25/30. 5 days to go! My abs (which I can feel developing under a layer of fat) hurt a bit today from doing the work out yesterday. I like those days. The days I can feel my muscles are a bit tight but not so tight I can’t walk down or up stairs are good days. Instead of dwelling on how I haven’t lost pounds I’m going to celebrate the things I’ve noticed that have changed.
Here’s a convenient list for you to peruse:
1. My back fat is disappearing. When I glance in the mirror I can tell that my shirts are fitting a lot better in the rear. I can tell I’m thinning out back there. It’s a fun improvement.
2. My arm fat is disappearing. All those weight parts of the Shred are paying off. I have little muscles when I flex and the fat part that hangs down is less, well, fat part-y.
3. Endurance. I’m not getting so nearly red in the face when I work out now. But I’m still sweating an appropriate amount so I know I’m getting better at breathing through the work out.
4. My thighs are smaller. Woot!! It’s nice to see the difference 4 weeks of working out makes when you’re wearing tights. My tights fit way better.
I’m really proud of these little minor changes that likely only I’ve noticed. They keep me going on a daily basis.
Here is a pic of some tights I wore the other day under a long dress/shirt. Something I’d have been too “fatty” to think I could wear before and pull it off.
I’m going to Sudbury for the weekend. The plan is to work out on Saturday morning before we head in Toronto to pick up our friends and then drive on up to Sudbury. Tomorrow is my last day at level 2 on the Shred and I’m so excited. I’m really looking forward to moving on from this level. I’ve found it pretty rewarding and it’s gone by much quicker than the first 10 days. My plank still needs some work. I can plank the whole time without dropping to the floor but my jumps and twists feel really funny. I kinda want to take a video of me doing the moves to see just how ridiculous I look. Jillian looks so great when she planks, you can tell how strong and agile she is. I hate that B. How do people look so poised working out? I look like a fish drowning in water because it doesn’t know it’s a fish. Sometimes Hitchens lays right near where I’m doing skaters and I fear for her safety. She should know how uncoordinated I am, she’s been living with me for over a year now. Once when I was doing punches she walked right over my laptop and bit me on the hand, mid-punch. She doesn’t care that I’m trying to better myself, she just wants me to stop jumping around and sweating near where she sleeps.
My sister, Kryssie, tells me she will work out with me on Sunday and that she’s going to get the DVD ready. I told her she doesn’t have to use the hand weights but she used to do kick boxing so I’m sure she’ll be better than me. I’ll only have to do 1 day outside of my normal workout environment but for some reason I’m really dreading it. Yesterday I banished Dave and Hitchens from the bedroom while I worked out because I wasn’t feeling confident. Kryssie is way fitter than I am, so I hope she realizes she’s about to see an overweight person jumping around for 28 minutes and cussing.
I’m excited to see my niece, Maddy. I wonder if she’ll want to work out with her mom and I. I bet she gives up though, I’ll have to remember to chastise her if she quits. She only weighs 30 pounds, plank jacks should be a breeze for her little arms and legs. Maddy will be 2 in July so she better start working out now, you’re never too young to develop your anterior delts as far as I’m concerned. I’m not going to be around forever to lift heavy toys for her. She’ll have to man up sometime.
I’m really worried I’m going to get to Sudbury and not work out on Sunday like I’m supposed to. Who wants to work out while visiting relatives? Talk about awkward/annoying for everyone involved. But I don’t want to give up on doing 30 days straight, because I can’t believe I haven’t missed 1 day yet. Even on the days where I really was gargling my heart and thought I was going to die (™ JM) I still didn’t give up. I’ve managed to push through all my mental blocks and complete the Shred before midnight whether I felt like it or not. I feel a lot better about how active I am and I’m even a little worried I won’t take a rest day even at the end of the 30 days. Little Steph would be proud of Big Steph, I bet. If only Big Steph hadn’t given up 2 years ago when she had already done all this work and lost 20 pounds! Big Steph would be well on her way to meeting her goal by now. Stop finding reasons to stop, Big Steph. Time passes whether the work gets done or not, so you might as well get the work done!
9/30. I just worked out for 9 days in a row. This is the longest streak in which I’ve worked out consecutive days since 2 years ago in October. I regularly wish I had never stopped back then, but I guess there’s little point in feeling bad about it, I’m getting things accomplished now. When I start out doing the Shred I always feel like maybe I’ll die during the first set of jumping jacks. Once I’m past the hump (the point where the girl behind Jillian on the left cheats while Jillian isn’t looking) I feel like I’ll make it through. And I always do. Tomorrow I go for cardio after the Shred again. Sam told me today it takes something like 21 days to form a habit, it’s just too bad I didn’t take up an easier habit, like smoking. I’m nearly at the 1/2 way point though! Wish me luck!
