Unexpected Growth

When I purchased JMBR, I was looking for a way to lose the baby weight and get myself back into a workout routine. I’ve gotten so much more from it than that though. 

The first week, way back in March, I was so nervous, because I looooove Jillian, but I’d never ever been able to finish one of her workouts without a lot of breaks, modifying, and generally feeling defeated. Well, I was so excited during that first workout, because even though I’d done little to no exercise for over a year during  2/3 of my pregnancy and being in my baby bubble, I could *do* this! It wasn’t easy, but I could get through the workout. At that point in my journey, that was what I needed to boost my confidence. When I leveled up the first time was when things really started to fall apart, because suddenly THIS WAS HARD! my pride took a hit. I didn’t wanna modify, take breaks, whatever. Some of these moves were killing me, and I was literally frustrated to tears. It was also around this time that I went back to cycle class for the first time since Lexi, and in hindsight, I think that was a big factor in my frustration, and the beginning of my period of overtraining. I really struggled through class both times my first week back, but I finished-again, amazing myself, because it took me a good month back in 2011 to get through a whole 60 min with shelle, and here I was, doing it my first day back! I really started here seeing how incredible my body is, and it was definitely a spark of the fiery change that was to come. 
But then the overtraining happened. I tried to layer JMBR (which I was struggling with all on its own) with cycle 3x a week, yoga, walking, and a 45 min Tracy Anderson DVD. This gave my body no recovery, overtrained my muscles, and  most of all, left me feeling really discouraged. I struggled hard with consistency during this time, and saw very little progress in my performance. By the end of June I’d burnt myself out and didn’t work out once in July. When I came back to fitness in late August, I knew I had to do it differently, and at first I was still overtraining, but within a month I got my training dialed in. All I needed to be doing to see results was JMBR and cycle. I could get an extra burn and give Lexi some time outdoors by adding a walk. 9/2 was my JMBR restart date, and 9/23 was the first day of this new plan. 
Consistency is the first gift I feel I’ve been given by myself through this program. Since my restart in late August I’ve only missed 2 exercise days, and one of them was due to sciatica. I attribute this to the simplification of my program (who would have thought I’d be getting faster better results from 35-90m a day than the 4h I was doing in 2011?) and to the mental strength I’ve developed over the past 2.5 years that has really blossomed the past 12 weeks. 
This mental strength has manifested in the area of pushing harder and knowing when to modify. My first attempt at JMBR involved a lot of skipping exercises and cardio intervals and feeling afterwards like i was either weak or cheating myself. This second time through, I’ve had a different mindset. You do what you can. This works both ways- I try every exercise and interval. Much of the time that exercise I was skipping is totally doable, either modified or at fewer reps to start. And if I need to modify or hit pause to catch my breath, that’s okay, as long as I get back to it. I’m not going to beat myself up for doing *my* best and I’m not going to actually cheat myself by not trying and not finding out what my best is. Maybe I’ll be able to do those 3 part push-ups one day, but for now I’m pretty stoked I did 10 military style in a row, because before JMBR I’d never done one. 
One area I’ve seen huge improvement in is my ability to do Plyo moves as cardio intervals. Before this I barely tried and used my bad joints as an excuse. Since I started at least giving it a try though, I’ve found a lot of strength and improvement. I’m still pretty cautious, and keep my range of motion smaller, but I’m doing it, and finding less and less pain in my knees and ankles as I progress. 
  My performance in JMBR itself improves every week, and while I’ve never really felt ready to level up when it’s time, I always surprise myself. Cycle class, however is it’s own amazing journey, and I’m amazed at the strides I’ve made there especially over the past 12 weeks. When I came back after Lexi, I had to fight just to finish the hour each time. There was no challenging my body beyond that, I wasn’t even keeping up with the teacher’s directions to stand, sit, add gear, etc. I realized last night that now I follow every direction and though the workout kills me just as hard, it’s become a totally different experience. My goals aren’t just to get through it, but to go harder than I did last time, on speed, resistance, whatever. It’s just incredible. 
I’m really excited that I’m not spending hours a day grinding at this anymore. 35 min (40 if I take breaks) and I’m done and the day belongs to Lexi. That’s so nice, and even more than that, it’s sustainable. 
  I’ve unexpectedly found a support system like no other in a JMBR group on fb. These women (and one man) all over the world have come together with our different stories and struggles to change our lives and support each other while doing it! There is no judgement or shaming, just tons of encouragement. It’s made such a huge different for me! (hi y’all!)
One thing I never expected this journey to give me-and it started way back in 2011-is a new sense of self worth. I am a people pleaser. I want everyone to like me. The origins of this and the story of it are their own post. Because of this aspect of my personality, I tend to not stand up for myself when I’m being mistreated or taken advantage of. I often choose what will make others happy instead of what’s best for me. Now selflessness isn’t a bad thing, but I’m talking about choosing what will please others over what is truly *best* for me. This is particularly destructive on an emotional/mental health level because I struggle there often. This program has given me a simple place to start drawing a line in the sand and choosing ME. By starting by letting me tell MYSELF “no, I have value, I need this, and nothing is more important.” I began to face down the lies that I wasn’t worth value, and I have been more and more able to create boundaries. I am becoming more and more able to give of myself joyfully, because it’s out of love rather than fear. I still struggle with the fear of others’ reactions to my choices, but I’m beginning to be stronger about making the choices. 
 And yes, I do have a new body. I know this, though I don’t always see it. I’m the smallest I’ve been in my adult life. I’m the fittest and healthiest of my entire life. That’s awesome, and I’m really trying not to focus on my belly fat. 😛 

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