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Over the past few years, sharing my workouts have become one of my favorite things to post over on Instagram. For one, it holds me accountable – I feel so lucky that I have this incredible community that is honestly like a support group (in all aspects of my life). I also like to share because I feel like my views of exercise have changed so much in the past two years and I want it to feel approachable, not ambitious. The intention behind exercise for me is so much for my sanity and the benefits I see and feel because of it are something I want everyone to experience.
I never enjoyed working out when I was younger. I felt like it was always something I should do because I wanted to be “skinny” and body shaming was a real thing and if you weren’t working out then you were fat. I wasn’t athletic, I tried a few sports but was always on the C team or stopped after a year. Then I was a cheerleader in high school and LOVED IT. I felt like cheerleading made me realize that exercise doesn’t have to be conventional, it can be fun. But still, I wasn’t crazy about it. I worked out here and there in college but it wasn’t until I had kids that I realized the POWER in exercise.
Between having Jack and George I dedicated a lot of time to exercise. I did zero fitness between Charlie and Jack and knew I needed to get in shape for my kids (and my own energy/wellbeing). I hired a personal trainer and after two years really transformed my body. That period of time gave me a whole new understanding of exercise, strengthening your body and pushing the limits we have set for ourselves. I knew I was losing weight but I never stepped on the scale, I could see the physical changes but the mental changes were really what taught me the importance of exercise.
Erin Gates talked about a concept of sanity vs. vanity in this Instagram post, and it really stuck with me. I think so often we look at other people sharing workouts as a vanity statement. Instead, exercise is so much more for my sanity. It is a way to connect to my heart, invest in myself, pump energy into my veins and remind myself that I am alive and well and can do hard things! I am an Enneagram 3 and a form of self care for me is exercise. It is something that reminds me that taking care of myself is just as important as taking care of those around me.
Somewhere, somehow, this concept of self care becoming a form of vanity has really done a doozy on any sort of personal investment in ourselves. A reminder that whatever you choose to do to better yourself, to feel good about yourself, to be the best version of yourself every day is nothing short of a gift!
This post, my tips for creating a routine with fitness here, may be helpful for those of you looking to get into a groove with exercise!