We want to let you all in on a little secret. We are not perfect over here and we do not have everything figured out! That needs to be known up front. We are just two girls doing our best to live a healthy life and encourage others to do the same. So, today we wanted to get personal with you regarding our current relationship to exercise. We want to share our past and current struggles and commit to improving this area in our lives!
Allie and Exercise
I have a very weird relationship with exercise. For my entire life I was told that I was not athletic. It didn’t necessarily bother me. I used it to form my identity at a really young age and embraced things like art, piano and rock collecting (which are ALL very cool, by the way!). I took this into college and while I dated my husband. It was almost a challenge for my friends to get me to run, shoot baskets, or attend a workout course. The thought of being physically active was directly correlated to shame and embarrassment. Plus, it doesn’t help that I hate doing things I’m not good at.
But then I got married, put on TWENTY pounds on my very small frame and then felt like I had to join a gym in order to fix the situation. I would use the elliptical while I watched horrible music videos on the gym tv’s and then I’d go home and eat crappy food.
It wasn’t until August of 2012 that I lost all that weight. And I didn’t work out a single minute. Instead, I cut sugar and grain out of my diet and the 15 pounds disappeared almost instantly. It was insane. I had finally found a way to NEVER WORK OUT AGAIN.
But guess what? Just because you look like you’re in shape doesn’t mean you are. I have a lot of people fooled right now, but I know deep down that I’d be so much healthier and happier if I was consistently active. Starting this blog with Mary has been so huge and we both feel motivated to improve this area in our life. For the month of March, I am going on a spending freeze and have decided to practice yoga daily. It’s a small step but to me it feels huge. To remove temporary happiness caused by accumulating things and focus on how my body moves feels so refreshing.
I would encourage any of you to make a small step towards a healthier direction today. You don’t need to sign up for a half marathon, join a gym or workout for 2 hours a day. Maybe start by doing planks in our bedroom or taking a 30 minute walk after work. Something is better than nothing.
Mary and Exercise
I too have an interesting relationship with exercise. I grew up playing basketball. I played on school teams, AAU teams (during the summer), and even church leagues between 4th-10th grade. So, with that I was always doing some kind of physical activity. I quit basketball after my sophomore year of highschool because it just was no longer fun or interesting to me. It wasn’t until college that I started to focus on getting active again.
One exercise I always loved was walking. I could walk for days. Once in college though I got into the gym. When I met my college sweetheart (aka my husband) I started focusing on weight training because he was a huge advocate for it. See, I was never into “cardio” as most other girls were. I hated running. Still hate running. That was probably due to the fact that I ran all the time for basketball practice and back then I ate horribly, which really hindered performance. Weight lifting actually got me some results. I began seeing muscles and that was extremely exciting for me! It only motivated me.
I really kicked up my exercise in graduate school. I would say these were my two “fittest” years. My first year there my roommate and I would jog together and I did yoga at least 4 times a week. My second year I was living alone, and I was completely focused on completing my internship. That time was very stressful, and I learned quickly that after a long day interning at the hospital I needed a place to relieve some stress. I had an amazing internship partner, Tess, who also shared the value of exercise. We started going to the gym together and lifted weights and ran sprints. I felt so great those two years! Even in the midst of being super busy and feeling very challenged I managed to work out consistently. Looking back though, I lived away from all family, my boyfriend (aka husband), and most all friends at the time. I had less to distract me.
I then joined the P90X crowd and completed that before my wedding. It was a great program and I saw great results, but I soon realized after getting married that the program was setting myself up for failure. I was now married, working full-time, and commuting two hours a day over a mountain. Working out at night fizzled away. I began to understand what my mother used to say after she would come home from work… “I’m tired.” The past (almost 3 years) of being married I have “tried” weekly to get on a consistent schedule, but it just has not happened yet. With that there has been a lot of guilt on my end. I also just do not feel as good about myself.
Like Allie said, I also tend to focus more on the diet side than anything. I love working out and “know” how important it is, but finding a routine that I can (now, in this phase of life) stick with has been very challenging. As mentioned, I prefer weight training with more of a HITT style of cardio. I’m also a huge fan of yoga. I am committing along with Allie to do yoga twice a week and lift weights twice a week for the month of March.
So, will you join us?
None of us are perfect, so let’s be realistic and take small steps together. Where do you stand in your (current) relationship to exercise? Ask yourself, be honest, and just simply get started. We are right there with you!