength training and transforming your body is completely, 100% an issue of mind over matter. As Henry Ford once said, and as I say to my students on a regular basis, “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”. I can do 3 sets of burpees if I believe I can. I can do a chin up if I believe I can. And when I participate in my new love, spinning, I am not afraid to ride at the front of the class because I know I can power through any hill or sprint the teacher throws at us. And convincing myself I can do all these things – therefore ensuring that I am successful – is the biggest confidence booster there is. That, and I love looking at my biceps every time I put a pony tail in my hair! That’s not so bad either.
My new favorite move, no idea what it’s called,
but I always feel like superwoman doing it!
Thanks to Meg for agreeing to take a chance on a non-blogger! Maybe someday you’ll come across my blog, but until then, please find me on twitter @lauradafinch for continued thoughts on strength training, cooking, and the funny things my fifth graders say!