One of my goals this year was to get in shape. In all honesty, once lockdown happened last year, I kind of became a couch potato and any level fitness I had diminished to the point where even going to the grocery store would feel like I had just completed a marathon – wearing a mask didn’t help either, but it was only a minor complication compared to how out of shape I was.
Sure, I’d tried several times to start getting in shape, but I kept coming up with excuses as to why I couldn’t exercise. We even bought a used elliptical, but then we started having some issues with it – the one wheel came off the track every so often, and we tried several different things to fix it and make sure it didn’t happen again. Our solutions seemed to work, very briefly and then it happened again. And, as you’re probably guessed, I used that as an excuse not to workout.
January 1st came around and I wrote down that getting fit was one of my goals…but of course I didn’t do anything, sure I tried playing Just Dance to see if that would help…which I soon neglected. But during the first week of February I decided I needed to stop making excuses and start working out. My plan was to use the elliptical five days a week, however, you’ll see that on the second day of working out the wheel came of the track near the end of my work out (and I can’t get it back on by myself…I’ve tried), so that left me with trying to figure out a new workout routine until we got it sorted out.
So, here is a log of my journey to get more in shape…you’ll notice I don’t say lose weight. Yes, I need to lose weight, but I really don’t want that to be my main focus for working out because in the past when I tend to give up more easily if I am not where I think I need to be, and also, I have had a bad relationship with food in the past, as well as experience with disordered eating, and I don’t want to fall into that trap again because it isn’t healthy! I’m hoping that by making fitness the goal that I can stick to a workout routine more easily, and who knows, I might lose weight in the process, but that is only a secondary goal.
My goals for the first month was to do a mile on the elliptical, 5 days a week. If I was able to do that in under 15 minutes then my goal was to try and workout for 15 minutes on the elliptical.
Day 1 – Monday, February 8th.
I got on the elliptical, and started feeling it in my legs and arms after about a minute. I had to take breaks every so often for water and just to rest a little. However, I did manage to use the arms for most of my workout, which is good! I also watched a Youtube video while I worked out and it seemed to help me no fixate on the numbers of the timer. Overall, I did one mile in 15 minutes and 30 seconds, which isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. My legs felt like lead when I got off, but only for about 30 minutes and I was fine. I actually felt like I had a lot more energy for the first time in weeks. However, I did have some pain in my upper arms later in the evening, and it took me a while to figure out why. It wasn’t bad, but I did take some ibuprofen so that it didn’t keep me up.
Day 2 – Tuesday, February 9th.
Woke up with very little pain from my workout the day before. I found that I was actually looking forward to getting on the elliptical again! However, that soon dissipated once I got on because my legs felt like trash as soon as I started. I found I had to take a few more breaks than the previous day, but again, I think it’s because the muscles had not been worked very much so they’re getting used to being used again. I almost made it to the end of my workout and I was so proud that I was about to make it because there were many times I felt like just quitting. However, at the 12 minutes and 30 second mark the left wheel came off the track which promptly ended my workout for the day. But I still got most of it in and I did 0.86 miles before that happened. But it does mean I need to look for something else to do until we can figure out what to do with the elliptical so that it doesn’t do that.
Day 3 – Wednesday, February 10th
Today was a hard to get up and moving, partly because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get my workout in on the elliptical, and partly because I had tried following along with YouTube workout videos before and couldn’t make it all the way through. However, yesterday my mom told me to check out this one YouTube channel called The Body Coach TV, so I did and there are a variety of different videos to choose from. I personally wanted something that was low-impact and easy on my knees, and this particular video was perfect for my needs:
I’ll admit, that due to my current level of fitness, I did have to stop several times to just sit and drink some water. But this was one of the first YouTube workouts I’ve been able to get through the whole thing. Most of the exercises were easy, but still provided a great workout, I’ll admit that I was a puddle of sweat at the end. There were two exercise near the end I couldn’t do, the Superman squeeze and the walk down, press and stand up exercises. However, I just used a couple of the other exercises as a replacement during these sets. My plan is to keep doing this particular routine for a couple more weeks (hopefully until the elliptical is fixed) or until it becomes easy and I feel like I need some more variety.
Day 4 – Thursday, February 11th.
Starting late yesterday afternoon I could feel muscle pain in my thighs and upper arms, so that means that the workout I did yesterday did what it was supposed to be. When I woke up this morning, I could feel it a lot more in my thighs and lower back, and a small part of me thought I should take a rest day. However, I knew I would also be disappointed in myself if I did that, especially since the weekends are going to be my rest days. I will say that doing the HIIT workout was a lot harder today due to the muscles soreness, and I found myself having to take a lot more breaks just to kind of regroup and drink water. Also, my nose felt stuffy and dry so that also seemed to impact me a little bit. Again, I substituted the two exercises I can’t really do with other ones I can do. For the Superman Squeeze I did squats, and then for the last exercise I did the second exercise, which it probably one of my favorite ones from this routine. I think once I kind of get more in the habit of working out, I want to try and do this video – or one of the Body Coach’s others – at least two times a week in between using the elliptical because it works muscles that sometimes don’t get worked out on the elliptical. The elliptical is still out of commission right now, but that’s okay, it means I can work on getting better at doing this workout routine, which more me means not stopping the video at all.
Day 5 – Friday, February 12th
I had a lot more muscle pain today and even contemplated not working out at all. But again, I knew I needed to do it. It also helped knowing that I get to have a rest day tomorrow. I expected to have a harder time doing the exercise routine, but honestly, while some of the exercises were a little harder, I found I didn’t have to take as many breaks, which is a plus! We’ll see how I do on Monday after resting over the weekend.
Results from Week 1
It was a slow start, and while I did have some muscle pain, I will say that I also felt a lot more energized than I have in a while. I know the progress will be slow, but that’s okay, I just need to keep at it. I think I will have more to report after next week as to how I am seeing results.
Janelle L. C.