Let’s Get Fit: Making Working Out a Habit

Happy Spring!

How on earth is it March 20th already? I remember thinking that it would be 6 weeks before the new years resolution crowds would disappear. That was over a month ago. I didn’t really notice when it happened but the Y is a lot less mobbed. By the way, I am loving my gym membership. And now that my husband is working out on Wednesdays while the kids take their running class it does seem worth it.

So far I’ve tried quite a few different workout classes: cycling, pilates, grit, step, body pump, body combat. The YMCA has an app and I check it a lot to help plan my workout and my day. If I don’t go to the gym, I will either do a walk/run or do a video on Popsugar fitness or a yoga series of my own creation or maybe a foam roller series.

How do I decide what to do on any given day? How do I motivate myself? Or keep from overdoing it and injuring myself? I really think the hardest thing about working out is getting started. And the thing that makes people stop is going out too hard and too fast. My motto is, “Start slow and tapper off!” Haha! The challenge is to just show up. The rule for me is, as soon as I’ve had my coffee (and usually after the kids are on the bus) I get dressed to workout.

Six Weeks of Workouts

I usually schedule my workouts. I put them in my calendar on my Macbook. I even color code them (purple). What I schedule for any given day depends on what classes are available that day, or if I have a client meeting and have to be more time efficient, and the weather. I’ll pick from options at the gym or at home, inside or outside. Sometimes I don’t get a workout in first thing and then it doesn’t happen all day. Sometimes I’ll do Just Dance with the kids or a Nerf battle—running around the house, ducking down, jumping up, and then picking up 1000 Nerf darts is a great cardio-strength workout! So, I plan out what I’m going to do on my calendar, then make any edits after the fact. That way I can see what I’ve done. It gives me a sense of accountability and accomplishment. If I can do three or four challenging days (and at least one rest day), that’s a great week. I try to have a good mix of strength training, cardio and stretching of some sort. But, I also try not to over-think it. I mean, sometimes you just have to get out of the house and move! Anything!

I used to always wear a Fitbit fitness tracker (the Zip, the Flex, the Alta, and then the Blaze) but now I wear an Apple Series 1 watch. It doesn’t sync with my Fitbit app, sadly, so sometimes I stick the Zip in my pocket. It’s fun to compete for steps with my daughter who has the new kids Fitbit, the Ace. Does the Apple Watch make me more motivated to move? I think a little bit. At first it was really novel, but over time you just sort of ignore it. Sometimes I turn on the workout mode and track my exercise but sometimes I don’t. I do love it though! I actually really want the new one, but I doubt I’ll splurge on that. I rarely ever look at or use the Apple activity app on my phone. I wish it was better! All that being said, you don’t need a fitness tracker or an app to create a fitness habit.

fitbit aria smart scale

I weigh myself daily. For a while now I’ve had this Fitbit scale. It uses wifi to send data to the Fitbit app. Then I can see my progress, an average for the week, on the app. I can even scroll way back and see that my weight was higher this time last year and that is encouraging.

Fitbit App

A note about weight, it’s a tricky thing. There are so many variables: food, hydration, muscle mass, even bone density. You can’t take it as the only measurement of fitness. I’ll also say that I don’t trust the smart scale’s body fat sensor at all. It seems very inaccurate, so I just sort of ignore it. The app also tells you your BMI, but I think most people will say that BMI is very misleading and not the best measurement, especially if you’re fairly athletic. Sometimes I use a tailor’s measuring tape and check my bust, waist and hip measurements (which I need to order clothes online anyway) but it’s a lot easier to step on the scale everyday. I guess it’s good to know your waist measurement as it’s a good way to know your overall health. They say your waist should be smaller than your hips and under 35 inches (for women). Of course you can always use the my-favorite-skinny-jeans-feel-so-loose measurement system!

I’ll sum up with these 10 tips:

  1. “Start slow and taper off”
  2. Make a workout schedule then just follow it the best you can
  3. Vary your workouts
  4. Get a workout buddy, make plans to meet at the gym or the rail trail
  5. Workout first thing if you can
  6. Stretch!
  7. Drink lots of water
  8. Find ways to sneak in exercise—park far from the store, take the stairs
  9. Aim for 10,000 steps a day
  10. Move everyday. Make it non-negotiable!
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White Sneakers

I’ve been on a quest.

I’ve been looking for the “perfect” pair of white sneakers. (Yet again I have been brain-washed by the blogeratti into thinking that I need a certain trend.) Not the kind you wear to workout, but the kind you wear all of your other waking moments.

