Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Exercise - my biggest challenge

Eating healthy has been an easy and enjoyable thing for me to do for a long time. I cannot say the same about exercise. A lot of health/weight loss bloggers, regardless of the physical shape they are in now, talk about how they were active and athletic in high school or university. This was so not me. I remember in 6th grade gym having to run around the perimeter of a large soccer field and finding it pure torture. At the end of Grade 9 gym I celebrated because it meant I never had to take a gym class again! I did do some beginner yoga classes in high school and went to the gym occasionally in university but after graduating two years ago pretty much the only exercise I got was walking.

When I learned at my recent physical that I had gained 10 pounds since my last weigh-in a year before it was a wake-up call. 10 pounds on their own is not that big of a deal, but I knew if I didn't become more active that my weight would only go up more. I went to the gym for a few months but got tired of spending the money and the amount of time it took out of my day to bus to and from the gym so I started to exercise at home instead, starting with a dvd I had heard a lot about online, Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred.

The first time I did Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred I had to stop several times to take a break and I was completely wiped out at the end. I remember still struggling to catch my breath even afterthe workout was over and I was in the shower! I was embarrassed at how hard it was for me but I think it made me realize how much I really do need to exercise and get in better shape.

I have kept up with 30 Day Shred although I have not done it every day for 30 days. Currently I try to do Level 1 3 or 4 times a week and Pilates the other days of the week. It is still very hard, and Pilates is not so easy either. I am very inflexible and I am frustrated sometimes at how little I can move into a stretch. But when I notice things like how my endurance is improving or how a stretch is a little bit easier, or how energized and happy I feel after a workout, it all seems worth it!


  1. I am so similar when it comes to exercise!!

    The great thing is that you are starting to see improvements - that is what counts! This isn't a race, nor is it a competition, so you can go at your own pace and start to see changes and improvements as you go.

    The 30 Day Shred is tough (Jillian's other dvd's are even harder!!) Other DVDs I have liked include Yoga Booty Ballet and the Carmen Electra series (don't laugh)

    I think the main thing is finding something that you enjoy. It makes doing exercise that much easier and more fun. Are there any studios that offer classes in Ottawa? In Toronto we have everything from pole dancing to trampoline and walking clinics and lots more.

    For me I've found belly dancing to be a lot of fun and a great way to exercise!! Boot camp has also been great because it has made me push myself in a way that I haven't. Ever. And I'm seeing great results!

  2. Laura, I'm totally the opposite. I have no problem working exercise in (as long as it's outside, or part of a team), but I just love crappy food so much.

    Because I'm essentially an extremely lazy person, I'm all about the "hidden" exercise, when it's not really thought of as exercise because it's a part of your day or you enjoy doing it so it's social or fun. Right now I commute by bike (that's nearly falling apart, but that's another story) and I don't think of it as exercise because it's just how I get to work.

    I try to hide salad too, by covering it up with goat cheese and sundried tomatoes, but it doesn't work as well. In the end, it's still lettuce, and I still hate it.

    30 day shred sounds vicious, but I hope you keep it up. You could always shame yourself into doing it by getting a big calendar and marking the days that you do exercise so you can see your accomplishment. Maybe guilt and shame only work for me because my family's Catholic, but you could give it a whirl. :)

  3. There are a lot of class options in Ottawa, but I'm not sure it's for me. Truth be told I actually enjoyed the gym - I liked being able to work out while listening to music and just doing my own thing. I like that working out at home is free and takes up less of my time though. I should give some more fun dvds a try!

    Oh Rach, you and your salad, hehe. Seriously, forget the lettuce and just throw a bunch of your favourite veggies and toppings in a bowl and call it whatever you want. Lettuce is overrated. The calendar is not a bad idea, I think I might try that!