For the longest time, my only goal when it came to fitness was losing weight. I didn’t exercise to feel good, though that was a bonus and I didn’t eat to nourish. I ate less and exercised more and that was my plan to get to a certain weight goal. After becoming a mom, and experiencing weight gain and also an emotional rollercoaster of everything that comes with being a mother, something inside me changed. My fitness goal today isn’t driven by a scale, but instead more towards feeling good, but most importantly feeling strong.
Finding The Right Workout
One of the biggest things that I have transitioned into most recently is finding out what kind of workouts work for my body and mind. Who knew you could actually enjoy a workout and reap its benefits without feeling like you’re only successful if the scale moves?
I did spin classes forever. I enjoyed them, most of the time. But I realized two things. One, is that I didn’t feel excited to go, though I knew once I got there I would feel good that I worked out, but I didn’t really look forward to going. Second, I didn’t see any changes in my body.
Though hose exercise bikes are super popular right now, but for me key to a good workout is a group setting.
I find that a group setting helps me to push myself during a workout. I tried working out at home with Tone It Up, but I definitely find that I don’t push myself as much with no one around. But, if a home workout is your only option, it’s still something!
Over the last year I have transitioned to a local Yoga studio, but even there it took a little time in experimenting which classes I enjoyed and also which instructors I liked. With time, I found that traditional yoga is not for me, but my local studio has a mix of Pilates and Yoga with weights and those are the classes that I find extremely challenging.
Most importantly, I also noticed how much stronger my body is getting and because the core of the workouts are similar I can really tell the difference in how much more my body is able to do.
For the first time ever I am feeling strong, and if you were to squint just a little you may see a new muscle group or two on my body 🙂
Move to Elevate Your Mood
Because these workouts are so challenging on my body, I realize that I hardly have time to run an internal dialogue or think. Which means, I can’t quite zone out and just get through a workout, I really have to focus in order to do the moves.
If you feel like you zone out during your workouts and still think about all those other things, I really recommend finding a more challenging workout. This way, when you workout your mind refreshes and your mood is also elevated.
In The Kitchen
Another major change that I have implemented this year is skipping breakfast and intermittent fasting. For the longest time I thought you had to eat pre-workout so that your body had something to burn. The truth is that you don’t have to.
Typically, I workout in the morning but I am also never hungry in the morning, and skipping breakfast hasn’t been a punishment, but instead it made me eat less and better throughout the day because I have started to pay attention to my body and see if I’m hungry before mindlessly eating.
After a workout I will typically make myself a late breakfast, and on those days have a light lunch later in the day.
I also stopped snacking in between meals. Instead, I drink water or a flavored club soda. This works for me. Snacking constantly doesn’t. HOWEVER, please know that if there are yummy treats at the office, or I am hungry I will eat. Period.
For example, I pack a large lunch, and sometimes I will dig into my lunch again around 2 or 3pm. Also, if I wake up hungry, I will eat!
Mindful Eating and Good Habits
My eating schedule isn’t a punishment and I’m not counting calories. I am simply listening to my body and eating when it’s hungry. And most importantly I’m not snacking on random items throughout the day, that somehow add up. A pretzel here, a cookie there, a handful of almonds, an apple—all seem small, but together add up.
For dinner, I try to curb carbs, but I eat a full protein heavy meal, with lots of greens. I try very hard to curb the night snacking and the wine. Though a glass of wine and a piece of dark chocolate are a necessity.
Three days a week I typically fast. Which means I let my body rest between when I eat last before I go to bed and when I eat breakfast. Usually it’s about 12 hours or so. I think intermittent fasting is technically more time than that, but 12 hours is the break I give my body to reset. I try to do the 15/16 hour window once or twice a week. Mauricio also does it with me, so having an encouraging partner helps.
In general, we both try to eat healthy, we limit processed foods but we don’t avoid sugar or dairy or gluten. Everthing in moderation is our motto, though I know my body feels a lot better when I choose healthier options.
Finding the Time
Having an encouraging partner is also key in helping me find the time to exercise. I try to exercise 3-4 days a week, and two of those are on weekends. We work our weekends around my workout routine, and also Mau’s surfing. So that we both feel that we’ve had some alone/refresh time.
My studio also offers babysitting, which is great for when Mauricio is traveling. When it comes to time, I do believe where there is a will there is a way.
Sometimes I feel bad that I want to hit the gym instead of spending time with FLO or Mau, but I also know that sometimes when I rush to pick up FLO from pre-school he is so busy playing and having fun that he doesn’t want to go home early. So when I go to the gym instead of picking him up early, I try to remember that no one will hand me a medal, especially not FLO for being the first mom at pick up. Instead, he’ll get a much happier mom, and a full day of fun with his friends.
Lastly, I’m not a professional nor am I in the best shape of my life, so please take what I wrote with a grain of salt and most importantly know that my intention was to simply share what works for ME. I’d love to hear what tips you may also have !!
Thanks for reading!
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