Exercise

Beginning a New Workout Regime

What I Miss About the Gym

One thing I miss about going to the gym is that there were classes I could attend, and if I wasn’t there when the class started (or even earlier to get a spot), I didn’t get in.

If Zumba was at 5, I had to be there at 5. If Yoga Weight Loss started at 7, I knew I had to be out the door at 6:30.

I no longer have a gym membership, and I am completely fine with that. While I enjoyed lifting weights, I do not believe that a gym is required. I know some people find working out with others motivating, but I don’t. Frankly, I was happiest at the gym on those rare Saturday afternoons when I would go in and be the only person there. As a result, I decided to save the $65 a month and work out from home.

Unfortunately, that pre-set class time apparently provided me with a bit more motivation than I realized. So how can I reclaim that at home? Several bloggers have written about following along with a DVD workout series, and it seems that it provides them with motivation to stick to their workouts.

DVD Workouts

I have TONS of DVD workouts, including a few programs. I have P90X, RevAbs, and Body Revolution, among others. Yes, I am well aware that I own THREE intense workout programs and I haven’t done more than a single workout or two. Well, that needs to change, so I’m starting one of these series.

I adore Jillian Michaels. I know some bloggers think she is a sellout, but I think she’s awesome. She’s the right mix of motivation and yelling for me. So, for the next 90 days, I am scheduling a workout at 8:30 every night to have my butt kicked by Jillian through Body Revolution.

I actually started the program on Saturday, so I’ve already done my first two workouts. Today is a cardio day, and I look forward to seeing if her cardio workout is as challenging as her 1st two weight workouts.

The Holiday Trifecta

But the holiday trifecta of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas is coming up!

Every year, I gain weight over the trifecta. Every… single… year…

I plan for 2012 to be different. I want to lose weight.

I am not following the Body Revolution diet plan, but I am going to continue going to Weight Watchers, count my points, and eat real food. The Trifecta isn’t going to tear me down this year. I’m going to go into the holidays armed and dangerous for weight loss.

Future Plans

I plan to blog once every two weeks about the program, as that is how often the program changes. The first two weeks seem easy enough, but I’ve looked ahead, and I know there are going to be some modifications that will need to be made. I’m totally okay with that. My right knee is a cartilage nightmare, and my flexibility rivals that of uncooked spaghetti. But I also anticipate that the next 90 days will bring a lot of welcome changes to my body. I can’t wait to see what I look like on January 5th!

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Exercising with Baby

This isn’t about literally exercising with a baby, although I do have an awesome book that my wife got me for Father’s Day about how to use a baby as free weights. As soon as Moon Pie has a little more neck control, I’ll be giving this book a try.

The Star Trek book is because I’m a huge Trekkie… not because I have trouble with my opposites or anything…

But today’s relatively short post is about exercising with a baby. And frankly, it is hard.

I’m lucky. I didn’t have a seven pound object coming pushing its way out of my genitals, so while Tina has a good excuse for taking it easy for a while, I most definitely do not.

And yet, it’s been tough. I’m back at work already (I got a week off, which I am SO grateful to my boss for letting me have), and sleep is still at a premium. Just last night, I was up with little man until about 2:30, and then Tina and I were up twice more for about forty-five minutes each time for feedings) and then I was up at 7 to take a very hurried shower and fix an English muffin sandwich to eat on the drive to work. (And I was still late to work.)

So when I get home from work, if Moon Pie is doing okay and Tina is rested, I’ll often take a quick nap before I fix dinner. And we’ve been VERY lucky that we’ve had so many friends and family bring us food. I think I’ve cooked dinner twice since we’ve come home from the hospital.

It’s just VERY easy to sit on the couch, cuddled up with a baby (or watch my wife cuddled up with a baby), that when he looks like he’s about to go down for the night, I want to go to sleep, too.

And yet…

I know that if I exercise, I’ll have more energy, and getting so little sleep will be easier on me.

I also know that if I lose weight, I’ll have more energy and will need less sleep.

I also know that if I eat healthier, I’ll have more energy and, you guessed it, will need less sleep.

And exercise and healthy eating are requirements for losing weight.

So I have to do it.

I recently heard research that said if you exercise at the same time of day, each day, you’ll perform better and give your metabolism a slight boost.

So I have decided, at least until Tina is able to exercise with me, that 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. is my exercise hour, each night. I am NOT an early morning exerciser. I’ve always been an evening exerciser, and I’m consistently awake from 9 to 10 each evening, so… this time of day makes sense for me. And exercise has never kept me up at night; if anything, it lets me sleep better.

My son is definitely a driving force in me wanting to be healthier, but… and I hope this doesn’t sound wrong, he’s not the only reason.

I have to lose this weight for me, too. If I lose this weight just for him, I’ll never keep it off.

I want to be the best father I can be, and in my mind, I equate that with physical fitness. Right or wrong, that is how I view it. (And frankly, I believe I am right.)

I hope he never sees a fat dad, except for when he looks back at old baby pictures.

But more than anything else, I want him to grow up with a father who decided to become the best he could be, not just to be an awesome dad, but to just be awesome.

