At the end of last year, I decided I wanted to start exercising on a regular basis. I didn’t think ahead about it too much except that I would start a 6 week program in January and see how I liked it.
This was a 6 day a week, 20 minutes a day plan that could fit into my day easily enough. The workouts are available online or on the app, to follow along with what the trainer is doing. I knew it would have to happen before 6am or else it may not happen every day. In the past, I would have a goal to go for a short run after work, but then the day gets away, I would forgot that I needed to pick up a few grocery items or pick up the cat food, or the meal I planned wasn’t a ‘quick’ prep. After work time is for meals, cleanup, art time or blog prep, and lately, studying my course. Not to mention the family, and their needs.
I also didn’t think too far ahead with this workout program due to the fact my former self would take up jogging again for a few weeks and some excess weight would easily come off and I would have a little muscle definition. I guess being 38 now means I can’t count on that anymore. I did the 6 week program, followed by a 3 week program, then a repeat of that same one as I really enjoyed it, followed by another 3 week session, 8 week session, and here I am now at the end of a 30 day running program.
At the beginning, I thought, I don’t need to change anything with my eating habits. I don’t eat unhealthily. I only drink water or tea and a glass of wine on occasion. But after the 15 week mark and no noticeable changes, I decided to jump in on the nutrition too. I like to think of it as a nutrition plan. The term ‘diet’ just means there will be failure in the future.. I am not one that buys in to the diet philosophy. My goal is to just eat healthy. This nutrition plan is about portion control. It gives a guide to follow of how many portions per day of carbs, protein, veggies, fruit, and healthy fats. This guide also shows how big these portions should be. It is a lot more veggies than I ever used to eat! That’s been the biggest adjustment.
Now that I have done over 6 months of the workouts, I can’t imagine not doing it! Most of the sessions have been 30 minutes or longer, and this latest running program is 25 minutes of strength training, followed by a 20 minute audio to be listened to while on the run. It varies each day with running intervals and various intensity. This has been my favourite. When it is light out in the early morning, it’s my favourite time to be out running. It gives me a good appreciation for life at the start to my day. It gives me energy and motivation. It’s like a meditation practice in itself. It’s the mental health activity that I didn’t know I needed, but don’t want to start my day without, now.
When I started this, hoping to simply shape up a bit, I didn’t anticipate the adjustments and enthusiasm to adjust daily habits such as how much time spent being active, as well as adjustments with food ~ eating more veggies and less cookies. In January, I figured I could allot 20 minutes, but no longer, to any given exercise. As I enjoyed them and looked forward to trying new sessions, it became a requirement to allow the time necessary for the workout that I chose. I realized I was making this an important part of my day, adjusting my lifestyle to accommodate. It reinforces why Robin Sharma urges time spent at 5am in exercise. Exercise, meditation and personal growth. 5 to 6 am is easily the most important hour of my day. Setting up the rest of my day, and the style I choose to live my life.
* picture above: I had the boys join me for a few afternoon runs on some weekends.
** Since I talk about no noticeable difference: I may have lost about an inch~ but I didn’t measure properly in the beginning.
*** I have been using the Beachbody on Demand programs, Ultimate Portion Fix Nutrition plan.