You wake up after having slept a little, grab a breakfast you’re not really excited to eat on your way to a job you’re not really excited about. You spend your afternoon dreading going to the gym to work out after work, but try to pump yourself up because you know you need to go. On top of it all, you’re frustrated that you’re not losing weight. You are in a constant state of exhaustion and borderline depression. Sound familiar?
In 2014 that is where I found myself. I was not overweight according the charts, but didn’t feel good about the way my clothes felt and looked on me so I decided that I wanted to change. I started spending more time in the gym; 20-30 min of weight training followed by another hour on the stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical. I ran several miles on the weekends and got up early on Sundays to work out before church. I trained boot camp style, tried HIIT training, heavy weights low reps, light weights high reps. I was doing every type of workout that people tell you to do when you want to lose weight, but I was staying the same size. I would tell myself it was hormones or genetics and I just needed to work harder.
Meanwhile, my body was hurting, especially my back, my burn-out level was out the roof and I’d often feel so frustrated when trying to find something to wear that I would just sit in front of my closet and sob. Shopping for clothes was a nightmare. I’ve always been smaller on the top than on the bottom so finding pants that fit in the waist AND the rear end was nearly impossible, not to mention time consuming. So in 2014 I did the unexpected, I quit going to the gym.
Quitting the gym was not necessarily what I WANTED to do. My back problems had gotten so bad that I struggled to get out of bed in the mornings. After an emergency visit to the chiropractor I was diagnosed with a bulging disc in my lower back. This meant no more high impact moves or heavy weights. No more long workouts and running was completely off the table for at least a year. I panicked! What was I going to do?! Working out was my stress reliever, my “me” time and I feared I would put on a ton of weight. Luckily, I had just signed up to become a Beachbody coach and chose a program called PiYo. It was touted as low impact yet body defining workout that paired yoga and Pilates. I was skeptical to say the least. How were slow movements and stretching going to help me stay in shape? Plus, I’m about as flexible as a 2x4 wall stud so I questioned whether or not I’d even be able to do most of the moves. After a month of PiYo (which in some ways was harder than any workout I’d ever done) I began to SEE AB MUSCLES and gained flexibility I’d never had before. The PiYo program also came with a nutrition guide and I gave it a shot. Turns out my nutrition was way out of whack! I thought I’d been fueling my body correctly in the past, but my diet had been sabotaging my efforts. Once I got rolling on track with proper nutrition my body started to change-slowly.
I was being treated twice a week for my bulging disc and as I healed I became stronger in my back and left side (the side of the bulge). Instead of dreading my workout I looked forward to PiYo every morning. The workouts were short (45 min. max) so I felt like I gained time in my schedule, unlike before when I was spending hours driving to the gym, working out and driving home. My husband could notice a change in my demeanor, I had my excitement back! I felt challenged, but not completely drained. I felt recharged , refocused and motivated.
When my nutrition and workouts were off balance I had a negative outlook on life. I was in a routine of defeat that I wasn’t even aware that I was in and I wasn’t spending time with people which caused me to become reclusive. Quitting the gym forced me out of my routine and gave me a fresh perspective and a new way to workout, which I love! And being a Beachbody coach gave me a great opportunity to talk to people everywhere I go. I am not advocating that everyone quit going to the gym, I am a member of a great gym and I even teach a class there once a week, but since being introduced to at-home workout programs that stress nutrition as much as exercise, I am much happier.
If you need help, feel burnt out, frustrated with your current exercise and nutrition or just want to try something new, I’d love to chat with you. I am NOT a sales person for Beachbody, I am a COACH for Beachbody. NFL coach Tom Landry says it best. “A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” You are capable of more than you can imagine when you have the support and encouragement of a group of people. My goal is to cultivate such an environment in my challenge groups. You don’t have to stay stuck where you are, you can change, we can do it together!