My loyal followers! Welcome to my last blog. (Don’t worry, there will be other blogs so you don’t have to collapse in a heap of misery.) Here’s what I’ve learned throughout my year-long process, including a list of my most valuable lessons. I hope these pointers make it to your fridge and serve as inspiration for years to come!
- Surprise! Working out is hard! Don’t tell yourself that you’re not in good enough shape to hang with the beasts in your group fitness classes. It’s LIES! Trust me, you will improve your strength and stamina and classes will still never become easy regardless of your fitness level. And isn’t that the point? You simply learn to push through and increase your intensity.
- Eating healthy is a game changer. I actually (OK, mostly) do that now. I plan meals, have healthy snacks and have found ice cream with less sugar. I even drink protein shakes on occasion (see the photo of me below with my post-workout shake.) You know, now the really annoying part is that I have to eat healthy or my body will rebel against me and leave me with stomach aches and no energy. IS THIS PUNISHMENT FOR BEING HEALTHY?! Yes, yes it is.
- Vacations ruin my life. I can’t say no to free food, and when someone presents me with tons of pasta and wine, like on my last vacation, I’m obligated to say yes! During that vacation, I walked plenty but didn’t go to the gym and had a cold when I got home so I didn’t work out. It took me WEEKS to get back on track! It’s so easy to fall off the I’m-Going-To-Be-Healthy-And-Fit bandwagon when someone offers you lots of delicious carbs. *Sigh*
- Try everything! I learned that I am awful at choreography, so I basically just watched during long BODYCOMBAT combinations (and I love that class and have gone many times). To me, the choreography is confusing and not fun, so classes with a lot are just not for me. Not every class is for everyone so if you don’t like one, try another!
- Don’t punish yourself. Admittedly, I’ve gotten really busy with wedding planning and I haven’t been able to make it out of my neighborhood to get to different classes. However, I’ve learned to praise myself when I go, and not punish myself when I honestly don’t have the time.
Goals I’ve Achieved: This has been such a great experience for me. I went into this with the hope that I would be able to be proud of myself for simply trying something that made me uncomfortable. I never imagined I would actually enjoy the journey! Here are my favorite achievements so far:
- Dropped 1-2 pant sizes
- Gained arm and back muscles
- Was able to touch my toes for the first time (then lost the ability when I stopped getting myself to yoga…)
- Improved my mindset and how to deal with a bad day
- Became interested in learning about a healthier lifestyle
- CONFIDENCE! I don’t fear looking stupid. And I am able to push myself harder because I hold myself accountable, knowing I am only wasting my own time if I don’t work hard.
My Favorite Classes:
- Bootcamp when I want a full-body workout
- BODYCOMBAT when I want to punch someone
- Hot Yoga when I want to relax and stretch my muscles
- BODYPUMP when I want my muscles to burn
- BODYFLOW when I want a more active yoga experience
What Do I Really Want You To Know:
As Rob Schneider in the movie The Waterboy said, “You can do it!” Your stamina and lack of strength aren’t holding you back, you are. There is no reason anyone should avoid taking a group fitness class, no matter their fitness level. You are in charge of how hard you work your body and you can leave if you think you’ve done enough! Hardly anyone walks into their first class with confidence—you gain confidence from participating! So try it and feel good about yourself. (And ladies, get yourself a good sports bra because a lot of jumping can be painful if you don’t…)
Challenging myself in this way has made such a difference in my life. I now know I can do whatever I put my mind to and anyone can become a fitness junkie. Just show up. Trust me, the peer pressure of being part of the group around you will encourage you to try your hardest. Check out my before and after photos below. It may not look like a huge difference, but I totally see it when I’m checking myself out in the mirror. Plus, all of my old pants threaten to fall down around my ankles when I don’t wear a belt. Progress? Yes! Success? Yes! I hope you’ve learned something from my experience, or at least finished reading this post to make me feel important. Thanks for tuning in and see you around the gym!
Quote to inspire you to be awesome:
“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go.” - Eminem