Alright, I have a confession to make. I am a serial exercise program starter – I am CONSTANTLY coming up with the greatest exercise program EVER that will cover cardio and strength and if I can just follow it for 5-6 days a week I will be in shape! This usually lasts approximately 1-2 weeks when I realize that I have developed this program for Tina from 10 years ago when I was in amazing shape and not Tina now who needs to start from scratch and has a lot busier schedule. Then I get frustrated, bored, annoyed, short on time, and I inevitably quit and then sit around for another month until I develop a NEW greatest program ever and the cycle begins again.
To some extent I beat this a bit last semester because riding my bike to school every day was an automatic exercise that was happening 4-5 days a week and there was no other way around it (since my car was broken down for most of the semester, it forced me to ride even when the weather was bad). But my various attempts to start running and going to the gym ended up being overenthusiastic, or maybe I was undermotivated, and they slipped slowly to the wayside by the time December hit.
I think part of my problem too is that I tend to focus on the future instead of the present. I want to see results NOW…I want to lose 100 lbs. in 30 days and be able to do 100 pushups in a week and be ready to run a half marathon by next month and that just isn’t going to happen! I also plan these big hour long workouts 5-6 days a weeks when I haven’t even successfully worked out at all for any length of time. So basically, I set myself up for failure so it isn’t so much of a surprise when it happens.
But I DO want to exercise, I DO want to get back into shape, I DO want to be healthier and stronger and have more energy, and I DO want to get back to that place where working out for an hour a day isn’t crazy, it just is what I do. But I have realized that I have to start slow and stay in the now to get to that point and be respectful of my current fitness level (slim to none).
So in that vein I decided to do the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. It is only 20 minutes a day which means I can get it done in the morning before school, it is high intensity which means I am getting good workout bang for my buck, and it is easy enough to modify that I can do it at my current fitness level. Most important, it is getting me back in the habit of working out daily without having to find the time to get to the gym at school, without having the weather or ice outside as an excuse not to go out running, and without being responsible for creating my own workout which I might make too easy or too hard.
I even bought this awesome set of Jillian Michaels weights to go with my at home program. I know, I know…I wouldn’t have bought them just because they are Jillian Michaels (even though I do love her) but it was actually cheaper to buy this set and get the 3 lb, 5 lb, and 8 lb weights than buying them individually. Plus they are pretty and have an awesome rack to hold them all
So far I have done 4 workouts in 5 days. I skipped one day because I was cramping so bad I thought I might be ill if I even LOOKED at someone else jumping around. I am going to do as she suggests, 10 days at Level 1, 10 days at Level 2, 10 days at Level 3, and then see how I feel when I am done. I will be honest, after the first 2 days I was so sore I could barely move! I kept having to manually straighten my arm because the muscles hurt too bad to straighten on its own! But it is feeling better now and I can already feel an increase in my endurance and energy level. And honestly, knowing that my workout will be over in 20 minutes is a good motivator to just doing it…feels a lot less intimidating than 45 minutes – 1 hr.
I do have to watch myself though, because I am already finding myself looking up other programs like P90X and Insanity which are meant for people who are already in really good shape. I do NOT need to get myself overwhelmed just yet! I know that once I finish the 30 Day Shred I will want to increase my exercise in some way, but I am resisting my urge to start planning out what that will be when I am still 26 days away from that point. Stay in the now and enjoy the changes that are happening now instead of worrying so much about the future. And make sure I do day 5 today! And maybe at least copy the Tae-Bo videos I have onto my laptop in preparation…maybe