Monday, January 11, 2016

My Fit Journey #4: It just got crazy

If you’re just joining the party, you may want to read here first to get a bit of background on what’s what here. Or not. It’s up to you.
Oh well, just in case…. I’ll recap a bit for you. I’m helpful like that.
Me and my Lulu.
May 20 to June 18.... 10 lb loss (biking and running)
When I left you last time I had been on this fit journey for five months and had lost about eleven pounds. I had started out T-Tapping, took up running or wogging as I like to call it, got a shin splint, took up jump roping, found out that isn’t good with a shin splint, took to biking, then it got blistering hot…. So I bought a workout dvd. Which brings us to here....

What was I thinking?
I’ll tell you this- in some ways exercise brings clarity of thought.
And in other ways- you start thinking cray-cray.
It’s a fine line.

I threw myself into research… i.e. I googled the top ten fitness dvds available.
I’m smart like that.

After reading a bazillion reviews, both negative and positive on the top three dvds, I gulped and purchased Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. The clincher was the price- $9 (the price has since dipped to $6.96- completely doable!). Doable. I was a bit scared because I heard that Jillian can be quite a bully but sucked it up and did the first level. I managed to not only live through it but find it exhilarating and Jillian to be “not as bad as I thought”.

Now, I feel I should mention- I didn’t follow any Jillian Michaels meal plan (or any other fitness guru meal plan or fit eating cookbook) and I didn’t do the program for 30 straight days, as in 30 day In A ROW. Um, no. Just no. I’m not that far over on the cray-cray scale. I know my body needs periods of rest. I'm old and I just started the first ever fitness journey of my life. I completely accept and embrace rest days. They are beautiful. I keep my workouts to 4 or 5 days a week max. The frugal side of me liked this plan as well-- it meant a dvd that would take a month to complete could now be stretched to last two months.
Beginning of July- starting the Shred. Down 11 lbs so far.
I spent the month of July with 30 Day Shred as my only workout, four to five days a week. I lost five pounds and quite a few inches (one whole dress size!). At this point, I had lost a grand total of 16 pounds. The clincher was that I could see a difference in my appearance, in how loose my clothes felt and it was so motivating!

In August, I decided to try running again. I floored myself by going for a two mile run (still a bit of a wog) my first time out. I wogged for 30 minutes. Unbelievable! Up until that time, I had never thought that was possible for me. This fit journey continually amazes me as I find out my body can do so much more than I had ever thought. And that right there has led to so many spiritual applications for me. Someone once said that the mind can be the weakest or strongest part of the body. I get that.
So August was a split between doing The Shred and running (when it wasn't blistering hot). By the end of August I ran 3.1 miles. I ran it in 43:29 minutes but the point is I ran the equivalent of a 5k. I was ecstatic (still am). Seriously- here's some perspective-- my first timed run was just under a mile (0.91) and it took me just under 18 minutes to do it. I was now running three times that!

That first three mile run taught me so much:
1. My body can do this
2. I liked doing it
3. Mile 1.2 to Mile 1.8 was the hardest part--  thee hard-EST
4. It emptied my mind and quieted me to a very focused point
5. The worship I had with Jesus was FANTASTIC
6. Did I mention I liked doing it?

I- the girl who hated running.... had voluntarily and victoriously ran 3.1 miles. 
Mind blown.

By the end of August I had lost just over 20 pounds. I had surpassed the half way point to my main goal (losing 35 pounds). I was finally at a point where all this hard work and effort was becoming noticeable. A friend told me the following concerning weight loss, “You’ll notice a difference after you drop ten pounds but it takes a twenty pound loss before others will notice.” I have found this to be very true. And very motivating. The more differences I saw in me, the more I was able to push myself to keep going. This fit journey thing was really truly working! I now was at a weight I hadn't seen in ten years and more than that- I had energy, strength and stamina I can't ever remember feeling before!
By mid-September I had finished 30 Day Shred and continued to steadily run a bit over 3 miles (adding a little bit more with each run). I found I really enjoyed the strength training the workout dvd gave me and still didn't mind Jillian all that much.
So, after a bit more research to make sure I was still right, I plunked down another $9 and bought Ripped in 30 (now $7.99).

Once again, I must interject that I didn't do this workout series in 30 consecutive days. I stuck to mostly 3-4 days a week, two or three times on weeks where I ran more. And I should add- when I got to week 4 of the workout- after doing it for the first time.... I took two back-to-back days off from working out. I went for a walk- but man, I stayed away from anything that required arm muscles. Whew-wee that week 4 kicked my butt!

Let me also add this.... 30 Day Shred was a very, very good start to working out (and to Jillian) for me. If I had started with Ripped, I think I would have quit! But because I'd built up some strength and knowledge of workout moves (remember- total newbie here, to me burpees were what you call little burps. ahem. And what newbie would know what a crow push-up or.... eek.... a chaturanga push-up is and not want to cry after trying them?) I stuck with it. Over all, having done both- I prefer Ripped. There's more variety to the moves (I learned I'm not a fan of traditional jumping jacks), better warm ups and cool downs and the pace just seems faster. Plus I like moving to the next level in 7 days rather than 10. But I'm glad I started with Shred, got to know Jillian's style and worked my way up gradually to the Ripped dvd.
July 25 to Sept 20. Eleven pounds difference in these photos.
And the beard grew!
Basically, I stuck with Ripped and running all through September and October. Averaging 5 training days a week between the two.
By the end of October, I'd lost a total of thirty pounds and this girl was on fire.
And then came November.... and I turned 42.

Still interesting? One can hope.... here's the next post in this series.
Stay with me, folks.
I appreciate it.


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