Plump Perspectives: Are There DVD People and Gym People?

A friend of mine recently said to me: “There are gym people and there are DVD people,” during a conversation we were having regarding exercise. I do my Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred DVDs at home and she does Jillian’s Body Shred at her gym. We often text during the week commiserating about the unpleasant things that Jillian makes us do over the course of 30 minutes.

I want to be clear I don’t think she was putting down “DVD people” in the context of our conversation. She is one of the few people I know that has lost weight and kept it off, so I value her opinion. She mentioned how she had tried to work out at home in the past and was just making the point that it doesn’t work for her. Still, I found what she said interesting – are there DVD people and gym people? Am I a DVD person?

Since this conversation, I looked online and found so many articles about the pros and cons of working out at home versus the gym, or the gym over home. I had no idea there was such a plethora of information regarding the topic, and reading some of the comments on the articles I read, it can be a heated debate. I don’t believe one method is better than the other, and I think the fact there are pros and cons to each method is pretty obvious. I strongly believe that you have to do whatever works for you, and anyone that makes exercise a regular part of their routine, in whatever form or environment, deserves a gold star.

But, I don’t think DVD people or gym people are mutually exclusive. Maybe it’s true there are people that are more inclined to home workouts over the gym, or vice versa, but at least for me, it’s a matter of circumstance.  At this point in my life, working out on my own, through a variety of methods, such as DVDs, home equipment, and running fit into my lifestyle and my current state of mind. I would be fine going to a gym, and I have always thought that someday I might join one. I chose to go down the path of DVDs and home workouts mainly because I have invested in an endless amount of them from past weight loss attempts, and I wanted to prove that I could do this without spending any additional money. Some of my DVD workout programs aren’t even opened yet, and as a thrifty person, I don’t want to see them go to waste.

In some way, I also feel I have something to prove to myself  – that making a change, becoming healthier, and getting in shape are completely within my own power to do so, without outside help. With this need to empower myself, I definitely push myself more at home. When I’ve gone to the gym in the past, I get easily distracted by others and I start to compare how hard I’m working against them. If I’m working out at a slower pace, I start to feel bad about myself. If I’m working out harder, then I feel all high and mighty and will stop myself from pushing harder because I don’t want to have to slow down in front of other people when I hit the wall. I hope the day comes when I stop comparing myself to other people, but it’s all part of my body image and I’m a work in progress. For now, I can focus more at home.

Interestingly enough, one of the top reasons I found online to join a gym was “less distractions” than at home. Again, it’s a matter of circumstance. In my house, it’s quiet, and since I also work at home I already know how to tune out the temptations, such as watching TV all day or playing with my dog. I give her a peanut butter stuffed Kong toy, put her in the crate, and it’s workout time. Since I don’t have a commute everyday, I use that time for exercise, whether in the morning or at night. Although, I will admit, if I haven’t worked out before my husband gets home from work, motivation goes downhill after he (aka distraction) gets home.  If the day comes when I work in an office again, the gym will probably be a better fit for me as I can stop on my way home from work before I get home to a husband and dog I haven’t seen all day.

Right now, home DVDs are working for me and that’s all that matters. If that makes me a DVD person, that’s fine. I will embrace that, but I refuse to concede that I couldn’t also fit into the gym person category. Circumstances change and it may be necessary to adapt. The commitment to being healthy, in whatever form you may choose that works for you is it what’s important. For the moment I’m building muscle, losing weight, and gaining confidence at home. That might not always be the case, and someday I may need to join a gym. If that happens, I hope the gym people accept me with open arms and allow me to join their ranks.


Week 25: Eye on the Ball

My focus is back. I  feel a sense of accomplishment this week because I worked out more days last week than I ever have in my life. I lost one pound at my weigh-in, and I definitely earned it. Sure I wish it was more, but I think I am on a good track to push past this weight loss plateau I seem to be having in June.

