I was in a funk, there’s no better way to describe it, almost precisely a year ago I was in a terrible funk. Knowing exactly what I needed to do to break the spell of the blahs was easy, being ready and willing to do it was the hard part. Finally my my mind, body and attitude aligned and I was ready to (warning, here comes a word some of you may loathe) workout.
Working out is not exactly foreign to me. A track runner in high school, I continued exercise throughout my college years (for fear of the “freshman 15”). Running is a great stress reliever and can performed just about anywhere, probably why I kept up with it after college. Of course there would be highs and lows of how much I was actually working out but for the most part I stayed with it. That is until we decided to grow our family.
My workout routine took a backseat while trying to successfully carry a child. By the time we were blessed with the miracle that our baby was healthy and growing I really didn’t want to be bouncing around too much. The doctor assured me exercise was safe but for my own sanity I decided walking was as strenuous as it was going to get. Luckily I spent my pregnancy feeling amazing and surprisingly prettier than I have ever felt in my entire life. Months of pure bliss that I will forever cherish. Even though I could hardly contain the excitement of meeting our little girl I also knew there would be some sadness with my pregnancy officially ending. Little did I know how much sadness and worse yet how much my self image would suffer.
The first 9 months of being a new mom was great in so many ways. We could not be more in love with our Jettie who was not only a wonderful baby but a fantastic sleeper (hallelujah). When I was by myself however I avoided mirrors at all costs, despised choosing an outfit (truly an out of body experience) and was convinced that every woman on the planet became a perfect twig while nursing except me. Every time someone said “you look great” I chalked it up to a generic statement that all women receive after childbirth. Nothing about my body felt great, nothing about me felt great, nothing I did was great.
One morning I woke up deciding enough is enough. If I wanted to feel better about myself I needed to at least make an effort. At the time I was nursing and not prepared for the discomfort that came along with nursing and running. This could have derailed me completely but instead I used it as a mission statement to myself – as soon as I was done nursing I would begin a routine of exercise. I stuck to that commitment, and now a year later I’m feeling better than I can ever remember. Of course it is not always easy (sometimes it’s down right excruciating) but so incredibly worth it.
These are the things that worked for me, they will not work for everyone, but I think it’s all about being honest with yourself and knowing what you are comfortable with and capable of. For instance, I am not a gym person. They smell, there’s grunts, groans and moans from all angles and people are constantly making that “ahhhhhhh” sound after they drink water (seriously, was it that exhausting to gulp the aqua dude?). Then there is the obvious – people are watching you. It’s the mecca of people watching and when you’re as graceful as a cow on ice that can be intimidating. Therefore in the privacy of my home resides a treadmill, yoga mat, hand weights and workout DVDs. Of course I run or walk outside from time to time and will use a gym while traveling but in general all the gear I need to get me through my routine is at my fingertips.My Routine (this is extremely flexible and I rarely stick to it to a tee but it is there so I have a gauge for what I have accomplished in the week and what I haven’t):
- Monday – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Level 2
- Tuesday – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Level 2 + 3 to 4 miles on treadmill
- Wednesday – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Level 2 + Jillian Michaels Killer Buns & Thighs Level 1
- Thursday – 4 to 5 miles on treadmill + crunches and leg lifts
- Friday – Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Level 2
- Saturday – Off
- Sunday – 5 to 6 miles on treadmill + crunches and leg lifts
Yes, I do spend a lot of time with Jillian. And yes, I used to hate her too but the workouts honestly work for me. Shred is done in less than 26 minutes and makes you feel like you worked out for at least 45. It tones without adding bulk and believe it or not some of the moves are fun. Like any exercise you have to focus on form to truly see the results she is promising. I now love Jillian and would like to personally thank her for firmer thighs. As for the treadmill time all I need is my iPod and Pandora for the perfect little escape from my day.
How do I fit it into a busy schedule? I don’t make excuses first and foremost. Making it a priority transcends into me being a better mother, wife, worker and person. Jettie wakes at 8AM and on a perfect day I get up at 6AM, workout, shower and am good to go by the time she is rubbing sleep out of her eyes. Rarely my days are perfect so I often squeeze it in during her afternoon nap. If that doesn’t happen I force myself to make time when Sticky arrives home from work – that’s the worst because I have put it off all day. When it is all said and done though I have NEVER regretted working out, it’s the days I play hookey I regret.
Of course if I am going to be sweating I still need to feel put together while doing it. Not a fan of spending on workout gear I decided to give Forever 21’s Activewear a try and absolutely love it. The price is right, fit is good and it’s so comfortable. Definitely worth ordering online if your local Forever does not carry in store.Being 100% confident with my body will never happen but the added energy and overall well being I have gained is worth every single drop of sweat. This past year has not been about fitting in a pair of jeans, or wanting to feel good in a bathing suit – it’s been about finding happiness in a place I forgot about the moment my pregnancy ended. All I want for Jettie is to be happy, it’s my job to show her she deserves it, we all do.