progress is a process

Today was my last day of the 30 Day Shred!

It’s bittersweet, honestly.  And because I like to start with bad news and end with good, here’s the bitter part.

I feel really discouraged today.  For the mass amount of hard work and sweat I put into it, I don’t really feel like my progress pictures show any change from day one to day thirty.   I feel as though I look exactly the same as I did when I started; sometimes when I look at them, I feel like certain body parts actually looked better before I started.  And man…that sucks.  I’m not saying any of this so that anyone will extend encouragement or tell me how great I look or that I’m just being too hard on myself or that they can totally see a difference; I’m saying it because I know for sure that I’m not the only person who’s ever gotten through a month of working her butt off for something, only to look back and see little to no tangible progress.  I know I’m not the only one who struggles with the urge to quit when results aren’t quick.  And I know that all of the other someones out there who have felt those things need to see other people experiencing them, too, and pressing on anyway.

And so now we get to the sweet part.

I am not quitting.

Regardless of whether I look different…I feel different.  I feel stronger.  My workouts feel easier.  I feel muscles I’ve never felt before.  And more than any of that? I feel healthy and I feel proud of myself.  For the first time in my life, I’m experiencing the feeling of taking care of my body, and that’s something I want more than a six-pack.  I’m experiencing the feeling of taking care of myself, and that’s inspiring some of the people in my life to do the same.

I’m also not quitting because I know one thing to be true: progress is a process.  I’ve been treating my body pretty badly for 27 years, and all the effects of that can’t be reversed in 30 days of treating it well.  It’s going to be a process, and a hard one.  And if I quit now, I’ll never see the results of the hard work I’ve already put in.

And so, I press on.

Starting tomorrow, I’m changing things up a little.  I’m going to continue with working out every day, because that kind of daily routine is easier for me to keep doing than the 3-4 days a week business.  I’ve been considering doing the 30 Day Shred over again, but I’m not going to at present.  I have absolutely loved the experience, but it has been incredibly hard on my knees, which I’ve never had any trouble with before.  That’s one thing I would say to anyone considering trying it–it’s a fantastic workout, especially for someone just starting out, but if you have knee trouble, know that you’re going to have to modify.  You might even want to consider looking into another program, as much as I’ve loved the Shred.

So my plan is this: I’m going to start the Couch to 5K program tomorrow.  I’ve done it before, but never made it through.  I am absolutely determined this time, though.  So I’m going to sign up for a 5K scheduled for somewhere around three months from now, and start C25K tomorrow.  I’ll do that three days a week, and on my days off from that, I’ll alternate between P90X yoga and some form of strength training.  Still planning to try to keep it at around a half hour a day, except for yoga days.  I want to keep it manageable, something I can continue into the school year.

Three months from now, at the end of C25K, I will post more progress photos.  I’m excited to see how those look, and how my stats have changed.  As of today, this is where I am:

Weight: 158 lbs
Waist (at my belly button): 35 inches
Hips: 37.5 inches
Flexed left bicep: 11.25 inches
Flexed right bicep: 11.5 inches

And here are my progress pictures! Again, I did my day one “before” pictures in my bra and underwear, so I won’t post them online, but if you’re of the female persuasion and want to see them, shoot me a comment or email! These are from day 10 and day 30.



2 thoughts on “progress is a process

  1. I just started training for a 5k last month – I had hopes of doing a half-marathon next year, but some changes in my job prevented that – anyway what I was going to say is that you should see if there is a “Color-Run” in your area. Color Runs are usually not timed 5ks and for runners/walkers so there’s no pressure – google it!

    • indirtysoil says:

      Thanks for the suggestion! I actually have a friend who did a Color Run in Kansas City, and absolutely loved it. There’s one pretty close to me in November–and November seems like a great time to be trying to run a 5k in Texas. 🙂 I hope you end up getting to do your half marathon soon…I know how motivating it is to have long term goals to look forward to!

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