Sometimes I wish I were one of those women who, while waving around an Egg McMuffin, claimed I don't need no exercise! People who enjoy sweating are nuts. Though not the healthiest mindset, there is an air of confidence to this mentality. I'm so confident with my body and how I look that I don't need to do anything to change it. I guess I was once there (minus the confidence). The first thing my 26-year-old self would tell my 17-year-old self would be put down the crumb cake donut.
What I've realized over the course of the last 5 months though is I need to sweat, I need to exercise. It's simply a non-negotiable in the whole fighting anxiety thing. So here I am, another white girl documenting her #fitnessjourney on Instagram looking for the best smoothie to consume post workout and getting excited over clearance workout apparel. I've turned into one of those people who is amazed by the power of exercise, who views it as an investment for your body, and who is encouraged and fueled by results.
So what do I do? Well as a mom with 2 littles, a husband with a fairly busy schedule, and a regulated budget, there isn't room for gyms or personal trainers. But there's room for YouTube! Seriously, God bless YouTube. Working around my kids' sleeping schedules, 5+ times a week (I shoot for every day) I dedicate 20-30 minutes to a high intensity workout that incorporates strength building, cardio, and an ab workout. For me, I've found I love high intensity because it's a short burst that feels impossible (meaning it's working) and has a high payoff (meaning results and the sense of accomplishment). My two current workouts of choice are the 30 Day Shred and a butt, thigh, and leg shaper workout. Together, it's a hard 30 minutes and by the end I feel worked.
Don't let this new-found love of fitness lure you into thinking that I joyfully skip to my Nikes and workout mat. I'm pretty sure I've dropped more F bombs over the course of these last months while working out than I have in my life. I've also wanted to chuck my weights right at Jillian Michaels's face. I've neared tears while doing jumping jacks. And I'm not exaggerating. Getting in shape is no joke, it's hard. It takes persistence, dedication, and sheer will power. But the payoff is well worth it.
When I first started, I had just had a baby. And I had never religiously exercised in my life. The first time I did level 1 of the 30 Day Shred (I've started it more than once), I thought I was going to die. But now I'm able to not only finish it, but finish it well and add another 10 minute workout to the routine. I'm still a post-baby size 10, the two purple stretch marks that look more like scars are on my side, but I'm getting stronger. And that's all that matters.