Sunday, May 15, 2011

What Next?

My Year of the Miniskirt has come and gone. A friend asked me what this year would be and I cleverly quipped, "The Year of the Bikini - NOT!" Ha! Even if I were thin enough to wear a bikini, I wouldn't. It's just not me and, frankly, I really think women of a certain age need to keep it classy.  Bikinis are for the young.

What have I learned these past 14 months (as I started this blog in March of 2010)?

1) I love food. Yep, and my love for it outweighs (ha!) the want to lose weight quickly.

2) I am a contented person no matter what I weigh. I've addressed this topic of self-esteem before in this blog. Confidence is really what it is all about and I (usually) have that in spades.

3) Being healthy, but not obsessed with it, is important to me. I'm stronger, leaner, and wiser than I was 14 months ago, but I still love doughnuts and will eat one on occasion.

4) With number 3 being said, I really am a middle-of-the-road kind of person. Yes, I can be all or nothing with many things, but at my core of who I am, I am accepting and patient of myself, never extreme about really anything.

I'm sure I've learned more than these few things, but these are the most important to me and I think they say a lot about me as a person.

Will I lose more weight? Yes, I plan to, but all in good time.  I'll have times where it will come off easily, and other times where it's just not that important to me to make the full-on effort. And that's cool. I'm fine with that. The tortoise won the race and so will I, slowly and steadily.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Three Miles

When I talked about being better than my mind and the stupid road-blocks it tends to put up, I believed it. I finally reached my personal goal of running three miles without stopping or slowing down and at a good pace. I started out at 5 mph and was completely floored how easy it was. I was thinking, "Uh, this isn't much of a workout," so I bumped it up to 5.1, then 5.2, and then I said, "Screw it! Let's go to 5.5 mph." I'm so glad I did! I ran a mile at that speed and finally started sweating. I backed it back down and as I was nearing 2.5 miles, I briefly thought, "Hey, I can stop. Do I really want to run another 1/2 mile?" When I got to 2.5 miles, I was all about getting it done. I settled in on 5.2 and cruised that last half mile. 

While three miles may not be a lot to some, this is absolutely HUGE to me.  I am extremely proud of myself. I will give props to Jillian Michaels and the 30-Day Shred as my endurance is through the roof!  However, I did some Pilates today and realized that those are some of the most difficult exercises for me - darn middle-aged middle. That's the one area I need to target, so while the Pilates moves are hard and awkward, I will keep doing them two times a week - thanks again to JM for instilling in me my new sense of determination. Otherwise, you'll find me on the treadmill or on the trail. Can't wait to run another three miles tomorrow!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

30-Day Shred... Complete!

As of yesterday, I completed the 30-Day Shred with Jillian Michaels. I have to say that this is quite an accomplishment for me since I don't remember the last time I did anything other than sleep, breathe or eat for 30-days straight.  Okay, so it was not 30-consecutive days due to the fact that I had a terrible cold for two weeks, my mother-in-law was in town and there was an issue with the car wash and my rear bumper that ate up one of my times to work out. However, working out an average of 6 out of 7 days is really good, especially for me. I did not let myself out of exercising just because I didn't want to.  I pushed through and, boy, am I glad that I did. It's pretty amazing how much more endurance and strength I now have. Did I lose a lot of weight?  No.  I didn't change my diet too much, but I did firm up areas that used to have a life of their own, got rid of the muffin top, and definitely lost some inches on parts of my body, including my mid-section. I see new pants shopping in my future.

The next step (after my birthday week next week) is to ratchet down to the basics: protein, veggies and fruit, maybe whole grains (like brown rice) thrown in on occasion. I built a lot of muscle mass while doing the Shred, but now I need to lose the "softness" (aka fat) around it so I can show all my hard work off. I mean, some of it is showing already as people are noticing the changes in my body (also proves people are looking at my body - ha!), but losing these last 18 pounds will really showcase it.

I told my niece, Cassie - who has been instrumental in keeping me motivated during this process, she basically rocks - that I was done with JM. And three seconds later, I'm downloading the two free Jillian Michaels' iPhone apps.  What can I say? She really does have good ideas for strength training. Running is great for cardio, but I have to keep up with strength and endurance training as well. I'm considering P90X as my next challenge, but I haven't committed yet. It might be the perfect thing to do in the summer since it's hot here and I really can't run outside when it's over 75 degrees (I have to treadmill it all the way) and I have time since I won't be working. I'll just have to see. 90 days doing the same workouts day in and out might get a bit boring.  30 days with Jillian was enough! Thinking out loud...

Anyway, I'm thrilled to get back to running, though not today. I'm taking a well-deserved day off and reflecting about my experiences with JM.  What did I learn?

1) I can do a lot of things that I thought I couldn't, now including full on sit-ups and push-ups (still on my knees, but I can go all the way up and down and my wrist is not hurting - yes!), thus...
2) I am strong.
3) I can do anything I set my mind to, even exercise for 30-days in a row - let's hope this spills over into lifetime diet changes/eating habits.

With that, I have no desire to be lazy and to lose all the things I have gained in the past month. Changing my body is great, but changing my mindset is, well, there are no words for it. We tend to be our own worst enemies when it comes to our minds and letting it convince us we can't do this or that, or letting us take the easy way out. I refuse to let my brain psyche me out anymore because I, as a holistic being, am better than that. I will push myself when I don't think I can run another foot or lift weight for another rep. I've learned that those moments are what cause the changes in mind, body and soul and that is a very good thing.