Exhibit A, inside my sneaker-brain:

You don’t even want to know how many hours I spent researching all the options. And to make matters more confusing I asked my husband his opinion. An admitted sneakerhead, he had a very strong viewpoint and didn’t mind getting involved. Now I should mention, I have two pair of white sneakers: classic Converse and Adidas Superstars neither of which are “all white” and don’t quite have that “go-with-everything” style I’m looking for.

My current stable of sneaks:

I wear the Pumas a lot, my daughter has stolen the Chucks and I never wear the Superstars but my husband insists they’re really good and I must keep them. He has no opinion about clothes or fashion in general, this is the only thing he really cares about. Lol. He also pointed out that the New Balance options are in a different category as they are more of a running shoe than a “tennis” shoe. I’d agree, but I still like them a lot.

I had an exciting trip to Nordstrom Rack where I bought (and later returned) these Eccos as well as these New Balance. (With the NB, I needed to size down and they didn’t have them. Also, they were pink not white. But I did love them and may get them in the future.) While there, I tried on the Stan Smiths and decided they were too clunky. I haven’t tried on the Vejas but kind of love. The Jack Purcells, Tretorns and Supergas aren’t totally me but they are so iconic I thought I should consider them. Am I leaving anything out?

Anyway, this is getting long and boring… I finally made a decision, as you could probably guess. I ended up choosing the Nikes.

I think.

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Let’s Get Fit: Diet Swaps

 

Years ago I read an article about how small changes can make a big difference. I wish I could find it but I wouldn’t even know what to search for. I did find this and after reading it, I decided to insert my own ideas: 

 

whole wheat english muffin instead of bagel

(I’d do cream cheese occasionally, but with tomato, or avocado, or hummus and tomato, or almond butter and banana)

greek yogurt instead of low fat milk with granola

(Definitely! Low fat dairy, milk or yogurt actually have a lot more sugar. And fat is not the enemy. Also, I make my own no-sugar granola.)

an orange instead of oj

(Or a grapefruit. Or a smoothie with frozen fruit, almond milk, spinach, etc.)

wrap instead of bread

(I hate wraps! Ugh. I think just very whole grain bread, maybe only half a sandwich.)

apple slices with cheese instead of crackers & cheese

(Absolutely! Apples with cheese or apples and peanut butter or almond butter. Or rice cakes with almond butter and thinly sliced apples.)

corn tortillas instead of flour

(Yes! I love corn tortillas.)

trail mix instead of mixed nuts

(They’re talking about less nuts which is good but I don’t know if popcorn and Chex are so great. I eat roasted almonds and cashews. I think a small amount, like what easily fits in your hand, is good. Not the whole container!)

dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate

(I LOVE dark chocolate. I’ve learned that 72% is my bitterness threshold. More and it’s too much. Also, I have very much gotten into the habit, when I eat sugar, to take only one serving.)

radishes instead of corn chips (on chili)

(Doesn’t anyone eat Fritos anymore?! I say easy on the tortilla chips and I’m just getting into radishes. We rarely buy sour cream. I’ve never tried greek yogurt instead. Also, easy on the cheese. Jalapeños add flavor and boost metabolism.)

iced vanilla latte instead of vanilla frappuccino

(OMG, back away from the Frappuccinos. So Much Sugar. I would probably just do iced coffee, a little cream and cinnamon.)

raisin bran instead of bran muffin

(I don’t care what a muffin has in it, a muffin is never low cal. Speaking of Raisin Bran, a bowl of Nature’s Path Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch cereal or Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch is the best thing ever, for breakfast or late night snack instead of ice cream.)

veggie/chevre omelet instead of ham/cheddar omelet

(Spinach or arugula and goat cheese scrambles are a staple in my house. Also, wherever possible swap ketchup for salsa or hot sauce.)

homemade parfait instead of pre-made

(I have long since steered clear of any kind of store bought yogurt concoction. They are all sugar. If possible I do whole plain greek yogurt with fresh fruit and homemade granola. I also love smoothie bowls!)

raisin toast instead of a cinnamon roll

(Cinnamon rolls are a huge cheat. Usually accompanied with a black coffee and some Swedish furniture. I say just enjoy it!)

pecans and yogurt on pancakes instead of syrup

(We only buy real syrup and use it sparingly. I eat pancakes pretty rarely but like them to be whole wheat or buckwheat and have a little butter and maybe bananas or no-sugar apple butter.)

