September 8, 2011

Kicking butt into gear

Two days ago, I came home after work, popped in a workout DVD, and exercised for thirty minutes. Let me explain how huge of an accomplishment that is. When it comes to exercise, I could be best described as a lazy, lethargic sloth. No matter how many resolutions I make to incorporate exercise of any form into my life on a regular basis, I inevitably fall off the wagon, every time. As a result, I've had years of practice of coming up with perfectly reasonable excuses to keep my butt firmly planted on the couch. Here is a sample:

"Morning workout? No way that's happening. I am not a morning person. In fact, I'm not even functional until about one p.m."
"Lunch-time exercise? And what am I going to do after that, stink for the rest of the day? Besides, lunch time is for eating!"
"After work, before dinner workout? Hmm, well that would be nice, except that I get ravenously hungry around four p.m., and by the time I get home, all I can think about is FOOD."
"Exercise in the evening? But I'm so full from dinner! And I'm sleepy!"

See? There is just no good time during the day to fit in exercise. No doctor and their cholesterol-lowering exercise-benefits lectures could convince me otherwise. And besides, exercising is BORING. Who wants to add another chore to their already never-ending list of things that are waiting to be done? Not me!

And yet, I did find a couple of reasons to pop in that DVD two days ago. I kept hearing about people combating stress, depression, and anxiety with exercise. Supposedly, those endorphins do something to the brain's chemistry to make one feel... better. And between work and wedding planning, I was feeling mighty stressed out. I also noticed that after a month of doing absolutely zero exercising, my body was starting to feel all achy and stiff. So, a week ago, I made another resolution and purchased Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred DVD.

Just to make it clear, I am not trying to lose weight. I know people buy this DVD to shed pounds quickly, but that is not my goal. I may be a lazy sloth, but I'm a sloth who likes her weight. So, if anything, I'd like to tone up a bit. But even that is a secondary goal. Mainly, I just want to build a routine where I spend some time on a regular basis being active. 30 Day Shred has three workouts (levels 1, 2, and 3) that are twenty minutes each (but actually, more like thirty minutes with warmup and cool down). It may not seem like a lot, but Jillian promises me that those twenty minutes are highly effective as far as exercise goes. And I am working hard to convince myself that thirty minutes a day is not such a huge sacrifice to make!

So, two days ago, I made sure to have a snack at four o'clock, so that I wouldn't have any excuses to be a lazy couch potato when I got home. And two days later, I can tell you that the level 1 workout sequence totally kicked my butt. Or, rather, my arms and shoulders. It only now occurred to me to take some pain killers for those sore muscles. So, whatever Jillian is prescribing seems to be working, and I hope to keep up with the DVD, even if not on a daily basis (because yesterday, I could barely chop an onion, never mind lift weights).

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