Do you need to spend two hours exercising every day until your body can’t move to be “fit”? Well, maybe at some point you will depending on what your goals are, but does the average non-exercising person reading this right now need to do anything close to that to see results? NOPE. But here’s what you DO need, besides a kick in the ass: A realistic commitment.
Exercise is not an easy habit to form. It’s not heady like drinking or physically addictive like smoking (till it IS, but we’ll get to that later). Exercising is absolutely awful to when you start out. It’s a discouraging, draining and an all around miserable experience. And anyone promising otherwise is hopped up on enthusiasm or just plain full of shit. Trust me, I know.
When I started exercising I was kind of desperate in a lot of ways. The person I’d become accustomed to seeing in the mirror, the person I’d catch glimpses of when I walked past the mirror, was not the person I saw in my mind. And the difference had become almost a psychotic disconnect (I’m being dramatic, but that’s really how it felt deep down). The person I was for most of my life till I got pregnant and had my son more than 11 years ago was never the person I saw reflected in the mirror. Instead I kept seeing this other person who I did not like. That bitch had overstayed her welcome and it was time to sort shit out.
Making it happen
I was lucky to have the mental image of myself as before, because I think that helped propel me forward at times. Because I knew it was possible. But what should you do if you don’t have that mental image in mind and think that completely changing your appearance isn’t possible? Well, I 1000% promise you that you’re wrong for starters. And take the before/after below as my proof for now, 50+ lbs gone and pretty drastically transformed.
I gained 100+ lbs when I became pregnant in 2005 and lost 20 after giving birth, but the other 80+? It didn't want to leave. I yo-yo lost the same 15-20 lbs too many times to count over the past 11 years. The change you see below happened over the past 8 months:
So how do you start to make this happen? Slowly. Don’t go “all in” on Day One or you’ll exhaust yourself and be unable to continue for a big bunch of days, after which you may not continue at all. You’ll be yo-yo exercising and that sucks as much as yo-yo dieting. (I’ll get to diet in an upcoming post, as THAT is equally important, but also does not require a restrictive “life sucks and I want a cookie” lifestyle. I promise. I love cookies ;)
You don’t have to join a gym . . . yet. And you don’t have to buy any equipment, special food for supplements . . . yet. Being healthy and fit doesn’t require a pyramid scheme or prepackaged food to work, though those options DO work exceptionally well for some people (more on those in a later post as well!).
So what DO you have to do already??? Set small goals for yourself that first week in. Drink more water, walk around your house for ten minutes as you straighten up - and walk with purpose. Do some lunges (just a few, as you’re just getting your body used to them) and high step it, girl (or guy) as you go – and again, just a few! It’s all testing the waters.
And definitely do some stretches. Spend another 10-15 minutes just stretching and seeing how all that feels too.
And then comes the challenge part – attempt one of each: a plank, a push-up and a sit-up. And yes, just one.
If you can do any of them even once, you’re starting off stronger than me. I was seriously unable to do ANY of those, even once, when I started. I cried. I felt pathetic. And I don’t cry. So if you cry trying any of it, that’s okay, you got this. We’re going to take it slow.
I'm going to detail the REALISTIC steps an out of shape, hopelessly overweight, new to exercising person should take to achieve lasting weight loss, fitness, healthy eating habits (based on what I do, which just might work for you too!) and best of all? Kickass strength. I'm gonna turn you into a superhero, girl. (Or boy.) Count on it!
How can I make such bold promises? Well, I now do three sets of 50 sit-ups (so 150 total) pretty much every day. I started out winded from walking on the treadmill for five minutes and now I RUN for 20. And I run hard. I plank for minutes at a time (okay, one minute at a time, but I’m building it up) and I do push-up planks and at least 22 poorly formed traditional push-ups (which started as part of the 22kill Challenge) most days too. And I have an eight-month lead on yo' ass, so I think I can keep you moving along as I take this shit to the next level, hmm? Because I'm only about halfway to the goal I've set - and this next phase will be equally challenging even though I have less weight to lose. More on THAT later too!
Also? All free, mother fuckers! If you can stand my potty mouth, which I think is motivational as fuck, then come back and see what's what!
There’s SO much more to tell you, but that’s enough for now. Enough to maybe inspire you to start out slow and move that soon-to-be-sexy ass, right?! We’ll see!