pumpernickel bread instead of bagel with your cream cheese and salmon

(I love pumpernickel bread. I indulge in real cream cheese with my lox. Add tomato, cucumber, arugula. Yes!)

apples and honey on oatmeal instead of cream, brown sugar or nuts

(We buy Nature’s Path oatmeal, the flavored, sugary kind for the kids and I cook the plain stuff with frozen peaches or blackberries, a little butter, and some homemade no-sugar granola on top.)

bacon instead of sausage patties

(What? Well, ok. I say bacon once in a while, but can we all admit that bacon is not healthy? I agree, anything with very few ingredients is better. Also, have you ever tried an open face egg sandwich with arugula and smoked salmon instead of bacon. A-mazing.)

whole grain trail mix instead of regular

(It’s fun to mix your own, once in a while. Mini marshmallows, dark chocolate chips and annie’s bunny grahams. Mini pretzels, raisins, white morsels…)

ice cream sandwich instead of ice cream

(Ice cream sandwiches are natures perfect food! lol. Seriously, I suppose they do promote portion control.)

nutella on graham crackers instead of chocolate covered almonds

(Good idea. But remember, Nutella is not health food. It’s sugar and chocolate. and hazelnuts. Lots of parents give it to their kids on bread for breakfast. There’s the theory that sugar in the morning is better than before bed.)

lemonade and seltzer instead of lemon/lime soda

(I agree, start with seltzer — get a soda stream and make your own — then add just enough juice or lemonade to make it tasty.)

ricotta cheese and honey on flatbread (wasa?) instead of cheddar crackers

(Sounds good. I think I’ll try that. We switched from Cheesits to Annie’s cheddar squares. I don’t think they’re healthy, but it’s one of my favorite indulgences.)

edamame instead of peanuts

(No peanuts in our house because my daughter is allergic, but I think I will get back to having Edamame on hand!)

 

Have any wood swaps? Please share!

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H&M Vintage Jeans

This is me in my new high-rise button-fly vintage-fit jeans from H&M, wearing zero make up, the shirt I slept in and my new leopard flats from J.Crew. The jeans are VERY comfortable and I feel very good about them.

Here is what I know about this style of jeans: you see them all over the internet, but never IRL. Have you been obsessing about a pair of vintage Levi’s for the last few years? I have. This is basically what the inside of my brain looks like:

I have pinned and pined. I have tried on Levi’s at Nordstrom and found out what 0% stretch feels like. I have secretly wished for a $300 pair from Re/Done. I have scoured the thrift stores. I found a promising Etsy store that will work with you/your exact measurements.

My fear has always been that they wouldn’t look good on me, that they only look good on the super thin.

But then I was shopping at H&M and came across a cool look-alike pair that was high-rise (and comfortably so), a nice wash, somewhat stretchy and pretty flattering. At $29.99, I decided they were perfect. Later, at home, I almost changed my mind and returned them.

Once I decided to keep them, I had to make the call on whether or not to cut them. I was glad I came across this August Diaries post about how to cut the hem off jeans. I didn’t think there was anything I needed to learn, but I am glad I read it because she recommends washing your jeans first. Even pre-washed jeans can shrink. Once they’re washed, you should put them on and mark where you want to cut. Always start small and then try them on again and cut more if you need to. I found that once I washed the jeans (I always air dry jeans) — the tight waist was actually looser. As I wore them throughout the day, they got even looser. They had that I-never-want-to-take-these-jeans-off feel.

Here they are when I first got them.

And here they are after washing and cropping.

I think everyone needs a pair like this. Here are a couple other options I found: Levi’s Wedgie Fit  |  Madewell Perfect Summer Jean

Good luck!

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Let’s Get Fit 2019

Exactly four years ago, I started the very popular “Let’s Get Fit” series of posts about getting in shape. I remember it was March 10th, I was way heavier than I wanted, there was snow on the ground and something in me just “snapped.” In a good way. I decided I was going to get in shape no matter what. And I did. By Memorial Day (the unofficial get-in-shape-for-summer deadline here in the US) I was down to my goal weight and felt amazing! I did it by working out regularly, cross training, eating as healthy as I could and it really paid off.

Doing regular posts about fitness really helped to motivate me and I’m looking forward to sharing ideas and motivation with you. This time around I don’t think I want to focus on losing weight. My goal weight used to be 130 lbs, which became an unhealthy obsession over time. Last year I changed it to a range: 130-135 lbs with the expectation that winter would put me a little over 135. For reference I’m 5’5″ and a healthy weight for me is 114-144 lbs. I’ll still weigh myself but I’m going to focus on muscle tone, energy level, and mood as measurements of fitness.

