Thursday, November 3, 2016

Why Denise Austin's 360 Program Was So Successful For Me: Post Four

I am in week ten of the Denise Austin 360 program, and I cannot believe how much I have changed, mentally and physically, during this time. Yesterday I did burpees and my plank is almost back to where it was in May, before my depression. 

I took my son to the beach while my daughter was at school, and we walked the pier. This is significant because the day before I had done a very difficult workout with Denise (I accidentally chose a Level 3, which I chose to keep on and I just modified it) and I was sore. But you know what?? I wanted to walk. I wanted to see more steps on my pedometer and I wanted to feel the endorphin lift from walking. In August, I couldn't bring myself to walk down my driveway. This is a big, big deal.

That little boy in the middle is my sweet son who deserves a momma who is happy.

I wanted to end my four-part Denise Austin series with telling you why I loved this program so much. Why did it "work" so well for me? Why did it change me on the inside and outside?

1. Denise Austin's personality is very appealing to me. Coming from a place of not even wanting to walk more than a few steps, a tough trainer would not work well for me at this point. I have had other times in my fitness journey that I have used "tough" trainers on DVD's, and while it was fun for that part of my journey, the thought of starting myself back up with one of those was revolting to me. For the long haul--as in the weeks and months and ultimately years--really forever, I want someone who is happy and kind and who lifts me up rather than shames me. I love that in one of her Level One videos she says that we are hopefully eating better. I have days where I am not perfect in my eating and I go over on my calories, and hearing her say that it's okay takes away the shame and actually makes me want to do better. I don't want to rebel and say, "Screw it!" like I do when I am forced to adhere to a strict eating program. This is huge for me and ultimately how I have lost all of the weight that I have in my journey (I was at 65 pounds lost and had gained back 19 pounds) by not having an "all of nothing" attitude, allowing myself splurges, and realizing that this is a lifelong commitment to health, not a program for a certain number of weeks in which I will torture myself, restrict, and feel shame when I am not "perfect." 

Her Facebook page is full of her smiling and giving positive messages. I set her posts to show up first in my feed and I love it.

2. The videos are at my level, and I am not pushing myself into a daily workout that is super hard on my body and makes me dread doing it. I have done programs like that before, and while they changed my body, it was not sustainable. For this ten week period, I chose Level One (after my husband insisted that I not force myself into something that would hurt me) and I cannot tell you just how important that was for me. I do know (after accidentally doing a Level 3 video, that they get significantly more challenging!)

3. The videos are fun! She is smiley throughout and is constantly telling me to SMILE! She tells me how much I am changing myself and how good it is going to feel. I've also noticed that my kids have taken notice of this and are drawn in. Lately they have been working out with me! Having a four year-old and a six year-old work out next to me is like working out next to a hurricane, and I'm constantly worried that I am going to accidentally hit them, and I'm constantly telling them to move over, but seeing them work out for thirty minutes is a huge! As a homeschool mom, I'm in charge of their PE, and seeing them work their muscles and talk about strength affirms that I am helping them get what they need in terms of health and physical activity.

My son loves kickboxing now.

4. There is emphasis on the fact that losing weight is more than just working out, or eating perfeclyt. It is about working out and eating healthfully and having a positive attitude and having a community of supporters in your life. It is also about having a deep desire to be healthy in all areas of my life, and the things that Denise emphasizes in her "Denisiology" videos, menus, Facebook posts, and exercise videos, really point to all-around health. 

5. Ten weeks is a good period of time for a program that has a beginning and an end. It is not so short that I strive to be absolutely perfect in all of it, and it is long enough to make a lifestyle change. It is also long enough to see a lasting physical change and not just a drop in water weight. I am now fitting into pants that I could not wear in September and my body has changed. I have lost almost eight pounds so far, which might not sound like a lot in nine and a half weeks, but my body had lost so much muscle between May and August that most most of my change has been building up my muscle again. My body was so soft and now my muscles are strong and I am smaller. I would much rather have that than a large drop in weight with no added muscle. Ten weeks doesn't feel like an unbearably long time and it is enough to make serious changes mentally and physically, but not so long that you give up. For the first two weeks of the program, I did not follow a calorie amount that was appropriate for weight loss, so that is important to remember, and I have had several days where I have gone over on my calories. Actual weight loss has always been very, very hard for my body even when I am following an appropriate calorie level every day.

My totals after 9.5 weeks:
-3.25 inches off my waist
-.5 and 1 inch off my thighs
-.25 and .5 inches off my arms
-7.8 pounds lost 

I cannot tell you how much I wish I had done my total fat percentage at the beginning of the program. I bought fat calipers but I could not bring myself to do it because I knew that my percentage had gone up drastically since May. Eight pounds lost does not seem like a lot in ten weeks, but I know that even in May at my fittest I had a high percentage of body fat, so I can't even imagine how much actual fat I lost in these ten weeks. I have heard it time and time again that a healthy rate of loss is a half pound to two pounds a week. I was exactly there. 

I didn't even have to contemplate what I am doing next week. After this week when I finish the ten week program, I will restart a new ten weeks, but I will be doing the Level Two videos. There is no way that I would do anything else. I have gained too much in all aspects of my life and health and I absolutely cannot wait to see what the next ten weeks hold for me.

If you'd like to see my entire journey, please read the other posts in my four-part series!

Post One
Post Two
Post Three

I was compensated for this post, but I want you to know that it is my absolute honest opinion.

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