Establishing the Workout Routine

I have now been going to the gym 6 days a week for the past two weeks. There have been some moments I didn’t want to go, but it is feeling nicely incorporated into my daily routine now. A few times I made Dave take some pictures of me, which I assembled into this collage!

weight lifting workout routine
I forced myself to make gym visits a required part of my day. At first, for about 5 days, it was easy. I was super excited about working out, and it was extremely easy to get pumped up on the way home, thinking about spending some time at the gym. But then my attention started to drift away. I wasn’t pumped, it was just, “I guess I’ll be going to the gym today,” as I drove home, even though what I really wanted was to veg out on the couch with a glass of wine.

When the first weekend came, I was thinking about all the things I needed to do, and I did end up skipping out on Saturday. I reasoned that I needed a day off from working out. But Sunday, even though I just wanted to relax at home, I got up and went.

The next week, it just felt like something to check off my list of things to do. Dave would ask me if I was going to the gym every night, and I would always say yes, even though I wasn’t really feeling it, and was only a moments thought away from saying no. But then I would go. There was a little feeling inside of me that I couldn’t stop, I had to keep going.

One day, Dave decided not to go. I debated not going too, but it felt like if I stopped going, even for just one day, I’d lose my momentum and just putter out. So I went anyway, alone. Even though I’d been going all the previous week, it was still slightly intimidating when I walked into the gym all by myself. I went about my routine, starting on the treadmill to warm up, and then went into the weight lifting area. It felt weird to be the only female there, surrounded by body building men, but mainly because they were all fit, and I am not at all. I wasn’t sure what to do without Dave there, and didn’t know where specific machines were, so I just kind of wandered aimlessly, trying not to make eye contact with anyone.

I sometimes feel like other people are judging me when I’m there. They are usually super fit and attractive, while I’m just pudgy/doughy Courtney. But I every time I start to think like that, I remind myself we are all there for the same reason. In my experience years ago, I’ve never felt unwelcome at the gym, and I have no reason not to feel unwelcome now. It’s just my own insecurity telling me others are judging me. I know that I don’t give much thought to others people there, so I doubt they pay much attention to me.

The following Saturday, we were tested when a friend showed up unexpectedly to spend the weekend. It would have been easy then to say that we needed to stay home to entertain him, but despite his initial protests, we left him at the house and went anyway.

Now it feels like there’s no possible way I could take a day off. I don’t have the burning excitement in me, but it’s something that has to be done, everyday, just like I need to feed my dogs. It’s just not right if it doesn’t happen.

The only downside to all of this: I am still at 173 lbs, my starting weight. What the heck, universe?!

The Before (and the after…?)

The before, and the after, since I'm the same!
Please excuse my blurry face, I had a skin condition called “no makeup”.

Dave says I look smaller, so he thinks that I’ve had fat converted to muscle. I hope he’s right, because it’s very frustrating to have no measurable progress. I’m going to be changing up my routine this week to add in more cardio and hopefully that will speed things along.

I am pretty proud of myself for one accomplishment: I jogged an entire mile. I couldn’t even do that in highschool! Normally, I am a walking person. The thought of moving faster than that pace was shudder worthy. But the issue came up that Dave doesn’t spend nearly as much time warming up as I do. He likes to do about 15 minutes on the bike and then start weight lifting. I would usually spend about 25-30 minutes on the treadmill, but by doing that, I would end up missing many weight exercises that Dave was doing. I had to speed it up to keep up with him, and that’s why I started jogging. And I was shocked to find it wasn’t so hard to job. At first, I could only do 1 minute. Then I could do 2. It just kept building until I managed to do the whole mile, at a very slow jog. But for me, that’s huge. I’m going to keep it up, and I think this year it’s realistic to having doing a whole 5k at a jog as a goal!

But even saying that, as I think now that I need to get up and go jog, I’m reluctant. I could just sit here, and type some more, or have a cup of coffee, or surf the internet… those things are so easy. And getting up from my comfortable chair is so hard. Since I haven’t moved yet, I can’t guarantee that I will do it. But I do have the little voice inside of me that says I need to get up and start moving. I just have to follow through.

