Thursday, January 31, 2013

man oh manischewitz.

so, we finished p90x.

*cue the celebratory parade, streamers, and confetti*

confession: it took us more than 90 days. at first, i was determined to follow the program completely by the book, going so far as to go back and make up the workouts that we had to miss. but then i realized that there were just some days we didnt have a spare minute (let alone a whole hour+) for working out. and then we took a couple weeks off for thanksgiving and christmas. and after that, whenever we had to miss a day i was just happy that the end was one day closer.

we actually did our last workout right before we left for the ski trip earlier this month, but its taken me a while to gather my thoughts about the whole experience.

first things first, i should probably back up a little and start with the beginning: why exactly did i want to do this crazy thing in the first place? to be honest, it was because of my non-resolution to feel good about myself in a bathing suit. simple as that. its not like i was super-obese or anything. in fact, i am blessed with a relatively tiny figure. but i am also cursed with a relatively tiny figure that tends to accumulate all its extra pounds around my midsection: in my belly, hips, butt, and upper thighs. and lets just say that this summer i had a few extra pounds of post-wedding comfort weight hanging around, negatively affecting my view of myself.

may 2012                                july 2012
seeing these and other pictures of myself was kind of a shock to me - my overflowing love handles and prego-looking belly were not what i was expecting to look like - especially since i thought i had been doing reasonably well at living a healthy lifestyle. i worked out twice a week, and made an effort to not eat too much terrible food. but as much as i didnt want to hear it at the time, the lady at my health screening in june was probably right when she told me that even though all my numbers (weight, bmi, cholesterol, etc) were ok and within the right range, there were still more things that i could be doing.
so i did something. with Mark as my main encourager, we started p90x, stopped eating sugar, and i made an effort to include more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein into our diet. i didnt do it all perfectly. but i did it. and i even learned a few things along the way:
1. it is ok to collapse in tears, as long as you pick yourself back up again. or have a loving and supportive husband nearby to pick your sorry butt up off the ground where you fell after your legs just gave out. you can cry because its hard. you can cry because you feel like a failure. but the important thing is that you just keep going. (unless of course you are physically injured, in which case you best take a break)
2. i am stronger than i thought, both physically and mentally. in the past 3 months i have worked harder, sweated more, lifted heavier weights, and pushed myself harder than i ever thought possible. when i felt like i was completely spent, i did one more rep. one more exercise. and i am still standing on the other side. i have also realized that it is possible to work all day, then work out, and still have time for food, laundry, and spending time with friends and family. its a pretty delicate balance, and sometimes the dishes get overlooked, but it can be done. and it feels pretty awesome.

july 2012. i just like this picture of me, lovehandles and all.
photo credit: the talented Sarah Hurst
3. what you put in your body before a workout matters. allow me to set the scene for you: it's day 5 of week 11. we are in the home stretch. this particular workout is one that we have done every single week, and i have been consistently improving. until today. 'no tears, no tears, you can do this' i say to myself as i hang from the pull-up bar, willing my body to move. i manage one half-hearted (assisted) pull-up before my arms give out and the time runs out. to compare: i did eight in the very first week. why the difference? it probably had a LOT to do with the fact that spending the preceding day and a half sitting on the couch, and eating junkfood all day after staying up late with friends didn't exactly do me any favors when it came to upping my energy level for that day's workout. turns out that not all exercise cliche's are without any truth: proper feuling is important: garbage in, garbage out.

4. fitness and health cannot be measured by a number on the scale. and pounds are not directly correlated with inches. when i started this program, i had a goal weight that i set in my head. i never said it out loud, shared it with anyone, or wrote it down anywhere. 13+ weeks later, i never hit that goal weight. not even close. and yet i know for a fact that i am in as good (if not better) shape than i have been since probably high school. and that super small goal weight? i'm probably never going to hit it. and i'm ok with that. it was kind of unrealistic anyway.

day 1 vs. day 90-ish. i lost five pounds. and got a haircut.
i can't believe i'm putting these pictures on the internet.

5. encouragement is a great motivator. it helps to have someone in your life who will say 'wow, you have lost more weight, haven't you?' every time they see you. (thanks, Diane!) it takes some of the sting out of the unchanging number on the scale, even when you're eating well and working your tail off. graciously take all the compliments you can get - even the strange ones like 'your shoulders are looking really good!' they are all awesome. even the ones that probably weren't meant to be compliments. (i'm looking at you, skinny girls in the bathroom who commented on the size of my calves while i was STILL WITHIN EARSHOT. you are bad whisperers.)

so now that we made it through the program, what comes next? my goal at the moment is mostly maintenance with maybe some more progress. keep eating well, keep trying to find new good foods to incorporate into our meal plans, and keep working out. at this point, i dont think i could go back to just two nights of jazzercise per week. i'm hooked. i took a whole week off after our last official p90x workout, and by the end of that week i was pretty excited to get back to my weights again.

as far as a set workout plan/regimen, i'm still in the process of figuring out what is going to work best for me in the long run going forward. also, i think this post is plenty long enough already, so i think the specifics are going to have to wait for another post on another day.


Brenda's Man said...

Your Mom and I are using Nutrimirror on line (just add the dot com) we find it helpful just to log our food. So far one week and one pound off.

notasbigbob said...

Awesome job!! The before/after picture was great. I've always wondered about p90x -- and it's obvious that if you follow it you see results! --Meg

Amanda said...

Dad - that's so cool! keep up the good work!

Meg - thanks! i was nervous about posting the before/after. i actually have several other angles too, but i thought this one showed the change the best. i liked the program, but tony did get a little annoying after a while :)