Here I am on the second phase of my journey. I can’t believe it! I looked at my reflection today (wearing clothes that actually fit) and was amazed. I have a completely new body. And all I can think of is, wow, wait until I reach goal! Wait until I get rid of this flab. I looked at myself today and remembered how I thought I’d never get back to this weight again. That’s how I feel about this flabby fat, like it’ll never go away. But I know there will be a day that I’ll look at my healthy, toned body and think back to today. I look forward to that day. I’m ready to work toward how I want to look on that day. I’m ready to start Phase 2: Operation LOOK BETTER NAKED!

Yesterday was a rest day. I normally have to force myself to take a rest day, but not yesterday. I had a crapload of stuff to do and my knee hurts. I think I have runner’s knee. Running has been put on hold until I can go buy new running shoes. In the meantime, I’m going to really focus on building my thigh muscles so my patella works right when I run. So for now, it will be walking, but I’ll still be trying to increase my speed. At any rate, I didn’t do a fitness test of any kind yet. I really wanted to rest my knee. I did, however, study the exercises that I have to do in You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren (he has a FB page, too). I really, really like this book. No matter what your fitness level, there is an exercise in this book for you.

Let me start at the beginning. I’ve talked about YAYOG before, but I haven’t done much of anything except tricep dips. So let me tell you a little bit about it before I get into my workout. YAYOG is a book of bodyweight exercises. No weights are involved, just the use of your body. Perfect for me since I don’t have a gym membership. Half of the book is dedicated to showing each exercise and how it’s done. The rest is his story and the workout programs. I’m starting with the Basic Program for beginners. Each program is to be done in 10 week cycles and each 10 week cycle is broken into four blocks. I’ll tell you about each of them as I start them.

Muscular Endurance Block ~weeks 1 & 2~ The exercises are done in what’s called ‘Ladders’. You do 1 rep, rest, 2 reps, rest, 3 reps, rest, and so on until you can’t do any more reps. Then you start to come back down the same way: 14 reps, rest, 13 reps, rest, etc. Each exercise in the block is done for 7.5 minutes (there are four exercises, so only a 30-min workout). If you finish the ladder, start over until the 7.5 minutes is up. If you don’t finish the ladder, no biggie. Four days with four exercises on each day. Two days upper body (Push/Pull) and two days lower body (Legs/Core).

I start today. Week 1/Day 1 is here. I’m going to go walking this morning as soon as I’m done with this entry. My last chance until the rain comes and lasts well into next week. I’ll try to get 6 miles in today. I’ll do the my strength training while Reuben is taking his nap this afternoon. What I like about this book is that he tells you how to modify the exercises to your level. He even talks about doing push-ups standing with your hands against the wall. I will be able to see how I progress from easier to harder versions of each exercise as I get stronger. I’m excited! I do want to buy some fat calipers so that I can figure out my percent body fat. I’ll have to start without them (I think I have to order them online), but that’s fine. I seriously doubt I’m going to change my body composition that fast.

I haven’t decided how I’m going to work my cardio around this. I want to do so much, lol. I still want to walk, participate in races, and start running again, but I’m really more interested in building muscle at this stage in the game. I want to not only be happy with my body, I want to be impressed with me. I have other exercises that I want to incorporate into my YAYOG workouts or make it like circuit training. I haven’t figured all of that out yet. I’ll see how I feel after today or maybe after the end of this week to see how I can tweak it. Or maybe I’ll leave YAYOG as it is and on those days do another 30 minutes of some type of cardio strength training circuits. I also need to create a new workout playlist. Excited!

So I guess i need to post those before pics, huh? Let me say, I have no intention of ever wearing this bikini anywhere but taking these pics. That’s what I bought it for back before I got pregnant. I’m afraid of water and don’t know how to swim (I’m planning on learning, though), so I don’t really own any swimwear. Not true, I bought a swimsuit last summer, but I doubt it fits now. Anyway. The before pics. Posting these gives me a serious sense of accountability. I will take pics and post them each month to monitor my progress. Here goes…

before front
before back
before side

I never tire of looking at that picture of my back. It looks soooooooo different from this, circa 2002:
before 2002

I am determined. I am committed. I will not waiver. I will not quit. I *WILL* tone my body. I WILL LOOK BETTER NAKED!!!