Monday, October 11, 2010

Thoughts about the Shred

"Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." I Timothy 4:7b-8

Tonight I finished the 30 day Shred. I didn't finish it in 30 days, but pretty close--I got derailed a bit by a combination of a bad cold and a trip out of town. But, I picked it back up again and finally finished it tonight!

As the time went by as I was exercising, I had lots of thoughts and questions about it, that ranged from "why am I doing this crazy thing?!" to "Wow, this is really hard. Is it worth it?" to "I really feel stronger and more fit! It's great!" So I thought I'd share a few thoughts about it tonight.

First of all, it must be acknowledged right up front that the worldview of the people leading this video and my worldview couldn't be more different. I am not concerned with impressing others, having a "hot" dent in the back of my bum, or attaining some supposed standard of physical beauty. (Or, at least, I shouldn't be concerned with those things!) I am, however, concerned with maintaining my physical health for the glory of God and the good of my family, having energy for my husband and kids, being a good steward of my physical body, and ultimately trusting the Lord for health and strength.

Because, guess what? Eventually we are all going to grow old and die, unless Jesus returns first. All of us, no matter how physically fit and strong, (Even miss Jillian herself!) will one day weaken, sag, wrinkle, and so on. However, that's not an excuse to be lazy or eat junk food. It's just the reality of life in this world. My brother Dan was in excellent physical health when he discovered he was in stage four melanoma in December of 2001. He was always very active, a physical education major in college, and even to the end of his battle with cancer his heart was beating strong and in very good shape. But finally the Lord called him home on his 33rd birthday, March 20, 2003. All of his physical fitness could not "save" him, but praise the Lord the blood of Jesus could, and did!

So, as I've been exercising, I've been mulling over these things. Why did I start it in the first place? Well, my friend Becky had done it and enjoyed it. I thought it sounded like a good challenge, and wanted to give my system a bit of a boost. Lately I've also been aware of the years creeping up on seems as I get older I can practically feel my metabolism slowing. I thought the combination of strength training, cardio, and ab work sounded great. And, to top it all off, it was only a 20 minute workout! What a plus!

Initially I was surprised at the intensity of the workouts. I thought I was in pretty good shape from all my bike riding and the other workout dvd I had been using. Not quite! The first day I got up and did it at 6am without any breakfast or even a drink of water first, that was a mistake! It took me several hours to feel normal again, whew. But as the workouts progressed, I did start to see how my endurance was building and felt like I was doing better. I also didn't do any more early morning workouts! In fact, my usual time was in the evening, after the girls went to bed. If I knew my evening was busy, I tried to get it in during the late afternoon.

Though the workout was only 20 minutes, I found I needed about an hour each day to get it done--by the time I set up the computer, my mat and weights, and changed my clothes beforehand, and then afterwards putting things away and taking a shower (definitely needed, I was always dripping with sweat after the workouts!). So, that's not an insignificant time committment but I found I was able to do it.

I did find that discipline in that area of my life--exercise--led to discipline in other areas as well. I was less likely to overeat, I was more likely to protect my morning times with the Lord...just living a more disciplined life was helpful. Maybe you all have experienced this too!

Though I didn't really lose weight during the 30 days, that was not my goal. I do feel like I got stronger and toned up some, and I did enjoy the challenge of it and may even continue it in the future as a good workout routine. I do want to honor the Lord with my physical body and do what I can to stay healthy and well. I am thankful for the Lord's strength to persevere and finish the program!

How about you all? Have any of you done the shred? (I still think it's a silly name. For me it conjures up images of torn, bloody muscles...or fingers accidently rubbed across the grater...or....ick!) What have been your experiences? Leave a comment and share!


Anna said...

Love the recap of your expereinces with this workout series. I have been doing it off and on for a few months now, but not 30 days in a row. I like the fact that it combines cardio and weight training and that it is 20 minutes. I expect that once it cools down to the point where running outside no longer appeals to me I will switch to this and do it more faithfully.

Christine U said...

Your post on this is timely; I just ordered the 30 Day Shred through our inter-library loan. I've never been much for exercise, though I knew it would probably catch up with me someday. It's beginning to look like that time is now. :) Glad to hear that it's do-able for a busy mom of young children!

Incidentally, Eric came back with wonderful reports from his time there last summer. You'd never know that I check in on your blog since I never leave comments. However... It's always a delight to see what you and your family are up to.

Jessica said...

I did the Shred in 40 days last year about 4 months after I delivered my second baby. I lost 20 pounds doing that and halving my portion sizes and monitoring my caloric intake. My energy level was through the roof by the end, and I also noticed a renewed sense of discipline in other areas of my life as well.
Are you going to move on to level 2?