Gina was right. She told me that the before and after pics would be a powerful motivator. And they have been, although possibly not in the way she meant.
You see, after my first set of before and after pictures, I felt very motivated to continue because it was pretty easy to see how much progress I’d made. On the other hand, the last set of progress pictures she took were a little disappointing to me because I had expected to have made more progress than I did.
Which told me that I need to be pushing myself harder.
I started yesterday with Burn and Shape. I think I mentioned this workout before; it’s one of my favorites. I like it because, like all of The FIRM workouts, it’s functional sculpting. That means you make moves that mimic work in real life, instead of twisting your body into pretzels working muscles in ways that you never ever have to work them normally. But my really favorite thing about it is that it is a killer lower body workout. Especially for legs.
Besides the standard lunges and dips and squats, Emily “loves to jump” (as I once heard her say during another cardio workout). The first cardio routine in the workout is good, fast-paced and definitely gets the heart rate up. But the second cardio number on that DVD is almost worth the whole workout when it comes to your lower body. There’s a move where you do a squat, come right up into a front kick, and then swing that leg back into a dip. After you do that on each side, there’s a series of plyos.
Let me tell you something: you do that sequence on each side a few times and you know your quads have been working!
As usual, I didn’t really feel like working out (I’m usually kind of tired when I get home from the office) but, also as usual, when I finished I felt like a million dollars. Part of that is just the feeling of accomplishment that comes from knowing that you did a challenging working and went all out doing it. Part of it has to do with the way, when you finish a workout, you feel smaller, tighter, as if you can feel a level of results that is not at all realistic but it still feels great.
Of course, I could be crazy. I don’t think I am but crazy people never know, do that? Does that happen to you, too?
And, also of course, the next morning after a good workout, I really do feel tighter (if not smaller) and in a position to notice all the subtle ways in which my clothes are fitting me differently these days.
In a couple of days, I’m going to get really brave (like ReadyToProcrastinate, my new favorite fellow fitness enthusiast and weight loss adventuress) and post my measurements on my blog. First, of course, I have to actually take the measurements. I keep forgetting to do that but now that I have publicly committed to it, I hope to cave in to my own pressure.
Tonight, I will continue with a cardio workout. I don’t really want to do another cardio-and-sculpt DVD because I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. There’s not a lot of point in doing a workout that’s really challenging if you’re too tired to really push yourself. Besides, even if I’m “just” doing cardio, if I really kick it, I’ll feel really good when I’m done.
Working out carries its own rewards, you know.
That’s a good thing because it keeps you going when the real rewards are still lots of months away.