Wow, I didn't realize I haven't posted for such a long time. I have no projects to report nor recipes to review today (at least not right now).
Instead, I just wanted to share a success. That little box full of Xs is proof that I finished an exercise program! Now, lest you be too impressed, I did not do my 30 days of the "30 Day Shred" consecutively. There is speculation as to exactly how it should be done. Some people say everyday for 30 days, others are of the a few times a week camp, and in a few places I have read that Jillian herself said it wasn't intended to be every day, but more like 2 days shred, 1 day cardio, repeat and then rest. Whatever the truth may be, I started a lot more consistent and felt I wasn't progressing and just hurt, so I dropped down to 3 times a week about halfway through it all. On level 3 I never could do all the "Natalie" moves, but still felt like I was getting my butt kicked. Maybe when I go for another round of this in the future I can handle the jump-training a bit better.
One of my favorite parts about doing the "30 Day Shred" besides the obvious physical benefit was my partner in crime. My 2.5 year old was super into it. She loved turning on the ceiling fan for me and getting sips out of my water "bottle" (it's a collapsible one called a Platypus and I LOVE it.) She loved talking to me about "the girls." Jillian and Anita were fine and all, but her favorite was Natalie, especially when she would occasionally talk. Some days she'd also exercise with me. On one particular day, still pajamas clad, she requested a ponytail on top of her hear like mine, got her socks and shoes on, and made herself some weights out of Trios. (I semi-stealthfully too this blurry pics that morning while trying to do my own exercises!)
And then she got her shred on. There were some exercises she liked better than others (don't we all?), but was always adorable, especially with that skiwampus form that kids have for proper exercises. One day in between my shredding days, I did a Pilates DVD and my daughter was NOT happy and said that is was not exercise. When I later showed her another Jillian DVD I had gotten from the library she was very excited, especially to find out who the two girls in the background were!
Today was the first Monday in a long time that I didn't start out sweating alongside my DVD player and Jillian Michaels tough, but also encouraging, love. Instead I hit the pavement to continue prepping for the long journey of training for a marathon this fall. The nice morning air sure beats the stagnant torture of a treadmill. Exercise-wise, running has always been my first love. I'm not great at it, but it makes me feel good. And I've been super proud of myself. My husband kindly laughs as I keep telling him how proud I am of my exercise habits. So, if you know you need to start exercising (and we all should be), let me be proof that even though it is hard at the start, it gets easier and more awesome.
Once while running awhile back, I realized as I felt my muscles working hard and my lungs and heart really pumping, that exercise is really what our bodies were made for. It was sort of a silly epiphany, but it has changed the way I look at exercise. It makes it better and easier in some way.
(Extra info - I love keeping track of my exercise type, minutes, and distance if applicable on a spreadsheet. I'm sort of a little nuts about it, but there's something awesome about seeing it all logged in. I also use SparkPepople to track my exercise, though not always. If I'm on counting calories mode, I use it religiously for food and exercise.)