Today was an awesome day. It was seventy degrees in Minneapolis in November, which makes everybody sort of giddy and euphoric and brings everyone and their mother to the great outdoors. Kelly and Dan and Chewy and I went to Minnehaha Falls, and I tried to keep Chewy from jumping on people with his muddy paws and we basked in the sunshine.
Then, when we got home I busted open my new DVDs for the Core de Force program, which is my next Beachbody adventure. This program is based on mixed martial arts moves (think boxing, kickboxing, etc) and didn't sound AT ALL interesting to me, but I tried one sneak peak workout a few weeks ago and I was totally hooked. The workouts go by super quickly because I actually have to think about what I'm doing ("jab, hook, cross, knee...wait, what?") and I was dripping sweat by the end of the first workout I tried. I was totally hooked and couldn't wait to get started, so opening the package to start Day 1 today was a little bit like a kid on Christmas.
Since it was the start of a new program, I decided I should snap some pictures too. And after my workout I went back and pulled up the first pictures I took when I started with Beachbody over the summer, and I've got to say--I'm pretty pleased. Now, I know these pictures aren't in the same clothes (sorry, I can't be bothered to dig out those yellow shorts) but I'm pretty psyched about the changes.
Now, here are some key points: there are more than 100 days between these photos--nothing I've been doing is a magic overnight pill, but it's also TOTALLY achievable and manageable with the rest of my life. Here's what happened between the July and November photos:
1) I've been doing 30-minute Beachbody workouts consistently, in my house, most days. I started with 21 Day Fix Extreme in July, and for my first round I was also running to train for the Ragnar and some fall races, so I swapped running for 21DFX workouts some days did both throughout the week. After I finished up the Ragnar I focused more on the 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts, though there were some I didn't usually do (yoga and pilates--I hate yoga and the freaking resistance band pilates was not designed for tall people, I swear) and some non-Beachbody workouts I still did for variety because I enjoy them--walking/hiking/biking once or twice a week, etc.) This last month I've done a hodge podge of Beachbody workouts, some 21 Day Fix Extreme, some Country Heat (which actually deserves its own post, I'll write that soon) and some programs from the Beachbody On Demand streaming service--a few 25-minute workouts from T25, and a few from Turbo Fire. I do work out most days a week (probably 6, average) but it's almost always 30 minutes or less.
2) I've been drinking Shakeology every day, and I know this has played a big part in helping me build muscle. Shakeology is the only protein supplement I've tried that doesn't upset my stomach, and adding that extra protein every day helps get me through my afternoon slump (and avoid coming home from work hangry) and really fuels that muscle growth. When I started 21 Day Fix Extreme building muscle was my primary goal, and I'm really happy with the progress I've made!
3) I haven't followed the Beachbody nutrition program to a T. Beachbody has this container system that helps you to understand portion control and balance your nutrition for weight loss and overall health. It prescribes a certain portion of vegetables, protein, fruit, starch, and healthy fats depending on your current weight. This tool is AWESOME for people who are starting from scratch with nutrition, or who aren't getting the results they want with their current eating and don't know why. It's very close to the way I already eat, but it's not a perfect match. I eat a little bit more than the container system would dictate, but that makes sense because I'm not really trying to lose weight (instead I'm trying to swap some fat for muscle, which is what I've been seeing as my body changes). I also still eat a LOT of chocolate (like, I have a serving of something sweet most days) and I have other treats when I want them. It's not a lot--my diet is pretty clean--but I know I could get faster results if I really buckled down on my eating. I don't really want to. So slow and steady it is.
I work full time, in a job that's been especially demanding the last month, I cook for my family every day, I write this blog, I run accountability groups that help other women get fit, and I still have thirty minutes to work out. Anyone has 30 minutes to work out if they really want to do it. I don't care how busy you are, 30 minutes is a choice. And yes, for me it feels AWESOME to see results in the mirror and be proud of the progress I've made. But here are some important benefits that you can't see in a before and after photo:
-Exercise is huge for my mental health. Ever come home from work in a bad mood, or feel overwhelmed and frustrated and need an outlet? Uh, I do. All the time. I almost never leave my 30 minutes of exercise in a bad mood--no matter how I feel coming into it, the effort and the sweat is cleansing.
-My headaches are better. I've suffered from migraines since I was in grade school, and I still get them, but if I exercise when I'm just starting to get a headache, it will often go away. Exercise is usually the last thing I want to do when my head hurts so I haven't tried this much before, but thanks to my accountability groups pushing me to get my workouts done no matter what, I discovered exercise will actually halt the headache in its tracks. That's a little miraculous for me. Tiny miracles.
-Focusing on achieving my fitness goals and building my Beachbody business has made me up my game in all areas of my life. I'm more energized, driven, and excited because I've got these goals that I am in charge of, that only I can accomplish, and it's making me a better lawyer, wife, stepmom, friend, and human. Adding something to my plate actually multiplied my energy instead of taking some away, because building my business and working toward my health goals is incredibly energizing to me. Last week I got a promotion at work, and we donated money to charities that feed the hungry and drill wells for communities that don't have water, and I was focused on achieving those goals because of the lessons I've learned from joining the Beachbody community. It. Is. Awesome.
And, the cherry on top of all of that, is that I get to hear from women who are making changes in their own life and improving their own health and fitness because of what I've been sharing. I can't even tell you how good that feels.
So, I'm pretty happy with my impulsive decision to give Beachbody a try, and later to jump in with both feet and become a coach, and these first 100ish days have been awesome. And, if reading this makes you want to try working out in your house, give me a shout. I truly think you have nothing to lose and tons to gain.
Have a fantastic week, friends.