Half way through the 30 Day Shred
A few weeks ago, I decided enough was enough, and it was time to make a change. No more piling on the pounds and having people inquire if I was expecting, when I wasn’t… Groan. (Why do people do that?!) Feeling sorry for myself certainly wasn’t working – it was having the opposite effect.
So following some excellent advice from my wonderful sister-in-law, Julie, I gradually introduced four changes to take control again:
- No more eating after 8pm
This was the first change I made. It was a lot harder than I expected. I had no idea how much I was snacking – every cup of tea accompanied by a biscuit or a bar of chocolate. It took a solid week before I stopped feeling urges to raid the cookie jar during every ad break on TV. And two weeks before I stopped feeling hungry an hour after dinner!
- No more junk food between 9am Monday and 5pm Friday
Ouch. How to get through the week with no choccie pick-me-ups? I waited until I was managing the “no more eating after 8pm” change without even thinking about it. And I started on a Wednesday, because I thought starting on a Monday would be a bit too much of a shock to the system! This was actually an easy change to make, as I was already feeling pretty motivated when I introduced it. So now, it’s about two weeks since I started this, and my weekly snacks have been replaced with fruit and nuts. I’ve had a few treats and desserts on the weekends – but that’s what makes the whole thing manageable. It would feel a bit too like Lent if I didn’t have my weekends off!
- Build some exercise into my routine
If you’re been following along here for a while, you’ll know that I’ve made a few attempts to get exercising again. But even 60 minutes at the gym usually ends up taking two hours out of my evening, between traveling to and from the gym, and showering afterwards. Working full time and having a child means there aren’t many evenings when I have two hours going spare. So this never really worked for me. Julie’s been advising me to try the Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred for a while now, but I had no idea what she was talking about, so I never followed her advice. This time around I was desperate for some change, so when Julie mentioned the 30 Day Shred again, I googled it, and found a YouTube video with Level 1 of the workout. A few more search results turned up blog posts and bulletin board threads talking about how people had kickstarted their fitness and really turned themselves around. So that was it – I started that evening. And I’ve worked out 6 days a week since. It’s 20 minutes of an intense workout, plus a warm up and cool down. The whole thing takes 30 minutes. Actually, if I include shower time, it takes 45 minutes, and I never have to leave the house. As of yesterday, I completed my fifth day of Level 2, so I’m officially half way through, and I’m hooked.
- Track my progress
As usual with me, “there’s an app for that!” I downloaded My Fitness Pal this week, and I’ve been using it since to track the amount of exercise I’m getting, and track my daily meals and snacks, as well as weight loss and weight gain. This has been a bit of an eye opener – of course I had heard that if you keep a food diary, you’re less likely to make unhealthy choices, but I had no idea how influenced by that I would be. I don’t like being honest with myself about what I’m consuming during the day. 🙂
So there it is – four changes. But the big question is, has it made a difference? Well, I don’t have a starting weight to track the difference against, because we didn’t have batteries for the weighing scales. But I do know that I’ve lost 5.5lbs in the past two weeks and a half weeks. Not a huge difference, but it’s a rate I’m happy with. That’s not the main difference I’ve noticed anyway. The main difference is in my energy levels and my feeling of well-being. I feel great!! I’ve seen such an improvement in my fitness over what is a relatively short time. On Day 1 of the 30 Day Shred, I couldn’t do a single regular push up. Last Wednesday, I did ten.
And the other thing I need to ask myself is – “Do I plan to keep it up?” Right now, I plan to keep the first three changes up. Tracking my progress, I’m not so sure about. I’ll keep using the app for a month or so, but after that I’ll decide whether or not I think it’s helping me.