In English classes, I remember teachers used to recommend titling our papers after we’d finished writing them. For some reason, though, I’ve always found I prefer to title them before I even begin putting thoughts to paper.
I was just thinking about what to call this post and I landed on “2017 Fitness Experiment: Part I.” This is because first of all, in 2017 so far, I can assure you ain’t no other fitness ‘parts’ been finished for me already…meaning I have not prioritized working out so far this year…really at all. But I’m also calling it Part I because it leaves everything open-ended as far as how many “parts” there will end up being overall. Perhaps Part I of this 2017 fitness experiment will lead me all the way to 2018, or perhaps this fitness experiment will have three parts, or five or ten.
But I’ve decided to start a fresh new chapter of my health and wellness journey today, so here we are at Part I. I even had Andrew take ‘before’ photos of me yesterday (#WhenYourMarriageIsTooComfortable), though I don’t anticipate there’d be any ‘after’ photos for many months since as you’ll read below, I’m not exactly embarking on the most intense of workout regimes.
As far as my ‘fitness,’ I generally eat healthy overall and am pretty active. Walks are my favorite, working out is WAY easier for me in the warm weather because I love going on runs outside, I lift occasionally but have a lot to learn, and I have run a few half marathons. But life gets ya. For me, that’s my day job where I’m pretty much nooott active throughout the day. I’m not straight sitting at my desk the entire time or anything, but it’s also definitely not like when I was teaching at this time two years ago and walking all over the place, getting in dozens of squats without even trying (in order to get on my students’ levels or tie their shoelaces), and generally putting on straight-up exhausting theatrics in order to hold 6-year-olds’ attention spans for as long as possible. AKA burning a lot of calories jumping all over the place and break dancing to the ABC rap. (Ok, not break dancing. I only wish what I was doing could be categorized as that).
So while I haven’t been working out consistently in 2017, I have been thinking about what I want out of this year for my health. It’s time to get better about forming habits. I want this for me and for creating healthy habits for my life, not just a couple healthy weeks. And in line with my New Year’s resolution to say no to resistance, I want to forget excuses when it comes to working out and just get my butt moving. But, because I want to work towards the long-term, I also want to do this in a sustainable manner.
We’ve all been there right? You get sort of amped up about a certain healthy eating plan or workout regime, and for the first little bit, it goes fabulous. You love tracking your food on the MyFitnessPal app! Those Crossfit or Flywheel or Corepower or You-Name-It classes are awesome! You’re killin it with those exercise videos at home! But then some time passes and the long-term followthrough just isn’t there. You fizzle out. Habits were in fact not changed, weight was not lost (or at least kept off), health was not gained, lifestyle changes were not made. I’ve so been there.
So this time, I’d like for that to be different, because to be honest, I haven’t stuck to much super consistently as far as working out in my lifetime. It’s hard to stick to! So I’m starting small. Like, really small, don’t-make-fun-of-me small.
Part I of My 2017 Fitness Experiment = Starting Small
I’m going to aim to work out for seven minutes a day. Seven minutes a day of intense exercise, six days a week. I get that this is not much. But it’s also WAY better than nothing, and because I’ll dread it less than a full workout in the morning (and the morning really ends up being the most logical time for me to workout with my schedule), I think I’ll be more likely to keep up with it. Plus, I really can do it right in my 900 square foot apartment next to my bar cart…a motivational tool if I’ve ever heard of one. And if I can make a habit of seven minutes, maybe I’ll work up to 20, and to a half hour and then an hour consistently in not too long. And instead of being gung-ho at first and then falling off, my hope is this will become more of a lifestyle change and an ingrained habit. Slow and steady wins the race, right? As I talked about in this post, I’ve found it’s incredibly helpful to take things just one little step at a time in order to become my most productive self lately.
So, seven minutes a day it is. Seven minutes is also a very random amount, you say? You’re right.
Why Seven Minutes?
I landed on seven minutes a day because I’m going to loosely follow Kayla Itsines workout program (meaning I’m going to do 25% of it, lol). If you’re unfamiliar, Kayla is a fitness coach with her own guides that include 12 weeks of 28-minute workouts. However, you probably are already familiar with her because she has a built a legitimate empire of women of all backgrounds, sizes and fitness levels who support each other in the coolest way. Plus, I think about half the world follows her on Instagram. She also has an app, but since I already bought the PDF guides years ago, I’m going to stick to those for now.
Basically, to follow the program, Kayla has you do her BBG circuit workouts three days of the week and LISS (low intensity steady state…walking/jogging/etc.) another three days of the week. Each BBG workout includes two 7-minute circuits done twice each for a total of 28 minutes in one workout…plus little to no equipment is needed and you can do it at home (or at least you can when you’re only doing 1/4 of the workout each day..).
I followed her plan pretty strictly leading up to my wedding (as in I did the full 28-minute workouts, who did I think I was??) and I definitely felt very strong and pretty darn in shape afterwards. But, one is also pretty motivated when it comes to having hundreds of eyes about to be focused on her in a white dress, amirite. And as I think is only natural, I have not continued quite as strict of a workout routine since (errr, or a workout routine at all some months).
I’m really looking forward to checking in with you all to let you know how Part I is going. In a way, I’m grateful for this blog because it’s like an accountability partner in itself. If I’m telling the couple hundred of you reading I’m going to do it, I hope I don’t let you down. By the time this is published, I’ll be one workout down. Boo ya, where’s my 6-pack?
Have a wonderful Monday,
P.S. – If you have any thoughts or tips, I’d love to hear them in the comments below! And if by chance you want to do this with me, by all means, holler at your girl. And if by chance you’re scoffing at me for my brilliant 7-minute workout plan, bye felicia.