A friend of mine left me a message on Facebook expressing the fact that she's been checking my blog every day in order to read my post about exercise. Well, here it is. And I must say that I was a bit of a slacker last week and didn't exercise a whole lot. But maybe this post will motivate me as much as it will others to get out and do something.
If you've been following along in my blog since its inception, you will have probably noticed that exercise is kind of like a four-letter-word to me. I really don't like it. I have never really had a huge need for a regular exercise program, but there's always been a little voice in my head prompting me to exercise for the sake of my health. I usually ignored that little voice. Until recently.
On June 1st I began to embark on an exercise journey that has changed my life quite a bit. I seriously thought it was going to be difficult for me to incorporate exercise into my day, since it hasn't been a priority thus far in my life. However, since Christmas, I had gained close to 10 pounds for no apparent reason. My body was suddenly developing rolls in places I didn't want them. My pants were getting tighter. And tighter. And tighter. I didn't have a lot of energy and I felt like I was constantly "dragging". I know 10 pounds isn't a whole lot of weight, and with my height/build it probably wasn't overly obvious to the world, but when I began to calculate what that would mean for me if I continued on at this rate each remaining year of my life . . . I was headed straight for becoming the topic of a documentary on The Learning Channel: Once Thin, Now a Hippo. Okay, so maybe I'm being a bit dramatic here, but you get my drift. At the age of 36.4 years, I was beginning to face the effects of aging.
This did not sit well with me and I almost found myself in a state of panic over it. While I didn't like what was happening to my body, I also didn't like the fact that I was obsessing over it either. Knowing that I couldn't just quit eating and drop 10 pounds, I resorted to planning for exercise. I began by walking a couple of kilometers a day, but that wasn't really getting rid of all the bulgy stuff on my body that I was having a hard time accepting. I felt a bit better, but wasn't really seeing results as quickly as I had hoped.
In February my niece, Mykal, was out for a visit. She looked incredible. Having given birth just one year earlier, her body was in tip-top-shape. She revealed her secret to me. That secret was Turbo Jam. I had never heard of this program before, and honestly, when she told me a bit about it, I thought to myself, That's great for her, but I'll never be able to do it. Well, like they always say, "Never say Never"; because here I am, five months later, promoting this program on my blog. The reason for my promotion of it . . . one thing: Results!
Results for me came quickly. Within the first month of consistently doing the program about 4 days a week, I dropped 8 of the 10 pounds. And more importantly, I feel better than I ever have before. The two pounds left to go don't really matter to me anymore. Initially, when I started the program, my reason for exercising was weight loss and toning my flabby body. Now I do it because it makes me feel better. Honestly, even if I hadn't lost a single pound at this point, I would still be doing it because it's given me more energy and it's FUN!
Apparently muscle weighs more than fat, which is baffling to me because doesn't a pound of one thing and a pound of another thing both weigh a pound? Anyways, the whole toning and sculpting process is beginning to happen and I like the definition in my muscles that I'm beginning to see. I don't use weights, but the program is set up in such a way that I could if I wanted to. I decided to start out light, so I haven't been using weights yet. But I probably will start with the addition of weights in the fall. I have no desire to bulk up, I just want to develop some tone in my muscles. And Turbo Jam allows me to do that--at my own pace.
The Turbo Jam program is very user-friendly and you can modify or adapt the program to be less intense or more intense as you personally desire. When using the DVD's there are low-impact modifications on the screen for you to follow. The music is fun and the leader has not been nauseating to me at all. Seriously, I thought that two months into this I'd be ready to strangle her, but I'm not. I feel like I'm at a whole new workout session every time I do the program. The format I've been following is 20 minutes of cardio three times per week, plus Ab toning and all-over-body toning two days a week. My personal goal is to do something 5 days per week. And if Turbo Jam doesn't fit into my schedule, I still try to go for a walk or take a swim, or something.
I know there are lots of other great exercise programs out there; but what I hope you got from this post is that exercise can be fun. It can provide results. And it's important for your well-being. I feel so much better about every aspect of my life since I began exercising on a regular basis. And it's not about the number on the scale anymore . . . it's about my health. At my yearly physical a few weeks ago, I received an "excellent" rating for my blood pressure. That has never happened. My blood work came back better than ever before. This did not happen because I loathe exercise. It happened because I decided to do something about the lack of exercise in my life, and found something that I don't loathe. You can too!
One other thing I should mention here is that we've made some modifications to our diet in the household as well. Diet Coke is no longer on our shopping list. This has been tough for me, since I think I was becoming an addict, all over again. Coke is also not on the shopping list. My husband was the Coke drinker and we're both trying to replace our pop consumption with water instead. We've also stopped purchasing chips and I haven't been baking as much as I used to. These are all small modifications which seem to be having an impact. I will say, though, that we do not deprive ourselves of these items completely. We will still order pop occasionally if we're out. And chips are eaten on occasion when they're made available to us in another home. Same thing with baking. I still bake, just not as often . . . which means there is less temptation sitting around. Everything in moderation. Even exercise.