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Visualizing During a Workout

Although I am a few days late in posting this, let me first announce the winner of the Run for Your Lives Indianapolis Race Tickets Giveaway!

Chosen via random.org, our winner is comment #1!

Congrats to Amanda Heathman and her husband! I hope you enjoy the race.

And on to other news…

I am VERY excited about my weigh-in on Wednesday. Last time I checked the scale, it seems I am clearly on target to get below 360! Woo hoo! That will put me ever closer to hitting the 50 pound mark.

The main thing that I am finding helps me right now is visualization.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am vain. My fitness goal, honestly, is to look like this.

Heck, you can judge me. But I want to look like Ryan Reynolds. I want his arms and I really want his abs.

Right now, whether I am flying through a cardio workout or struggling with Jillian Michaels yelling at me, I literally visualize my way through the workout.

No, I don’t necessarily think about Ryan Reynolds’ abs for the entire time. (Much.)

I mostly envision the physical body I hope to have.

Don’t get me wrong – I KNOW I have a long way to go. I know that to even get a semblance of that body will eventually require a tummy tuck and a much stricter, cleaner diet than I am eating currently.

As for the tummy tuck, I freaking can’t wait. I know it’ll hurt, both my body and my wallet, but I want to do it so badly I can taste it.

And as for the diet, well… I’m a firm believer that moderation in all things is key. However, as I stick to my healthy eating plan (which is just “eat less junk and more real food”), I find myself gravitating to healthier and healthier options.

So, my tip in all of this? Visualize. Think through your workout. Picture your end result. Right now, I’m not worrying about if it is super realistic or attainable. I’m doing what I have to do to get through each drop of sweat.

No matter where I am, the end result will be worth it.

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Tired or Excuse?

I am a big fan of listening to your body. I think when you are too tired to exercise, you shouldn’t.

I was writing a quick blog post, right now, about that very thing. I was going to post one of my match-ups (I’m a bit behind), and I was explaining about how tired I was and how I felt I should take a rest day today.

And then… even though it’s already 8:45 at night… I just had a mini-epiphany.

Am I really THAT tired, or am I just a little tired and using it as an excuse?

I still don’t know. I do think I’m tired, but I know that if I go to bed at 9, I’ll just play on my iPad until 10:30. Or, I could put on my sneakers, strap on the heart rate monitor, exercise for an hour in my living room, take a shower, and be in bed by 10:00ish with a good thirty minutes of time to spend some time with Tina (and my iPad) before 10:30.

Maybe I am tired. Maybe I’ll be so useless when I start working out that I’ll realize I should have taken a rest day.

Or more likely, I’ll start, forget why I thought I was tired, and at 10:30 when I turn off the lights to go to sleep, I’ll be happy that I made this choice.

I can’t use being tired as an excuse. When Moon Pie gets here, I know I’ll have even less time, but because I want to be the healthiest dad I can for him or her, I have to make time.

Today, I am making the time. I am exercising. For an hour, I will better myself.

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Match-up #3 – “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” vs. “Tough kickboxing lady made me cry”

I did this match-up a few days ago, but I’ve gotten a bit behind on my posting. Also, I had a thought. I probably shouldn’t share my actual calorie burns on each workout, or it may make it a little too easy to pick the winner when we get down to the final games. So, I’m just going to talk about what each workout was like and declare a winner.

This matchup was between Richard Simmons’ Sweatin’ to the Oldies and 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp. The name of the match-up refers to the first song during the cardio portion of Sweatin’ 1 (It’s My Party” and the second refers to the fact that Kickbox Bootcamp was a HARD workout. It didn’t really make me cry, but it certainly made me burn, in a good way.

Let’s start off with Sweatin’ to the Oldies.

This is the first workout video that Richard Simmons released, and I’ve had it for years. Suffice it to say, I know every move of this workout by heart.

Most of Richard’s workouts have a theme, and the theme of this one is high school prom. It’s a fairly short video, but it still got my heart rate up, and to be honest, I even felt like I’d gotten a workout in. I’ll admit – it felt like a light workout, but hey, on days when time is short, this video is awesome.

This match-up also featured a kickboxing workout. The 10 Minute Solutions videos consist of several 10 minute workouts, and as I said when I announced the rules of this game, if it was a video where you could select one or more workouts, I was going to do them all. That means this workout was effectively a 50 minute workout.

Hosted by Keli Roberts, this was a TOUGH workout. It was a blast for me; I have a background in taekwondo, and a lot of the moves felt very familiar to me. Keli was a great instructor. My only complaint – I didn’t like only have an instructor. I prefer having some fellow athletes working out in the video, but this seems to be the trend for 10 Minute Solutions videos.

One comment – holy crap, this was tough. There were several moves that my 360+ pound body just could not do. Rather than sit by and wait it out, however, I made modifications.

After finishing this workout, I was DRENCHED. And that was with me doing modifications.

Winner? Keli Roberts’ 10 Minute Solutions: Kickbox Bootcamp. No question. Sorry Richard. Kickbox Bootcamp beat us both. But hey Richard, your Sweatin’ 2 video made it to the field of 32, and you have several more videos left in the overall bracket. You still have plenty of opportunities to advance.

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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)