Truthfully, I have never enjoyed working out. My mom is a retired PE teacher, nevertheless I remember trying to get out of running in high school. Sports and dance have always been enjoyable, but I was never really an athlete or a fan of the gym. I tried a few workout regiments back in my early twenties but none of them really stuck.
Since having two children, I’ve stayed active walking around our neighborhood, gardening, riding bikes, and hiking. I joined a gym mostly due to the appeal of childcare. It was okay, but I wasn’t really committed, so it fizzled out quickly. Losing weight and staying fit has always been on my mind, but I wasn’t really doing anything about it. I kept thinking time would open up as the kids got older, but as the years have gone by, time still hasn’t magically appeared, and my body hasn’t changed.
After one Superbowl party with yummy snack foods and a few beers, I decided the pounds weren’t going to disappear on their own. I joined a friend in a Whole30 challenge, and I dropped a few pounds, which was nice, but I knew I could not eat like that forever. I’m from Jersey, after all; I love pizza, pasta, and bread! One day I told my husband I didn’t like my body, and I needed to do something about it. He responded as a loving husband and said, “But I love your body, it’s beautiful.”
While my husband’s response was sweet, I wanted to love my body, too. A friend was doing Orangetheory for awhile and really loving the results. I went to my first class where I sweated out of places I didn’t know produced sweat, so I signed up for eight classes a month. In one year I burned 37,000 calories, lost 15 pounds, dropped two pants sizes!
Between owning a business, working full time, being a mom of two kids, and filling other countless roles, time is of the essence. I’m in and out of the workouts in an hour, and I leave the gym knowing I worked my body hard. It feels good. I also love that it’s prearranged, and someone is there to tell me what to do. The coaches push me to go a little faster, lift a little bit more, and row a little further. These are all things I wouldn’t do on my own. Committing to a formal workout two days a week is what works for my family. It’s enough to allow me to work out, but still fulfill all my other duties. Sure, there are some days I don’t feel like going because a kid is sick, I’m tired, dishes from last night are still in the sink, etc. Yet, I like this workout and the results enough that I make it a priority. It’s good for me and it’s good for my family. As Mel Robbins would say, “Your feelings don’t matter. The only thing that matters is what you do.”
Just the other day, my six-year-old suggested we race around the block. I beat him hands down, easy-peasy. A year ago, I would have walked and let him win. He also loves to hike and this summer we conquered some awesome hikes together. My three-year-old still loves to be carried, and at almost forty pounds it’s not an easy task. Now when he says, “Can you pick me up?” with his adorable blue eyes looking up at me, I say sure and lift him right up without a problem. When they want to go swimming in the pool, I happily put on a bathing suit and jump in. When my husband offers to take me on a date, I enjoy trying on clothes and picking out something to wear.
Getting my booty to the gym is certainly not easy. Starting a new habit was definitely a challenge. There are still days I forget to bring a towel and end up drying off with paper towels, and there are days I forget to bring underwear and go commando for a few hours. I am often a few minutes late to class and sometimes need to leave a little early. My motto is “Any of it is better than none of it.” When I’m exhausted and feel too tired to walk, I go in with the mindset that I will just do what I can do. Before I know it, class is over, and I’ve had a great workout. I still don’t think I’ll ever be a runner or sign up to bike sixty miles, but I am happy I can easily keep up with my kids and feel good about my body!