Working out has always been my therapy. It’s my release and it helps me get through the day with more confidence and energy. I prefer to work out first thing in the morning, it sets the tone for a new day and honestly, it gets it done.
Three years ago my husband and I started getting super serious about our health and decided to eat as clean as possible and work out daily. He had gained a lot of weight after a football injury in high school that lead to major spinal surgery at 19, two months into us dating. When he lost his mom his food addiction kicked back in and he gained again. It was time we both got healthy.
We signed up for a half marathon to spite the fact that Chris couldn’t run a block at that time. We got to work. He and I started running three times a week and doing at home workouts on the days in between. After 8 months I was in the best shape of my life and Chris had lost 80 lbs.
We stayed active for the year following and then I got pregnant and all bets were off. I completely stopped working out and let myself enjoy that time without worrying about my weight. I gained 45 lbs, more than my 5 ft frame was used to. The pressure to get back into shape was blinding. All over social media were women who showed six packs and wore bathing suits WEEKS after giving birth. I beat myself up so much comparing myself to them. My postpartum belly lingered for months, my stomach didn’t go back to being flat hours after birth like some women. I had never struggled with body image issues, but I started developing problems during these months. And it was not ok.
Losing that weight was not easy. I was working from 8:30 to 5 every day and any time home was spent with my daughter. I realized that the only time I had to get my workouts in was before work, so I started waking up at 5:30 AM and jumping on our treadmill and doing work outs in my living room. Six months postpartum I was back in my old clothes and I lost all my weight, I felt so much more energized every single day. Exercise became more mental than physical at that point. I felt good about myself because of my hard work and not just because of the pressure it took to get me there.
I’m going to be honest in saying that since I finished round one of BBG at the end of March I stopped working out for awhile. I was distraught making the decision to stay home with Harper or continue working and being as unsettled as I was. There were other things going on in my personal life as well. I couldn’t get myself up in the morning like I used to. I started indulging in anything that made me happy.
In April I got injured running and I physically couldn’t work out for almost two months without severe pain in my leg. I got extremely down and had a really hard time dealing with the fact that my therapy was gone. I turned to food and I gained. My energy was gone and I was just drained. I was in a bad place.
Since then I’ve been working on getting back into a workout routine. It’s been even harder for me to find a rhythm being home. There have been days I wake up before Harper at 5 AM and work out like I used to when I was working, but I haven’t gotten myself back into a routine just yet. The best times I’ve found is when she is napping.
I don’t let myself make excuses. With 1440 minutes in a day I know that I can find only 30 minutes to do something that will make me feel better mentally and physically, I can make it work.
I want to share with you two at home workouts that truly work and have changed my life.
- Fitness Blender – I’ve been doing their videos for years. I was in the best shape of my life when I was following their videos every few days and running in between. The best part is they’re FREE on YouTube. I’ve done everything from 15 minute kettlebell (Chris swears by these) to HIIT, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, they have it all. They have programs that you can buy but I’ve seen great results from just making my own plan and following along.
- BBG – The biggest change I’ve ever seen in my body has been doing Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide. My legs leaned out, my arms sculpted and I felt fit and energized all day long. There are two ways you can do her workouts. One is to download the PDF and follow along with the written directions. I decided to do the latter, I pay $20/month for the app. I’m a visual person and watching each exercise helps me do each one correctly.
This program is set up so that you are moving for 28 minutes straight. There are 2 circuits with 4 exercises in each. You do each exercise for as many reps as it calls for, doing each round as many times as you can for 7 minutes. Then you get a minute of rest before switching to the second circuit. Then you repeat both. It is A LOT of work for only 28 minutes. This program made me stronger than I’ve ever been.
For equipment all I need is my yoga mat. I improvise otherwise. Instead a bench I use either a step stool or my steps. I use a kettlebell instead of a medicine ball. I don’t have a jump rope so I just do a jumping motion for as many reps as it calls for.
Right now I’ve been focusing on running distance and stabilizing my core, which is still out of whack from being front loaded for so long. BBG is on the back burner right now. I run and do a variety of Fitness Blender workouts and in just a few weeks I’m already seeing results.
Don’t let the pressure of other people’s transformations overwhelm you getting into shape. Don’t make comparisons. Everyone has their own journey and does things at their own rate. Use working out to clear your mind and not just change your body.
I hope this helped anyone who wants to get moving but doesn’t have time to get to a gym. With just 30 minutes a day you can transform your body and clear your mind in your own home.