Wednesday, November 26, 2008

EXerCiSe

Why does the very word exercise send that cringing belch feeling into me? Even though I'm winning my battle with it at the moment I still don't like the word.

For years now, I've know that I needed to exercise regularly. After my second child was born, I never got back down to anything near my pre-pregnancies size. I was so very tired much of the time, while child bearing and rearing. I'm too cheap to go to any gym. Over the years I bought used exercise videos from garage sales or thrift stores - so if I didn't end up using them - I wouldn't feel as guilty about the money I'd wasted. I really don't like the monotony of videos though. I get burned out on any exercise video after about the second time through, sometimes the first. So, I knew that wasn't going to work.

Last summer, I was feeling the aches in my body and I knew I had to do something. On one of our local channels, I discovered I show called Classical Stretch (http://www.classicalstretch.com/). I really liked it. I liked Miranda and I really loved the stretches and exercise. I did it every morning and felt better and could feel my muscles again, and see some actual tone there. It was a short workout, only 25 minutes, but I was hopeful it would also help me drop some pounds as well. After three months, I did feel better, but I hadn't lost a pound and then school started again. Whoops! My 8:00am workout was lost in the get-ready-for-school rush. By the start of this year, I had regressed, and I was slowly gaining more weight. It was depressing.
So for Valentines day I got an elliptical trainer off of Craigslist.com. I looked at it sitting in the TV room. I thought about using it -- like all the other second hand exercise equipment I had tried over years that ended up getting donated back to Goodwill or Prevent Blindness or where ever. So I tried, a little. At first, I thought I should just tried to build up a little endurance - pathetic as it was... I started on level two and tried to run for 15 minutes a few times a week. That just was not happening. If I don't commit to doing something everyday, I forget. And, then I just never or rarely do it. So one day last summer, I noticed the scale still trying to go up and I'd had enough! I was going to do it. I really tried to psych myself up. I've never been a late night person, but that was the only time I figured I could exercise uninterrupted. So I started checking out movies that I've missed over the last 10ish years from the library, and I made myself run for 30 minutes 5-6 days a week.

It was hard. It was sweaty. I hadn't really sweated so much in years. The movies made it bearable, if I could focus on the movie, I didn't think so much about how much I hated exercising, and I could better ignore that voice in my head that kept saying, "Why don't you stop now? You're so tired...just stop now...How 'bout now??"

Have you ever known someone who has said, "I feel so good after I exercise...I have so much more energy." I had never experienced this lovely phenomenon myself. I would exercise then feel completely wiped. Where was my euphoria?? After a month of hard nose dedication I started to notice my energy level get a boost -- not while exercising, but just generally. It was nice, so I kept going. I also know that it's good for my health and I'm really working on my body's retirement. I've always wanted to be healthy my whole life.

After two months, I was still feeling good, but I wasn't loosing any pounds, maybe one, but that hardly counts. Same story after the third month, maybe one more pound. I knew I was building muscle but still a little discouraging. But, I'd made a habit for myself now and I felt dedicated to it even if I didn't get all the results I wanted. After some reading, I decided to boost my time up to 45 minutes after the second month. I actually know people who exercise TWO hours a day. This is mind boggling to me, and I really have no desire to go there, and I hoped that I wouldn't have to boost my time up to an hour. Maybe it's still pathetic, but it's me. Some "experts" say you have to exercise an hour 5 days a week to loose weight. I did want results, so I settled for the 45 minute mark. AND...Finally, after four months I can see my pounds melting away, so far I've lost about 8 pounds. It nice to be tipping the scale the other direction. My goal at first was at least 15 pounds, but now I'm going for 25.
Thanks to Father in Heaven for blessing me with some success!

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