Tonight at the trainer, I did 4 unassisted pull-ups. That’s a new personal record for me. Woo-hoo!! Last week, I did 2. Maybe it’s sad that 4 is a personal record, but I’ve never been that athletic. And I’m choosing to just focus on the positive aspects: I’m improving my strength and skills, and becoming more athletic.
About a year ago, I started working out with a trainer, again. It was the only exercise I maintained consistently while in school. Less than a half-dozen times I canceled, although I did have to reschedule quite a bit, especially around final exams. I went two to three months without swimming or riding my bike, but I kept the trainer appointments as much as possible. I’d even rush out of Criminal Law on Tuesdays, drive home, change, and run to the gym. And I got up Saturday mornings so I could eat breakfast and make it to the trainer by 10 a.m.
Over the last year, I put on 20 pounds, much of it muscle. I now have shoulders that stick out! Now that I’ve put on some muscle — and am no longer eating in the school cafeteria four times a week — I’m working on dropping some of the fat that goes along with bulking up. The goal is to drop roughly 22 pounds this summer. I started at 197 (2 pounds short of my all-time high weight). Goal is 175, although I’m not wedded to the number. It’s just a target to aim for.
I’ve been doing pretty well. The goal is 1-2 pounds a week. The second week was my med school 15 year reunion, and that week I gained 0.8 pounds (I blame the margaritas at Mad Mex, my favorite Pittsburgh restaurant.), but otherwise I have been dropping pretty consistently. This week, I’m down 1.4 pounds, for a total of 8.6 pounds.
The hardest part is the diet. It takes a lot of planning to eat healthy. You can’t just run out and grab lunch in the suburbs. And small changes in my diet have a bigger impact for me than changes in exercise. I was actually worried that I wasn’t going to do as well this week. It was Pride weekend, and I let the diet slip a little more than usual. I had pizza, a quesadilla, and key lime pie this week. Normally, I try to only have one “unhealthy” meal a week.
I’m going to the beach for a few days in two weeks, so I probably should tighten up my diet to maximize my progress before the beach.