Friday, April 17, 2009
A journey to my core
Once upon a time, these were my abs. When I was in undergrad, had a 20 year old’s metabolism and I would have classified myself as a “gym rat.” I worked out an hour a day, 5 or 6 days a week—some days I went more than once. Eight years of full-time work and school and I definitely am missing those abs—and I think it’s safe to say my husband does too—I rediscovered this picture when it appeared as his wallpaper on his computer. These days, I spend the majority of the day sitting—at work, in class, writing this blog— at most I get to yoga a couple times a week and the gym once every couple of weeks. I would be rather mortified to show you what is going on down there now-- lots of sitting has made those abs go into serious hiding.
I should mention I am very picky about workouts. I come from the school of “go hard or go home.” I don’t even do easy yoga—it’s Bikram yoga in a 110 degree room or I’m not interested. I am not one of these girls that dinks around with the 3 pound weights for 2 sets of ten and then reads a magazine while walking on the treadmill. I get BORED unless I'm challenged. I get annoyed in aerobics classes that require coordination (a trait I sadly do not posess) and I don't care to be yelled at by a well meaning drill sergeant. I need loud cheesy pop music in my headphones, a gym that is not too crowded, and I am good to go.
To aid me on my new quest to rediscover my abs, I have enlisted the help of Jillian Michaels, ass-kicking trainer from the Biggest Loser. Since I don’t think she is willing to fly to Seattle and workout with me for free, I purchased her book “Making the Cut”. This is not a book for the faint of heart—I did the first workout today and it was NO JOKE. The dainty bobby pins I used to hold my bangs out of my face were no match for the rigors of Jillian’s program—within the first ten minutes my hair was sticking out in every direction and sweat was dripping off my nose as rapidly as it does in Bikram yoga and I assure you the gym was not 100 degrees. There were some things I simply could not do—20 squat thrusts after I’d already been pushing myself for 30 minutes? No. I think I got through 8 before I collapsed in a heap. One full minute of mountain climbers after so many pushups my arms and shoulders were jelly? Um, no. I did the best I could and powered through it for an hour and I can safely say I haven’t done a workout so hard in at least two years. It was hard and I sweated and swore and silently cursed Jillian—and I had a really good time doing it!
The trick for me will be consistency. Every once in a while I get inspired and workout 6 times in one week and then some how I end up not working out at all for 2 more weeks. My schedule continues to be busy, but I am realizing that there is never going to be a time in my life when it is going to be easy to fit in a workout—I’m just going to have to make it a priority and stop making excuses. Jillian’s program is 30 days and I am determined to seriously improve my fitness (which is at an all-time low) and maybe find those abs I lost along the academic highway.