If you’re looking for a little inspiration this time of year, I hope you’ll follow my posts. I’m going to compile all the things I do that work for me: cardio-vascular conditioning, weight training, drinking enough water, getting a workout buddy, eating real food, not eating when you’re not hungry, reducing sugar, stretching, taking vitamins, promoting good gut bacteria, reducing stress, getting enough sleep, adding “hidden exercise”, setting accomplishable goals, getting outside (even in bad weather) and lots more so by the time the pool is open we’ll be feeling great!

Check out the original Let’s Get Fit posts if you’re curious:

Let’s get fit

Let’s Get Fit: Arms, Abs & A**

Let’s Get Fit: Start Slow and Taper Off

Let’s Get Fit: BODY, MIND, SPIRIT

Let’s Get Fit: Spin to Win

Let’s Get Fit: The Treadmill: A Necessary Evil

Let’s Get Fit: Why Should Women Lift Weights?

Let’s Get Fit: How to Avoid Injury

Let’s Get Fit: Jazzercise! Seriously, Jazzercise.

Let’s Get Fit: How to Break through a Weight-Loss Plateau

Let’s Get Fit: How to make the number on the scale go down

What to do when you have an injury

Let’s Get Fit: The Final Reveal

 

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Obsession: The Just-Right T-Shirt

 

Once upon a time, a girl went out into the big bad world looking for the perfect white t-shirt. The first one she tried was too sheer, the next one too thick. One was too loose, and another too fitted. Some were too cropped, too boxy or had a rounded hem. Others had ruffles and twist ties! A few were too drape-y — modal or linen. Why were some tees distressed or marled? Why?! But finally, she found a simple 100% cotton tee that was soft and comfy and flattering: The Gap Vintage Wash Short Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt. The End.

madewell
everlane
uniqlo
j.crew
gap
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Old Navy Try Ons

I went to Old Navy the other day to get tank tops. I have a black ribbed tank top and decided it was the best workout top and I should probably have it in a few more colors, or maybe all the colors. The next thing I knew, I was trying on a bunch of stuff and came home with a bagful of clothes just for me. Here’s what I got:

Wide Leg Chinos

Mid-Rise Wide-Leg Utility Chinos in Ochre to You

I’ve been considering this look forever. Everyone seems to be rocking’ the wide leg crop trend. The original is from Jesse Kamm, but you can get them at Everlane or Madewell. Their popularity doesn’t seem to be declining any time soon. My concern has always been that my ass would look enormous in them. And/or they would make my legs look short. (I’m 5’5″  and 135 lbs.) But, I thought I’d give it a go. I rarely ever buy pants at Old Navy and I wasn’t very happy to go from my usual 8 to a 10, but they feel really good and are fairly flattering. Okay, and god help me, here’s what they look like from the back:

The tee is Madewell and the heels are too, via Poshmark.

Next, I tried them with on with a sweatshirt and boots.

Pink Sweatshirt

Relaxed French Terry Sweatshirt in Blush on You

This might seem weird/ugly, but I’m loving it. I recently became obsessed with the combination of pink and mustard. I originally went looking for a pixie pant in yellow or pink but couldn’t find one that looked good on me. Also, I think I decided that the yellow has to be on the bottom and the pink on the top. Pink is better next to my face and not on my legs. The wrong pink pants can look like no pants!

 

Stripped Sheath Dress

Ponte-Knit Sheath Dress in Black White Stripe

This looked pretty good in the dressing room, but here it looks so matronly. What was I thinking? Maybe it would work if it were a little more fitted? I ended up returning it. Oh, and I should mention, it smelled horrible. I’m not sure why. Here’s the back:

Lastly, the whole reason I went…

Tank Top

First Layer Fitted Tank in Hunter Pines

I tried every color and I really only liked this olive green color. Sad since they were discounted if you bought three. They’re supposed to be fitted but I went up a size because I don’t need to emphasize my not-flat abs. I will wear it as a workout shirt but I styled it here with my new vintage-y jeans from H&M and those same ankle strap heels from Madewell.

That’s it. Not really a “bagful”, but I’m surprised how many good basics I’ve been finding at Old Navy.

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New Wardrobe Additions

I wrote a post last year about new clothing purchases, which felt a little uncomfortable since it listed everything I bought and how much I spent, but it really helped make me accountable (to myself?) and made me think twice before buying something new. I’m trying to stay within my budget and also not fill my closet/house/life with too much stuff.

