I have a confession to make: I love to exercise. I’ll admit, I was shocked, too when I first discovered my passion. And I have one person in particular to thank: Ms. Jillian Michaels.
When I lived with my parents, I remember my mom obsessing over “The Biggest Loser.” I could never understand why. She would always say, “I’d hate to be on Jillian’s team!” Sure enough, every week Jillian was screaming in someone’s face, telling them to push harder. Then the person would promptly hop off of the treadmill or bike…and throw up.
I remember thinking, “Wow, she’s tough!” And then I thought about all of the reasons why she would need to act this way. All of the contestants have become dangerously overweight by continually making excuses for themselves. The primary one? “I can’t do it. It’s too hard!” Doesn’t this sound a bit like a child whining because they don’t want to have to clean their room or do their homework?
The consequences for these people if they choose to nothing will ultimately be an untimely death. I don’t know about you, but I would work myself until the point of bursting if it came down to a matter of life or death. So, this is why Jillian pushes them so hard. She genuinely cares about them and their well-being.
While I have been blessed in the fact that I have never been obese, I did have my Oprah “Aha!” moment about my weight. One day while working at a previous job, I was standing by the copier waiting for it to finish spitting out my paperwork. So, I decided to look down at my shoes…and I couldn’t see them. I was mortified! How did I let myself get this way? I was only 23 years old and I couldn’t see my feet!
To look at me, you wouldn’t have thought this was a big deal. I am freakishly tall at 5’11”. My weight was usually well distributed. I was one of those disgusting people that could eat whatever I wanted and not gain an ounce. Let me tell you, it will catch up with you someday.
After leaving work that day, I knew what I had to do. I needed someone tough to get my body back in the amazing shape that it had been in high school. I needed Jillian! So, I went to Target and picked up the very first DVD that she had released. After the hour long workout, I felt like I was going to die! The next day, I could barely walk! I almost had to ask for help getting up off of the floor when bending down to put a file away in a filing cabinet.
But, I refused to give up. After two weeks, I found that I could get through the entire workout without feeling like I was going to faint AND I could walk the next day! From then on, I made exercising a priority in my life.
This is when the backlash started. My grandmother worried that I was “obsessed” with working out and that I was pushing myself too hard. My mom thought that I was trying to lose more weight. She still keeps commenting: “You’re so skinny!”
While I will not publicly reveal my weight (I don’t want to jinx all of my hard work!) I can tell you that I weigh more than I did in high school. But, I feel comfortable in my body. And the common misconception is that people only exercise to lose weight. This is not true at all. I exercise in order to maintain the weight that I have already lost (thanks to Jillian’s Total Body Revolution).
Plus, study after study proves that exercising is the key to living a healthy life. And this is why exercising is so important to me. I make time by working out as soon as I get home from work. The routines are only 45 minutes long.
Here is the plan that works for me:
Monday and Wednesday: Jillian Michaels Hard Body
Tuesday and Thursday: Zumba game for the Wii
Friday: Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown
I am not “addicted” to exercising. Do I wish that I could simply skip a day and veg on the couch? You bet! But, I know that if I slip into that kind of mentality, I will soon not be exercising at all. Don’t get me wrong, when I am sick I leave Jillian in her box. You should never try to push yourself when you are already feeling run down. I workout when I am able so that I will live a long and meaningful life. Someone has to be around to torture my husband!
Still, I am proud of everything that I have accomplished. I love looking at my Jillian DVDs and remembering how hard I used to think they were. Now, I can hardly wait for her next installment! With each DVD, I grow stronger both physically and mentally.
Now, exercising has become a part of who I am. Feeling empowered has made me a much happier person. And if I’ve managed to make a few ex-boyfriends jealous in the process, that’s just an added bonus.