I’m going to keep track of my exercise routine this week, and I’ll be able to share the exacts next time. Hopefully the scale will have moved a little bit too!


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Workout Motivation in Dress Form

I’m a big fan of fancy dresses. I should probably stop buying more, but Rent-the-Runway was having a clearance sale, and I instantly wanted everything. But I’m not a crazy person, so I didn’t buy everything, but I did buy a few!

Parker “Wintergarden” Gown, Halston Heritage “Flip Switch” Dress, Allison Parris “Winter Wonderland” Dress

There was only one problem – the smallest size available of each of these dresses was a size 6.

One of the dresses was brand new with tags!

When they got here, it was obvious that size 6 is too small for my current body. I could wedge it on, but both tulle dresses looked like 80’s nightmare prom dresses. I can only hope they will look better once they actually fit.

Except for one of the dresses, shockingly, actually fit, and looked so awesome, I feel like I met my soulmate dress.

Halston Heritage – Thank you for coming into my life.

This one is the same brand as the dress for my Middleburg shoot, although that one was a size 10, and yet I looked way more sausage-like. If that one had fit and been the right length, it would have been my favorite dress ever. But since picking the wrong size isn’t really the dress’s fault, and since I’m happy with my new dress, Halston gets the thumbs up. Thank goodness for stretch!

I have heard people discourage buying clothes that are too small are motivation. But I believe if there’s actually a plan in place, like scheduling gym workouts and planned meals, it’s a great way to stay on track. Clearly it doesn’t work as motivation if the only plan is to wait for the weight-loss fairy to pass by. I’ve been waiting for her to visit me, as well as the housekeeping and renovation fairies, but none of them come to my neck of the woods.

Now I just wish I could justify buying more dresses… but I really don’t thinking I can!

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The Gym is in My Future

One of my favorite things has always been to live in the past. Specifically, remembering when I was young, thin, and fit. It isn’t my favorite because I enjoy drinking wine, looking at old photos, and sobbing over what life used to be like (although the wine certainly makes it better), it’s my favorite because I use it at an excuse for how I look now.

Exhibit A

There have been many times where I look at photos of myself and think, “Well, at least I used to be thin,” as though to make up for how much weight I gained. And I’m getting so old… and it just kind of happens when people get older. And I’m busy now, I don’t have that kind of time anymore. There’s always some good reason I can’t do it anymore.

20101003_5 (2)
Exhibit B: We were also young, carefree, and had fast cars and super long arms.

I was a gym rat back then. I went to Gold’s Gym, and I loved it. It was hard to get into at first, but going to the gym is surprisingly addicting. Dave and I went all the time.

One day, we decided to switch gyms, and go to one that was within walking distance of our condo. Gold’s Gym had terrible parking, even if it was awesome. We had high hopes for the change.

Part of our membership included a private session with a personal trainer at the gym. I thought it sounded neat, as I hadn’t been using a personal trainer at all. I signed up for it. It turned out it was not a training session at all. It was a session where my fat was measured, I was told I was overweight, and here’s what their personal trainer could do to fix it.

I looked like Exhibit B at this point, and weighed 130 lbs. I was horrified to hear that after all my effort, all the time spent at the gym, I was still considered overweight. I know now that was not the case, and they were trying to sell personal training sessions, but I really took it hard then. I didn’t stop at once, but the gym stopped being a happy place. It was now a frustrating place, and I was very irritated that all my hard work didn’t matter, I was still overweight. Eventually, I stopped going entirely.

It wasn’t instant, but once I moved out to my farm and no longer went to any gym, the weight piled on. I kept thinking if I made some small change, it would go away, but this has never been the case.

This week, I got serious. Truthfully, Dave got serious, so I have him to thank for this. Dave used to work out, and also fell off the bandwagon. (Also some credit to my dear friend Krissy, who was telling me her gym experience <3)

Exhibit C: Dave, who worked out frequently, enjoying a roller coaster

Dave decided he wanted to start working out again and I decided this would also be a good idea for me. So we signed up for Gold’s Gym again, although not the same Gold’s Gym of our past.

