There I was, up at 7am, doing my 21 Day Fix Pilates workout. I couldn't believe I had actually rolled out of bed when the alarm went off, but I had made a commitment to get up early and work out with my husband before he went to work. So were on the floor, at 7:22am, doing our scissor lifts, when suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder blade. I finished the move and sat up. It felt like I had woken up with a severely stiff neck, only minutes before I was just fine! I must have pulled something. I finished my workout and got into a hot shower. It helped, for sure. "Ok", I said to myself while getting out of the shower "that was the worst of it." I rotated my head all around and felt very little soreness. I got dressed and plopped in front of the computer screen to do some work. I heard something outside after a few minutes and turned my head to look out the window...OUCH! The pain was back. I spent the rest of the day trying to stay in motion, because everything felt better until I stopped moving. I went to sleep that night hoping that I would wake up in the morning and feel better. No such luck. Another hot shower and I was feeling good again. I consulted facebook (obviously) as to what to do and whether I should exercise. I got exactly what you would think I got in response...Lots of differing opinions. Some saying use ice, some saying heat. Some encouraging exercise, and others cautioning to stay away. I sat back and decided to really think about my situation. When I got out of the shower, I had full range of mobility in my neck and shoulders. Only when I sat stationary did I tense up and start feeling pain. So, instead of opting for a workout where I would be using lots of shoulder and back strength, I decided a run might warm me up and get some blood flowing to the area. I got dressed, laced up, and headed out, thinking I'd just go a mile or so. I got about a quarter mile from my house, and looked to my left...no pain. Right? None there either! Up at the sky? Nada. Down at my feet? You guessed it! No pain anywhere! Here's what I'm getting at folks. I could have used this "injury" as an excuse to lay around all day wrapped up in a blanket watching E!. But I knew that I WASN'T injured. I knew that it was a sore muscle. Inconvenient place for it..sure...but still just a sore muscle. While enjoying the rest of my triumphant 4 mile run that day, I was reminded of the excuses that people give themselves. I say that because when you give an excuse about your fitness, it's not anyone else that you're bullshitting. Just you. The person that you are spouting your excuses to, about why you can't do what they do could not care one bit, so you're better off just saving your breath or commiserating with other bullshitters.
"But MY excuse is different..."
No. It's not. Before you call the gratitude police here, I realize that my sore muscle affliction was not a serious disease or life threatening injury. I am not, by any means, attempting to call out people who have legitimate medical problems that truly prevent them from incorporating some form of exercise into their life. I realize that my sore muscle doesn't compare to some of the ailments that I am fortunate enough not to have, so please don't get it twisted. Who I'm talking to, are the bullshitters. The people that say they "wish" they could exercise, but they have "a bad back" and use that as their reasoning for being out of shape, instead of calling it like it is, and saying "I don't have the motivation to find a workout that I CAN do with my issues." Why am I saying this? Because I WAS a bullshitter. I had "bad knees"...I still do! But nowadays, instead of using it as an excuse, when I power through a Turbo Fire workout, I do everything I am capable of, and when we get to that certain move where something just doesn't feel right for me, I MODIFY. What I don't do, is quit. I just keep moving, changing up the move however I need to, in order to make it less painful for me. Trust me, we ALL have issues. We ALL have aches and pains. When I first started running, using the"Couch to 5K" plan, I was 210 pounds with severe sciatica pain. I would literally not be able to walk upright after a run. I did all of my runs in the evening, ate dinner, and got right into bed, because I knew I would be out of commission until the next day. My DESIRE to run and get my weight down, was greater than my excuses. These issues, compounded with a lot of knee pain began to effect me less and less as I got fitter and lighter. My sciatic pain went from every night, to once in a blue moon. Again, I'm not trying to make light of anyone's reasons for not exercising, as long as they are legitimate reasons. However, if you tell me you have "bad knees", I'll tell you about one of my challengers who has the same problem, yet got a membership at her local "Y" so that she could swim (swimming is a great workout for people with injuries). If you tell me you're "too old", I'll tell you about one of my friend's fathers, who took up running at age 68 and trained for and ran his first half marathon while he was undergoing chemotherapy (Check out his amazing story,here.). If you tell me that you have kids and are too busy, I'll tell you about countless women I work with DAILY that make the time for themselves to exercise, even if it's just 25 minutes a day after the kids go to sleep. I have challengers with thyroid issues, and fellow coaches with MS and fibromyalgia. They exercise on their good days, and rest when things flare up. EVERYONE has an excuse. EVERYONE has an ailment. And if you don't want to exercise or eat healthy, that's just fine...Honestly! It's your health, and your life. What drives me, and I think a lot of other people who strive to be in good shape crazy, is the excuse spouters. Please just stop offering up excuses, because not only do we mentally "check out" of the conversation once we realize what you're doing, but you just may be giving a lame excuse like "bad knees" to someone who has recently lost 150lbs, or continues to work through a potentially debilitating illness to get into the best shape of their life. Instead, please just say that your WILL to get in shape is not strong enough to OVERCOME your excuses, because that's all it is. If you have a MODERATELY healthy body, you have every ability in the world to get out there and do SOMETHING, even if it's just walking. If you are ready to quit giving in to those excuses, and you feel that WILL inside of you saying that you need to make a CHANGE, now is the time to strike. Put an end to your excuses and focus on that DESIRE! There is no reason why YOU can't be a success story. You CAN be someone who overcomes their situation. All it takes is belief in yourself and the desire to get out there and get started. If you choose to believe in yourself and need some support or help modifying your exercise routine to INCORPORATE whatever your excuse is (age, injury, or time), reach out to me. I'm here, and happy to help you, because I've been there too.
