Thanks to Ms. Jillian Michaels, exercise has now become a part of my daily life. While others think I am crazy for working out five days a week, I have never felt (or looked) better. I have a new found confidence that I can only attribute to the fact that I now know exactly how strong and capable I really am.
I have had people come up to me and ask, “What’s your secret?” The minute I respond with “Exercise,” I can see their eye glaze over. It seems that people think I was just born with the body that I have. The reality? I work extremely hard to keep the figure I have.
My wake-up call came in 2008. I was standing by the copy machine at work, waiting for my papers to print. I decided to look down at my feet…and I couldn’t see them. While I won’t say that I was grossly overweight, I am pretty sure that I was carrying at least 20 extra pounds. I grabbed every Jillian Michaels DVD that Target had and got to work. I even purchased her amazing Body Revolution program, which is what really got me cut.
Unfortunately, we live in a world of instant gratification. Videos on demand! Shopping online! We have forgotten how this country was built: with hard work. This is quite a valuable lesson that our ancestors have taught us. But, we are constantly in search of the quick fix. We will try diet pills, plans and programs, going so far as to blend grass into a smoothie and drink it all in the hopes of avoiding the big “E.”
I would like to share my favorite exercise excuses with you.
1.“I’m too tired to work out.” This has to be the excuse that I hear the most. I get it. You work hard all day and you come home, hoping to relax. And this is how most people “relax”: they grab some chips, dip and a calorie laden soda and park their booty on the couch where they proceed to watch cable TV for hours on end. I can assure you, you will never lose weight if this is your practice. In the time it takes to watch an episode of “Nashville,” you could burn about 400 calories doing Jillian’s One Week Shred program. All it takes is just 30 minutes of your free time dedicated to making you healthier. What could be more important than that? Besides, exercising gives you a rush of endorphins that will give you a lasting energy burst for up to a half hour after your workout. You will even burn more calories during that time. Trust me, I have had those moments where I just wanted to hop into my pajamas and say “Forget that!” But, when I push through the workouts, I feel more energized than ever.
2.“I don’t have time to work out.” Seriously? If I have time to work a full time job, take care of all my fur babies, catch up with my husband, maintain our house and fit in a workout, so do you. Since I am a very routine based person, I include exercise time in my daily schedule. This way, I feel like I have to complete my work-out because it is a part of my day, just like going to work or making dinner. I do realize that not everyone has an hour to devote to Zumba the way that I do. But, there truly is an exercise for all timeframes. With the Zumba games for the Wii and Xbox, you can choose the length of your class. Only have 15 minutes? No problem! Simply select the “Custom Class” option to choose your songs and dance time. Plus, Jillian offers her Kickbox Fast Fix which gets you in and out in exactly 20 minutes. What other things do you make time for? Shopping? Eating out? Going to the movies? Be willing to make your health a priority and you will be amazed at how much time you will “find.”
3.“Exercising is boring.” I am a child of the 80’s. I do remember the jazzercise show that came on in the wee hours of the morning. Yes, that was boring. Doing the same moves over and over again, day after day. Thank goodness it is 2014! There are so many options to keep your workouts fresh. And all of the pros (including Ms. Jillian) encourage switching things up. Hey, they get bored, too! I used to do one workout routine for the entire week. NEVER AGAIN! Plus, you need to change the moves that you are doing to give your muscles a chance to rest and recover.
Check out my weekly workout:
Sunday – Pilates
Monday & Wednesday – Jillian Michaels One Week Shred AM Strength Training
Tuesday & Thursday – Zumba Rush/Core for the Xbox
If you like going to the gym try a spin class, then try yoga. Maybe you want to kick it up a notch and try Cross Fit. The possibilities are endless and boredom is officially vanquished.
4.“Exercising is too hard.” I think this excuse bothers me the most. Exercising, like life, is not supposed to be easy. It is called a “work out” for a reason. You need to work at getting your body into shape. When I started doing Jillian’s DVDs, I thought I was going to die. My legs were on fire the next day. I could barely get up off of the floor after placing a file in a cabinet! At first, the pain terrified me. That is when I learned that the pain is actually a sign of change taking place in the body. That fire in my legs was actually the calcite that I had been storing for years breaking down. And the more I worked out, the more my body adapted. Eventually, the pain was gone. Instead of being sore, I was sweaty and toned. I have loved seeing my personal growth through each of Jillian’s DVDs. In the beginning, I had to pause the routine at least twice to catch my breath. Now, I can do any of her work-outs all the way through without stopping. I am doing moves that I originally thought were impossible. Why? Because I stuck with it. I refused to give up on myself and so should you. Believe me, you are stronger than you think.
5.“I don’t like going to the gym.” Neither do I. I remember having to take a PE class in college. It was horrible! Guys were always ogling me as I worked out. Thankfully, I was with my entire class. I can’t imagine going to a gym by myself. Too many creepers for me. The beautiful thing is, you don’t need to go to a gym and pay outrageous membership fees to get the body that you deserve. I exercise in the comfort of my own home using DVDs, fitness video games, hand weights, a kettle bell and an exercise ball. I can pause my workouts and get more water or use the restroom and not have to worry about someone coming and stealing my machine. Not to mention the fact that I can control the thermostat and keep it as frosty as I like.
6.“I’ll never look like that. I’m just meant to be fat.” While genetics do play a factor in a person’s weight, it does not have to be the deciding one. You have control over what you put into your mouth. And it all starts at the grocery store. Don’t buy foods that you know are not good for you. I gave up purchasing chips and candy about 4 years ago. I thought it would be super difficult to live without these foods, but, I found out that I really don’t miss them. Granted, if I have a sandwich from Subway, I will get a bag of Cheetos. At Easter, I will munch on the Reese’s egg that my mom placed in my basket. The key is that I am going without more than I am indulging. Don’t deprive yourself, just keep everything in moderation.
No more excuses! You have the power to change, but you must be willing to do the work. Find your “why” and make your dreams a reality.