So I’ve been following a LCHF eating plan (with many cheats along the way, it has to be admitted) since February this year, and I’m fairly okay with my results so far, especially in light of me not being as disciplined as my work bestie Sharon. Sharon’s journey on LCHF has been nothing short of inspiring; it has been an absolute wonder to watch her shape change and her clothes literally start falling off of her month on month. Though LCHF is certainly responsible for the bulk (hahahaha yeah, see what I did there?) of her dramatic and steady weight loss, she’s started adding the dreaded “e” word to her routine in the past month or two – EXERCISE. Sharon is now running 3km minimum pretty much every day, doing Park Runs and even Zoo Trots. So, my natural conclusion – its’ time I started exercising to get the results I am after; LCHF has meant I’ve lost a little over 6kg’s in 6 months and kept it off, but I’m after more, faster, and I want not just a thin body, but a toned one too. And being able to actually keep up with my dogs on a trot every now and then would be an added bonus.
I got as far as registering for the Park Run’s, even printed and laminated my barcode in preparation, alas, I have yet to actually drag my butt to one. Park Run, by the way, is a volunteer organisation that offer a range of weekly free to run (or walk) routes in various suburbs, mostly in parks or local nature reserves, you can check them out here for more info on your area.
I tried jogging way back when with my then dog, Yoshi, and after a week I could barely walk my ankles were so stuffed. I was told by my dietician at the time that because arthritis is in my family my joints cannot handle running and I should stick to fast paced walking and low impact joint exercises. So there’s that. Sure, I could walk it, but that takes away the entire point (for me) of the social get together that Park Run should be, as I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Sharon. And then you have the fact that I’d have to get up at 7am on a Saturday morning, get dressed, and drive somewhere in order to do a 5km walk. Assuming I don’t have a hangover from Friday festivities, that’s still my weekend morning of freedom that’s being buggered up by me having to be somewhere just for the sake of me walking 5km’s. I can do 4km’s on my usual area walk with my dogs, and with Basil being pretty much a nuclear reactor live wire on the end of the lead, I guarantee you I’d probably sweat more walking the dogs than doing any Park Run. So, that is out for me as a regular exercise option. I will still get to one; Sharon says the Woodmead route is quite beautiful and you run (walk, in my case) past bokkies etc, so I will do it with the other half who is also keen, but as an outing rather than my exercise routine.
And then there was cycling. 2 years ago, I got talked into signing up for the 94.7 cycle race for charity. With the usual deranged, self delusional rose coloured glasses firmly in place, I set up a training routine, swore I’d quit smoking, and figured “I have 8 months to get myself in top shape and I CAN DO THIS”. With a month to the race, I’d done very little training, was still smoking, and needless to say on the day I barely made the 1st check point of the race (15km) before calling it quits. I still enjoy cycling and I’d love to give that race another bash and actually complete it, but herein lies my issue with this particular form of exercise. SAFETY. I am not in a boomed off area, most of the streets are newly developed housing complexes and don’t even have street lights, and the only times I’d be able to cycle in winter are pretty much guaranteed to be dark. Aside from the obvious dangers of the Midrandian drivers and their cars they wield as weapons (different breed of drivers all together.. I assure you!), there’s the plain and simple fact that I’m a female on my own and it just wouldn’t be safe for me to cycle around on my own on roads for multiple reasons I won’t bother getting into. Sure, I could go to Kyalami race track and pay my R15 or whatever it is these days to cycle in safety; but guess what? Aside from the fact that I have to take half hour out of my day to even get my bike into my car and to the track, that’s BORING. I loved cycling as a kid because it got me places. Because it meant I could explore a road / field / off road dirt track I hadn’t gone down before. NOT because I wanted to go around circles on a cement track with no bloody view nodding at the other, far fitter, people whizzing past me while I push my bicycle up the bloody steep incline battling to catch my breath. And they’re smiling and they’re cycling up a bloody 100 degree incline. BREATHING. For the birds, I tell ya.
In my most recent attempts at finding something “right for me”, I enquired about a boxing bootcamp I saw advertised on one of those wind-toy trailer advertising prints. Beat the crap out of inanimate objects, learn self defence and get fit? Sounds GREAT. Sadly, at R2.5k starting price for the one I enquired about, NOT so great. And time is always an issue for me – I cannot commit to specific classes on specific days with, especially with myself and the other half being in separate homes and having to juggle seeing each other with our own commitments from 60km apart abodes on the fly.
You see, I can come up with a myriad of excuses (valid, in my mind) to NOT exercise. It’s not safe. It’s too cold / too dark / I’m too tired to get out of bed this early. I feel guilty being outdoors and not taking my dogs along. It’s not fun and I get bored. It’s not social enough. Blah blah blah. I’ve long suspected I’m just prone to laziness – great ideas, huge energy and commitment in the beginning, but ultimately, no execution.
However, as I realise I need to get some exercise in, I’ve decided to give something else a bash. And I’m doing it as only I know how, all-in in the beginning, with the enthusiasm and determination of Basil once he’s caught a whiff of the biltong in your hand; I am doggedly determined to DO THIS! Of course, this is how it always starts. So I decided I’d best catalogue it. Make it public. Name and shame (potentially) myself in this endeavour. Maybe the potential shame will keep me on the path. Not let me make excuses. It’s in the public sphere now, so I have no choice but to keep going. And keep documenting it.
So what will I be updating you on? My P90X journey. Not content with easing into things or taking it easy, I (of course) found the most insane program for my obvious lack of fitness level, and I got started on it yesterday officially. Essentially, it’s a minimum 1 hour training video a day that you follow with people who look like they could all easily be cast in the next iteration of 300. Why this program you ask. Why not Zumba, or Hip Hop abs, or something more my level and with “fun” attached to it? I don’t have a definitive answer, other than an innate knowledge of myself – I work well on definitive schedules. While I’ll slap you upside the head in my normal day to day life for trying to tell me what to do, it seems I need exactly that in order to stick with an exercise routine, as well as keep the danger of repetitiveness and the ensuing boredom from what it is I’m doing, or I’ll find something else more valuable to do with my time. Like watch Game of Thrones. The P90X system does this by doing a different focus group of muscles each day, on a 7 day cycle for the first 3 weeks, and then switching all up again, and again, and yet again, for the balance of the full 3 month program. I certainly don’t expect to look like a 300 cast member at the end of the three months, but leaner and fitter is a good start. If you want to learn more about P90X, have a looksie here.
So, in an effort to force me into following through with my new 3 month journey of the dreaded “e” word, I’ll be updating you on a regular basis on my progress. So with this goal in mind, the Monday Moaning’s begin, where I detail the levels of agony that my various muscle groups are in.
Yesterday was chest and arms, and I can already tell that by this afternoon lifting a full coffee cup to my mouth for the required mid day slump reversal attempt will be painful.
Let the Monday Moaning’s begin!