*old photos 🙂
This is kind of a long story, but I feel like I have to tell the entire thing to help you understand the mindset shift that has happened over the past 20 years of my life! Fitness and health/wellness, in general, is such a personal experience. All of our bodies are different, and all of us react differently to different things. I’ve gone through so many different phases of letting my health be a big focus and living life without worrying too much about it. But for the most part, it is a big pillar for me in my daily life and I enjoy sharing the journey with you!
I feel like I need to start by saying I’ve never been the skinny girl. I’ve never been the one who can eat whatever she wants and wake up like it never happened. I always sort of envied my friends who could because it meant they didn’t have to work as hard. For most of my younger years, exercise always felt like something I had to do.
Growing up my parents worked out every day. And it’s funny looking back I always felt like it was something they had to do (because in middle school and high school that was MY mindset) but now I understand so much more. I am so grateful that they raised me to see the importance of dedicating time to bettering yourself, keeping your body healthy, and putting yourself first. My mom used to wake up at 5 am every morning to go running. Sometimes I would wake up before she got back and set up shop on the floor of our family room to watch Sesame Street before she got home. And I remember how fulfilled she would seem when she walked through the door like she checked a box for herself and now she could check all the boxes for us.
I sucked at sports. And never really loved sports, to be honest. I was a cheerleader in high school and it was the first time I felt like I enjoyed bettering myself for a sport! And that when I got caught up in the “NEED” to workout instead of the “DESIRE” to workout. Like everyone else was doing it so I felt like I had to do it, too. My best friends growing up were really good runners. Like cross country, ran for fun, track stars. I was not. But running felt like an easy option because you could walk out your door and go. In college, I started running here and there but I was meh about it.
Honestly, looking back at different phases of my life, it wasn’t until I became a parent that I saw the benefits of exercise. After having Charlie, I didn’t move my body for one whole year and I felt terrible. My clothes didn’t fit even though I continued to pretend that they did, I was insecure, I was depleted and exhausted and it was bad. I walked into Equinox one day and signed up with a trainer. It was the first time I got into a routine with exercise. I loved going to the gym! I would leave at 6 am before Charlie and Dave were awake and come back just in time to start the day together, feeling like I had already done so much for myself. We worked out for 6 months together and it was wonderful. Then we moved to the suburbs!
When I had Jack, I remembered how terrible I felt after having Charlie and vowed not to do that again. So when Jack was three months old I hired a trainer again. I learned SO MUCH about my body working out with Jake (read about it here). I learned how much my body needs to be surprised, about how strong I am mentally and physically, and how important strength training is for women. I worked out with Jake 3x a week and he would give me cardio suggestions (usually treadmill sprints or the stair master which helped with endurance) 2-3 other days a week. When I kind of plateaued after a year of working together, I did Faster Way to Fat Loss. I learned a lot in this program too! Things that I still use today (I’ll touch on this below). Before Covid hit I was in “the best shape of my life” (but now looking back, I don’t like that look so much).
During Covid, we had to get creative! I was doing zoom sessions with Jake 1-2x a week and running outside. That’s when I really started to dedicate more energy to running. I would push myself to run for 5-10 songs and eventually built up my endurance to run 6-8 miles, 3x a week. I was running a lot to stay in shape/keep what I had worked so hard for with my trainer BUT it was also during this time that I started to see the mental benefits of running. It was my Covid break from my family. The only way to give me the self-care that I was longing for. Honestly, my runs were the only thing I looked forward to for myself! Soon after that, I got pregnant with George, and everything sort of slowed down, including the frequency and pace of my runs.
I did manage to run through most of my pregnancy and I remember my last run was at 36 weeks. My pregnancy with George was the healthiest pregnancy I’ve had between all three of my boys. Then I had George, was postpartum, had a rougher recovery, moved and sort of became a shell of a human. I had a really hard time grasping onto any familiarity in my life so I clung to George and to running.
*I feel like this has become a very dramatic story about my life haha*
So consistently running is sort of a new game for me and my mindset and how I approach exercise is so different than what it once was. I’m not working out for a number on the scale. I exercise for the mental clarity it brings me, the energy, the space it opens up in my body to take on everything else in my day. I talked about this on Instagram but I am an Enneagram 3 and a big form of self-care for a 3 is exercise. I always tell Dave that the greatest thing I can do for myself, for my future self, for my kids, and my family is exercise. So working out has become this time in my day where I get to dedicate an hour to myself, to push my heart, to give myself a little love.
I often get asked what my fitness routine is and I don’t really have one. I try to work out more days than not (4-6 a week I would say) and I generally eat pretty healthy and drink a lot of water. I also try to keep up with intermittent fasting (I usually fast from 9 pm-12/1 pm) because I think it helps with bloating and is something my body responds well to. I track my weight based on how my clothes fit and if they get a little tight, I know I need to reign it in a bit. I have a drink (a glass of wine or tequila soda) probably 5x a week, sometimes 7, ha. Work hard, play hard. You know? Life is short.
If you have any specific questions feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer!