While eating well is a major part of my life right now, I believe that exercise is equally important. I have always enjoyed running (besides being forced to run in junior high school when I didn’t see the point). Since being married, I have dabbled in it off and on. I finally committed last year and began minimalist/barefoot running. It took me a long time to adjust to. If you are new to the concept, you retrain yourself to land on the mid-forefoot, instead of heel-striking. It takes time, and patience. I wanted to run out the door and go, but I had to wait until muscles built up that I hadn’t been using before and my body was used to it (to prevent injury). I didn’t run from January-March because we were living in a rural part of Wyoming with a lot of snow, and I had a busy husband. By the time he got home it was dark, and I didn’t want to risk going out by myself after dark. Now that we’ve moved and the weather is nice, I’m back to running outside and loving it.
We live on a farm in the mountains of Southeast Idaho (the most beautiful farm in the world, above) and I get to run all the trails I want. There is no pavement, only gravel or hills everywhere I look. The ultimate running place for someone like me. I haven’t always been consistent. I will run 5 days some weeks, and 2 days on others. No matter how many runs I get in, I love each one. Like many other runners before me have said, that is “me” time. I get to think, write blog posts in my head, solve problems, and just be alone in nature. It’s humbling and inspiring.
Since October, I have also been doing Jillian Michaels’ dvds at home. I started with the 30 Day Shred. I lost over four inches in the first month, and six pounds. That was a really big deal for me, and I got into a great routine of working out consistently five days a week. Beginning in January I started her Ripped in 30 dvd. It was HARD. But I kept going, and made it to level 2. I decided to start alternating between the two dvds and it’s been good to keep me from getting bored.
Currently I am trying to fit in early morning or evening runs three days a week, and I do Jillian’s dvds five days a week. I know this isn’t new to anyone, but I really do feel the difference on days that I work out. I sleep better, I feel better, I have more energy, and I am HAPPY. I feel that I’m a better mom, I’m more patient with my kids, and I tend to find more time in the day when I start by exercising in the morning.
I had a conversation the other day about getting into a routine with exercise. It’s hard to break through those first couple of weeks and to establish a habit of working out. My advice is to just keep going on day two. I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve started a dvd program only to wake up so sore the next day that I think, “I’ll do it again tomorrow, my body needs a rest.” That “tomorrow” turns into weeks, and pretty soon I’m back at the start. So when you hit day two and you don’t think you can even move, do it anyway. Work through it, and then you will be done. On day three, do the same thing. Work through the pain of being sore and commit. That is how you form a habit. Around day four or five, you will be able to feel yourself getting stronger. It only takes that one committed week to see some results. Once you see change start to happen, it gets really exciting and you want to keep going to see what else might happen.
Another tip I have is to get up and put your workout clothes on. I get up in the morning, make a juice, then put on my sports bra, t-shirt, workout tights, socks, and shoes. That way I am all ready and there is no way I’m going to skip my workout if I’m dressed for it. I don’t just hang out in a sports bra all day, so I get it done, shower, and get ready. It may take me an hour or so to get around to it, but if I’m dressed, it will happen.
I know it’s not easy. It wasn’t meant to be. If you can push past that initial fear and get into a cycle, you will be amazed at the result. Everyone has a reason/excuse for not exercising. I’ve had plenty in the past, and even some days now I try to think up a good one. I love the above quote because it really does become that simple. You do it, or you don’t. You take 30 minutes out of your day to exercise your body, or you sit on the couch and watch another show. It’s up to you. If you want me to call you every day and check up on you, I will.