I made it through my first week of committing to Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred program, and I finished up my eighth workout of Level 1 this morning. I have 2 more workouts of Level 1 left, and then I will be switching to Level 2 on Thursday. It was a tough week working out 6 days in a row, but I am proud I didn’t skip any of the workouts. I have to say, I almost felt guilty taking a rest day on Saturday, but it was well worth it. When I got back to it Sunday, I felt better than I had all week. These workouts are great if you are short on time, it’s hard to make an excuse to skip a 28 minute routine. I am really excited to see the results after the 30 workouts. I am not expecting any miracles, but I hope to see some visible difference.

I have my 5K on Sunday, and I would really like to beat my time from my last race. It’s definitely hard to feel motivated to run when I’m doing this Shred program, but it’s important for my mental well being. I only ran once last week, and I hope to run twice this week on top of the workouts. Running clears my head, gets me out of the house, gives me a solid indication of continuous improvement that keeps me going. I always feel great when I get home after running.

I’m on vacation next week for the week of the 4th of July, but I’m not concerned about it derailing my program. We are having a “stay-cation” so I’ll be cooking as usual, and  I’ll most likely be moving around more than when I’m at home working and sitting at a desk for most of the day. Stay-cations, at least for us, usually end up being filled with house cleaning and yard work. I am sure we will have a tasty treat (or two) of some sort for the actual 4th of July, but aside from that it’s going to be business as usual for health and wellness in our house.

It was the first day of summer yesterday. Fifteen weeks left to lose this pesky weight if I’m going to make my goal. I’m ready to heat things up and sweat up a storm!

Week 24: Back in Force

As I suspected, I gained weight at my weigh-in this week. So far in June, I gained 2 pounds, lost them, and now they are back. But that’s fine with me, the June “holidays” are over and it’s time to buckle down and refocus on the healthy path. In the scheme of things, two pounds isn’t the end of the world. It happens, and it’s how I take it from here that matters.

What concerns me more right now are my results over the last 12 weeks as a whole. I was reviewing my numbers, and I lost 16 pounds in my first 12 weeks doing my Power 90 program. Since switching to Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred workouts mixed with running days, I have lost five pounds so far, with only one more week to go before I hit the end of week 24. While I celebrate every pound, it’s a disappointing total.

I realized I have been unfair to Jillian. I haven’t been doing the workouts as she designed for the program. Can I expect results from a 28 minute workout doing them just 2-3 times a week? If I am going to properly give her a chance to come close to my Power 90 numbers, I need to do the program as she intended, over the course of 30 days. With my lack of weight loss over the last few weeks, I figured there is no time like the present! It will help bolster my metabolism and get me back into the swing of things.

Therefore, I restarted the 30 Day Shred yesterday back at Level 1, and I intend to do it six days a week until I finish 30 workouts (10 of each level). Technically, it will take me 35 days, but I have to take a rest day or I will go crazy. I did Power 90 six days a week, so this will give me a better comparison of the results.

I’m still going to squeeze in two 3-mile runs a week because I’m continuing to sign up for races, and I have a 5K on June 28th. I can’t just stop running, but I think it’s doable to get a few runs in while doing the Shred program. The Shred workouts are short, and I should have time in my schedule. Work will be slow over the next two months with summer vacations, so I am not expecting any late nights.

I will be done with my Shred program on July 17th, and I really don’t know what to try next! I have a few options in my diet museum, but I just don’t know what to choose. I have Insanity, but that scares me a little. I don’t think I’m ready for that level of intensity. I have Core Secrets with the fitness ball, and I have the Power 90 Master Series videos. What to do, what to do…I’m leaning towards Core Secrets mixed with running for a month or two. The fitness ball just seems like fun! Plus I have it, so might as well use it. I can’t stand it when I buy things like that and never use them.

I’m sure next week I will be complaining about working out and how sick I am of the Shred, but no pain, no gain!