We have gone twice so far, and I can’t believe how much I missed it. Doing the exercises again is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. I’m a little concerned how I’m going to fit it in, but I’m going to make it work.

Dave is going to be my “personal trainer.” He’s not a real personal trainer, but he knows how to do things, so I will listen to him. Also, having Dave there is fun, because we act stupid together, and amuse each other.

To further my desire for real results, I’m going to post my progress. I don’t have much to start with, but I’ll try to get more stats.

Although I am horrified to admit this, my starting weight: 173 lbs, as of yesterday morning. I’m 5’7″ for context.

The “before” shot

It’s not a very good before shot, but frankly, every picture on my blog is basically a before picture.

I did get some new songs for my mp3 player that got me really excited! I’m on a disco kick!

  • Turn the Beat Around, Vicki Sue Robinson
  • Hot Stuff, Donna Summer
  • I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
  • Staying Alive, Bee Gees

I am the kind of person who listens to the same song over, and over, and over until I end up never wanting to hear it again. I need more disco suggestions to not get sick of it. I was a bit inspired from The Martian, I think disco is ideal music to be stuck on a planet with.

I am really, really excited. My muscles feel happy, and I feel super energized. No more excuses, I’m going to do it!

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The Sickness Week (month?) and Moving Forward

March has been kind of terrible, health wise. First my poor little doggie got sick, and had to be hospitalized. She was never spayed, so her uterus became infected and if it had ruptured, she would have died. We got her to the vet in time, but I still feel like a terrible person for not spaying her. It was one of those things I put off because the vet said it was dangerous because she was so little. In retrospect, this is a pile of poo, because the emergency vet said it’s the same as any other dog. I suspect they were trying to justify the $1k spaying charge. Too bad I ended up spending much, much more than that to save poor little Poffins.

Hooked up to the IV after surgery.
Hooked up to the IV after surgery.

I’ll never let that happen again. It’s common in unspayed dogs for this to happen. Now, my tiny little dog is uterus-free, and healthy, but it would have been so much easier if I’d just had her spayed to began with.

She prefers to spend recovery time sleeping in the laundry basket.
She prefers to spend recovery time sleeping in the laundry basket.

The horses, while not sick, had a visit from the vet to get their checkup, shots and dental work done. Pony Man was drugged up, worked on, and then tied to a fence where he literally stood in an absurd position for the next hour while the vet did the horses.

This is the horse equivalent of your college drinking photos being posted on the internet for eternity.
This is the horse equivalent of your college drinking photos being posted on the internet for eternity.

Vintage turned out to be more of a light weight than Pony, and was nearly falling over. I asked the vet if the horses ever fell over when this was done, and she said no. But she became very concerned by Vintage wobbling all over the place.


Speaking of dental visits, I got a horrible pain in my jaw, starting from when I was in Charleston. I had to go to the doctor, then the dentist, and they tried to pull my wisdom tooth. As in, the dentist numbed me up, gave me the gas, and it still felt like my jaw was splintering into a million pieces. They couldn’t do it with the amount of pain I was in, so now I have to go to the orthopedic surgeon. Unfortunately the surgeon cannot take me right this instant, so as the numbing wears off, I can feel my jaw becoming more painful than it was prior to the attempt to remove the tooth.

On my way to get my tooth pulled, still full of hopes and dreams. Now I'm just full of bitterness and a cut up mouth because I ate dinner while my mouth was still numb.
On my way to get my wisdom tooth pulled, still full of hopes and dreams. Now I’m just full of bitterness and a cut up mouth and tongue because I ate dinner while my mouth was still numb.

I also will never get the gas again, because it made me feel so sick and gross. Ugh.

In addition, I got sick over the weekend, starting suddenly on the trip to the zoo on Saturday, and preventing any other fun activities. I slept from the moment I got home until Monday morning, when I had to go back to work, still feeling awful.

That still pales in comparison to my poor little Poffins. How could I let this happen to her?! Just look at that face!

yorkie face
She looks just like Simba from the Lion King!

