Doing A Double Take

Something kind of awesome happened at the gym today.

Well, a few awesome things I guess.

First of all, it wasn’t nearly as crowded as I thought it would be. There was great “New Year’s” energy at the gym, and a few new faces in the Chisel class I took, but overall I had plenty of room to lunge and squat.

The second awesome thing was that I was kind of pleasantly surprised when I caught my reflection in the mirror.

I haven’t been feeling too hot lately. It’s fine, but it’s true.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, I ate roughly 6 pounds of stuffing, 250 Christmas cookies, 800 red and green peanut M&Ms and drank more than a few glasses o’ Pinot Grigio.

I’ve continued to exercise as frequently as I could despite the hectic holiday schedule, but that didn’t really outdo the sugar high I’ve been riding on for the past month.

But today, while we were doing fly arm curls at the gym, I looked to the side mirror to check my form.

What did I see?

Well, my form was fine. So that was cool.

But I was also pumped when I had to do a double take: I seemed to have developed bicep and tricep muscles in 2010!

Arms have never been something I brag about.

I like my legs. They’re thick and strong and carry me long distances.

I like my feet. They’re small and can usually fit into the sample size at most stores.

I like my hair. It’s never been dyed, so it’s healthy.

But I’ve always been self-conscious about my arms. Lately, if I’m forced to pose on the end of a group photo, the hand goes on the hip. Always. That’s my picture move. (It took me a while to learn it, though.)

A brief history of Ali’s Arms:

College wasn’t kind to me.

But I’ve spent the last year lifting and trying to really tone my upper body.

Of course I’m still not totally happy with my arms—they’re not quite at Michelle Obama level yet. But today I realized that I haven’t been giving myself enough credit.

I’ve worked really hard for the past few months, between running (I got back on the morning routine bandwagon this morning with 4 miles along the East River), yoga-ing, chiseling and spinning. I rarely stop and say, “You’re doing great, Ali.”

2011 is off to a great start.

TELL ME: Which body part do you have the toughest time toning? Any tips on how to tighten up?



5 Responses

  1. I’m extremely lazy about upper body workouts because I feel like I have to put so much effort into it to get any results, but you may have inspired me. I have the weights, I just need to do the workouts!

  2. Toned arms look amazing! Props for all the hard work. Toning up definitely requires some solid strength training, which I’m lacking. I am trying to do more weight work in the gym these days, but it bores me to tears! You will be my motivation 🙂

  3. I used to have great arms but since I stopped weight training, I lost definition. After my race this weekend, I’m going to start “pumping iron” again! 🙂

  4. My arms are my weakness too! I am trying to get them and my back in top shape for our upcoming wedding as it would look much better in a strapless dress 🙂

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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