After what can only be described as a slow decline in my workouts and my attitude, I am finally trying to work my way back with the Betty Rocker 90 Day. To do this I have had to come to some hard truths about who I am, where I am and what I can do. The first thing I needed to let go of is what I could do just five years ago. For reference, five years ago I was running seven miles and working out six days a week for about an hour or so every day. I did HIIT and cardio in the form of running and biking. I was out of bed every day by four thirty and then four to get to the gym. My eating was on point and I felt (mostly) amazing. I say mostly because I was eternally sore. In my mind, if I wasn’t constantly pushing myself, always going a little longer or a little farther than I did the day before I was failing. It was a really militant lifestyle and it became the center of my world. If I wasn’t sore I was backsliding.
I like to say when my appendix burst my whole plan blew up but that would be a lie. Even before that I was already losing my will in my workouts. They were less joyful and more of a grind. Having to get to bed to so early made me lose time with my family. Making this the center of my life, meant that other things that I love were pushed out, mostly family & friends. Not that I didn’t spend time with them, but I worked them around my workouts as opposed to the other way around. I began to resent this. So, slowly, I started losing will and grit. It meant that my runs became first slower and then consequently less far. Or I would have to run more time to make up the distance. I also hit menopause pretty hard. Sleepless nights, intense hot flashes and just rolling emotions will sometimes just wreck my world. And my IBD began to flare more and more often with more intense episodes. So I would miss workouts, I would feel intensely bad about myself, I would refocus and create an unattainable plan, which I would fail to complete, which would cause me to feel bad about myself. During all of this I was going through stretches where I would get little to no real sleep. I would get three or four hours of broken sleep for four or five nights in a row. During the day my head would buzz, I felt fragile and by the time the weekend came I wanted to fall to the floor rock and cry. I could actually picture myself doing that.
Eventually this lead me to the only place it could, an unhealthy life in all aspects: mind, body and spirit. There were of course other contributors to this lowpoint, my son going off to college, challenging experiences for my daughter, my own natural wonderings of who I am and what I am doing with my life. Pretty much common everyday stressors that I was struggling with and berating myself for the struggle. This is where I was when a friend at work shared that she was doing this Thirty Day Challenge. Fifteen minutes every day for thirty days and she was raving about it. My first instinct was to scoff at the idea. For someone who use to work out well over fifteen minutes, I didn’t believe that this would work. I was at the time trying another program to help keep me on point and I was finding it a drain and a drudgery which of course in my mind meant it was working. I was also trying to maintain my running which was continuing to spiral down. So at first, my skepticism kept me away. But then I watched her commitment to the challenge and then start the ninety day challenge. She posted pics every day she finished one of her workouts and I could see the transformation. At the same time, notices of my own accomplishments from years ago would pop up in my feed as though to mock me from my past.
Finally, I decided to quietly try the Thirty Day challenge. I say quietly because I couldn’t face publically failing at yet another thing. So I did it without telling anyone. And if I am honest, to the letter, I did fail. I only completed twenty nine workouts and I did not do it in the thirty day period. I got the flu and was out of commission for about seven days. This left me with workouts stacking up in my inbox. But here is what I did right. I kept going I just kept knocking them out and it was hard after missing a week. I noticed my arms were getting more definition and my legs were coming back. I was still trying to fit in short slow runs but I wasn’t beating myself up if I missed them. That was the most important thing I did right. I gave myself some grace.
People talk about loving themselves, but then often go into self flagellation mode as though that is a form of love. It isn’t. Beating yourself up for things that you do or don’t do, the way your body looks or the very unique way you move through the world is not love of yourself or others. On the flip side, liking who you are, being proud of your accomplishments and reveling in the weirdness that is yours alone is not conceited. You really are the one constant in your life and you can not make true deep connections with others unless you make them first with yourself. If you love yourself in a way that you always find yourself wanting or wrong (and let’s face it, that is not love) you can’t possibly love anyone else any other way. So, love freely, openly, fully and, as my friend likes to say, fiercely.
I am now finishing the first week of the ninety day challenge. I am doing the intermediate program. It takes longer than fifteen minutes a day but never more than thirty five, so far and mostly I am done in about twenty to twenty five minutes. I could probably make it faster by working through the exercises without the videos but the videos not only keep me motivated they help me to remember my form. It’s funny that it seems the very thing she is talking about is exactly the reminder I need in the moment. It is hard. But it is doable. I do find myself struggling to complete the third round but I keep pushing forward. I think this is because it is the last round. I have moved my rest day from today to tomorrow, so after this I will be doing my final workout of the week. But that is the only change I made. I am trying to keep to the eating program, but not allowing myself to get shaky from hunger just to stick to a plan. That’s a pretty big leap for me.
I feel pretty good about myself right now. And I am really grateful to my friend, Keisha, for bringing this program into my life and for supporting me through it. Even when I kind of wanted to be invisible.
For me, I am happy with this program. I try never recommend gyms, programs or anything a person has to pay for on this blog. (Ha! Ha! Ha! As though I have swarms of followers to worry about,) I do share what I am trying and how it is working for me If you are in a rut, if you really want to try something to get back in shape or more importantly become healthier, try the Thirty Day Challenge. It is free. It is literally risk free. So I am really excited about this and I am recommending at least try that if you are looking for a plan.
I am hoping to revive this blog the way I have revived my workouts. So, I’ll keep you posted on the Ninety Day.