Sunday 20 November 2016

December: Killer Body v2

   After two weeks of free workouts, I'm ready to dedicate myself to something specific. For the past two weeks I've returned to yoga and kickboxing, and I have to say, having not done yoga in so long, I was amazed by how deep my Warrior 2 has gotten and that I can just about hold a full Warrior 3 for 8 seconds, arms outstretched. And after indulging in fun workouts, doing whichever I wanted whenever I wanted, I feel re-energised - especially after PIIT28, which was hard - and really quite keen to get started on a predetermined workout calendar again.

   It's been quite some time since I've used Jillian Michaels for a month, and longer still since I tried a new DVD. Most of that comes down to the fact that I've got almost all of her workouts so there's little room for trying anything new, and being in the UK means it takes a while for new releases to reach us.
   But I'm doing it a little different this month and using two DVDs spread over six weeks, not four. Why? Because Christmas, my absolute favourite time of the year, is looming, and I like to eat.

   Now, you may remember that last December I used Jillian Michaels' 'Killer Body' workout - a DVD of three workouts each targeting a certain area of the body. They were intense - they hurt - but I did them and tacked extra cardio on afterwards. But even with all that hard work, I also didn't say 'no' when I was offered festive goodies. Usually I turn down the offer of cakes and cookies (it gets easier over time), and I continued to do so for festive food, too, but as soon as December 1st rolled around, my advent calendar cracked open and Heart FM played Christmas songs despite a horde of Scrooges' disapproval, I changed my outlook for the month. I decided that, as long as I ate healthily and exercised regularly, I could say 'yes' to the odd mince pie or mini sausage roll when offered, because these aren't things available at any other time of the year, or certainly not things we usually buy.
   So instead of aiming to lose weight last December, which was my goal every other month of the year, I decided I would work, instead, not to gain any. And with 45 minutes of work a day - 25 minutes of resistance followed by 20 minutes of cardio - for five days a week, not only did I not gain anything, but I still managed to lose it, and all without feeling like I missed out. I also had more energy to complete the workouts.
   Oh, and if you're wondering, when Christmas day rolled around, all bets were off. I glued my bum to a chair and I ate, and ate, and ate. I regretted nothing, not even when I started feeling sick, because it was one sodding day in my absolute most favourite time of the year, and I'm usually so very good otherwise.

   And so I decided that there was nothing for it: this year I would do the same, but rather than use Killer Body again, I'd try two DVDs I've been curious about but too frightened to buy on their own, and I'd alternate between the two.

   So, for six weeks as of tomorrow morning, I'm going to be alternating between Jillian Michaels' Killer Buns & Thighs and Killer Arms & Back. Two DVDs, both of which contain three 30-minute workouts that progress in difficulty and target the promised areas, and I will supplement them with 20 minutes of cardio in either kickboxing or dance wherever I'm able. I say that because, last year, I was unable to do any extra cardio after leg day because my legs were on fire. That may well happen again this year.
   I will use level 1 of both workouts on alternating days for two weeks, then move on to level 2 for two weeks, then, when Christmas is in full swing, I will be working on level 3 and probably shredded to all hell.
   Beneath the chocolate truffles and mince pies, of course. And no, I'm not kidding. I love food and it's unreasonable to expect me to keep behaving and saying 'no' to delicious and seasonally limited things during my absolute favourite time of the year. Though, if you're interested, I've compiled a great post of healthy Christmas treats that really capture the flavours of Christmas without the guilt to minimise the need for naughty indulgences (or certainly to balance them out), and it's going up on Wednesday.

   The change of intention from 'lose weight' to 'just don't gain any' was very refreshing last year, I remember that vividly, and it made me much happier throughout December. It kind of encouraged me to accept that there would be no visible progress for the month, and it also meant that I didn't feel guilty for having an indulgence. I hadn't worked out that morning to lose much weight, but rather so I could eat it. And if I didn't eat anything like that for the day, it was a huge victory.

   And so I'm quite keen to begin. Level 1 - the easiest, of course - will be done under my usual workout rules of clean eating, minimal treats (but certainly not none, never none), but when I begin level 2 on December 5th, things will begin to change a little, and certainly for the better.

   I'll update on this workout every two weeks when I complete each level and, as usual, write DVD reviews for them both once I'm done. So come back in two weeks and I'll have some news for you! And if you'd like to join me, go buy the DVDs, or go for Killer Body instead - it will have you rotating between upper body, lower body and core for a month, and it's what carried me through Christmas last year.

NaBloPoMo November 2016


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