I would have considered myself an active, athletic youth. Both of my parents were coaches and I grew up watching my sister’s games and then participating in my own. Until the age of 20 I played organized, highly competitive sports. I loved it. And, sidebar…I miss it. (The above pic is just an excuse for me to reminisce. And check out that elbow sweat band and those knee pads and huge ankle braces. Stylish, huh?)
Anyways, a problem arose once I stopped playing.
I didn’t know how to exercise on my own. For 20 years of my life I’d been told what to do, how to do it, for how long to do it, and because it was so highly intense, I really never had to worry about what I ate because I was guaranteed to burn everything off from running up and down the court.
When I stopped playing, I gained weight, and couldn’t figure out how to be healthy again.
My husband has a degree is Exercise and Sports Science. He took countless kinesiology classes. Translation: he knows how to go to a gym and what exercises to do to get results. He knows how to make the most of his time and efforts. This isn’t me. There were seasons, before kids, when he created workout plans for me, when I had the time to be at the gym for 1-2 hours.
But then life changed. No longer did I have time to go to the gym. I was caring for an exclusively breastfed baby who ate every 2-3 hours, so I had to coordinate feeding him and then immediately heading to the gym to workout and get home and shower before he needed to eat again. We tried this a couple of times. One time I remember even being on the elliptical at the gym and getting a text from my husband, “He’s awake and he’s hungry and he’s mad.” So I jumped off the machine and raced home to feed my baby.
Other times when I arrived at the gym, I frantically examined the amount of time I had and tried to decide what would be the most effective usage of my time. Do I lift free weights? Use machines? Run on the treadmill? Use the stairclimber? Once I chose something, then there was the question of how many reps to do, how much weight to use, etc., etc. It never ended. By the time I decided to do something, I’d wasted so much time and had to return home, the entire time doubting, with sufficient reason, the effectivity of my time spent there.
I needed something different. So I began by trying to identify what I needed.
I needed a fitness program that accomplished as much as possible in an average of 30 minutes a day. And I needed it to be at home.
I tried home fitness DVDs like Tae-Bo, but the problem with those was that I got so BORED. I couldn’t do the exact same workout over and over again without getting bored and wanting something different, something new.
I concluded I would not be successful working out at home, and so I waited for “a time when life would change” and I would have time to return to the gym for 1-2 hours a day.
Ha! I laugh even now thinking about that idea. Maybe that day is coming, but honestly, I don’t see that anywhere in my future. I think I knew it at the time, too, and that’s why I made the excuse. I knew it wouldn’t happen.
So I found myself once again stuck, thinking I would just worry about my fitness once life slowed down again.
My next solution came from the decision to buy an elliptical. I’d wake up, roll out of bed, put my shoes on and read while being on the elliptical for about half an hour.
But the same thing that happened with the Tae-Bo happened again…I got bored. Remember, I’d been used to playing organized, competitive sports my whole life, moving from one drill to the next, always having variety and sharpening skills. I didn’t want to do the same movement up and down on the elliptical for half an hour. (If this works for you, I’m glad…it just did NOT work for me.)
That’s when a trusted friend told me about Beachbody products. I was skeptical at first because of the price. But once I began to understand the value and variety the product provided, I decided to try it. Here is what sold me on it:
1.) I could work out at home. I could wear whatever I wanted. I didn’t have to factor in drive-time. If a baby woke up wanting to nurse, there I was, a few steps away from being able to take care of him. I could hit pause, take care of my family, and then hit play again. I could work out in front of my kids, showing them that our family values this and including them in the workout if they wanted to be included.
2.) The programs I’ve tried have variety. It’s not the same workout every day. 21 day fix has 7 workouts you cycle through, and PiYo has 8 main ones in it’s base package. You’re given a schedule and an order, with options for making them more intense. This prevents boredom from happening and maintains a variety in the workout your body experiences, thus increasing the effectivity of the program.
3.) The programs last longer than just the allotted time for a single round. You can reuse them over and over again and still get results since each move has a modified, regular and accelerated version. So the 21 day fix lasted longer than 21 days. I used it for two years, each round allowing me to get just a little bit better and gain a little bit more strength through each move.
4.) I saw results. Physically transforming results, sure. But the main results that I saw and loved were how I felt. I truly felt like a new person with more energy, strength and ability to be a better wife and mom.
That’s why I love these programs. That’s why they work for me and my lifestyle in this season.
I still don’t have a clue how to exercise on my own. I likely won’t be able to write my own work out plan, ever. If you, like my husband, know how to do this, I admire you. Go for it.
But if you don’t, and you’re struggling with seeing or experiencing results, struggling with the amount of time you have available, and struggling with what to do and when to do it, then I really do recommend these fitness programs. There are so many more than the ones I’ve tried, and I would love to talk with you about your goals and what might be a good fit for you.
Because even if you, like me, don’t have a clue how to exercise, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.