Healthy and Sane

Fear of the unknown

September 3rd, 2010 · 20 Comments · body talk, exercise

Hi bloggies. How’s life? Any fun plans for the weekend? Just like everyone else, I’m shocked that the calendar says it’s September already. Fall is alright but summer is the best – I mean fresh peaches are in season. It must be superior! 😆

With that said, I have to admit – August was not a good month for me. I mentioned it a few times here – I decided to focus on pilates this past month. I got a good deal from BuyWithMe for a 30-days unlimited mat package and wanted to give it a fair shot. I continued to take the occasional bootcamp and spin classes but definitely did pilates more than any other form of exercise. My thoughts on the whole experience…

The studio I went to was really nice. It was clean, serene and the instructors appeared very knowledgeable. I also was able to take a few morning classes before work. Since I’m not a morning person at all, waking up for something not too intense was a good compromise…. except that often I felt like it was a waste of my time. 😯 Basically, I realized very quickly that I craved sweat. While certain exercises gave short bursts of the burn, I rarely left “satisfied.” A few weeks into it, I felt like I was losing my endurance. I felt like I’ve been slacking off despite doing something active most days. I felt like I was gaining weight… and when I’m upset I turn to food. So I did. I gained 4.4 lbs in August. [Btw, I lasted 3 weeks. I realized this just wasn’t for me so I resumed to my “regular” exercise routine by the end of the month.]

Here is the deal. Remember when I mentioned the New Rules of Lifting for Women book? I was going to start the program on September 1. I was excited about it but now I’m scared. I already gained weight in addition to previously gained weight. I feel like I have to work so hard to conceal this fact – every outfit is getting scrutinized beyond belief… until I think I look “presentable” (read: not fat). The NRLW program concentrates on gaining muscle. Gaining?!! I can’t fathom that right now. I don’t know how my body will react to this change and yes, fear is definitely what I’m experiencing – fear of the unknown. I think I need to clear my head and do something that I know works for a month (*which to be clear, includes some lifting, mostly at bootcamp, with an occasional Body Pump class at Healthworks), and then maybe revisit the idea of starting this program.

What are your thoughts? Have you ever been afraid of a new routine? Did you go for it? Were you happy you took the plunge? So many questions, I know. :)

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20 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Allison

    Let me first say that I tried pilates this summer and it is not for me either! I need to get my heart rate up. That said, I have also learned that just doing intense card makes me hungry in the long run and I don’t lose weight. I have been lifting weights and am now my leanest ever. I still do HIIT 3 times a week and generally am active , but it is the lifting with heavy rates that has gotten me to my smallest size, although not lowest weight.

  • #2 - Allison

    Heavy weights. Whoops

  • #3 - MelissaNibbles

    Pilates is boring and does nothing for my body. I know people love it, but I just don’t like it.

    Muscle might weigh more than fat, but it BURNS fat. You can’t burn fat without muscle. You will tighten up in areas you never though possible. JUST DO IT! LIFT!!

  • #4 - Sarah W.

    lifting is good for you! i like the way the NROLFW is set up. I followed the program for about 4 months but I was sporadic in my program. with hard work and determination I think this program will work for you.

    just b/c you are gaining muscle doesn’t mean you are gaining weight (well ok maaaaaaaaybe the scale will show a higher number) BUT your clothes will be LOSE! and losing INCHES is what matters, not the stupid scale!

  • #5 - shelly

    I love pilates because it is relaxing and the forms aren’t as hard for me as yoga forms are. Also, I’m bad about not working on my flexibility, so it’s really good for that.
    That being said, I never do *only* pilates. I think it’s an excellent addition to my fitness life but I need cardio and weights too to feel balanced.
    As for the gaining muscle. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. When I do just cardio I have a harder time maintaining my weight than when I’m doing weights a couple times a week.
    And while muscle weighs more than fat, it is also much more dense so I look a lot smaller when I build muscle than when I just do cardio and burn fat. I also think that lifting weights has a really good effect on my metabolism. So I might not burn as many calories if I spend an hour at the gym versus an hour on the road, but I think that my body burns calories more efficiently in general when I lift.
    I’m making a huge effort to keep lifting despite training for a half marathon b/c last year I only ran and I think lifting will keep me looking better and feeling more balanced.
    Whether or not you “get big” is really a function of body type- in general I think it’s hard for women to get big muscles. I’ve increased the weights I handle considerably over the past year or so and I don’t think my arms have increased in size at all. They have more definition, but they’re still very small.

  • #6 - Jessica@tastyandtrim

    I can definitely relate to fear of the unknown. Throughout my struggles with weight and eating, one of my biggest challenges to overcome was my fear. Would I still be comfortable in my skin? Would I gain too much? I would constantly fear the answers of those questions, but it was time for a change in order to get myself on a healthier track. I was afraid of gaining more than 5 pounds. Well I gained 10 or 15 and while it’s an adjustment I know I look healthier and feel better physically. I would face your fears and stick to switching up your routine. You may be suprised with how great the results are :)

  • #7 - Sues

    Happy September!! I’m actually a big fan of pilates (mixed with some running) and have to tell you, after I had been doing pilates for 3 months, I gained 12 pounds. 12!! It taught me NOT to step on the scale ever. Because weight is just a number and I know I was gaining muscle. But, of course, nobody wants to see a 12 pound gain no matter what it is :) But I think the scale is a very dangerous thing that can be easy to obsess over. Just do your best and don’t worry about the # :) You can do it!!!

    Have a fabulous long weekend!

  • #8 - steph

    The journey of a 1000 miles starts with one step.

    I dare you to do the following:
    1) Sit down and map out the program for 30 days – everything from food to workouts (and yes 3 weight sessions a week is enough to allow your body to really rest, just don’t forget about a little cardio or HIIT).

