HAPPY NEW YEAR! The new year excites me, because it means my anniversary is in a few weeks. I’ll soon be starting my SEVENTH year on my weight loss journey, and I’m still going strong. I’m so proud that I’ve lost 160 pounds and kept it off for two-thirds of a decade!
That picture on the right is from Christmas Eve. My shirt is drenched with sweat. And that’s because I gave myself a Christmas week challenge that just sort of happened. I didn’t plan it. It just sorta evolved out of one good workout.
I was in Michigan for Christmas, and I got there on the 19th. I’ve already discussed, in my prior post, how I ate too much on this trip, but I always get my workouts in when I’m on the road, regardless if I eat like a saint or a slob. My heart, lungs, and muscles don’t take a break when I’m on vacation, so neither should I! Plus, I need (and sometimes crave) the physical, mental, and emotional release that exercise provides.
I landed in the early evening, and the next morning I visited the Planet Fitness in my hometown. (The same Planet Fitness I frequented when I was there over the summer.) The day before had been a rest day, so I wanted to jump-start a new week of workouts with a big calorie burn. So I headed to the Arc Trainer, a cardio machine that would deliver exactly that.
After 45 intense minutes of me pushing myself, I had burned 957 calories! My legs were tight as heck, so I followed that up with 15 minutes of slow incline walking on the treadmill (speed: 3.0, incline: 5.0) just to loosen up. That added 104 more calories, for a total of 1061 – hot damn!
Usually I don’t like to do the same workout two days in a row, but I loved the feeling of accomplishment that I got after a 1,000+ calorie burn, so I decided to do it again the next day. I did the same Arc Trainer/treadmill combo, and on Day 2 I burned 1,141 calories.
That’s when I decided to turn this into a challenge. CAN I BURN OVER 1,000 CALORIES EVERY DAY UNTIL CHRISTMAS?
I reached my zenith on Day 3 (Christmas Eve eve), when I burned 1,248 calories. On Christmas Eve, I burned 1,115. Here’s my evidence:
(Each row is a different day. Left column is Arc Trainer calories, right column is treadmill calories. All workouts were 60-65 combined minutes)
The gym was closed on Christmas, but that didn’t stop me from working out. I brought one of Richard Simmons’ DVDs with me and did “Sweatin’ to the Oldies 3” at my parents’ house.
I had never done this DVD before, and it was fun. It’s carnival-themed, and there’s a live band in the back playing the music. Every once in a while, a singer or guitar player would come onto Richard’s platform and do their solo next to Richard as he leads the exercises, which was different and interesting. Towards the end, during the cool-down, a flutist came out and played the flute solo in “California Dreamin'” right next to Richard as he led the stretches, and it was the most bizarre, unintentionally hilarious thing I’ve ever seen in a workout video. I couldn’t stop laughing.
I’m sure I didn’t burn 1,000 calories during Richard’s DVD, but I bet I burned a few hundred, and my only objective was to get in some activity before our huge Christmas dinner.
On the day after Christmas, my final full day in Michigan, I went back to the gym, and climbed on the Arc Trainer to resume my challenge, but I wasn’t feeling it. Instead of 45 minutes, I did 25, and then moved over to a bike. I think all the tough workouts in a row had caught up with me, and I was happy to take it down a notch for my final workout before another rest day. I still burned 830 calories!
My 1,000+ calorie workouts aren’t for everyone, but the idea behind my challenge can be applied by anyone to anything. When you find something that works for you, push yourself to keep going, workout after workout. If you can walk for 30 minutes, challenge yourself to never walk less than that, or push yourself to 35 to see how it feels. It doesn’t need to be a big, fancy program. Figure out what you like doing, and KEEP DOING IT.
And then, when you’re ready, switch it up. I used the Arc Trainer during five workouts in Michigan, and I got my fill for a while. So, since coming back to California, I’ve stayed away from the Arc Trainer and focused on other things. I’ll share what those things are in future posts. Until then, let’s take a look at this photo one more time:
This might be my favorite gym selfie I’ve ever taken. It’s a great reminder of the ongoing dedication I have towards maintaining and improving my health. So, for the first time in 2017…
…Keep it up, David!
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