The badge holders will be rolling their eyes at this point and saying ‘Here we go again.’ But no! This is not yet another post about how I hate exercise and have failed to keep running. This is the first post about something that seems to be working. I know, right? I’m as surprised as you are.
The backstory: injured shoulder, dodgy foot, lack of time, lots of travel/driving, total inertia. That was most of last year, and the weight crept on. I don’t know if anyone else noticed and I don’t care, because the point is I knew and it did my existing body dysmorphia no good at all.
A friend of mine who had a rough year had decided to become a coach for Beachbody.com and in desperation, I decided I needed a fitness intervention. I asked for her recommendation and she suggested the site. (I don’t love the name, because basically, way to get a beach body: take your body to the beach.) But setting that to one side, I find myself a subscriber to said site, with a newly minted workout habit of five days out of seven. I think, but I’m not actually counting. My friend is my coach, so she keeps me accountable, without giving me a hard time when I forget to dry my workout gear and opt for chips and wine instead.
I decided not to buy a load of kit before I knew if I’d stick to the plan, so I did the first 21 day programme using my trusty tins of Heinz as weights. At the end of 21 days, even without paying any attention to the accompanying food plan or replacing meals with protein shakes, I’d lost a few pounds and a muffin top. I think, but I don’t do before and after pictures, so this is based on how my clothes fit and how I feel.
The weird thing is, I don’t hate it. There’s a ton of stuff that is only half an hour, and although I am fabulous at making excuses for myself, I cannot excuse myself out of fitting in half an hour. Or 25 minutes. It is mostly HIT stuff, so it’s effective and it’s tough. I staggered through those workouts, I did the modified versions, I simply laughed at the number of pushups they expect. But I did some, and then I did more.
The fact that my clothes fit better is great; a few items that I’ve been overlooking for months are now back in rotation. But better than that, I’m sleeping more, have more energy, can stay up later and generally feel all round better. I know we all know the benefits of exercise. But it’s really easy for those benefits to look a long way away, while the sofa is very close at hand. It took me the best part of a year to get to the turning point where I knew I needed to close that gap.
So of course I kept going. Now I have weights, sliders, resistance bands and a new yoga mat… I still don’t like working out in the morning and there are plenty of days when I don’t want to at all. But I do, anyway, because, c’mon, half an hour. I allow myself to play what I think of as my joker card once a week, usually when I’ve somehow screwed up my evening schedule. There is no guilt, and I haven’t failed, because I’m taking it one day at at time and life happens.
I’m not saying ‘Hey everyone, Beachbody is awesome, you should totally subscribe!’ I am saying, if you’re thinking you’d like to do more exercise but it feels like a really hard thing to make happen, it doesn’t have to be. That’s all.