I didn't write about it in my blog because I didn't want the added pressure, but guess what I did EVERY SINGLE DAY in October? I worked out.
That's right. For 31 days straight, I worked out every day.
It was an arbitrary goal I made up on October 3rd, with Halloween and skimpy costumes appearing on the horizon, and I somehow managed to stick it out. I'm really proud of myself. Originally, I was going to reward myself with a fancy pair of shoes or a really good quality purse, but it doesn't seem right now. It doesn't accurately reflect my accomplishment and what I learned from it.
And after 31 days, I learned a lot.
- Working out doesn't equal weight loss. After working out for four weeks straight, I gained five pounds. I did. There's no denying it. Personally, when I work out more, my appetite sky rockets and I eat. A lot. I wish I could be self-aware enough to curb my eating when I'm focusing on my fitness, but I just haven't mastered that yet. Some may argue that I may actually be smaller, but more dense, that may be true, but I don't have any proof either way. I took from this that if you are looking to slim down quick, focus on diet, not exercise. If you are looking to keep weight off, exercise is critical. But my focus wasn't on my weight. The five pounds I gained really aren't phasing me because of the things my body can do now. That being said...
- When you buckle down, you can make a lot of progress in a very short amount of time. My regiment consisted of a rotation of Day 1: Running, Day 2: Jillian Michael's 30 Day shred, Day 3: Other workouts (like yoga, dance, etc.). Over the course of the month, the amount I could run shot way up. I could run faster and longer. I could make it all the way through Exercise 1 of the 30 Day Shred without taking any breaks. I didn't expect to notice so much progress. There are times in the past when I've "trained" for something and haven't seen any results and given up. Now I know that you can't be on the look-out for results because you will probably be disappointed. You have to focus on something motivational NOW, not in the future.
- Sometimes taking a day off helps your progress more than another workout. When the end of the month was in sight, my body really started to break down. Although I made sure to switch up my workouts as much as possible to prevent fatigue, some of my muscles just weren't having it anymore. I don't know what caused it, but my calves just didn't want to work. It made running very difficult. Even though I had been running longer and farther, I suddenly couldn't do the easier runs I could have done at the beginning of the month. Since Rocktober ended and I took some time off and let my calves rest, my runs have shot back up in length.
- There is ALWAYS time for a workout. It's not like my life stopped when I tried to complete this challenge. I still went to work. I still hung out with friends. I still went on date nights with my husband. I just forced it to work. Here's how:
- Treadmill. I am lucky enough to have a treadmill, which means I could run at night safely. Most of my running happens at roughly 9PM, after dinner is long over and I've watched a couple of my primetime shows.
- Hulu. Almost all shows are online the next day. It's not a good enough reason to skip a workout.
- PIP. That being said, if you just can't miss your show, you can always do picture-in-picture with a workout DVD.
- Just put your shoes on. Putting shoes on is always the hardest part. No matter how tired you are, no matter how unmotivated you are, no matter how late it is (there were some days I managed to get a 11:30PM workout in just under the wire), once you start working out, it gets easier. Starting is always the most difficult part.