Let me start by saying THANK YOU to all the sweet comments, messages and e-mails I received yesterday. I never expected to strike such a chord with people and am thankful that I did. I have always strived to be brutally honest on this blog about real issues and I hope I can continue that in the future. I wish I could say I posted those pictures yesterday without a seconds hesitancy but that would be a lie. I took all day to muster my courage to post, not out of shame, but it’s hard to be vulnerable to anyone and open yourself up to positive or negative comments. However, I’m so glad I did so thank you everyone!!
Okay, so today I wanted to touch on exercise. Yesterday, I briefly touched on the starting process and some diet choices. Again, I couldn’t possibly cover it all so please ask questions if you have them.
So before anyone thinks I’m a lover of exercise let me put that rumor to rest. Before I started this journey I LOATHED exercise. I liked how I felt after…..I liked that it was good for me…..but man did I hate it. There was nothing on earth I wanted to do less than exercise. Being sweaty, huffing and puffing and feeling like I was going to need CPR just didn’t seem exciting to me. I would see all these people who would run 10 miles a day, live in the gym, talk about how it was the best part of their day and I’m sitting on my couch eating Smore’s thinking “That is a freak of nature. Nobody enjoys that crap.”
I had always heard the saying, “Find something you enjoy,” again as if people actually enjoy this stuff. So I tried walking….well that was fun for about 5 minutes before I was so bored I nearly plucked my eyeballs out. Then came running…..I ran for about 25 seconds before my ankles screamed, my kneecaps felt like they had been beaten with a club and my lungs exploded. I was clearly not a runner. So then I moved on to fitness DVD’s. Now this will likely surprise EVERYONE but I like to dance. I had no idea I had such a “talent” until I realized I can pick up on choreography really quick. Don’t get me wrong….I DO NOT dance in public and I certainly can’t do that “freestyle” stuff cause I literally have no idea what to do. I’m better at the following along to some steps thing. Anyways, I got a few exercise DVDs that combined kickboxing and dance. I LOVED those. However, I would get bored and lazy and there went that. This is pretty much how I felt.
So what does all this rambling have to do with anything? It’s just to prove my point that I HATED exercising so it’s okay if you do to.
In order to lose weight I knew exercise was a necessity. I was going to have to suck it up and do it or never succeed. I joined a gym so that I would have a lot of equipment to choose from in hopes of not getting bored. My bestie also joined with me and we started going together. For the first 2 months while I was doing the 17 day diet we were exercising an hour a day. Mostly cardio and then we would do weights 2-3 times per week. We went 6 days a week and sometimes 7 if we were up for it. I started out by just walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes and then the bike or the elliptical for the other 30 minutes. I was on the lowest settings on most machines but I felt like as long as I was moving I was doing something. Within a couple weeks that got easy so I bumped up my settings a notch but still stuck to those three machines. By end of week 3 we attempted the stair master and I went in with high expectations. (I mean in high school I could run a set of bleachers like it was nothing and then do it all again) So I approached with a swing in my step thinking I was about to crush this machine and wouldn’t I be so proud of myself. We started at a very slow pace and within 45 seconds I was near death. If memory serves correctly we made it 3 minutes before I literally thought I was going to need an ambulance. I
fell stepped off with jelly legs and felt like a complete moron. That’s what I get for having my head in the clouds.
After a month our exercise got a little different because of the plan we were following diet wise at that time. Every night it was different but never less than 35 minutes. It averaged around 45 minutes a night. We kept upping our resistance and within 2 months I went from nearly dying on the stairs to climbing them for 20 minutes at a high pace. Woot Woot!! We also added all the other machines into our workout as we got in better shape. You may not lose weight fast but you can condition your body so quickly it’s incredible. The heart is an amazing organ and can get into shape quickly. It really doesn’t take much.
The key to any exercise program is to constantly challenge yourself. You HAVE TO make things harder every week. Like I said the body adjusts quickly so if you do the same thing it will no longer be effective and you’ll truly be wasting your time. Up the resistance on the machines, go longer, go faster, jog instead of walk….whatever you’re doing…make it harder. As soon as something stops burning your muscles and as soon as your not breathing hard anymore that means it’s time to move up so take it to a higher level. This is so important I can’t even begin to explain. There is nothing worse than working out every night and not seeing results. This is usually why. KEEP PUSHING!!
It’s likely that you will hit a plateau at some point and maybe two or three. At this point you need to tone down the cardio and up the weights. Cardio is still great and you still MUST do it but building more muscle is the building blocks for any fitness program. You will burn more calories at resting the more muscle you build. Therefore you’ll actually burn more calories all day lifting weights than you would doing an hour of cardio. Cardio will burn more at that moment but it won’t last all day. Make sense? Again don’t eliminate the cardio just add in a higher ratio of weights to your routine and see your body change and bust through that plateau.
Currently, I am working out twice a day most days. I have talked about the massive plateau I have hit since February and it was time for me to make a big change fitness wise. I am doing a program called Turbo Fire that I attempted 3 years ago and nearly died. I am in week 3 and can’t even believe the things I’m doing. I’m jumping around like a circus monkey, doing burpees like an olympic athlete, boxing like Muhammed Ali, and I could give Richard Simmons a run for his money. (Well except for the outfit….he rules that outfit) This program combines long cardio workouts with high intensity workouts that literally leave me feeling like I have climbed Mt Everest….twice. It’s a killer but I can definitely feel a difference even if I can’t see it yet. At night I still go to the gym and don’t push as much because I’m usually running on empty but keep it at a moderate level so it’s still worth my time. To be honest with you I AM EXHAUSTED and won’t be able to keep up two-a-days forever but it’s the only way my body is going to stop being stubborn so I’m all in. I need a challenge so for me this is something I’m going to conquer. Every body is different and will lose weight differently so don’t freak out and think you’re going to have to do all this crazy stuff I’m doing. I have a lot of stubborn fat that needs a lot of help exiting the premises of my body…so it’s just what I gotta do. (This is literally what I look like after my workout…..flattering eh)
So do I like to exercise now???? Ummmm….I actually do! WHAT?!?!?!? Did I just say that?? This chocolate loving girl who loves to cuddle and watch movies likes to exercise??? I know, I know, it’s even shocking to myself. I have learned to look forward to that time of my day and most days my body really craves it. Having it part of my routine has really helped but I definitely notice the days I don’t exercise. My body feels sluggish and is almost mad at me for not sweating. Do I wake up excited every day? No…lets be real even fitness fanatics aren’t loving it all the time but my relationship with fitness is LOADS better than it was 7 months ago.
I realize that not everyone can afford or go to a gym so I will be touching more on that and how I exercised with 3 kids in tomorrows “No More Excuses” post. I just didn’t want to make your eyes bleed with this novel type post today!
Again let me know if you have questions, comments or your own success story to share. I love hearing from everyone!!