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4 Weeks of OpenFit: A Newbie Exerciser Speaks

I’m a newbie exerciser at Openfit. On November 1, I decided to take my own advice and finally get serious about fitness. Today marks four weeks, and here’s what I think.

First of all, what is Openfit? Openfit is a fitness video streaming service. It launched in 2019 and offers live and on-demand classes from certified fitness instructors. It also has supplements, personalized meal-prep and nutrition tracking tools. (I haven’t tried those yet.)

Why did I choose Openfit? This is embarrassingly non-scientific: I already had an annual subscription that I wasn’t using. I had purchased it earlier this year with a Sam’s Club member discount. I figured buying an annual membership would 1) save money over month-to-month fees (true); and 2) make me want to work out (false).

Full disclosure: I’m an exercise program hopper, just like I’m a diet hopper. I’ve tried Grokker, Beach Body, Jazzercise, Daily Burn – among others. And they were all perfectly fine – some even great. But I never stuck with them longer than a few days.

Now, I KNOW there’s no diet or exercise plan that’s simple, instant and painless. But that Holy Grail keeps shining. The ugly truth is this: You just have to be ready to do the work.

So for some reason I finally DID feel ready, and I already had an Openfit subscription. Game on!

Beginning Exercise: Getting Started

You should know that I’m a 57-year-old grandma who’s about 40 pounds overweight. Other than being a dough gob from my food addiction and 9-5 desk gig (and otherwise sedentary lifestyle), I’m in pretty good health.

IMPORTANT: If you haven’t been exercising, check with your healthcare provider before you start. Make sure everything’s in working order first! You could otherwise seriously harm yourself. Seriously.

When you’re a newbie exerciser, it’s tough to know where to start. Everything looks too hard, but the newbie stuff looks like a waste of time. (Yes, I know that doesn’t make sense. Exercise IS hard; that’s the point.) If I’m going to give up my life of leisure, I want it to show.

I decided to start with Andrea Rogers’ Barre & Pilates series. I love that long, lean dancer look, and Pilates has such a great reputation.

Um… No. God love ya, Andrea Rogers, but three classes was enough.

First, I didn’t realize it was a Level 2 class. Definitely not meant for a beginner like me. Trying to flop an overweight, out of shape body around at that pace was an ego killer. Not to mention, downright impossible. And hateful.

Second, I could not relate to the lovely Miss Andrea. This is totally on me. Her tiny, excruciatingly thin body type is my polar opposite. I’m a strong, sturdy type at the best of times, and she’s a baby Barbie in Spandex. With her perky studio hair and makeup, it was more than my 6am self-esteem and snarled bed-head could take so early in my fitness journey.

I will say, however, that those classes were excellent. She’s a good instructor, with great cuing and killer exercises. Hmmm… maybe someday…?

Anyway, so I did Andrea Rogers’ classes for three days. Then I did a yoga stretch/recovery day, as I could hardly move.

Finding the Right Fit

And then I discovered “Get Moving & Losing in 4 Weeks” with Jen Widerstrom. Oh Jen, how I love you! Since I’d decided to exercise six days a week, I did the first two days of her series to finish out my first week on Openfit. Then I rested Sunday and started fresh on Monday with Jen’s program from the beginning.

So I’ve just finished the third week of “Get Moving and Losing in 4 Weeks.” AND four weeks of exercise total. This is the longest, most consistently I’ve exercised in three decades. Yes – three decades. And I feel so good.

Already I notice straighter posture, deeper breathing, quieter heartbeat, more stamina, deeper sleep, more flexibility, better balance and more strength in my legs, arms and core. My face is thinner, and my neck looks more firm.

And without trying, I’ve lost 4 pounds! Maybe that doesn’t sound like much, but I haven’t watched my diet at all. (That starts soon.) I wanted to concentrate on consistency and movement first.

Newbie exerciser 25 Openfit classesBut one of the biggest perks is self-esteem. I feel SO PROUD of myself. I’ve exercised 24 times this month! THIS girl. This couch potato girl. When the world is still dark at 6am, I’m sweating and lifting and doing it. I’m changing my body and changing my life. I’m one of those unicorn women I idolize.

Go me!

So why did exercise stick this time? I think it’s a few reasons:

  • Honestly, I think I’m just ready. I made the decision. Life is priceless, life is short, and I want to be fit so I can enjoy it fully. At age 57, I’ve got decades left, God willing. But I’m also at an age where I see my health changing. We kinda get a free ride till about age 40. After that, we need to work harder and be more intentional, if we want to live and age well. It’s time to get serious.
  • I got specific. I set up a place to work out (the guest room); put it on the calendar (Monday-Saturday from 6:00-6:45am); and decided my program (“Get Moving & Losing in 4 Weeks”). I even set my morning alarm a half-hour earlier. I made concrete plans so I avoid the wishy-washy mind game I like to play with myself. My house is asleep at 6am, and my “gym” is ready. No excuses.
  • I adjusted my plan right away, when my first program choice didn’t work.
  • Jen Widerstrom. Seriously. Apparently she was one of the coaches on The Biggest Loser, but I’d never heard of her till now. Her approach to exercise is so friendly, so doable, and uber effective. She’s the girl next door, with a strong, killer bod that makes me want to work my own. Her program is made for beginners just like me. I don’t know how she gets me to work so hard, but she nailed it. And I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow!

Exercise is never easy. It’s not meant to be, or you’re not doing it right. The very definition of exercise is physical resistance and effort that strains the body toward improvement.

Get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. ~ Jen Widerstrom

For those of us who are overweight or unfit, exercise is uncomfortable and downright awkward. It’s hard to get started and even harder to stick with.

But after four weeks in, let me promise you – it’s worth it. And it gets better.

Ready to start your own fitness journey? Find a time, a place and a program you won’t hate (Openfit or otherwise). Go for consistency over length. (15 minutes daily is better than 1-1/2 hours once a week.) Have everything ready, so it’s hard to NOT work out. Kill your excuses.

Then show up and make yourself proud.

Pixabay photo by Vicky Bhargava

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