My 3 yr old daughter took this pic of me

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Workout Plan

I bought an elliptical a couple of years ago on kijiji for $120 and I love it! I had used a treadmill before that, but found the elliptical more enjoyable. In the summertime, I've tried to take the kids for bike rides - which ended up being a little challenging when I had 5 kids, 4 of which couldn't ride a bike. I had one in a bike carrier, one in a snuggli, two in the bike trailer and one on their own bike. I really enjoyed the challenge of cycling with 4 kids on my bike, but it was just that - a challenge! It was a short, tough workout and I spent more time getting ready and getting everyone off afterward than it was actually worth. I finally ended up not going at all. Then I tried taking them for walks with the triple stroller and that was much more fun, but again, I didn't do it that often.

When I did try to use the elliptical, I enjoyed it, but it got boring after awhile (my basement isn't finished and I was looking at a pile of storage boxes and unfinished walls and wires and pipes the whole time) and I would lose weight easily, but it never stayed off for long. I didn't have much muscle on my body and you need muscle to keep fat off.

I am NOT a water drinker, either, and so I was starting to feel quite dehydrated and sludgy (for lack of a better word). I am realizing that my health is extremely important and that I will not just end up fit by simply carrying a kid around or taking the laundry up and down the stairs. My sister told me about P90X and I knew that it was a major time commitment and a tough workout, but I thought I would give it a shot, since going to the gym is out of the question (We live a 20 minute drive to the nearest city that has a gym).

I started on January 1st (not because it was a new year, just happened to end up being on that day) and my goals were to drop 34 lbs and make a habit of drinking tons of water and also eat well - not diet. My diet isn't rigid but consists of lots of vegetables and fruit, meat and proteins, and 1-2 carbs per day. I avoid dairy almost altogether and have for a long time now (other than in my morning coffee).

So P90X is tough and I cannot do some of the exercises at all and others I cannot do the # of reps that they do, BUT I have noticed an increase in my abilities and strength and I feel fantastic. Each week I do it, I feel better and stronger. It is 1 hour per day, 6 days a week,  and sometimes I am working out with kids underfoot, but I am getting a lot more exercise than I would be otherwise, so I am committed and consistent.

What I like about P90X:

Each day focuses on a different group of muscles, so you aren't overworking one set of muscles and it doesn't get boring.

There are a couple of workouts that I find really tough, or do not enjoy, but there is always a modified exercise that I can do so I'm not just stuck standing there.

It uses a lot of different kinds of exercise - yoga, weight training, cardio, kickboxing...

You don't need a lot of equipment. You need dumbbells, a pullup bar, a mat, a chair, and yoga blocks or you can use resistance bands in place of the dumbbells and pullup bar. I also use a protein shake after my workouts to promote muscle building and recovery.

I am finding that I am not dropping pounds quickly, but I am losing weight consistently. I am down 7 pounds since I started 6 weeks ago and if I had eaten a little better than I have been, I would have seen slightly better results. However, I am more interested in long term lifestyle change right now than I am in getting to my goal in 4 weeks. I have also noticed that even though the scale reads 7 lbs less, my body shape is much different than when I started. I feel a lot stronger and more flexible and toned. It's supposed to be a 3 month program and I intend to continue once it is finished to maintain my health, but maybe not 6 days a week.

I love working out at home because it can be flexible and I am setting a good example for my kids. They love exercising with me and if I can be consistent, they will grow up thinking that it's normal to not sit on the couch all day :) 

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