    2) Try the program for 30 days (track your progress so you can figure out what works and what doesn’t) – if you like it keep doing, if you don’t find something new

    I think you’ll be amazed how great lifting weights makes you feel – its a process and it takes the body a really long time to meet the mind’s expectations. Focus on form first and intensity will fall in place. Also, show those boys in the gym how it’s done – they think they know what their doing, but they don’t.

    Don’t stress out about the weight – give the body a chance to balance itself out – you may be gaining weight because you’re worried about it – if I get stressed with how I look in my clothes I stop and jot down my chore list or take the dog for a walk to focus my attention so I don’t work myself up – the body just like the mind will have good days and bad days, it’s just a matter of being proactive.

    I wish you the best of luck!!

  • #9 - Heather

    Oh yeah. I started Insanity & gained weight! A good 6-7 pounds because it was just too much activity for me (in addition to my weight training & running.) It took some time & it’s finally gone again but still hard to think of what it did to my body.

    I suggest you just start slow & not focus so much on the scale (easy for me to say, I know) but when you are doing a weight program it’s possible that you’ll drop fat thus losing inches but building muscle which will not show much loss on the scale. Just go into it knowing that & you’ll be good :)

    Good luck girl!

  • #10 - Corey - The Runner's Cookie

    I can relate! It’s taken me a while to figure out the combination of workouts that work best for me (in terms of feeling good and staying healthy). It’s definitely scary to try something new! But who knows, maybe it will turn into just what you need. I think you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly if it’s something you do or don’t want to stick with, and then you can always go back to your routine. Good for you for trying new things!! I think that’s better than staying in a fitness rut and never giving new things a try :)

  • #11 - Carrie @ TV and Dinners

    You’re going to gain muscle, but I GUARANTEE you’ll lose fat. I did a strength training program last summer and I was amazed how my weight would stay pretty constant but my body fat went down and my clothes fit so much better. I am about to start the same program again, because I got out of the habit and liked my body so much better when I was lifting. Embrace the weights! :)

  • #12 - Jess

    Man, I am so with you on pilates – I get so frustrated with it AND I seriously do crave sweat, isn’t that so weird to say?? But so true. Try to look at this new experience you’re about to embark on as just another shot at something that is new and all yours to do with it what you want. Maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Good luck!!

  • #13 - Lauren @

    I agree with you on both pilates and yoga. I know it is good for you and it really helps with the cardio, but I get so board and sometimes I think it is a waste of time. With that said I really like the Baron Baptiste yoga studio in Brookline. I feel that it give you a good sweat and some good stretching!

  • #14 - Cat

    Keep lifting!! Even if you don’t lose significant amounts of weight I guarantee you’ll look and feel way more awesome than if you don’t.

  • #15 - sassy molassy

    One thing to remember is that weight lifting may add a few lbs, but will also burn off the fat faster. It’s good to stick with what you really enjoy, but maybe make a few slight changes. Maybe you can just ease into the weight lifting program without going full bore? Hang in there! Those few pounds will come right off.

  • #16 - Shannon

    i haven’t done much pilates, only using it for a good stretch now and then. i don’t think you should worry about numbers (i know, easier said than done), but a good lifting session does get you sweatier, and muscle burns more than fat, so i wouldn’t say you’re guaranteed to gain. you’ll also feel stronger, more powerful, so maybe that will trickle over to squash those doubts!!

    i can’t wait to get back into weights more!!

  • #17 - style'n

    Hi. So here’s my take. I love pilates but only in conjunction with cardio such as running. The studio I usually go to closed so I have switched over to mostly core fusion at Exhale. (major sweat and soreness the next day) I love this class and it’s usually packed and very past paced. So I find that a combination of core fusion, yoga occasionally, and running 2-3 x/week is perfect. Of course I have to eat sensibly too. but I really found a difference when I did pilates at least 2 x week. I need to get back into it.

  • #18 - Cara

    Sorry you weren’t feeling so hot in August :(

    For what it’s worth, I doubt that with good eating habits you would gain weight on NROLFW. As the author also explains, it’s very hard for women to gain muscle mass and takes time and lots of hard work.

    That being said I don’t think you’ll see rapid weight loss either, so if you want to focus on leaning out a bit before working the strength training in, I would stick to your old (pre-pilates) routing like you said.

    For me the scariest part of starting NROLFW was having to eat MORE! But over time I learned how to do that correctly and make it work for me, and I’m quite happy I did.

  • #19 - Alice

    Elina noooo! Please don’t worry about this. Trust me, you WANT to gain muscle! As long as you eat well, you will not gain weight. What everyone says time and time again is true – gaining muscle will actually make you look smaller. You’ll be tighter, leaner, and your body will burn calories and fat most efficiently. You will NOT get big, and you will not get fat from doing weights – unless you start eating badly, because we all know, at the end of the day body fat is largely a result of what food you’re eating.

    Hope you change your mind and are already on day 5 :)

  • #20 - Willow

    I am so very bummed that Pilates didn’t float your boat. :-( I agree that it’s not for everyone, but I really hate to hear you say that you didn’t work up a sweat or feel the ‘burn’. I’ve been teaching for 12 years now and would say that with the right instructor and/or class you SHOULD feel those things. Pilates should first & foremost be a strength workout – the guy who invented it was a boxer! I encourage my clients to do it at minimum 2x a week, 3x is optimal — and definitely, definitely supplement with cardio, as you aren’t going to get that with Pilates.

    Anyway, I would vote for continuing with the weight lifting – as others have said. You’ll ‘gain’ but it will be fat burning muscle. I am a huge proponent of heavier lifting to keep body weight down, combined with some cardio. But keep experimenting – you’ll find what’s right for your body, you will!