Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Refining my lifestyle, one plank at a time . . .

So much has happened since my last post. I went from whining about being plump to doing something about it. Don't get me wrong. I still managed to whine some, but that habit went away mighty fast after I began my humbling journey as a  Refine Method-Head.

The Refine Method. A sure-fire reminder that your body can do much more than your couchy-potato-y, cheese-fry seduced, self-entitled-"why me" mind thinks it can. I slowly realized this after I began doing push-ups (and non of that lady-like modified kind), burpees (which sounds a LOT friendlier than what they actually are I might add), and lunges with kettle balls (not to be confused with kettle chips, which can easily happen. Just sayin.).

Who the hell was I? I went from this:

to this:

I mean, not as gracefully as the aforementioned, but definitely much more elegant than Chubbo.

I signed up for Refine when I realized I needed a kick in the nuts when it came to working out. My longtime concern with, not only exercise, but life in general, is that I get bored very easily. This becomes an issue when I go to the gym and all the machines look Cuisinart complicated and Magic Bullet boring. There is no variety, no change up. One method, one result. I mean, the result is fabulous! Who doesn't love good guacamole from the magic bullet? Or in this case, a great butt lift from running on a treadmill? But the process is soooooooo snoozy. I've totally had the urge to do this, I am ashamed to say:

Since my attention span does this frequently:

So I would often set myself up for failure by purchasing these gym memberships and enjoying the visa bill appearance that stupid fee made every month as I paid my bills from the very couch that my ass was expanding on.

It wasn't until Yoda came to me and told me about her new fitness discovery. For those of you new to this blog, let me remind you about Yoda. She is my fitness guru, my core when it comes to fitness, health, and simply goodness. She is stern with me when I need it, as she HATES whining:

She is compassionate with me, as she understands the numbing sensation that comes after a Refine class:

She is honest with me, as she knows how important it is to stay on track and not to fall into old habits:

She has taught me how to handle my haters:

She continues to remind me of the force behind success:

 And before every refine class, she sooths my anxiety and self-doubt with a mantra similar to this:

Point blank--She is the best! My Yoda!

Anyway, Yoda had been raving about The Refine Method for a few months, trying to convince me to try it. I was apprehensive because I thought it would be too intense for my recovering back. It had only been over a year since the surgery and the daily immobile activity on my couch seemed to be MUCH more restorative than any kind of exercise.

Finally, I hit a wall around the time I posted my last blog. I was fed up with the scale, the return of my back pudge, and the constant unfufilled goals I was encountering every Monday morning when I realized a week had gone by and my fitness level was at BUPCUS.

So, with the help of Yoda, and my lovely assistant (a definite Yoda in the making), I decided to join the Refine Challenge, a 3 month initiative that required upping your Refine Class goal every 4 weeks. Being the badass that I am, I decided to sign up for a total of 30 classes in 12 weeks, 8 in the first month, 10 in the second, and 12 in the third. I was terrified, but ready. It couldn't be worse than the dread I started feeling  getting dressed in the morning because my clothes were suffocated my limbs. Or the sadness I felt because I would be out of breath after climbing up the subway stairs. Sadness and hyperventilation.

No, this wasn't the same Claudia who wore a 2 piece on a vacation not too long ago. The same Claudia who wore a size 4 and who could double cross her legs. The same Claudia who would do push-ups at home because she was stressed, or who would get a crazy pleasure out of doing tricep dips.

Therefore ANY terror I had was crushed by good ole, "Anything is better than this" thoughts. And Yoda. She's got a way of making any crisis seem doable, tolerable, and accomplishable.

So I started, 4 weeks ago. Countless burpees, push-ups, kettle ball lunges, snow angels (don't be fooled. There is no season greeting that comes with that exercise). Sprints, jumpin jacks, squat-and-reaches. Planks, planks, and more planks. And my body is definitely changing. Not to mention my mind. I wouldn't have been able to define any of the above a month ago.

I'm down 5 pounds. 8 classes completed, and the limbs aren't as suffocated in the morning any more. Like Yoda said, I will not lose the 20lbs. in a month, as it took a lot longer to put that on, but best be sure by the end of this challenge I will be better. I won't define what "better" will be. Not now. Let's just see where this journey goes.

Until then:

I will SLAY 30 classes!

Wish me luck, guys! Stay tuned!