No matter what excuses you tell yourself each day. Not enough time. Too tired. Too old. Too fat. Too lazy. There is no excuse for not moving your body. When I first started my weight loss journey I was thirty pounds heavier than I am now. I have a picture to prove it. I was tired of all the shakes. The bars. Diet after diet. Starving myself to death. I decided one day to start putting it all together. I knew in my soul that the combination was exercise and eating healthier. That was it. My schedule was hectic and long. I committed myself to do it.
I stopped working during my lunch hour or running errands and walked for forty-five minutes. I ate my lunch when I got back. I got outside. Breathed the fresh air. Refocused myself. I loved it. There is nothing wrong with walking. I hear clients all the time belittling that there exercise routine is walking. Be proud and keep it up. The studies are out now. Our bodies like movement! Thirty minutes of exercise, aerobic-like walking, improves memory and learning. The brain loves it! At six months of consistent exercise, the brain increases in volume! Do we need a study to tell us this? No. Listen to your body and when an exercise feels good. Keep it up. When it doesn’t stop.
I gradually increased the intensity of my exercise. I didn’t start the treadmill work until six months later. I felt that I was ready. Some clients start balls out with exercise routines then stop exercising two months later completely or injure themselves. I ran on the treadmill twice a week and inclined at every five minutes for one minute. Complete time was twenty-five minutes. I did this before work. And yes I bought a treadmill. Nothing too expensive. I think I bought my first treadmill at Sears. They had great sales. I recommend buying exercise equipment only if you are going to use it. But if you are busy it is worth the money but only if you are going to use it.
The next step was running outside. I got tired of the treadmill. Running is in my soul. I started out at one mile then two. I still walked on my lunch hour. But skipped the treadmill for outside running. I signed up for a 5K. Then decided I wanted to tackle a half marathon. My first half was brutal. I wasn’t all that ready. But I did it. My second I ran out of gas at ten miles because I was on a low carb diet. Not a good idea when running marathons! My third I cross trained for. I added spin to my routine. Can you tell that I am a fitness junkie? I joined a local gym. Started going to spin classes. The first spin class I was in over my head. There was an eighty-year-old man next to me killing it and I kept up with him. After the class, I had one goal. To make it to the bathroom without fainting! My legs were wobbly and I was dizzy. I learned my lesson about pacing myself. Slow down when you need to. Stop when you need to. Don’t drink a bunch of wine the night before. I went to a few spin classes after that but the gym was cliquish and I felt that I didn’t fit in. Not that I cared about that but I guess I did and gave up my gym membership and started biking outside. Me and my Lisa Frank helmet. I rode five miles twice a week and loved it.
I was curious about weights so I bought a Jillian Michaels DVD and started doing that before work. Work out when your energy is up. Don’t kill yourself working out. If you are dead tired rest!
The half marathon I ran cross training which was my third I killed it. It was The Big Sur Half. As I lay flat out in the car on the drive home I realized that this was also my last half marathon. The training was brutal. Especially the long runs which were ten miles. It was hard on my body and mind and I didn’t have anything to prove to anybody anymore.
Then came Yoga. Again just out of curiosity. I started out with a DVD I still use to this day when I am not at Body Heat. I had what seemed like a thousand yoga DVD’s that I didn’t use or didn’t like. But AM/PM Yoga for Beginners from Element has Elena Brower. The backdrop is the Pacific Ocean. There is something about her voice and manner that I love. It was the only DVD that I finished the first time out. I am not going to lie. It took me some time to get all the poses down BUT my stress level went WAY DOWN for days after my first session and my belly flattened out. Yoga is a practice of self-discovery. It comes from the Hindu Tradition which is an ancient culture and what a beautiful gift it has given us. I practice it once a week. My goals are twice a week. I am more flexible and strong due to yoga. This is the exercise I highly recommend. It is more of a practice of self-care. We are fortunate to have amazing yoga studios locally. From Body Heat to Zuda to Purple Moon and Serenity Spa. Up in Auburn, there is Yoga Reclaimed which is amazing as well. For beginners start with a Vinyasa Flow class. It is a great start. Then there is an animal known as Hot Yoga. This will blow your mind. I wasn’t ready for my first class. I went with a younger friend. Very much younger. I died! 101 degrees. The poses were fine and it was with Ryan Bailey who is a local legend in the field. It was ninety minutes long and it took me a long time to recover. I wasn’t hydrated going in. One year later I am ready to try my second class at Body Heat. Mentally I am ready. If I am not I will simply take a break. Get my shit together and go back in.
I am trying new things. Because there are so many amazing fitness studios I have been on a fitness journey. I have tried HIT training studios. Sam Lily at BURN IT in Rocklin is great. I fell in love with weights there and the increased pace of movement. From treadmill to the weights and back is challenging but worth it. My body composition changed at only one class a week. So try it.
Boot Camps are great too. I am fifty-seven and my back acts up occasionally so I am on a high-intensity break at the moment which is okay. Go on Groupon and find a Bootcamp or Yoga Class. Don’t be afraid to try new things. My workout routine now is Body Heat once a week. A new class each week. I tried Body Heat Ryde: heated spin with weights and loved it. Barefoot Bootcamp was too hot for me. I loved it afterward though so may try it again. My next class will be Heated Power Flow. I run once a week at 2.5 miles. A Jillian Kick Boxing DVD. Spin. Yoga. Body Work on my own: Bicep Curls. Tricep work. Squat Presses. Russian Twists. Crunches. Push-ups. Walk my pooches twice a week.
Travel is no excuse. I hear this all the time. I recently went to visit my son in Corvallis Oregon. While out and about walking the dogs spied a barre studio. As I walked by I saw a bunch of women using light weights moving! I googled the studio and decided to try a morning class. There is an app called Mind Body that all fitness studios use. I signed up and paid for the class online. Easy. Tried to talk myself out of it. I don’t know anyone. What if I embarrass myself. It’s too early. I showed up despite myself. Absolutely loved it. It was a Barre3 class. Turns out the nearest Studio is in Danville dammit. But I worked out on the road which I needed to as there is a local bakery that is known for it’s Cinnamon Roll Lattes. Which I will have you know I passed on. I made a better choice of a nonfat milk, sugar-free pump, Caramel Latte. All because I worked out.
It has taken me time to get where I am now. I remember it all started with a commitment to lose weight and a belief that if I was going to be successful I had incorporate fitness into my daily routine. It has been the key to maintenance.
Get started. Listen to your body. Take it slow if you need to. Keep going. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Get on Groupon. Never stop. Never settle.