And now I’m suddenly realizing I have to run a 5k in three weeks. Somehow, I forgot to do any training for that. It’s not really a difficult distance, but I use it as a motivator to get moving. So now it’s time to get moving, and lose the weight I stored up over the winter (just like a bear!). I have three weeks to gain some kind of stamina.

One thing I stopped very suddenly is drinking diet soda. This started abruptly, as in, I was drinking some diet soda, and then put down the can mid-drink. The aforementioned jaw pain was made excruciating because of the soda. I think I may even have let out a little scream. Now it’s been a week since I have had any soda. My water consumption has gone up dramatically. I would say that I feel amazing, but I actually don’t, because I’m sick, but I don’t think that’s the water’s fault (…or is it?!)

I am also super amazed with my newest purchase. A mountain bike!!!

trek mountain bike
Yes, I did make this purchase when snow was on the ground. I also tried to ride in the snow. This is not such a great idea.

Dave has one, too. So far, we have taken rides around the country roads. They are just gravel though, and I’m excited for an actual trail through the woods. Of course, the first weekend the weather agreed with this, I got sick, so hopefully next weekend, or if we have some time after work.

I also just purchased this Bikini Body Guide. I’ve heard good things, so I was to try it. I’m pretty good at following instructions, so I think this will work out well for me. I’ll post a review to let you know what I think.

I just bought a bunch of salad, veggies and fruits, so I feel pretty complete in my tools for getting ready for my 5k(s).

Anyone else gearing up for fitness goals?

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Blood and Guts 5K continued

I should have waited one more day to post about the 5k I did. Pictures came out today!! Unfortunately, even though they are supposed to be free, the photographer tried to charge me $15 for each photo I wanted. Frankly, it seemed like a rip off, as I’m barely even in the photo, and $15 is a lot higher than free. So those photos of me climbing up a wooden pallet will have to remain on the photographer website.

But I do have this one photo from a different photographer of me trying to smash a pumpkin!


I was unsuccessful in my smashing. I’m all foamy because I just went down the fun slide.

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Blood and Guts 5k

On Saturday, I participated in the Blood and Guts 5k. I had signed up for it back in July, and was super excited about it, but the last few weeks I injured something in my lower back and it was hard to practice for it. I also woke up with a sore throat. I was very reluctant to go, and really the only reason I went is because I was meeting people there.

I left my house, it was the coldest morning of fall so far. About two miles from my house, I saw a bear loping down the road. That was a bit thrilling, and, I thought to myself, a sure sign that something wasn’t going to be right today. I was bear-ly going to make it. Or the stock market would crash after my terrible display of athleticism. Something like that.


I arrived there, only getting lost one time on the journey, and signed in. I had the thought to just sign in, get my shirt and scurry back to the car, avoiding the eyes of the more enthusiastic participants. It was so cold, and I was wearing barely any clothes, and I couldn’t find my friends, and I was just being a grump.

Eventually I did find them, and while joking about just hiding in the bushes by the finish line, I decided just to do it, and see how far I could go.

I started jogging with them, and actually completed the first mile quite easily. It helped that I was trying to keep up with my friends and not look like the total out of shape person I am. Also there were obstacles which required waiting in a line to do them, therefore allowing me to take a break without being obvious that I desperately wanted one.

The obstacles were fun. Other than just general mud, there were climbing ones, a pumpkin smashing one, and my favorite, a giant slide down the hill into a pool of water. I personally didn’t want to go into a pool of water, since it was all of 40 degrees by that point, although I will admit that the jogging warmed me up considerably. So I jumped down on my belly, and nearing the end I did a sweet maneuver off the side into the grass. I was pretty pleased with myself, although the amount of time it took me to climb out of the grass enabled my friends to take off, and that was the last I saw of them on course. Oh well.

No longer even trying to keep up, I alternated walking and jogging the rest of the time. I managed to finish.

I’m the middle one

I felt great the rest of the day. I am planning to do it again next year!

And the rest of the day was great too! I threw on my wedding dress again, and did a photo shoot with my horse. The only preview I have is to the left on my instagram previewer thing. But it’s sure to turn out great. The photographer was excellent, and I want to take more!

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