The Sixty-Five Day Shred

I’ve been working on a project lately: eliminating the extra few pounds I picked up last Christmas. I’m aiming to meet my goal before the 2010 holiday season rolls around.

p{color:gray}. Photo: After I took a spill recently on my bike, I sported some “road rash” for a bad-girl look. Now I’m building the muscles to match.

In addition to “counting”:/news/2006/shedding-the-extras/ “Weight Watchers”: points, I’ve been trying to improve my exercise regimen. Walking, biking, and “swimming”:/news/2010/twenty-one-minutes/ were great for the summertime, but I’d been wondering how to get exercise in once the weather turned chilly and gray (and once the rich winter food started permeating our home). Through “a fellow mommy blog”:, I learned about Jillian Michaels’s “30-Day Shred”: “A twenty-minute workout!” I noted. “I think I can handle that.”

Although the workout is twenty minutes long, the video actually lasts 27 minutes (including warm-up and cool-down). But still — it’s just three minutes longer than an episode of “Diego on Netflix”:, which is the only thing that makes it possible around here. (The girls are actually very encouraging. “Mama, put on your workout clothes so we can watch a _Diego!)_ I’ve been doing the workout almost every day since August 26, and I can definitely see an improvement. I don’t know if I would say I’m “shredded,” but my endurance and strength is clearly increasing, which is sort of fun for this non-weight-lifting person.

I’ve been pleased about keeping up with the exercising. It’s nice to have a system that is working for me; I went for an annual physical last month and was actually able to describe my exercise plan! But I confess, the point-counting can be a challenge, especially since the cool weather has revived my dormant passion for baking. And even though I like the results of exercising, I find the actual process a little tedious sometimes. It is weird to have Jillian Michaels’ words echoing in my head all day long (“This is your workout, make the most of it!”) and it makes me wish that she would at least quote Scripture or Shakespeare or something useful. I am not crazy about parking the girls in front of a video in order to get this done, especially if I need to drag them away from a much more constructive activity, like playing outside. While working out the other day, I started making a mental list of all the things I could be doing during that time:

* “Reading”:/news/2010/express-train-to-literacy/ with my girls
* Baking an “apple galette”:
* Tidying the toys in “the fun room”:/news/2007/little-darling/
* Folding the “laundry”:/news/2006/baby-stim/
* Cleaning the “kitchen floor”:/news/2008/mopping/
* Sorting through our overflowing “art”:/news/2010/femininity-is-complex/ bin

I’m glad to be working out for my health, but it can be hard to keep the big picture in mind while I’m struggling through pike crunches.

My goal is to keep doing the workout every day until the end of October (which would result in the 65-Day Shred — I definitely have needed those extra 35 days!). It would be a bonus to have lost the final two pounds of my 2009 holiday weight gain by that time — we’ll see how that goes!

After that, I’m going to give my joints a break and aim for every other day. Who knows? Maybe I’ll actually maintain my weight over Christmas this year!

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