I am going to do it again this year and I hope you’ll indulge me, or maybe even be encouraged by it. It’s helpful to me to keep track of good choices (or bad) and nice to be able to offer recommendations. You can view my Wish List on Pinterest to see all the things I’m thinking of adding in the future (or talking myself out of!)

JANUARY $104

LUCKY Varsity Sweater $45

GAP Short Sleeve Crewneck T-shirt in White $15

GAP Soft Wear Mid Rise Curvy True Skinny Jeans (Short) in True Black $20

GAP Fit Textured Stripe Leggings in Sculpt Compression in Bristol Blue $24

FEBRUARY $180

UNIQLO Women Ultra Light Down Hooded Coat in Black $90

H&M Vintage Fit High Waist Jeans (Similar) $30

Old Navy Wide Leg Chinos in Ochre $35

Old Navy Crewneck Sweatshirt in Pink $15

Old Navy Fitted Tank in Olive $10

MARCH $203

AG Farrah High-Rise Skinny Jeans $90

J.Crew Leopard flats $48

Nike Court Royale Sneakers $65

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Shopping My Closet: Creating Outfits with What I Own

long sleeve tee (similar)  |  jeans (similar)  |  leather jacket (similar)  |  suede heels (similar)

I love this leather jacket… so why don’t I ever wear it? I have so many pins on my Pinterest style board reminding me of how cool I’ll look if I wear a black leather jacket, yet it sits in my closet. I tried it on to see if I could figure out how to wear it. I’m liking it. The jeans are ok. They’re soft and loose fitting. And the heels are probably my favorites. (They have cute like tassels on the backs.)

long sleeve tee (similar)  |  jeans (similar)  |  suede heels (similar)

The outfit sans jacket.

floral blouse (similar)  |  pants (similar)  |  flats (similar)

I’ve had this floral top from LOFT forever. It’s a winner. The much-worn chino/jeans from the Gap are very comfy and flattering. The shoes (and, again, every blog seemed to demand I own them) never get picked. I think they look good here. I liked this outfit so much, I wore it to a speaking engagement later that night.

button down  | pants (similar) |  clogs

The white button down! Everyone says you need one. I don’t think I really do need one, let alone two. It looks rumbled here. I can’t figure it out. The clogs probably aren’t helping. I think a black heel might be better. And a trench coat over top!

short sleeve sweatshirt (similar)  |  jeans  |  ankle strap heels (similar)

I love this Joie tee but haven’t found a reason to wear it. The jeans are new and I LOVE them! I bought them on a trip to the Gap when I had the kids with me and they said, “Those look SO good on you, Mommy” so obviously I bought them. The shoes are Madewell from Poshmark. I think they’ve been waiting for these jeans. This outfit feels very “me” and I feel Très Française in it.

tee shirt  |  jeans  |  ankle strap heels (similar)

The same but with my new favorite white tee!

striped tee (similar)  |  jeans (similar)  |  jean jacket (similar)  |  sandals (similar)

I somehow switched over to summer. Or maybe spring. This is an imitation of an old outfit from Sincerely Jules. Only she wore it with nude flats and I didn’t like how mine looked on me. I do like this J. Crew/St. James t-shirt. But, these white jeans usually get passed over. I have another pair of white pants I like better. I obviously cut them too short. The sandals (Steve Madden, $5 at Famous Footwear!) are my favorite although they’re quite platform-y. And, the jean jacket… I’m supposed to love a jean jacket. This one is flattering but I think I’d wear it more if it were more oversized, you know? It’s not comfy or cozy (and that’s what I look for in a second layer).

striped tee (similar)  |  jeans (similar)  |  sandals (similar)

This is how I’d probably go — jacketless. I tried tying it around my waist and that was a definite no. Maybe this post should be titled, “Why I Don’t Wear a Jacket” or “Layering—I’m Clueless”

tee shirt  |  trousers (similar)  |  heels

Okay, the black trousers. Essential, right? I’m feeling better about them with the plain white tee and of course, these black heels from Banana Republic. Maybe I’ll actually wear them out of the house.

sweater (similar)  |  trousers (similar)  |  sneakers

This look. All. Over. Pinterest. Just add a long menswear coat and crossbody bag. How I wish I liked these sneakers. I think they’re too clunky. I don’t know. The sweater is good. Very good. A black turtleneck truly is a must-have, for me.

sweater (similar)  |  trousers (similar)  |  heels (similar)

I’m liking this much more. All black and one other color. A heel looks way better to me, makes my legs seem longer.

sweater (similar)  |  trousers (similar)  |  boots (similar)

This is good too. I stole this look from Style This Life. I call it, “Black-Black-Brown.”