Ever notice how when you are feeling anxious or stressed out, the last thing that you want to do is exercise? I have a lot on my plate right now, and over the past week I have been extremely anxious. At times it's been almost paralyzing. I love to run, but I have been doing T25 and am on week 8 (I like T25 a lot more now that I'm in Beta Phase, btw). I was telling myself that I didn't want to "taint" my results with doing another kind of exercise. Stupid, I know. There was a little tiny voice inside me that was saying, "you really should go for a run, you'll feel better." But my anxiety just held on and said "No, all that you can handle is this T25 workout right now. Running will take too long, besides, you haven't run in weeks and it will suck". Again, stupid. Finally this past Saturday morning I had nothing to do. I vowed to get up and hit the pavement first thing. Luckily, the sun was shining when I woke up, so that made things easier, but I put on my sneakers, programmed my playlist and I was off. Before I knew it I had gone 3 miles. I was working things out in my mind and starting to talk myself down from all of the anxiety I was feeling. My head began to feel clearer and my heart was lighter. At mile 4 I was close to home and ready to stop, but I pushed through just a little bit longer (It didn't hurt that Jay-Z's "Encore" came on my playlist...that one always makes me want to keep going), and just over 4 miles I hit my runner's high. I felt incredible. When I got home and walked in the door to stretch, I could not believe the sense of calm that I had. I've felt better ever since. My point is here, ladies and gentleman, that no matter what is going on in your life, you most likely do have time and energy to get your workout in, but your little voice of doubt, fear, depression, anxiety, whatever it is, is telling you that you don't. That you can't POSSIBLY do it. But you can. You can make time to take care of yourself, even if it's just a half hour, and when you do, your soul will thank you. It's not about being skinny, losing weight, or anything else involving your physical appearance. It's about taking care of yourself mind and your soul too. So if you've been feeling paralyzed by fear, doubt, or depression, and know that exercising will help you, get those shoes on and take a few steps, even if it's just to breath the fresh air. You will be glad that you did...Promise.
Shaun T's latest offering to the Beachbody library of at home exercise programs is Focus T25. The premise of this program is that you can get in shape in just 25 minutes a day, but does it really work? Well, here's my review from three weeks into the Alpha phase.
I started my fitness journey with INSANITY. It was hard. Really hard. But I got through it, and completely changed the shape of my body. At the time that I did INSANITY I was not working. I had just moved across the country for my husband's job, so he was working a lot, and I was in a new place with no job, no friends, and NO excuse to not get in the 30-50 minutes a day. I can tell you for sure that if I had been working, or had any other responsibilities, I would not have made it through. That program is NO JOKE. You are literally exhausted all the time and it is hard on your body. It's 100% worth it, but there is nothing easy about it. What I like about T25 is that it gives you a similar type of work out, but it's sort of scaled down a bit, AND gives you a modifier, who helps you if you either can't have impact due to injuries, or just can't keep up with the rest of the group's intensity. I have some minor knee issues, so there are some moves that I will NEVER feel comfortable doing. On those moves, I follow Tanya, and once the next move hits the timer, I'm right back "in it" as Shaun T would say, and by the time I'm really getting tired, there's only a few minutes left. Don't let the time of these work outs fool you. You will work HARD for the full 25 minutes, especially in the Total Body Circuit, which I find the most challenging and the most "INSANITY-like" of all the workouts. You will be soaked, you will be tired, and you will be sore the next day.
I don't have many complaints about this program, but if this is going to be an honest review, I do have two points that I feel I should to make. It's not truly 25 minutes a day. It's 25 minutes (not including stretching) Monday-Thursday, and TWO 25 minute work outs on Friday, although if you wanted I assume you could skip one and just do 25 minutes each day, as the double day is usually a repeat of one of the dvd's you have already done throughout the week. That being said, you are still getting a great workout in a VERY short amount of time. Most people spend longer than 50 minutes in the gym every day, and you only have to do that once a week. The other thing that I will say is that I would NOT recommend this program for anyone already in great shape, who really wants to push themselves. Regardless of how great the workouts are, you are still only exercising for 25 minutes a day. If you are used to really pushing yourself, you may not find this program challenging enough. I have found that I have integrated running and weight training in with this program in order to see better results. I have NO DOUBT that I am getting stronger and fitter thanks to T25 and I truly do enjoy the workouts, but when it comes down to it, even if you push yourself during each and every workout, there is only a certain amount of energy (and calories) that can be burned in 25 minutes, and I'm one that likes to really push myself and truly enjoys a long, exhausting workout. I'm looking forward to Beta phase to see how much further Shaun T. will push me!
Hi! I'm Andrea Cummings. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN and that still lets me feel like I'm not being deprived. I like to exercise, but I also love to eat (nachos!). My main focus is to be healthy, not skinny, and to help others do the same! I love Jesus, but I also say fuck a lot, so if you're offended, I may not be the gal for you.