when you are middle aged and fluffy and don’t know what the hell you’re doing…

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

You all are so sweet and left me the kindest comments yesterday on my Getting Healthy post. I had tears in my eyes reading them. To think that I could help someone else who is just like me is really amazing to me.

I have wondered if I have anything new to say in this space. I feel like I talk about the same things so much. But, if I am able to help even one person, that feels pretty darn good. And, you know what…you all give me more encouragement and support than some of my IRL peeps. The world maybe is kinder than sometimes think…

You tired of seeing this photo yet? Ha!

I don’t even know if I’m qualified to write this post today! But, heck – was I even qualified to write any of my other posts? You do not need to respond to that!

I used to be a gym person. I was not full on rat status, but I went very regularly from maybe age 24-29ish? Then from age 29-49, I dabbled from time to time, but it was not great. So, I kinda knew some exercises to do, but I was still intimidated. I could have started a gym routine last summer but I didn’t. Lazy! Last month, I finally asked Tom to give me some suggestions and show me the ropes (of the gym membership I had already been paying for) and we went together on a Sunday morning. I didn’t want his help after that, though. I want to be on my own program!

Tom has been a gym person for a long, long time. In fact, at the beginning of our relationship I was already a dedicated gym person and we started working out together once I moved to the same city. We had so much fun making up names for the gym regulars and did some amazing people watching. One guy clapped for himself after every set and we named him “The Clapper”. But, I digress…

I started on my own the next day, which was a Monday. Some say to “never miss a Monday”. I didn’t start on the first of the month or on any special day. I just knew it was time. I knew that muscle would give me more bang for my buck (in my weight loss journey) and that I was at the age where I am losing muscle quickly.

My Tips:

-To thine self be true. I knew that I wasn’t motivated to work out at home and that I physically needed to GO somewhere.

-Don’t compare yourself with others. Do you. Know that I am in a place in my life that I can do this, so it is much easier now. It is really hard to do this while juggling childcare and morning school responsibilities. But, I have gone in the mornings in the past while my kids were sleeping and my husband was still at home, so it can be done.

-Some people like the accoutability of meeting a friend at the gym, so that might work for you. I don’t want to work around anyone else’s schedule or rely on anyone else and want to just hold myself accountable. I see two ladies in their 60s arrive every morning together at 5:15 and walk on side by side treadmills. I think that is sweet and that works for them.

-I knew I had to do it first thing in the morning. I can’t even let myself look at the coffee pot or my list of tasks to be done or I might derail myself. I set my alarm for 4:45 and only brush my teeth and put my clothes on and then leave.

-I told myself I only needed to do 30 minutes. That seemed do-able.

-I decided it would be better to go everyday as I was getting started instead of choosing an every other day plan. That could lead to my stopping the routine.

-I started with just using the machines and not the free weights. I looked at the pictures on the machines to make sure I was doing it correctly.

-I alternate upper and lower body exercises on alternate days. If I do legs on Monday, I do upper body on Tuesday.

-I think I have decided to go Monday through Thursday, taking Friday off. I will go one of the two weekend days, too, I think.

-If you are super intimidated and are afraid of people watching you or judging you, 5:00 a.m. is a good time to go because it’s not very crowded. But, remember that everyone else is just focused on themselves and they are not watching you!

-Save a favorite podcast for working out. Or, make a playlist. Tell yourself you can only listen while at the gym.

-Working out in the morning really sets up your day for success. It feels great to get it out of the way and you just feel so proud of yourself.

-I wear the same shoes everyday and the same leggings multiple days in a row. I have them in an easy to access place for the morning.

-I am still walking. Walking is one of the best exercises out there, in my opinion. I am still walking with Erica twice a week and then with Ernie or Ernie and Tom. I plan to add more cardio soon, too. I really like exercising outdoors and know that this is so good for me, so I really want to have a good walking routine, too.

-Decide once. This is a Lazy Genius principle. Don’t wake up wondering if you will go to the gym. Just go. You already decided. You are always tired anyway, so you may as well be tired at the gym. That’s what I tell myself!

-My Dad was an avid, avid exerciser. He started running in his 30s and kept running until his cancer diagnosis, really, at age 76. He used to say that the hardest part of exercising was stepping out the door to go do it. This is so true!

My Story:

I started going to the gym at 5:00 a.m. five weeks ago. (I can’t believe it’s already been that long!) I let myself go later on a non-school day, but then I always think it would have been better earlier when it was less crowded.

