One morning in April I woke up and stared at the unused DVD Player I’d bought my husband for our anniversary—because he said he wanted to get back in shape and do his old Insanity DVDs—and I rolled my eyes. Our anniversary was 4 months ago. He hadn’t so much as looked at the DVDs I’d strategically placed closer and closer to the edge of the dresser so he’d be forced to look at them when he walked into the closet.
So what did my passive aggressive self do? I printed out the calendar of the workouts and decided that would be Day 1. If you’re not familiar with Insanity, it’s a high intensity HIIT workout ranging anywhere for 30-ish minutes in month one all the way to 60 minutes in month two. They are grueling! The first day is a 20 minute fitness test that you repeat every two weeks for the entire series. I could barely finish that first test. And I could hardly move for the three days that followed! And yet, I continued the workouts.
I’d fallen off the fitness wagon in the couple of months leading up to this, and my muscle mass had taken a beating. I was ready for miracles—like fitting into my jeans, hitting my pre-pandemic weight in a matter of weeks, and still eating and drinking all my heart desired.
Well guess what, at the end of 4 weeks, I hadn’t lost a pound.
“Oh, but you gained so much muscle. You probably lost inches?“
Nope. Not a one! I was so deflated. I started scouring old message boards and blogs (since Insanity is now over 10 years old and no longer the hot chick on the Beach Body block) and found that I wasn’t alone. But there was hope. Month one was just my “warm up.” All of that was just to prep my body for the hell that was to come in month two. Grrrreat. (fyi – month one was NOT easy or a warm up.)
It helped that just as I was in the middle of my recovery week (the “break” workouts you get between month one and two) I got an insane (pun intended) 24-hour norovirus that helped me drop 5 pounds, and 3 of that never came back.
When I finished my first day of month two (the 26 minute fitness test followed by the 60 minute circuit video—86 minutes of exhaustion), I told my husband that if I didn’t immediately drop 10 pounds from this nonsense that something was wrong with me. It was so hard.
I decided the warm ups are the worst part. There’s nothing I hate more than seeing the countdown clock and knowing I’m tired and haven’t even started the real workout yet.
I got in the habit of doing the workouts immediately after I woke up, so there was an incredible sense of accomplishment burning so many calories so early in the day and being DONE. I started wearing a Fitbit to track my calorie burn and decided I’d suck it up and track my calories too. That way, I’d know if I was in deficit and if I was earning the weight loss.
So here we are now at the end of 63 days. I did finally lose a couple of inches, but not nearly as much as I hoped (and I do have a pair of jeans that fit comfortably now). I lost 9 pounds overall, far fewer than I’d hoped. But when I look at these fitness test results, I’m really blown away by what my body learned to do over the last 9 weeks.
My heart rate dropped from 60 bpm all the way to 52. More so, I’m now in a groove with morning workouts. It’s super hard to get it in with 3 kids at home, including a newly potty trained toddler, but we’re making it work (most days).
And guess what? About 5 weeks ago my husband started getting back on the treadmill! He’s lost almost 25 pounds. Baby steps, my friends.
I decided it’s too much to expect do a 60 minute workout six days a week long term, but it feels reasonable to drop down to 5 days and alternate some long workouts with some shorter ones. Prior to Insanity, I’d been using the NEOU app, which I really love for its variety, and I’d like to do more strength training. I think I’m going to incorporate some of those back in but keep some Shawn T in my life, so he can encourage me to DIG DEEPER.
I haven’t given up on pre-pandemic weight, and by the time the summer ends, I may actually get there!
Want to keep up and see if I follow through? Or be my accountability buddy? Follow me on Instagram @theothersideofmotherhood and we can knock it out together.