When I was 20 years old my ex-boyfriend and his family took me to Nova Scotia with them to visit the town of Inverness. His mother’s family grew up there and one of her cousins had a beautiful, large house on the coast with lots of room for everyone to come and visit him. It was the town’s centennial, and kind of a big deal for Inverness. We all loaded into the car and drove 24 hours across Canada to go to a really big party. It was a great place and I saw a lot of really neat things, my favourite being when we accidentally watched Alistair MacLeod walk to get his mail across from a herd of buffalo. Maybe one day I’ll take this blog to a place where I tell funny stories but for now I have to stick to weight loss and fitness embarrassment to keep myself on track, so I’ll put Inverness’s charm on the back burner for today.
About 3 days into our trip the mother’s cousin took us to a ceilidh. This guy was maybe the coolest person I’ve ever met so I trusted that he knew best about what we should do while we were visiting. Now, I had no idea what a ceilidh even was but when someone is paying for you to do something you might as well go along with it. We got to this really small, crowded tavern-like place and found a table. The place was filled with the elderly and the very young and almost no one my age. I still wasn’t quite sure what we were about to get up to in this cramped bar when the music started and suddenly 80 people got up and formed a bunch of circles of around 8-10 people each. I watched in horror as I realized they were about to group dance. And not only were they about to group dance, they were going to make us trip the light fantastic with them.
They quickly split our group up among the circles and we were told to follow along, that it wouldn’t be that hard. It was a pack of lies and those lovely Maritimers were a pack of god damn liars. I have a really vivid memory of trying to dance strictly with my ex-boyfriend because we both had zero idea of what was going on. We learned quickly that if you’re going to be part of a dance troupe you better fucking learn the moves or you will be chastised out loud while the dance is taking place. At some point a boy of about 13 and I were partnered up. He was a chunky lad, slightly taller than I was, and this wasn’t his first rodeo. He stared at me with such intensity as we were dancing that I couldn’t help but laugh. He knew all the moves and he was trying so hard to get me to not mess him up. I’m sure he was being watched intently, family pride on the line. I still think about that kid. If I ever visit Inverness again I am sure I could pick him out of a lineup. That’s how long and close we had to dance with each other.
Around the 23 minute mark our group started to drop like flies. We were not mentally or physically prepared for this dancing onslaught. The songs go on for about 85 minutes each and you are required to dance the entire time. If you try and sit down, which, believe me, I did, they swarm you and demand you stand back up and keep going so as to not ruin their routine. All around me the elderly and the kids, who I just assumed I had to have been in better shape than, were busting move after move for what seemed like an eternity, while I had beads of sweat running down my face and arm pits. I was in way over my head. When at last the dance ended and we were allowed to sit I bolted for a table and refused to stand back up. I learned in that moment that looks can be deceiving and just because someone is old or chunky doesn’t mean they can’t, quite literally, dance circles around you.
(Basically what we were trying and failing to do)
I did it! Suck it, J-illain! It was a lot harder than I remember but 2 years ago I had already been working out for a month before I added Jillian into my routine, I think that might have given me a false sense of fitness. I got home from work today and put 30 Day Shred on my laptop. She was queued up and I was about to begin when I realized I had forgotten to find my 5 pound weights. I knew where the 10’s were but one does not simply do JM 30DS with 10 pound weights unless one wants to end up in the emerge. I ran around frantically trying to locate them without having to pause her intro. In the back of my mind if I paused her for even 1 second it would mean I would have to do the Shred for longer than necessary. Once I decide to do something it’s gotta happen in that instant or suddenly I’m wasting time.
She is as irritating as I remember her but by day 3 or 4 I’ll be able to mute her and just follow along without her banter and frankly I don’t think I’ve ever found a work out video/fitness person I didn’t find annoying. They’re just all so excited. I should have my own line of work out videos. I’d do a bunch of really awful exercises but I’d swear the whole time and the people following along behind me would be really mad and throw stuff at my head when my back was turned. I’d yell things like “I don’t *want* to do god damn jumping jacks either, but we might as well!” At the end of each video there would be a picture of me eating a no-bake cherry cheesecake with the caption “I work out.” Who wants to pay me to start filming it? Better yet, who wants to be my backup fitness squad? You get some cheesecake too. Until tomorrow, when Jillian smiles and says “You sure? You think you can handle it? We’ll see.” and I scream “You bitch!” 15 or 16 times at my laptop screen.
(Sweaty and unhappy and sweaty)