Week 23: Shame Spiral

On a positive note, I am happy to report that I lost the 2 pounds that I had gained last week. I am still not completely back in the swing of things. I gave myself a birthday present of a few days off from the scale, and to try to not think about my weight. Given that, I weighed myself on Friday last week, and at that point I had evened out and lost those two vacation pounds. Then came the birthday fiestas..I was presented with ice cream cake, gourmet cupcakes, pizza, and my mother made my absolute favorite meal in the world – roasted turkey with gravy, and sausage stuffing.

I was not aware of any of these tasty treats, and I wasn’t about to not eat something my mother lovingly planned for me as a surprise. Or toss out the cupcakes my husband bought for me after researching the best cupcake bakery in the area. So it happened, I ate all of it. In moderation of course, but these are not low calorie items. I’m sure the scale will tell the tale this weekend. I’m not expecting good things, but I have to pay the piper.

I knew going into June it was going to be a flurry of activities that would challenge my program. I don’t think I’m handling it as well as I could be, but I’m also doing better than I have in the past. I’m exercising, not as much as I should be to counteract the high calorie items I’ve been consuming, but at least I’m continuing to work out. Plus I am eating well aside from the celebration items.

I am looking forward to getting back into my usual routine. This Friday I have plans to meet friends I haven’t seen in awhile for dinner and drinks, but I’ve already perused the menu and scoped out the healthy entree choices. Then my husband and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary this weekend, and we are eating dinner at a nice restaurant. I know on Sunday the scale is going to show that I have gained weight.  There’s pretty much no way around it after my birthday festivities and the upcoming weekend of restaurant eating, but I’m mentally preparing to handle it. After this weekend, things are going to settle down and I’ll be back to my normal eating routines. Celebration season will be over for the moment. I don’t like it when everything happens all at once like this, it reminds me of the holidays. That should be an interesting time, this was just a dry run compared to that challenge.

I just can’t let myself go down a shame spiral and start on a bad path for the long term. Time to take my comeuppance, regroup and move forward!

Week 22: Major Bummer

Well, it was bound to happen – I gained weight for the first time since I started my 40 week program. I was up 2 pounds when I weighed myself before leaving for our long weekend in Cape Cod, and being outside my own environment, it stuck around all weekend and is still with me. My lofty goals of running every day while away went out the window. I took a few walks with my dog, which was a workout in itself because she needs so much leash training, but aside from that there was no exercise. I did get in three of my Jillian Michael’s workouts last week before we left, but I guess it wasn’t enough to make a difference.

I had thoughts to not report my weight gain on this blog, but then what is the point? I would just be hiding from myself. I created this blog for accountability, so that’s what I’m doing.

It’s a bummer, but I need to keep things in perspective. It’s not the end of the world. Of course I am in a panic because it’s my birthday this week, and I know I will be in a position where there is cake or some evil dessert, and God only knows what else. I had plans for a Shake Shack outing with friends this Saturday in celebration, but I cancelled it. Although the weight gain wasn’t the major factor for cancelling my plans, it was a part of the reason. We had plans to try acupuncture and then go to Shake Shack, but the appointment fell through, so I just cancelled the whole event. I don’t deserve a tasty burger and I couldn’t enjoy it knowing the scale was tipping in the wrong direction.

I hate the fact this weight gain is ruining my week. I thought I was in a better place mentally these days, feeling healthy and not letting the scale determine my mood. That’s not the case at the moment. Worse off, I am so unprepared for this week. As we were away over the weekend, I didn’t meal plan for the week or go grocery shopping. I was working late yesterday and didn’t have time to exercise or get to the store. Damn you life for getting in my way! Doesn’t the universe know I have at least three pounds to lose and that should be my only priority?

Luckily I have a few healthy dinners always at the ready, so it’s not like I’m turning to take-out food or anything, and I can still get in five workouts this week. There’s nothing I can do except keep going. I am not going to go on some crash diet of deprivation to try to lose those pounds over the next few days. I just have to keep plugging away and see what happens. If things don’t start to go in my direction, then maybe it’s time to switch up my workouts.

Yes I am cranky, but my mantra for this week is to stay calm and keep moving. Trying not to sweat the small stuff. Going to save the sweat for exercise!