That’s it! I had a lot of fun putting together outfits. And enjoyed reconnecting with and appreciating my clothes more. Every time I do this I get a little closer to knowing what I like and being okay with just being me. It’s nice.

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New Year, New Workouts

I have been exercising more. And I have been observing myself. I always find my self oddly amusing. Before I start, let me say for the record, I have made a lifelong habit of exercise. I won’t pat myself on the back too much for this since it was sort of an accident and mostly due to vanity. So, I’m not one of those “resolution-ists” that are crowding up the gym this time of year. But there I am, having just joined a gym and recommitted myself to fitness. And it sucks. Here are some things I’m learning.

Getting back into fitness is so much harder than never stopping

Back in July, I wrote about how I stopped exercising (which meant I wasn’t forcing myself to to do regular official workouts and instead just did the everything else including renovating half our house) and I actually lost weight and really felt better all the way around. Mind you, it was summer. Well, now I’m feeling the effects of losing a lot of muscle and a lot of the ability to do any workout I try and it’s very discouraging. So, please, for your sake and those around you, don’t stop. Ever. Just do something. Easy or hard. Just do a little (or a lot) consistently and keep up muscle tone, flexibility and cardio vascular conditioning.

January is the best (and worst) time to start

So, back to the newly-committed-overly-crowded gym of January. Last year we joined the local YMCA as a family. I had been considering it for a while and they were running a promotion in December: one free month and no join fee. Here was a place, 17 minutes from our house, where I could do group fitness, hubby could work out with weights and weight machines and the kids could sign up for gymnastics, dodgeball, swim, etc. And it would be so much less expensive than the combination of all the many places we were going previously. It wasn’t easy though, actually is was a bit heartbreaking, to say goodbye to my favorite classes at Jazzercise, the Yoga Loft, and CSS group fitness. I can’t say for sure I’m gone for good. But I decided to try something new. I just have to make it through the first few weeks of it being mobbed with people.

I feel super old

For the first time in my life I’m feeling like the “old person” in class. Everyone seems to be in their 20s and 30s and I’d like to say it doesn’t bother me, I would be a liar. I think one of the biggest obstacles to working out — in public at least — is comparing yourself to others. All these complete strangers are all younger, cuter, fitter, and more stylish. And they seem to know what they’re doing. I’m that complete dork who’s watching others get set up: weights, um, mat, more weights, barbell (???!!!), step, risers, paper plates (?) and copying them. But acting super cool like I’m not. Asking questions is not an option. And then I have to pretend I can do everything, and that I’m not dying. “I’m cool. I got this. Am I the only one wanting to barf?” All the while trying to be careful to not throw out my back. Why, oh why, did I allow myself to lose all my core strength? Why Leigh? Saddest part: lots of women much older than me seem to be fine.

I haven’t died yet

So far so good, you know? I’ve been taking it slow and trying to be patient with myself. I’ve done a few different classes. So far I’ve done: Group Cycling, Pilates, “Grit” and “Body Pump”. Grit is like all the worst of 7th grade gym: high knees, burpees (what we  used to call “squat thrusts” back in the day), suicide sprints, until you, like, puke. Note to self: stand in the back next time. And Body Pump is where you burn most of your calories dragging every single piece of equipment out of a closet (in competition with 30 other people) like barbells and those circular weights that go on them and the little clippy things that hold them on and try to guess which amount of weight you’re going to need and lift all those things a whole bunch then put it all away afterwards. FYI, Grit and Body Pump are taught by a woman who literally has an Ironman tattoo on her arm.

Working out is better with a friend

One of the things that made me want to joint the Y was that a couple other mom friends are members. I will go with or meet one of them there and it is more fun. I don’t feel so insecure and I think it’s motivating. I did not come up with this idea. It’s, apparently, a thing. Try it!

January will end

I’m looking forward to the gym getting less crowded. Not that I want everyone to stop exercising! But it will be nice. I am one of the lucky ones. I created an exercise habit in my early 20s. I schedule my workouts. I try new things to keep it interesting. I do it when I don’t want to. I do it all year ’round. You might say I just care what I look like. And you’d be right. But my vanity might keep me healthy on the inside just a few extra years. And don’t forget, exercise is good for your mood. And that’s something I can’t get enough of.

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