I can’t believe how much stronger I have already gotten. I have been able to lift heavier weights with each passing week, I think.

I feel really good. I am mad at myself for waiting so long, but that is not a productive mindset, so I am just trying to move on.

What tips do you have for someone starting out? As always, my hope is to help someone who is just like me and I never want to come off as preachy! I really do not have all the answers or any of the answers, but I do have a blog! Lolololol!


25 thoughts on “How to Start a Gym Routine…

  1. Oh, wow, this is just the encouragement I needed this morning!! A couple of weeks ago I asked my son if he would put together a workout plan for his dad and me. He sent us a seven page plan – ha!!! It is super detailed and for 30 days… Oh, how I appreciated his hard work. Unfortunately, I have been waiting and waiting on my husband to get motivated to go with me… You are right, I just have to START – with or without him. Thank you for positively influencing me today 🙂


    1. Oh, thank you for sharing! That makes me so happy! Your son is so sweet but 7 pages? Can you do one page a day? Lol! Maybe it will take you starting and then hub will get motivated? You’ve got this! You will feel so great!


  2. Wow, can I please say that I’m proud of you!? After all my years as a group fitness instructor I know how hard it is to keep up a fitness routine! A good tip (that you seem to follow) is to work out in the morning. Not only because you’ll get it done, but also because you have higher levels of growth hormone in the morning (which is a good thing for your muscles).


    1. Sure you can! You are my Swedish fan club president, after all! I bet you liked teaching the morning classes the most? I did not know those facts. Can you believe I already have more muscle definition from just a month?


      1. Yeah, the morning classes were actually a blast! The same people showed up and you had a great connection! So much fun… sigh… (Yes, I miss it sometimes, but still – so much work!)
        How cool that you can see muscle definition! Here is some more facts: muscle memory is not a myth!


  3. I just want to say that I am so incredibly proud of you Amy! You know that this is a lifestyle you are creating. Something that you can sustain thru your middle age years. And beyond! Just remember- its hard but its worth it. You are worth it. I love working out. I love my Peloton. I am one person who thrives on working out at home. Tony never thought I would keep with the peloton and he will be the first one to say that it has worked wonders for me. So happy I can walk again (after the dang Plantar fasciitis!) on a regular basis. I was doing 5-6 miles a day and aint no one got time for that anymore! HAHA I would tell someone just starting out that consistency is the main ingredient and to remember to mix it up! Try new gym classes. Try something new. You never know when you might find something you absolutely love! Ok, I am off to golf! I have really started enjoying the Wednesday golf ladies and am trying to golf 2-3 x a week with them and once on Sunday with Tony. Who am I?? HA!


    1. You are so sweet and encouraging! Maybe a WW leader or a fitness instructor is in your future? You are so thoughtful. I know you really struggled with PF and I am glad you are better and that you love the Peloton! Golfing has to be great for you, too!


      1. I have NO DESIRE to be a WW leader. The people who go to the meetings (some ) drive me crazy. LOL No being a fitness instructor I could totally see myself doing but remember – then I have to commit to being here on a regular basis and you know my love for my beach house. Once my remodel is done, I will be there as much as possible in the summer. I am thinking of joining a ladies golf league over there!


  4. I am such a person of few words but wanted to say keep up the good work. You have many cheer leaders here cheering you on. You guys finding nick names for the other patrons, hilarious.


  5. This is so motivating! I am “stuck” and can’t seem to get started. I have a gym membership and am also an empty-nester…… absolutely no excuses. 😦 Thank you for sharing what works for you, you are inspiring!


  6. I’m an evening exerciser. Always have been because I don’t like leaving the house early in the morning lol. So, I usually do Pilates before bed and will ride the bike after Wells is in bed. I cannot WAIT to pick up exercise again.


  7. The Clapper 🤣so funny. Again, so proud of you! So many awesome tips. I need to get back to more morning workouts. You are right- I will be tired anyway. This is a great post with lots of great tips


  8. Amy, you truly make me laugh out a loud….a rare feat! I never comment, but so enjoy reading your blog and following your health journey. You are a total inspiration and a bad ass. I’ve been an avid exerciser for years, mainly for the mental health benefits. The endorphin rush is real. Whatever motivates you, right?! Happy Easter from CO!


    1. Aww, you are too kind to say that! Wow – my self esteem is climbing. Can I pay you to say nice things everyday? It really does affect everything – your physical, emotional, mental states. I need to get my kids to start a routine. They are naturally thin – from their Dad, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to do it!


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