Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hows and Whats.

Haven't done one of these posts in a while, so here it goes!

How I'm Currently Sweating:

I checked this DVD out from the library over the weekend, and I must say, bravo Jillian! Although I'm quite the JM devotee, I haven't necessarily been buying her recent DVDs right away because some of them just haven't been a good fit for me. Luckily, the library has been pretty awesome about keeping their selection up-to-date, so I've been able to preview releases and save some money.

But this disc? Yeah, definitely buying it. There are three 20-minute workouts, each with its own focus (upper-body, lower-body, and abs). Each one gets my heart-rate up pretty fast, so I'm able to break a good sweat in a short amount of time. And since each workout is shorter, I've been doing two of them back-to-back because I friggin' love kickboxing and can say it's one of the few workouts I genuinely enjoy. On a day that I have more time, I'll try to do all three workouts at once.

The DVD is best suited for intermediate-to-advanced fitness levels. There is a separate tutorial though, so beginners looking for a challenge may find this useful. I say "may" because while it's helpful to learn some of the basic moves, the workouts are still pretty high-impact with very few modifications.

All three workouts include a fast-paced mix of punches and kicks. The upper-body segment uses dumbbells to perform moves like rows and shoulder presses. In the lower-body workout, lunges and squats are added. For abs, Jillian mixes in sit-ups, bicycle crunches and cardio moves like burpees and mountain climbers, which also work the stomach.

Even with the tutorial, the choreography is still tricky and fast-paced, with Jillian providing little-to-no time for you to learn each circuit, some of them more complicated than others. I think in general, kickboxing workouts are always a bit frustrating the first time through, for these reasons. But I know the more I do the DVD, the easier the choreography will become. It wasn't so bad that I couldn't keep moving, so that encouraged me to give it more than one try.

What I'm Currently Loving:

Oh, SparkPeople. Before I blab on and on about why I'm loving this site, I should probably provide some background info...

First of all, yes, I'm back to calorie-counting. Despite my best (and let's be frank, shitty) efforts to lose some regained weight, tracking the details of my intake is really the only tried-and-true method I've found to be successful.

That said, I wasn't always on the SparkPeople bandwagon. When I first started Weight Watchers all those years ago, I was simultaneously tracking calories as well on The Daily Plate (now known as Livestrong's MyPlate). I always preferred the Daily Plate because their tracker was just so much more simple to use and I always found myself feeling overwhelmed with the features on SparkPeople.

Well, now that I'm re-committing to weight-loss and because the popularity of SP has since grown, I decided it was time to give it another shot and fully embrace all of the site's features, beyond simply calorie-counting.

You see, when I lost those 90 pounds originally, I was a lot more engaged in a few online communities for extra support. I don't think it's a coincidence that when I chose to stop participating in those supportive communities, the weight started to come back on and I struggled to take it off again. So, off to SP I went. Right away, I started browsing the message boards, member blogs and available SparkTeams. Within my first week, I was contributing to discussions, signing up for team challenges and even added a few friends to help encourage each other and offer support during tough times.

I get it now. I get why this site is so successful and why so many people have joined. Yes, I have great friends, family, Doug and my dog Randal, but not everyone I know is willing to hear me blab about weight and food and exercise for 1-2 hours every day (ok, well maybe the dog will listen, but you know what I mean). That's just the truth. And it's not a bad thing, it just needs to be pointed out that being successful in weight-loss sometimes requires a special kind of support that only those trying to achieve the same goals can relate to. I'm sure this is "duh" information for some of you, but it's an aspect of progress I've been ignoring for far too long.

Anywho, the outcome from all of this? I'm down 5 pounds so far, I've reduced my weekend overeating significantly, I've participated in some good discussions and most of all, I haven't felt like I'm struggling because I'm reminded every time I log in to SP, I'm not alone. It's okay to admit you need cheerleaders along the way and it's equally gratifying to cheer on others as well. I was feeling like an absolute failure for gaining back some of the weight (a hard pill to swallow, lemme tell you), but instead of wallowing in my own despair and losing/gaining the same 10 pounds over and over again, I've found it much more productive to, as Bob Harper says, "trust the process," and open myself up to connect with others with similar goals and backgrounds.

And that, dear readers, is all I have to say about that. Here's to hoping my renewed commitment will translate into more blog updates! Hope everyone is having a great week.


Alyse said...

I've wanted to try JM's Kickbox dvd but I'm hopelessly uncoordinated and can't follow choreography. It's on my someday list, though.

I'm on SparkPeople but I typically don't engage in the community since I'm loner. But I do love it and credit the website for a lot of the knowledge I've gained when it comes to nutrition and fitness.

Shannyn @frugalbeautiful.com said...

JM scares the bejeezits out of me. I still haven't gotten into the at-home dvds and workout stuff, I'm more of a runner/yoga person, but maybe some day I'll get the gumption to get something to use at home!