My friend Shannon recently started an ambitious diet and exercise program. She has been talking to me about her progress and I thought that her experience making these behavior changes was worth sharing. In fact, her experience is similar to that of almost everyone who tries to make these changes and she has some helpful thoughts about the progress. She agreed to let me share her thoughts and experiences in this blog (anonymously, since Shannon is not her real name).
Shannon is in her 30s and has two children. Like many women in this situation, she realized that she had not been focusing on her health in recent years. While she doesn’t need to lose a lot of weight, she does want to improve her diet and get fit. Her main goal is to feel better about herself by doing what I call remodeling—not really losing much weight, but shedding fat and building muscle.
She is following the Insanity exercise and nutrition program. Since this is an intense exercise program, she was smart and started off by not pushing herself too much by doing parts of the workouts and taking a few rest days early on. Over time she has been able to increase the amount she does. This was a big adjustment for Shannon. Before she began, she was active throughout the day but did not dedicate time to exercise. Now she is doing 45–60 minutes most days of the week.
Her diet has changed, too. She is eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking water instead of soda (Dr. Pepper is her favorite), and eating out less, especially fast food. This hasn’t been easy, especially because of how convenient restaurant meals were for her family. But she has learned to make smarter choices when eating out and has found that eating a healthy snack before she goes out can help her avoid overeating at a restaurant. But mostly, she misses the Dr. Pepper since she cut back to one can per day (but sometimes goes without).
So, as Shannon shares stories about her progress with me, I will share them here.