I want to preface this whole series with the disclaimer that I’m just a regular ole mom of three who wasn’t super comfortable in her own skin after growing and birthing and nursing said three humans. I’m not a professional, I’ve had no training in this. In fact, I’ve never worked out consistently in my WHOLE LIFE until August 2017. But with that, I hope it encourages you because if I can do this, you can do it too.
I also want to note that there is not ONE exercise path you have to take. Just because this works for me doesn’t necessarily mean it will be what works for you. Everybody is different and every BODY is different so I encourage you to not be afraid to try new things! Try classes you never thought you would. Try workout videos you never thought you would. One day I couldn’t get to the gym so I did a hip hop Tabata video and it ended up being really fun and an awesome workout! You never know what you’ll respond to until you try!
As I’ve said before, this has been a slow + steady sort of a “journey.” The first time I went to the gym was August 21, 2017 and I hated every.single.minute of the BBG workout we did. I’m not kidding, I hated it. I decided to try some group fitness classes because it was easier to blend in and I needed someone telling me what to do and pushing me. I started with a step class and quickly grew to love it! It challenged me (but not too much) and was fun. I continued to go to the gym about once a week, maybe twice on a good week. I didn’t try very many other classes until December.
The gym was putting on a “12 days” kind of a challenge in December. I hadn’t hardly been to the gym 12 times in months let alone in 4 weeks but I decided I wanted to see if I could do it. Sometimes my competitive, driven side isn’t so bad ;). I worked out through the Christmas break and even went with my sister-in-law a few times and guess what…I DID IT! It felt so good to reach a goal I had set for myself and even better to reach a goal that was so out of my comfort zone. The whole month of December my friends could see how dedicated I was to going and I kept saying, “Oh trust me. This won’t stick! It’s such a commitment. Once December is over I’ll go back to going once or twice a week, I promise.” Well guess what? I have stuck with going to the gym 4-6x a week every single week (except spring break) since mid-December because I just felt better! I wanted to keep it going. I had more energy, was more productive, was proud of myself. I wanted to keep reaching goals and keep challenging myself.
Now I will still stick by the fact that this sort of a schedule is a commitment. On days I’m feeling like I’m not going to want to go to the gym the next morning, I sleep in my workout clothes. Might seem a little excessive but the decision is already made for me in my head if I wake up in them. I go even when I’m not 100% feeling it because I know how much better I’ll feel after. I’ve had friends call me “crazy” or “addicted” but I just smile and flip those negative words to a positive “committed” in my head. Because I started out being a total newbie to the gym and working out in general, I really think if I had started out going this much I would have burned out so quickly. I needed to develop a love for it to maintain. I truly believe that everyone should go at their own pace and listen to their bodies. Don’t compare your progress to someone else’s…that usually only ends up in one place and it’s hardly ever a positive one!
A lot of you guys wanted to know what I do for child care but first I want to start out by saying there is a season for everything. For the last eight years, I’ve been pregnant, in a newborn haze, or nursing almost the entire time. I know lots and lots of mamas who work out right after they have babies but that was never me. It wasn’t a priority and honestly, I wasn’t a priority to myself. I was so wrapped up in taking care of my babies I couldn’t hardly carve out the time to shower. Now that Sawyer (our youngest) is almost 2.5, I feel like I can breathe and focus on myself a little more. Our older two are in school full day and Sawyer just tags along to the gym with me and plays in the daycare. He didn’t start out loving the daycare but we kept going and now he LOOOVES it! He begs to go and I happily oblige. With all of that being said, I do wish I had taken time for myself sooner because I really believe it makes me a better mom. Finding time to work out when you have little kids is hard but you can do it! Even if it’s a 30 minute walk in the evening, just get moving!
MY FAVORITE CLASSES
— I started out loving step and it was a good launching point but I now prefer other cardio classes (that are a little more challenging) or a HIIT class that includes weights
— Tabata is great! Hard but feels so good when you’re done. Cardio + weights.
— Vinyasa yoga is one of my favorite classes. It’s so relaxing, you get a good stretch, but still feels like a workout for sure. Get ready to sweat!
— High Fitness. I just recently discovered High Fitness! It’s cardio turned up to 100 but like all group fitness, it can be as hard or as easy as you want. Just go at your own pace. There are always modifications! Don’t be intimidated going to classes and feeling like you’re not keeping up. Those people probably work out a lot and you’ll be there soon (if you want to be!)
—TCX + FIT are great, harder classes. They include weights but guys, DON’T BE SCARED OF WEIGHTS! They have been SO important in my goal of getting strong and not just losing fat. I started with 5 pound weights and now alternate between 8 and 10 for classes. One day I’ll be brave and learn how to use the equipment at the gym. See! There are always more goals to accomplish.
-I also do a few of Kristin Andrus’ workout videos when I just want to do my own thing. After taking lots of classes I feel much more confident doing things on my own! She has videos for all levels!
MY GYM ROUTINE
I go to the gym right after school drop off so I’m there by 8. Most of the classes I go to don’t start until 8:45 but I love having that time to stretch and warm up on the treadmill. I usually drop Sawyer off, stretch and use the roller for about 15 minutes, walk 1-1.5 miles then go to my class. One of my new goals is to hold a two minute plank every day so lately I’ve been stopping back off at the stretch area to do that before I leave. Working out in the morning is absolutely what works best for me. I like to get it done then have so much more energy and motivation for the day. I’ve worked out in the evenings when I’ve had to (sick kids I can’t take to daycare) and I always am feeling kind of blah because my stomach is so full of food from the day. One might work better for your schedule though so just do what you gotta do!
This is turning out to be a lot longer than I expected so I’m going to end here. I hope I answered everyone’s questions you sent in on instagram and if I didn’t, please feel free to drop a comment here or a DM on instagram! I’ve loved getting messages from you guys about where you are in your fitness goals so please keep sending them! Next up will be all about my diet!