Monday, March 17, 2014

happy.

A super belated Happy New Year and a belated happy birthday to me!

I spent my 31st in Portland. Here I am, nerding out at an entire bookcase of Agatha Christie books.

 

I've found it increasingly hard to get started on a blog post now that I've been quite absent for the past couple years. The reason is I'm just not sure where to start!

 

Over the past few months, I have taken big steps in changing my life. In October, thanks to my friend and coach, Kim, I started on a fitness journey.

I was gaining weight from lack of exercise, sitting in front of a computer every day, and eating out lots. In the past, I never had big problems with weight gain, and I ate A LOT. But, as I got a bit older, and my lifestyle became more sedentary, I started putting on weight more rapidly.

Last year was the heaviest I'd ever been and I knew I had to make a change. I was good at hiding my extra body fat, but I was depressed that my clothes didn't fit like they used to. Kim offered her help at the right time.

 

My lack of motivation to get moving was based solely on how hard I find it to be accountable to myself and create new habits (more on this later). Kim encouraged me to try a 30 Day Challenge program with Beachbody. I decided enough was enough, and investing $200 now meant a lifetime payoff of learning how to be healthier.

I chose to do a strength training program – ChaLEAN Extreme – because I lacked upper body strength and my goal was to lose the extra fat and tone up. It was probably the best decision I could have made! Not only is the program easy to learn, Chalene Johnson's attitude and positivity is just so infectious and inspiring! I am not the biggest fan of ├╝ber enthusiastic coaches nor do I care for the boot-camp drill sergeants, but Chalene's got the perfect balance of encouragement and attitude that pushes you to work harder.

Anyway, all this is to say that since October 21, I have lost 11 pounds and reached my goal weight (the one that was on my driver's license!). I still have some ways to go in losing that extra bit of body fat around my waist and thighs, but I know I'm on the right journey; I just need to work a little harder at eating clean more often and concentrate more on core and leg exercises.

 

After starting my fitness journey, I have had a lot more energy as well and found myself feeling less upset and anxious over things out of my control. I have always thought of myself as an optimist, and more of a realist-optimist as I got a bit older, but it was hard for me to feel positive all the time these last couple years. There were days where I felt so consumed with negative thoughts that I just couldn't stop crying and feeling sorry for myself for hours or days at a time. I am not a mental health expert, and I am not advocating that exercise will help everyone, but for me, it has certainly helped.

I am definitely not perfect and I have fallen off my exercise routine this past week. I have finished the 90-day ChaLEAN Extreme program and I was half way through my Lean For Life circuit when I just couldn't find that motivation to do it anymore. I spent all of last week cheating on most of my meals and only did my daily squats (as part of a 30 day squat challenge) and biked every other day to not feel completely guilty. What do you do when you've lost that spark? You need a reset button. I decided to do Chalene's 7 Day Eat Lean and Train Mean Challenge.

As part of Day 1's workout, I practiced this dance routine. Watch it, learn it, and be happy!