Ready to Shred

I worked my butt off in February to disappointing results. I lost a total of 3 pounds. I had hoped for a total of 5-6, but it didn’t happen. I wish I had taken my measurements when I started because I do feel slimmer. My belt is another 2 notches looser, so I know the scale is not showing the entire story.

The biggest success of the last month is my new routine. I didn’t skip any workouts, and doing them every day didn’t feel like torture. I attribute this turn of events to establishing a routine where I get up earlier and work out first thing in the morning. I went a few days in the past month where I may have slept  about 20-30 minutes later than I should have, but I still woke up, got dressed and worked out before I started my day. It’s lucky I have the luxury of working at home because I wouldn’t be able to get away with that if I had to commute to an office. But, I still work set hours during the day, and when I slept a little later it did throw my schedule off, so I’m trying hard to not slip into that type of bad pattern. It’s a hard transition to becoming more of a morning person, but it’s going pretty well. The idea of working out at night has become completely unappealing to me now. I can’t imagine going back to that routine.

I will admit my big idea of going for a 30-minute afternoon walk everyday did not last for more than about two weeks. I wasn’t really enjoying it, and it was hard to step away from my office in the middle of the day. I still think I need to move around more in general, so this month I am going to try going for a 3 mile run on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the end of my workday, in addition to my morning workouts. I am hoping this additional cardio will help boost my weight loss results for March. I also signed up for two 5k races in May to help motivate me to actually complete these runs on a weekly basis.

I completed my Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred program last week along with a 30-day arm challenge, so I’m now in “Phase 2” of my workout plan. Yesterday I started the Jillian Michaels BodyShred program. It’s 6 days a week, so same schedule that I have been doing. Although she claims these workouts are only 30 minutes, but they are slightly longer, about 35-40 minutes. So, I can’t be hitting that snooze button anymore, I am going to need that extra time. These workouts are really tough, but hopefully I’ve prepped enough to get me through it, at least with modifying some of the exercises. I watched the “Learn the Moves” DVD over the weekend, and it was pretty scary. If I can do even a few of the moves I saw on that DVD by the end of this program without modifying them, I will call that a win.

I had been scratching my head last week as to why I keep struggling to see results on the scale, so I talked to my friend, a dietitian, about my eating plan. I feel like I am doing everything right – eating healthy food within 1500 calories, extremely limiting any processed foods, working out all the time – but that scale just isn’t budging. I was eating 3 meals a day, and she recommended switching that to 5-6 smaller meals, by adding in 2 snacks during the day. I feel like it’s hard to eat all day long, but I’m giving it a try. Eating 5-6 small meals a day is not a new idea for me, and I have been resistant because I feel it’s not sustainable for me. I’ve done this in the past to a lot of success, but then I always go back to my regular 3 meals a day eating schedule. She told me that it doesn’t need to be that difficult. I don’t have to prepare a bunch of homemade snacks (which is what I did in the past), I could just eat a piece of fruit and cheese stick, or something along those lines, and eat a smaller dinner. I’m going to give it a try and see what happens.

I took all my measurements yesterday before I started BodyShred, and I will report my results at the end of the 8 week program. If I don’t see results on the scale this month, I am really going to be at a complete loss. I’m doing much more challenging workouts now, plus adding more cardio, and changing up the eating plan to 5-6 small meals a day.

I’m ready to be shredded!

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Thoughts into Action

January got off to a rocky start. I started with this big shot attitude to come out of the gate full blast, but I quickly got a reality check. I hadn’t worked out for almost three months, and I thought I could jump right into Jillian Michael’s BodyShred.

Well, that didn’t work out very well. I got through a week of the program, and I had gained weight. I could have lived with that and kept going, but I really felt as if the program wasn’t going to work for me at my current fitness level. I was probably only able to do about 50% of the moves, and I hate feeling like I’m wasting my time. I stopped BodyShred and decided that I would scale it back to the more introductory program of Jillian’s 30-Day Shred before attempting the more advanced version.

Once I made that decision after week 1, that next two weeks of January didn’t get much better. I have always worked out at night, and life just got in the way (again) and interfered with my evening workouts. The 30-Day Shred is a simple program, but you need to do it everyday if you want to see any benefit. Over that two weeks, I probably completed about 3 workouts a week. It wasn’t just “stuff” getting in the way, a few times I skipped because I was being lazy. I have all these big ideas and great thoughts in my head to work out and be super healthy, but when it comes to putting them into action, I was failing.

I hate working out. I have never enjoyed it.  Every night it was becoming this mental struggle to psyche myself up to get it done. I would change into my workout clothes and sometimes I would putter around for 45 minutes procrastinating before I would just do it. Not only that, but it put me in a bad mood. I knew this was not going to work for me long term, and it’s one of the big reasons I typically quit exercising for months at a time. Exercise needs to become a routine just like anything else I accomplish daily if I am going to succeed at this becoming a lifestyle.

In the spirit of doing things completely different than I did them last year, I  decided it was time to become a morning person. Anyone that knows me would laugh at that comment. I am anything but a morning person. I’ve always been the person that rolled into the office around 9:30, I love to sleep really late on the weekends, and I think of 6AM as the middle of the night.

On the third week of January, I started to get up an hour earlier to work out, and I restarted the 30-Day Shred. My husband thought I’d only make it to Wednesday of that week getting up earlier, but I made it through the whole week, and got up again this morning. I really LOVE it! What a difference it makes to get that workout done before the day officially begins. It opens up my whole evening, and I’m in a great mood all day knowing I don’t have that workout hanging over my head. Plus, in the morning, I’m on a limited time frame to accomplish the workout, so there’s no time to procrastinate. I have to get up and just get it done. I’m not pinning any medals on myself yet as I have tried this morning routine before and failed, but this time, so far, I haven’t been having any problems.

I move onto Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred this week, and assuming I can keep this up, I will be done with it on February 26th. I take a rest day on Saturdays, so it takes me longer than 30 days. I’ve also been doing a 30-Day Arm Challenge with my Shred workout because I really want to be able to do full push-ups (not on my knees) when I move onto BodyShred. On February 28th, I will start BodyShred again, which will take eight weeks, and then I will move onto Insanity.

In addition to my morning workouts, I decided it would be good for me to move around more during the day in general. Since I work at home, I don’t get outside that much, and I only move from room to room. I figure the “average” office worker is pretty sedentary in general sitting at a desk all day, but I would guess without the benefit of a commute or large office setting, I am probably below that average. For now, I am trying to go for a 30-minute walk at lunch from Monday-Friday. So far, the Boston area weather has been very cooperative in my efforts to get outside, and I was able to get a daily walk in all last week.

Strangely enough, it has been mentally harder to accomplish the daily walk than it has been to get up earlier for my workout. Once I’m working, it’s hard to step away and get outside. It has also been cold, but I’m trying not to use that as an excuse. If I had to leave the house to get to an office every day, I would be out in the cold, so I need to suck it up.

Even with my rocky start, I was able to lose 4 pounds in January. I’m grateful for that, and I’m pushing forward. I want to lose 6 in February. I am feeling very positive about my new routine, and I strongly believe it’s sustainable.

I finally feel I am able to turn my thoughts into action. I’m ready to work!