It seems that P90X is still mostly considered a weight loss program by many. Before and after stories still get the most attention if you can see a huge drop in weight. I am honestly a bit annoyed about that fact. It reduces an amazing fitness program to the bare bones. Of course the weight loss is really important to a lot of people and I can understand that but on the other hand it really does sell the program short.
I myself was quite thin to start with but I admire everyone who does lose a big amount of weight with P90X. I am not sure if I had the willpower to push through if I didn’t have a certain amount of fitness to start with.
I am coming however from a different background. One which you don’t really hear about that much because you can’t really show it in before and after progress pictures:
Besides the fact that I was toning down, I mostly love P90X because it taught me a new lifestyle and gave me a huge boost in overall living quality. My knee pain I used to have during other workouts has been going back steadily to the point where I don’t have to worry about it any more. I am positive that this is mostly due to the Yoga workout and the fact that it does work on the muscles I normally don’t use. Funny enough, I always knew that not eating breakfast is a bad thing..a lot of things I DID know but I never really saw the difference it makes if you START doing all those things and the positive changes that come with it. It taught and showed me why you should do all those things you hear about but maybe never really decide to start doing.
It gave me control over my body back. Something I was seriously missing after my first Multiple Sclerosis Attack three years ago. Since then I have been in the hospital 4 times, had huge troubles with my balance and chronically felt tired and without energy. I constantly felt cold, overwhelmed, stressed and like I had cotton in my brain. Not to mention every move felt sluggish and delayed to me.
During these 90 days I have learned why Yoga is important, what resistance training does, the different type of muscles and fiber types, why drinking enough water is essential, how you eat healthy, that people get educated wrongly by reading magazines that tell you, you can lose your saddle-bags with specific exercises only (right..), why both cardio and strength training are important, how your body works during exercises and after and why sleep is indeed very important. That you shouldn’t freak out when you gain a bit of size as a girl when you first start out to exercise and how to properly work with my hyper-extended legs. Lots of additional things you hear daily but it just does make so much more sense if you actually experience it yourself. It’s just sad that despite my athletic background with competitive sports at younger age, it took me almost 35 years to realize and believe in all this knowledge. All this due to the program itself and the communication with people on these boards.
Since I started P90X I improved from being able to do 2 normal push-ups to 20 normal ones. I went from 0 pull-ups to 3 unassisted ones, I went from 0 seconds of crane to 20+ seconds, I went from not being able to put my fingertips to the floor during standing hamstring stretches to almost completely contracted, from not being able to touch my toes during seated hamstring stretches to needing a yoga block for additional range. From not being able to go through one whole set of moves in ARX to being able to do the whole routine with only a few pauses here and there.
More importantly, I went from being scared to walk down the stairs to not having to worry about it. From being overly tired and unmotivated to very energetic and adventurous to the point where everyone around me gets exhausted before I even consider stopping. From not being able to properly paint, back to accepting freelance commissions again. Or in short, I went from being a MS patient with several impairments that seriously hindered my day-to-day life to feeling the best I have ever felt before – including any time before my diagnosis.
I went for several runs recently while enjoying some vacation at my parents place including a 10km run I didn’t even know if I can make it through. I did, without problems and I went running out of my own initiative which never EVER happened before. Just thinking back to that makes me water up because I never thought I would feel that feeling of being in control over my body ever again.
My before and after pictures will never look as amazing as some others but people around me, friends and family can clearly see the progress I made and the changes I went through. That’s all that counts for me. (Except my tummy – I love my tummy definition and hope to further improve with my current Insanity journey )