A couple weeks ago, I introduced you to my beautiful friend, inside and out, Meghan. Just one of the many things that we share in common – in addition to having been cheerleaders, dancers, musicians, good students and one of four – is our success with Weight Watchers. She successfully lost 30 pounds in 2013 through a combination of Weight Watchers, clean eating and yoga. Let’s follow Meghan’s experience as, what she calls herself, a “gym ‘newbie’.”
I’ve completed my first full week at the gym and second week of my fitness journey. While it may seem trivial, I’m beyond proud of myself in so many ways. I’ve accomplished a lot in the few short days. I may have just begun my gym experience, but I’ve conquered a lot of fears and phobias, as well as discovered a lot about myself.
Week No. 1: Move over, machines
I’ve officially developed a love of using free weights. In the past, I always gravitated towards machines when I worked out. I mean, they had pictures on them. I could do that. Weights were another story. I’ve watched enough YouTube videos showing disastrous occurrences at gyms to venture to that side of the gym. But, with my work-out plan in hand, I began my routine.
I learned two things that first day:
- It’s better to use a lower weight and complete your reps than attempting to use heavier weight; and
- I’m significantly stronger in my right arm, which is my dominant arm.
Both of which I learned were fine and quite normal.
I’m really impressed with the amount of exercises you can do with dumbbells, both for arms and legs, and I’ve grown to really enjoy my routine in “my” corner of the gym I’ve claimed as my own.
The progress I’ve seen in my arms is very surprising, as well; I’m already starting to see definition in my arms while completing my reps. Seeing my arms begin to develop has really made me want to keep going, and is a wonderful motivator!
Week No. 2: Pushing past the pain
My second week at the gym was also one of the first times I actually worked out when I was still sore from a previous workout. This, too, was another MAJOR event that I never would’ve thought of doing in the past. I was beyond proud at the fact that I, Meghan Ragni, actually worked through the pain and completed my routine.
You get used to the burn; in fact, it actually pushed me to keep going! I’ll admit it. I cried when I was done. Not because I was done, but because I kept at it.
Did it hurt?
Could I have stopped?
But the fact that I finished that workout meant more to me than anything else. I wouldn’t trade that sense of accomplishment for anything.
While I was sore the entire week, I felt satisfied. I was sore for a reason, but it was because I was busting my butt. However, it was quite an eye-opening experience realizing I was too sore to wash my back in shower or blow-dry my hair! This was a new feeling. Wow.
The worst pain I’ve had, (that I’m still dealing with), has been from weighted calf raises. I’m struggling to walk normal, because my muscles are still so tight. It makes me want to walk on my toes. (Attractive, right?) I’m hoping by tomorrow I’ll feel better, so I have been using a heating pad on my calf muscles when I can.
My next big accomplishment was getting over my fear of doing exercises that I’ve never done before. Prior to going to the gym, I sat and watched how to do all my exercises for that specific day that I wasn’t familiar with and to ensure my form was correct. I felt much more confident going to gym knowing that I knew what I was doing, or at least I looked like I knew what I was doing.
My boyfriend created a wonderful work-out plan for me, which includes various exercises that I do throughout the week and provides me with a wealth of opportunity to explore new exercises and get more comfortable with them.
My second week was big for me in that I did everything that was on my work-out plan. My first week, I’ll admit, I skipped some of the more intimidating machines/exercises, because I was just too nervous. However, this week, I did everything, even if I wasn’t entirely comfortable with it.
I was able to do it!
Finally getting over that hump was immensely satisfying for me and also provided me with another boost of “I got this.” Overall, I found the week to be a wonderful success. I’m so proud of myself, and actually look forward to going to the gym during the day.
Will I have some set-backs? I’m sure I will at some point on my journey, but I have proven to myself this week that I can do so much more physically than I ever thought possible, and the sky is the limit with where I want to take my body and mind. Until next time…