April 10, 2016

Next Days

It is a blessed Sunday here in rainy Phoenix! Yes, the skies opened up, and rain fell mid-morning. It is beautiful out right now. Cool and wet. I am so excited to be heading out in the rain this good, good day.

"Shred Update"

Yes, it is going to be day five of my "30 Day Shred" program. I missed working out on Friday (got home late, had dinner with the family, etc.) but I made up for it with yesterday's intense focus, and today, I am feeling good. Jillian says that by day five or six you will see a big difference in your cardio ability. I have to say that she is right. I found that by day three, I was doing much better. Then yesterday, I was so impressed with myself because I survived the whole cardio part -- jumping jacks -- and everything with just a few short breaks (like to catch my breath only). Overall, I am doing well. I think I need to use heavier weights, though, because I can pretty much do the strength training without issue (except for the front lateral raises - those really kill me). I've been using my 2 pound weights and they are fairly light. I think I can easily move to 3 pounds, but I don't have those on hand. I thought about buying them at Walmart the other day. I have 5 pound, so I may try to use the heavier weights on the moves that seem easier, and stick with the lighter weights on the ones that are still a struggle for me. Jillian says that you have to push through the times when the workout feels easy, so this means I need to really focus on the weight training part since this is the easiest part for me. Cardio still kicks me, but I am improving my lung and heart capacity daily.

Inches versus Weight Loss

I haven't noticed any weight loss even though I am tracking my food and exercise using the MyFitnessPal.com website. My goal is to keep my calorie intake to 1200-1300 per day. With exercise, I am actually allowed to have about 1400 calories, but I am choosing to stay within the limit set so that I lose about 1.9 pounds per week. What I have noticed thus far is inch loss. I am guessing that this is water/bloat, but it sure would be sweet to see real loss in my hips and waist area. So far, I am down about 1/2 inch all around. I am up 1/2 inch in my arms, so that is a good thing. I am also noticing less bumps on my legs, and my inner thighs (the jiggly part) does seem to be less, well, jiggly. I wouldn't think that I would see results so quickly, but in truth, I do tend to build muscle easily. I have always had fairly strong arms and legs. My hope is that my routine of diet restriction and strength/cardio will work for me and that I will begin to see real results within the next couple weeks.

So far so good. Jillian has kept her promise to me, and I am pleased! I feel pretty confident that I can probably move to Level 2 by next weekend. The program suggests that you do each level for 10 days. I don't think I will need 10 days on Level 1. I might really struggle with the cardio on Level 2, but I will stick with it, and force myself through the rough spots.

I really want this change. I mean, I really do want it. I cannot tell you why, that now, I mean, I am fixated on this change. Perhaps it is because the Lord has put the desire in my heart and helped me see the value in it. Perhaps it is because my stress level has dropped, and with my ABD status, I have found peace (less worry over classes, etc.) I also have more free time, so praise God, I am able to make fitness a priority now. I also want to look better in my clothing, and frankly, I have shlepped around for so long feeling bloated and cranky, that I decided "enough was enough." I am responsible for the shape I am in today. My shape, while determined by genetics (I take after my Dad's side of the family), is also a product of my lifestyle choices. I mean, I haven't consistently worked out in years (like eons). I have been eating whatever I want to eat, and not always in moderation, for a number of years. I have stuck to weight loss programs (Atkins and Weight Watchers) before, and they did work for a while. But, as soon as I dropped the weight, I went right back to eating poorly, and over time, the pounds all came back on. Plus, I ate for emotional reasons, and well, we know how that goes. I allowed ice cream and cookies to soothe me, and because I could have them when I wanted, well, I indulged. No one was going to say "no" to me again, so I took my new found freedom to eat whatever and whenever I wanted, and the results were --> extra pounds.

I know this is the case, but praise be to God, I am on the track to healthy and vital living now. My prayer is to stick with this program from now on. I have checked out some of her other DVDs and I think I have found a good mix-match for my workouts. I also realized that I do like to workout at home. The gym is great, but I like to do my own thing here at home. I feel more comfortable, cats and all, working out in my room. I feel like I can get a good workout using these DVDs, so that is my go-to plan.

Moving On and Up

As I wrap this short blog post, I am happily sitting at my computer thinking that there are two more weeks of school left, and that I am in this wonderful place, really wonderful place. I am ready to start my proposal -- full bore -- today, and I am ready to knock it out so I can propose my research next month. Furthermore, I feel this huge sense of relief rush over me. I mean, I am settled on my path, my progress, and my provision. I feel so blessed to know that the Lord has my needs in hand. I am feeling so much better physically, and I am starting to see a real light at the end of my tunnel. I know that they say that exercise releases endorphins that make you feel better (emotionally, mentally, etc.) so I am not sure if this is what I feel or if it is my life, in general. I feel relief, I guess you could say it, and with that relief comes a blessed sense of peace and restfulness. In truth, I feel so good, so very good, that I think and feel that good things are about to come my way. I don't have any inkling other than to say that I feel as if doors are about to open for me, and good news is heading my way. I pray it is so, really so!

The Lord has promised such good to me. He is faithful, good, and kind, and His mercy is new and fresh every day. I am blessed to be His companion, and to spend my days in His presence. I do not deserve this honor, nor do I take it lightly. I simply mean that the relationship I share with my Lord has transformed my life and made it excellent, better, the best! My prayer today is to do all the things I must do this good, good day. The rest -- well -- I am letting that be for another day. He has me covered. I am well-covered this good, good day. Selah!

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