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!

16 replies to this post
  1. I have to say, there’s something about your posts that differ greatly from other health blogs. It’s very refreshing! Something about the way your posts are written, there’s a lot of room for interpretation, instead of “You HAVE to do this to be healthy.” Very adaptable. Does that make any sense? lol…

    I feel the same way as Allie though (total art kid!), but I do love yoga! Exercise at a gym is just torture for me. So boring and I never feel quite confident in a place like that. I also have a small frame and I can instantly tell if i’m putting on any weight. Less sugar and yoga sounds like a great idea to start getting back into a healthy routine! I’m wondering, and maybe there’s already a post on this, but i’d love to know any typical meals you make without grains? I’m not a huge meat-eater, so veggies and grains/pastas are my go-to’s usually… would love to hear more!

    • We love hearing that, Daniella!!! That’s what we were aiming for when we launched this blog. We feel that each person is very unique and no one’s diet/exercise lifestyle will be the same. I’m excited to get into yoga more throughout the month. Also – I’d love to put together a post of typical grain-free meals. I find that it’s actually easier! Will add that to our schedule soon! – A

  2. Love this! Focusing on your nutrition is the best way to start to improve your health, and you have to have your nutrition down to be able to exercise and perform well (just wrote a sports nutrition post yesterday! – http://therunningcarrot.com/2013/03/07/sports-nutrition-for-optimal-performance/). I’m a huge advocate of just being active anyway you can – taking short walk breaks during your day or doing a quick set of air squats instead of sitting all day. Personally, I love exercise and varying my routine is key for me to stay motivated and not hit a plateau. My favorites are running, yoga (hip hop yoga classes!), strength training, and any outdoors activity (hiking, snowboarding, etc.).

    • Lauren – that is SUCH a great post! Thanks for sharing it with us! We love your attitude- fitness any way that you can! I’m excited to hike up Diamond Head here in Hawaii tomorrow to jump start a more active lifestyle. We’ll see how it goes :) – A

  3. Woah! Both of your stories are like a mixture of my battle with fitness! I played basketball from 4th grade all the way through high school and played in an intramural league my freshman year of college while casually running and lifting weights. Then I started dating my fiance and it was all down hill from there (he’s just so much more interesting than the treadmill :)). Next thing I knew I packed on 25 pounds and was no longer as fit and tone as when I played ball.

    With our wedding coming up I don’t want to look at our photos and regret the way I look. Last fall, I started the 21-day sugar detox and saw great results…but then the holidays came and I said see ya, diet! Then in January, my fiance and I both gave up grains and sugar. So far, I’ve lost 14-lbs and feel so much better than ever before! Having him as a support system in this is the reason why I’ve been so successful and we both are committed to this diet being our lifestyle…not just temporary. But now it’s time to get my butt in gear with exercise. I’ve added walking to my lunch breaks which is helping and I want to start stretching before bed. If you have any favorite yoga stretches, please share!!

    • It’s so nice to hear others can connect with our stories! I think we can BOTH totally relate to the dating/engaged/married weight that you can put on. That’s SO amazing that you’ve lost weight and are feeling so awesome. It’s fun when it becomes a part of your lifestyle and you actually enjoy it. We will definitely share yoga stretches soon!

  4. i HATE exercise, but i like competition – so i found that the only way i will exercise is if it means training to beat someone at something. sort of ridiculous, but that is what works for me!

    i play a highly competitive endurance sport – 2 hour practices 4 days a week (in addition to regulation and sanctioned games as well). since we are internationally ranked and also compete for roster spots within the team, my competitive nature drives me to work out outside of practice: weight lifting, footwork, plyo, yoga…otherwise, i would do diddly squat.

    • It’s awesome when you can find a way that works best. I (Allie) am NOT competitive at all haha…so exercise ends up being just a really personal event. But seriously….you’re badass!

  5. So glad to hear there is still hope. Like Allie, I don’t consider myself to be athletic.I played sports in high school but now that it’s a decade later my physical activity is limited. I love doing yoga and an occasional boxing class but that’s about it. Mostly, because I can really feel the extra 20 lbs jiggling around when I do physical activity. I will try cutting out sugar and grains and see how that works and if I can maintain that lifestyle change.

    • We know from experience that cutting the sugar and grains will be the best place to start especially if desiring weight loss. Continuing your yoga and boxing with diet changes will have a tremendous affect on your health!

  6. This past weekend I recommitted myself to taking better care of myself: focusing more on the veggie aspects of my meals rather than the grains, finding other things to do with old bananas than make banana bread, and actually trying yoga or going to the gym. So excited to have found your blog!

Leave a Reply