Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm about to directly contradict a very important part of my last post. I'm about to tell you about my new daily exercise plan and how I'm starting it up even though I'm still working on Roadblock 1: Declutter The House.

Yes, I realize this goes against my statement of 'finish one project before moving on to project two'. I gave this a lot of thought before I decided to do it though, and I think it's important.

Project 2, or Roadblock 2 (however you want to look at it), is to lose weight and gain health. This is another area I've struggled for years, and as time goes on it becomes more and more important to me to FIX this problem once and for all. I'm now a Type II diabetic. I'm tired all the time. I have aches and pains that a thirty-year-old shouldn't have. I can't keep up with my kids. I get sick incredibly easily (did I mention I'm sick NOW? And that I've had more colds this year already than I usually have in an ENTIRE year?). That's just the tip of the iceberg, really. But it's all important.

I am not throwing myself full-force into project 2, but I did decide that I can start doing 20 minutes of exercise a day in preparation for project 2. Since Project 1 is taking me a LOT longer than I expected it to, I need to make some modifications to my plan.

So that's my justification. It's a start, a boost, to keep me on the path to health at least a LITTLE while I work on Project 1. I'm building habits, and increasing my core strength.

Speaking of core strength...I have virtually none! But I'll get to that momentarily.

I don't exercise regularly. I have good intentions, don't get me wrong, but I start and stop the exercise train a LOT. I am approximately 80 pounds overweight and I am REALLY out of shape. Last year I started walk-running, and I entered the Shamrock Shuffle, which is a local 8K race (that's almost 5 miles!) that kicks off running season, and I ran it and COMPLETED it. I was incredibly proud of myself.
Then I didn't run, or walk-run, or even walk after that. I didn't set further training goals and I just dropped it.
So this year, when I signed up again, I started training early. I got off to a good start. Then I got sick. A lot. And had several weeks of blood-sugar issues. And breathing issues. And I wasn't able to do it. And I was really disappointed. And also, really SHOCKED at the difference in my overall health and fitness level in only a YEAR.

So I've set my sights on walking, and building my endurance that way.
I also have a friend on another forum (a friend who is in a MUCH better state of fitness than I!) who does these Crossfit workouts. She speaks very highly of them. Also, I am incredibly impressed at the videos and photos I see of non-athletes doing headstands and handstands and funky ring maneuvers and all sorts of crazy things that I've always dreamed of doing but have never thought I COULD do. I've been doing some reading on Crossfit and it's pretty crazy stuff. I'm sure I'll talk about it a lot more as Project 2 gets underway, but for now I've come to realize this: the Crossfitters do a lot of things that I cannot do, at this point. I don't even know what some of the exercises in their daily workouts ARE, let alone know if I could do them. (Luckily the main crossfit website has a WEALTH of resources!) So I'm spending some time studying up on crossfit while I work on stregnthening my core and getting used to doing some of their primary exercises.

One of the articles I read was about a man who went to (his first) Crossfit session with his wife. They did a 20 minute cycle of exercises: 20 situps, 20 pushups, 20 squats. You did those in one minute. If you finished before the minute was up, you could rest. If not, you jumped right in and repeated at minute two. Every minute, 20 of each, for 20 minutes.
Sounds pretty intense, right? Well, it's also exercises I KNOW, and that I could work up to. So that's where I'm starting.
Except I'm starting with one of each per minute for twenty minutes. And when I can do that, I'll do 2 of each for twenty minutes. Then 3 of each for twenty minutes, and so on.

I also want to include stretching and flexibility into my fitness routine, and to that end I'm incorporating yoga. I'm hoping this will also help me reduce stress a little, which is important to my health (and to my family, so I don't take my stress out on them!)

So, 20 minutes of exercise each day. One day walking, one day crossfit (or PRE-crossfit, really), one day yoga.

Yesterday was my first day of pre-crossfit. One situp, one pushup, one squat per minute. Should have been easy, right?
This is where my delusions about my level of fitness come into play. I COULDN'T EVEN DO A SITUP. I knew my abs were bad, but I didn't realize they were THAT bad. I struggled through for six minutes before giving up. And I'm actually SORE today. I never did a proper situp (I did that fat, unfit person flailing situp; you know the one, where your arms and legs kick and grab at the air as you desperately try to get yourself upright without using the floor). I never did a proper pushup (I did modified pushups, with bended knees). My squats, at least, were fine.
And I am SORE today! Not very sore, but I can feel it, and I'm surprised.

Part of me feels like a failure for not being able to keep up with even day one of my pre-crossfit training. I couldn't even go for 20 minutes! Even if I remind myself that I'm sick and I was exhausted, I'm still bummed about it.
But I keep telling myself that I DID it. I almost did the "eh, I'll do it tomorrow" thing, but I didn't let myself. I got down on that floor and I did it. That's somethign to be proud of.
ANd one day I will look back and see how far I've come.

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