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P90X: Day 0 – Preparation

Athleticism, how I miss you. I’ve gained weight and it doesn’t feel good. I’m not as active now that I no longer drive a tow truck for a living, and I really miss feeling strong and capable. I have no single cause of my pudgy physique; just a handful of little things that add up to back pain, foot pain, ill-fitting clothing and a general malaise.

I’ve committed to completing 90 days of intense exercise, using the at-home fitness program, P90X. Maybe you’ve seen it on a late-night infomercial? Admittedly, I’m a little intimidated by it; scared even. I’m going to do it anyway, because I owe it to myself to see what I can accomplish in three months and I owe it to my body to take better care of it.

Part of the reason it intimidates me is that after doing a search online for women who have successfully used the program, the results are not encouraging. I’ve seen female blogger after blogger start the program, but then after a couple of weeks, they just…stop. What happened? Did they get hit by a bus? Did they see a crime, and now they’re in witness protection? In all probability, they probably just quit and never bothered to tell their readers. It would seem that exercising consistently 6-7 days a week for 13 weeks is near impossible for most of the women who cared to start a blog about their experience. I hope to buck that trend.

There are several things that attract me to this program, but the ability to workout in the privacy of my own home is the primary factor. I have tried joining gyms in the past, but I always end up quitting. If I know anything about myself, it is that convenience will win every day. Going to a gym is not convenient. You have to pack up your things, drive to the gym (often fighting traffic on the way), find parking, check in, and get dressed. Once you are ready to get moving, you’ve got to find the equipment you want to use – hopefully it is available and useable. Often, there are time limits as to how long you may use the equipment. When you’re done, you’ve got to shower and change in a squicky locker room and reverse the entire process. Like I said – not convenient.

With P90X, I have the convenience of my own home, my own equipment and my own shower. I don’t have to pack anything or wait for anyone. Plus, unlike group exercise classes, if I need to take a break, I can just hit the ‘pause’ button.

I have all my equipment ready to go: 5# and 8# dumbbells, resistance bands, a chin-up bar, a thick yoga mat and Tony Horton’s Powerstands for push ups. I will likely forgo the use of the chin up bar and the Powerstands until I develop enough upper body strength to justify their use. I also have a good bathroom scale (which also measures body fat) and measuring tape for tracking my progress. Lastly, I have all the kitchen equipment I need to make delicious, portion-controlled meals. A kitchen scale, juicer, blender, food processor and steamer round out the tools I need for success.

Interestingly, P90X is not designed for weight loss. It is designed to help people get into great physical shape, and though lots of people have experienced some weight loss, body composition is the focus here. I have cleaned out the cupboards of the little “junk” we had in the house and filled our refrigerator with vegetables, fish and chicken breast. My pantry has always had good quality olive oil and whole grains in it.

There are several reasons to love P90X’s nutrition guide: first, they stress that these are guidelines, not gospel. You must listen to your own body, track your own metrics and make adjustments accordingly. Secondly, they offer variations based on lifestyle including quick options for people who don’t like to cook or don’t have the time to prepare a meal. They also help you calculate RMR (resting metabolic rate) and calorie requirements so that you can further customize your eating habits to support your success.

Tomorrow, I will take my “before” pictures, my measurements and then push ‘play’. I will post progress pictures each week. I’m so excited to get started! Wish me luck!

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