6 weeks after baby number 5 arrived I realized that the weight wasn't coming off...at all. In fact I was gaining every week. I was breast feeding and watching my food intake. That should fix it! Right?? Wrong!
So I began to diet and exercise on a regular basis. It was hard. I had to make the time to do it. That was really hard. And many days the internal battle almost defeated me. I hated to exercise, but I liked how I felt when I was finished. The battle waged on...almost daily. It was rough, but as soon as I started seeing the weight come off, I knew it was exactly what I needed to do. I became a little bit stronger....most days.
I started out with a Leslie Sansone workout. I loved the 2 mile walk with weights. It was enough to give me a good workout and wasn't so hard that I couldn't finish. I gradually worked up to the 3 mile walk. Over time I got bored doing the same thing every day. I could practically do it in my sleep! I began adding more workout DVD's to my collection. Most of them were Leslie Sansone. I thoroughly enjoyed her easy to follow moves and I was getting results.
There came a time when my body became used to doing the same exercise moves all the time and I was barely breaking a sweat. It's an amazing feeling to see your body improve physically. And I knew that I could continue my improvement.
That's when I added in some Cathe Friedrich and Jillian Michaels. At first I thought I was going to die! I was breathing hard, panting like a dog, and sweating profusely. I had to pause the DVD's several times to catch my breath before continuing on. But I pushed on. I did a little more each day. Then each week.
Fast forward to today. I rarely pull out my Leslie Sansone DVD's anymore. Once in a while I will pull out an oldie but goodie and walk along with Leslie and her crew. Today was one of those days. Yesterday I did a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. Today my body needed a bit of a break. I chose the 30 Day Burn. Although, instead of simply walking along, I jogged during almost all of the walking segments. I increased the "skaters" to a higher impact movement with more jumping. I used my arms more and really focused on tightening my abs. That's the wonderful thing about exercising at home; you can make the workout your own. If you don't feel like doing "kick backs" then do "knee lifts" instead. Jog instead of walking.
Looking back over the years I can see that I have improved. I've gotten stronger and healthier. We each need to start where we are. Choose a level of exercise that is right for you. Start at a level that will allow you to get a good workout and raise your heart rate. Remember to listen to your body. Everybody's body is different. And that's okay! Find a workout routine that you enjoy and start moving.
Something that I have learned over the years is that it's important to change things up....muscle confusion. If you always do the same routine your muscles will get used to it and after a while you won't get the results that you want to anymore. When I try a new workout I will do it once or twice in the same week. On the other days I will do whatever workout I am in the mood for that day. Kickboxing one day. Jogging another day. HIIT the next. I find that by switching things up my body isn't getting accustomed to the same movements every day. I'm not getting used to my workouts and therefore they, the workouts, aren't getting too easy too quickly.
I've also realized that "muscle confusion" also causes sore muscles more regularly. I'm usually sore at least once a week, if not more. To me, it's a good sore. It tells me that I'm working hard and that I'm being successful in strengthening my body.
Don't know where to start? At Collage Video they not only sell DVD's, but also allow you to watch a clip of the DVD to be sure you'll actually like it. I have gotten too many workout DVD's that I ended up hating and giving away. It was a waste of money. I began going to this site and watching the clips before ordering a new DVD. I purchased some directly from them and also from Amazon.
If you don't want to spend any money, finding free workouts is easy now too! I use YouTube all the time! I haven't had to buy a new workout DVD for quite a while. I've used HASfit, FitnessBlender, Jillian Michaels, and Jessica Smith TV the most.
My favorite is Jessica Smith TV right now. She has so many different workouts and usually shows both low impact and high impact. She has some beginner videos and some advanced ones too.
Something I love about the HASfit workouts is that they always have a motivational quote at the beginning and end. Here are some of my favorites for your enjoyment.
And last but not least...my favorite one:
In all cases, listen to your body. That doesn't mean you should make excuses for not exercising, though. Be honest with yourself. Take care of yourself. Be patient with yourself. You'll see results in no time!