I seriously love summer. I’m spending every minute, (even the ones where I truly feel hot and gross) being thankful that I’m not hunched against the stupid winter wind trying to get indoors as quickly as possible.
I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Summer brings out more and more runners, bikers, circuit trainers and yoga classes in the park, and I love seeing this when I take my kids out into the long summer weekends. And I sometimes think about maybe giving up my gym membership in the summer and just spending all my fitness time outside. But then I think about it again and realize that I really want to keep it. And here’s why.
I like lifting heavy things. I always thought that being a smaller and rounder female body type I shouldn’t lift heavy things, but rather lighter things, and do many repetitions. And that’s okay. But lately, I’ve been lifting HEAVY weights with less repetition. I’m training more like a superhero and getting stronger than I’ve ever been. I’ve been inspired by Jeannine Trimboli, someone of my own age and body type who’s training for a powerlifting competition and her results are amazing. Check her out, get inspired, and come attack the max rack after I do.
Routine. In the past year I’ve finally got back into a healthy way of living. The way I did it was by slowly establishing healthy habits that are now…habitual. For me, that means working out at least 30 minutes a day, 4 days per week, and an hour or more on Saturday and Sunday. Sound lofty? It did to me too before it became my life, something I enjoy, and a way to set and challenge new goals for myself. Part of my routine is walking into the gym, seeing the same people, using the same equipment, and having an iced coffee on the way home at the same place. I don’t want to lose that. I like it.
A cool place to be. No matter how much I love summer I have to admit that one of the sweetest things is walking into air-conditioned comfort when the sun is especially….friendly. I get a lot more out of my workout when I can begin the elliptical warm up from a neutral temperature and work my way up to sweating through the rest of it. Plus the pool is amazing. As a parent, I really appreciate family swim as an option. As I swim with my kids, we cool off and burn off just enough energy to have a restful summer evening.
Stone cold fear. Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but I find the best way to avoid living in fear of suddenly gaining back 15 pounds overnight is to keep doing what I’m doing. Going to the gym makes me feel happy because I’m doing something selfishly, beautifully for myself that just happens to positively affect those around me. I am SO MUCH HAPPIER when I get dressed in the morning without worrying about which pants will give me the muffin top. And though most people around me couldn’t care less about if I have a muffin top or not, a happier me makes those around me happier too. That’s probably the best reason of all!
-Camille Diamond; Director of Community Engagement and Communications, and 14th Street Y Member