Happy Thanksgiving! Today I have a Squats for Pie workout for you to squeeze in around your Thanksgiving prep. It's only 12 minutes, you won't regret making the time.
There are a lot of different things that inspire and motivate me each day. I am motivated to continue working out and eating healthy not only because I have lost so much weight and am committed to never putting it back on, but even moreso because I feel healthier (rarely get sick and recover quickly when I do), stronger, and have more confidence in myself and my abilities when I know I am taking care of myself. I believe so intensely in how empowering healthy living is that I strive to encourage everyone to try to see even just some of the light it has shown me. This new workout will make you a believer. It's so fun and over so quickly you'll be shocked and left wanting more. Time flies when you're having fun...
Today's workout is a brutal one. You see me struggle, you see me sweat, but what you don't see is me giving up. I dug deep and got through it; you can too. Come try it with me...
Yesterday I yelled my way through a 2 minute plank hold. It was especially difficult this time because it came at the end of what had already been a very arm and shoulder heavy workout, so my upper body was really feeling it. But I refused to put my knees down or raise my hips up; I kept yelling and I kept holding. I assure you working out won't always be quite so difficult, but even when it is, we have the power to dig deep and find the strength to keep going. Fighting through that pain is how you get stronger. This is true emotionally as well, we always come out stronger on the other side of trying emotional times. Things that are difficult really show you what you're made of. You are strong enough to get through anything life throws at you. But for starters, you're definitely strong enough to get through a 5 minute workout.
I had such a difficult time getting myself to do my workout yesterday. It took me 2 hours to finally start it, and I really struggled throughout. I was upset with myself for having trouble with some of the more challenging poses and having to go slower and take breaks so I didn't hurt myself. I wasn't having fun, and I was so relieved when it was over. This is a rare feeling for me, but we all have those days where it just feels impossible to do something and you have to just push yourself through it anyway. It likely won't feel this bad again even the very next day. So I got through it. And I was grateful that I did, even as much as I struggled. I know I have room for improvement, but this challenge was important. I know that I will improve because I took on this challenge and that is a good feeling. Always strive to be better today than you were yesterday, and better tomorrow than you were today.
Today's workout I felt ready and excited for and it was a welcome start to my day. This was a great improvement from yesterday; but even if I hadn't felt better, I know I just have to keep going, have to keep moving forward. Can't let minor setbacks have you lose sight of how far you've come and all the progress you've made and will continue to make. Consistency is key. If you maintain healthy habits each day, they become just that, habits. Exercise for me has become as essential and habitual to my mornings as brushing my teeth, truly. It's part of my basic self-care and health management. Even when I feel too tired or like I just don't want to do it, I do it anyway, it's necessary for me. Because for me, exercise is as powerful as medicine and I need it.
I struggled with depression from a very young age, something chemically doesn't work properly in my brain, and the only thing I've found that truly helps manage my symptoms is exercise. This is not to say that getting to this point was easy or is easy for most, because it wasn't and often isn't. I was overweight and sedentary for a long time, and I couldn't even fathom purposely being active. Depression can be paralyzing, and even on a good day the hardest part of anything is mustering up the energy to start something, just to begin. But one day, and I'm still not sure how, but, I managed to get myself up and out of the house, and it just clicked for me: this is how I want to feel, and this is the way I need to do it. And I've never looked back. I'll discuss this further in a later post but the takeaway message is: Fitness is a journey, and sometimes it takes a long time and a lot of missteps before we can find it and begin, but once you do and you commit, you'll never want to stop.
Anyone else at a crossroads? Back in January I quit my job of 4 years. I was the assistant manager of a small mom and pop hardware store. It was fun for a while, I even met my boyfriend working there, but the business was going under and it became an increasingly difficult place to work, so I had to get out. Before I quit I started thinking about what I might want to do next, and right away I thought: personal training. It seemed so obvious, working out was the thing I prioritized highest every day. Why wouldn't I want to help others work out and feel better for a living? It's what I love.
It sounds so crazy to some to say that you actually enjoy working out, but I really do. There's never a better way I could have spent the time I used to exercise and take care of my body. And I always ask myself "what's going to serve me better?" not just in relation to working out, but in any way that I might be about to irresponsibly spend my time. 'Cause I am a professional procrastinator. But working out is always the way I start my day. You just budget that time into your morning routine; I deliberately wake up earlier when I have somewhere I have to be, even before work and school. I feel so groggy and moody without it. I don't like who I am without exercise, I'm my best self when I am active. Even just finding 5 minutes in your day to get moving will make a world of difference in your energy and mood.
Try it out with me, 5 minutes of:
20 jumping jacks
(Ok so the sound got messed up and didn't work for this video. You can still get the gist of what's going on even without hearing me talk. Just watch my form and since I speak very expressively you can read my lips pretty easily when I speak directly to the camera anyway.)
Now the first thing you may be thinking after watching this is "hey, her body's not perfect," and you would be correct! (In my defense I'd also like to add that I find my workout clothes to be particularly unflattering and overemphasizing of my flaws." But what you can also see is I don't give up even when the workout gets tough, because where there's a challenge, there's change. Always remember that. I may not look quite like an elite athlete, but I am strong and have great endurance and stamina. I personally am not interested in being super thin because for me, maintaining that meant nearly starving. I feel too terrible not eating enough calories. For women especially it's important not to restrict calories too low because our bodies need them plus a bit of body fat to properly regulate our hormones. I was skipping periods when I was too thin and not eating enough, and that is a very bad thing if that is not normal for you. I'll talk more about that in a later post, but the bottom line is, for the most part, I look like an average woman. Maybe a little fitter? I don't know, you be the judge, it's hard to be objective about yourself, we're all our own harshest critics. But I hope you'll follow along with me on my continuing journey to get more fit. We're gonna do this, and feel amazing, together.
Crochet-loving Personal Trainer, Yogi, and Wellness Coach.
Lover of tiny animals and objects. BS in Nutrition and Dietetics. Plant-based. Read More...