I’m due for an ass-kicking.
I’m sure we can all agree that being fit and good to yourself and your body should be a way of life, not a seasonal habit, but after going through home renos, having a vague idea of where my career was headed (eventually, it led here), raising an energetic puppy, the trap, err routine, of working from home, and surviving winter (where comfort food and being a lazy lump on a log is the name of the game), I didn’t feel like, or have the *time* to work out as much as I’d have liked to. And for me, when I don’t work out, I don’t care as much about eating super-well.
So for these past few months, I’ve been giving a bigger priority to my overall fitness and health.
I should qualify this by letting you in on the general workout and food regime I lived by for the past year.
- 2-3x per week I did yoga
- Everyday I walked 3-5k with Piper
- Breakfast: Usually just coffee as I’d sleep until 9am and just wait to have an early lunch.
- Lunch: Depending on if I had breakfast, I’d either make eggs and toast, a big salad, a turkey sandwich, or leftovers from the dinner before.
- Dinner: anything and everything home made.
- Snacks: Mostly chips or gummy candy every night.
Admittedly, I was still pretty healthy, but I couldn’t remember the last time I had put any kind of good stress on my body: the kind of stress that causes your lungs to huff and puff; your legs to give out; your heart to race. And little by little, because I was forgoing food before noon only to jam it all it after 5pm, I felt more sluggish.
Superficially, nothing really changed, but I didn’t feel as good on the inside (a contributing factor likely bing that at night, I was less prone to opt for yogurt and berries, and more inclined to reach for chips). So it was time to kibosh that feeling.
It’s so easy to fall into the same routine — which goes for our diet and physical bodies as well. When we’re kids, we sprint until we feel sick on the daily, we jump, we climb, we run up hills with vigor and energy and dart down without care — or even good form. It’s all so healthy for your cardiovascular system, and even though I walked and did yoga which many would consider working out enough, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt winded.
It’s also so easy to get caught up in etiquette, procedure, form, and culture. We often put more emphasis on our fitness attire than we do on just sweating it out ’til you ain’t looking so pretty.
So I decided to get kid-like again and for the past month or two, I’ve been shaking up my routine with some plyometrics and jump-style training (think burpees, jumping jacks, and some weighted moves) inspired by Kayla Itsines, Jillian Michaels, and — yes — Don, the trainer responsible for kicking the Kardashian’s butts (which they share on SnapChat). No shame in my inspiration game!
So what does this look like, exactly? Here’s a breakdown of my workout and food regime:
- 4x per week, I do a Jillian Michaels‘ Body Revolution workout. AND IT HAS KICKED MY ASS. I don’t have cables however, so I’d say for two out of every 10 moves, I just do my own thing.
- Everyday I walk 3-5k with Piper and Shawn.
- 1x per week I do yoga.
In short, I cut yoga by a class or two a week and subbed in four Jillian Michaels workouts to the mix.
During the first week, I was shocked by how quick I became winded. Could I really not do 25 burpees without giving up all form and energy? In my mind, I thought I could handle it, no problem, but I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that my fast-twitch muscles were nowhere near as in-shape as I believed.
But then I discovered I had made a rather air-headed accident: I did the classes for weeks 1-10 in ten days rather than 10 weeks. I was wondering why each day got significantly harder until I realized that I did week one’s class on day one, week two’s classes on day two, and so on, rather than doing each week’s classes for a week as intended (duh). But hey, if you want to get hardcore with it and want to get fit super-quick, it totally worked! Even then, though, mistake corrected, my ass is still getting proper kicked.
I think I’ve kept it up for so long (whereas I normally get bored or unmotivated with some routines) because it’s such an easy and fast commitment. Each class is 28 minutes long (about 10 of which is dedicated to warming up and cooling down) and each class targets a different muscles with a new move so you don’t get bored or too sore in just one area.
I love that, in under an hour, I can get in my workout and a shower and be done with it.
I also think that being able to do the workouts in the comfort of my own home is a plus: I end up going a lot harder (and consequently get the most sweaty) without people watching, and I can get away with wearing the same top and shorts for more than one workout because WHO’S HERE TO JUDGE. (There’s nothing more annoying that having to wash 4+ tops and 4+ bottoms per week when you go to the gym. It’s such a waste and so hard on the fabric and elasticity of your beloved workout attire.) I also enjoy that I can grunt and scream freely when necessary to push through.
- Breakfast: Coffee (with xylitol) and either Yogurt with berries and granola, an omelette with veggies and sausage, or a bowl of cereal.
- Lunch: A big salad, a turkey sandwich, or leftovers from the dinner before.
- Mid-day Snack: I now get hungry mid-day (around 2-3pm) so I usually have a handful of nuts, a smoothie, or even sometimes some chips or candy.
- Dinner: Anything and everything home made.
- Night Snack: Either nothing at all, or a controlled amount of junk 😉
Before I sign off and publish this post, I do want to share a few nuggets of advice:
- If the urge or feeling or willingness to work out strikes, take advantage of it! Because it will pass — and if you wait too long, you’re likely to lose motivation (much like inspiration). For a lot of people, a schedule is motivating, but for me, I function best when I leave it open-ended and choose to do it when the feeling hits me. Obviously, you can’t strike when the iron’s hot if you’re at work, or at the store, but at the very least, right when you get home, do it!
- Even if you’ve lost motivation by then, commit to working out for two minutes. After that, if you want to stop then, give yourself permission to, but more likely than not, if you get a few minutes in, you have a better shot of getting to a state of mind where you’ll just continue. At least that works for me! Some days, I think, “Okay, I’m not feeling it. I’m only going to do 10 minutes of the tape,” and I end up doing the whole thing every single time.
- Invest in some good, grippy-bottom running shoes and activewear that you’ll be confirmable in (and yes, my favorite pair are the black and white Nike’s in a men’s version — way more comfortable to me). Good workout gear and clothing is so necessary if you’re doing any kind of work-out where you’re jumping, so I’ve linked to some things I love below: