Let me be frank. I love food. I love food that's bad for me. I eat when I'm stressed. I eat when I'm sad. I eat when I'm happy. I like to eat. I hate the whole idea of dieting. I've done it before with great results. I've done and fallen off the wagon just as soon as I started. I know it's all about a lifestyle change. That doesn't seem to make any difference when I see a donut. Or chips. Or a 44oz. Dr. Pepper. It also doesn't help that even my students know this about me and, from time to time, when I am stressed a beautiful Styrofoam cup from Pak-a-Sak appears on my desk. I'll be honest; my will power sucks. There has been one time in my adult life when a "lifestyle" change stuck...and then I got pregnant. After Carter, the weight came off easily, and I wasn't worried about it. To be honest, even six months ago I wasn't worried about. And I'm still really not worried about it.
But I saw my cousin, Danielle, post a picture to Facebook a few months ago. She had taken the INSANITY challenge and looked amazing. And suddenly I thought, "I could do that." I'd heard it was hard from people who I consider to be physically fit and knowledgeable about exercise. But that made me want to take it on all the more. I saw it as a bit of a dare to myself. A test. Then I opened my big mouth and mentioned it to my students. Big mistake. They were so encouraging, and suddenly I felt I had someone to be accountable, too. (Not a single student has asked me about it since school started, but in my head it was real accountability.)
So for Mother's Day, I asked for the INSANITY videos. They came in the mail. I opened the package. And there the videos sat, and sat, and sat. I kept looking at them. Telling myself I'd start them the next weekend, then the next, and the next. Well, you get the picture. The box the DVDs come says this, "We don't just call it INSANITY because these workouts are intense. We call it INSANITY because in 60 days, you're going to get results that are simply crazy. But don't open this box thinking you can pretend your way through this. We need you to be prepared to DIG DEEPER than ever before. Get ready for a transformation unlike anything you've ever experienced."
Needless to say, I was intimidated. This was a commitment. Was I ready to take it seriously? Because I knew I had to finish, I couldn't let myself down. Wouldn't it be easier to never start? But I didn't want to be that person.
So finally on June 10th, I started. I am not exaggerating when I say to you that I almost died during that first workout. Okay, maybe a little exaggeration but not much. I couldn't breathe. My heart was beating way too fast. I felt like I was going to pass out. It took me close to an hour to finish a 25 minute fit test. I kept having to pause the DVD just to catch my breath. I wanted to quit right then and there. I've never been tiny but I have always played sports and prided myself on being athletic..sort of. But I'll be honest. I was embarrassed that a 25 minute workout would be the end of me. But I'd said I was going to do it, and my word still means something to me, so I plunged ahead.
Day two of the workout was just as bad. I texted my cousin, who was an excellent encouragement, to make sure that it should, in fact, be this difficult. It should. But I survived day two and that meant I could survive day three. Finally, a light! I could do this. I worked out during Carter's nap time, and it was perfect. He'd go down, I could do a 30-45 minute workout, shower, nap, watch some Netflix (I seriously got into Jericho this summer. It's a great show. Sad it was cancelled.), whatever I needed to do. I tried to do the diet thing that came with the workouts, but that's where I failed. With the food. We did start to eat better. Most of the time. But I did not count calories or points this time around. I know my results might have been more drastic had I been more diligent, but I honestly didn't care. I still felt better, and at least I was doing SOMETHING and that was enough. We bought more fruit, had healthier options around, more whole grain, but if I wanted chocolate or candy or a Dr.Pepper, I had one. Not sure if that's weakness or not, but I can tell you that I was a whole lot happier and whole lot less grumpy, which Shelby appreciated.
In fact about 2 weeks in, Shelby started working out, too. He didn't do the whole picture/measurement thing, but he did do the insane workouts. It was nice to be in the same boat and to have some one to commiserate with. The first 30 days were a piece of cake. Then we went out of town. I wasn't able to workout during Carter's nap time while on vacation because we were sharing the room. Shaun T's voice doesn't really lend itself to quiet rest time. Things were better toward the end of July. I was back on track. I finally felt like I could see changes. My pants fit better and I didn't have to go up a size when I bought new school clothes. Then school started, and I did NOT have the motivation to workout. So, the weeks dragged by and what was supposed to a 60 day work out program turned into the 84 day workout plan. And I'm okay with that. Ultimately I'm not really sure what my total losses are. I know up until a few weeks ago I'd lost 7 lbs. and 7 inches. I may measure again in the next few days; I may not. It isn't even about the numbers any more. I feel better. My self-esteem is better. I did it. And that can't be taken from me even if the scale never moves.
Our plan is to keep working out, 3 days a week, using the INSANITY videos. I feel pretty confident in saying that we'll keep it up. I think we've learned the value in using exercise as a stress reliever. I hope we do any way. I would recommend INSANITY to anyone interested in a challenge. Clearly, if I can do it, you can do it. I wanted to do a before and after picture more for myself. But I know people are interested so here it is. I don't feel super confident so I'm not going to straight up post it on Facebook. I am pleased to know that all my hard work at least shows, to some extent. Thanks for hanging in there and reading this. I appreciate it.
Notice the tall hair. I thought maybe if my hair was taller my face would look thinner....
Also, the before smile is totally fake. Just trying not to be embarrassed, showing off my post baby belly. The after smile is real. Complete relief to be DONE!