Today's is the celebration of our nation's independence. And for me, it has been an Independence Day unlike any I have had for a very long time. Why? Because this Independence Day included exercise for me. The last time I remember exerting any type of physical effort on this day was a little over 20 years ago. I was in high school at that time and my family would travel to Alabama to visit my grandparents along with the rest of my aunt, uncles and cousins. Our day would be filled with water skiing, riding the wave runner and of course, a few jumps off the end of the pier.
By the time college rolled around, the holiday changed for me. Going to school summer quarter and also working a job at a department store didn't allow too many days off for leisure, especially national holidays. When I did have time off around this time of year, instead of putting forth effort into something like water skiing, I would be sitting on the beach with friends or headed to someone else's backyard for a cookout. Don't get me wrong. I don't think it is wrong to sit on the beach or have fun at a cookout instead of performing some die hard exercise routine. However, thinking about my change in behavior today made me realize how this change of habit was not only on holidays like today, but everyday.
Fortunately, I am now back in the driver's seat. I have changed my habits. I am eating better. And on the days that I don't exercise one day a week to give my body a break, I feel like something is missing by the end of the day because I have not practiced my new norm. What would have been the creme de la creme for me today would have been to be on the lake today in Alabama with all of my family as we did so many years ago. However, since that was not a reality for me this year, Jillian Michaels made sure that I had more than enough use of my muscles to keep my metabolism rev'ed.
I had not visited with Jillian in a little over two weeks. And when I popped in that Shred DVD, I could notice a big change in me from the very beginning. So much so, that after the Level 1 workout, I went on to complete Level 2. The biggest problem for me thus far being in Jillian's world is getting up and down of the floor for every other exercise it seems. Yet today, I was able to keep up like never before. I did have to pause and just watch the video several times when doing Level 2. However, since this was my first time doing it, I gave myself a little bit of a pass as I stood there a few times thinking "she wants me to do what?". Toward to end of Level 2, I would have laughed out loud if I could have only caught my breath as Jillian said, "I want you to feel like you are dying!". I would have also shouted "accomplished" back at her were it not for the same reason.
Independence also had a duel meaning for me this year. The traditional meaning of living in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The newer meaning of being free from sugar. My cravings had diminished to a minimum. And while I do still think about sugary food from time to time as I did yesterday, it no longer has the great emotional and mental pull on me that it once had. As I drank my hot tea today instead of 1000 calorie Turtle Mocha from Caribou that has been my "go to" drink of the past, I enjoyed it the same, if not more, since I was also thinking about how it is a much better choice for my body. Fruit has also become more sweet to me. I had a banana today for the first time in a long time and I almost (not fully) enjoyed it as much as many of my sugary treats of the past. I am not totally convinced that I will ever love fruit as much as a piece of key lime pie, chocolate chip cookies or Moose Tracks ice cream. Yet the place I am at now helps me to cope with it all so much better.
The next physical challenge I have coming up is to do a cleanse. I am not completely sure which one I will do at this juncture. I am also not completely sure when I will be able to fit the additional cost into my budget. However, I feel like it is a good next step for me as well as the kick boxing class I will be adding to my regimen this week. I also believe that I am actually at the place now where I can survive doing one. My journey continues to move onward and upward and I am truly enjoying my ride.
John 8:36 (New King James Version) - Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.