Friday, May 24, 2013

My Fitness Success Story

     So I wanted to share my workout success story with all of you for one reason--to motivate others!
At the beginning of my journey, I was comfortable with my weight and for the most part, had accepted my body after giving birth to my two beautiful children; if anything, I would just 'tone' what I already had. With that being said, I hated browsing through my social media hearing about everyone's hard workout that day, friends posting pictures of themselves at the gym or the constant fitness photo quotes spamming my Facebook news feed. This dislike did not come from being jealous of their lifestyle, but it quite frankly became obnoxious and overwhelming. At that time, I just simply wasn't into that type of active life, mainly because my kids and housework left me exhausted on a daily basis!
Ironically, it was during that time that I came across a post on my Facebook news feed that a friend had shared and it truly caught my eye. It was different than most and actually seemed ACHIEVABLE. I researched it a little more and was presented with REAL result photos" that fans had posted. It came from "The Fit Community" and was titled "30 Day Squat Challenge."
It would only take a few minutes out of my day and I was both curious and anxious to see what type of results my body could achieve. So there I went starting my first day of the challenge--from that point on, I promised myself that no matter the burning or pain I felt, I would not stop until the challenge was complete. I then snapped that dreaded "before" picture which I hid very well deep in my phone..haha!
Day One was over and I felt quite a bit of pain in the front of my thighs--strange considering a squat is meant to mainly tone and lift your backside! Anyways, I continued the next day and by day three, I literally could not walk, which was accompanied by so many tears! What was I doing so wrong?! Surely I wasn't in THAT bad of shape. I began asking friends and researching squats on Youtube only to find out I was doing them completely WRONG! So moral of that story is: never jump into something without doing your proper homework!
I began Day Four the following day and considered that previous painful day my 'rest day.' Miraculously (and thankfully) that fourth morning I had woken up in minimal pain! From that point on, I continued the squat challenge, at the same time every morning after eating a big breakfast, right to the end with very little discomfort! A little side note: if mornings do not work with your schedule, try incorporating your little ones (if you have any) into an evening routine. Mornings were hectic for me at times, but I had my two kids doing squats alongside me at 7:30am everyday! If someone saw us, it would be pretty funny to see a six year old and 2 year old attempting their version of a 'squat!' :)
I can honestly say that doing that 30 days opened a door to a NEW me! As mothers, we have a lot resting on our shoulders everyday and can easily become both stressed and depressed. I will admit that I was in a very difficult depression as a result of many factors in my life. I always heard the cliche told to me time and time again, "you need to get out and exercise--you will feel so much better" but as many of us do, I brushed it off with a roll of my eyes. Well, generally cliches are created for one single reason, they are TRUE; how about that!
As I previously said, my workout routine has truly turned my life around! After beginning to do squats, my mindset also began to change. I would wake up in the morning searching through my cupboards for 'healthier alternatives' for breakfast, I started taking vitamins AND I began drinking green tea (my family and friends will attest to my utter disgust for green tea prior to this!)
The feeling you get after exercising becomes an addiction--but a positive one! You want more, so you are continuously searching for ways to better yourself and creating new challenges to conquer.
I did this challenge (and still do) by myself. Some people like a workout 'buddy' or partner to come along as motivation, however, I disagree. I have my own mindset, my own goals and I feel like another person would simply lead me to question myself and compare results. Everyone has their own limits, so stick to what YOU are comfortable with! Also know that it is OKAY to cheat every once in awhile and eat that fatty meal--you are only human. It becomes bad when you don't have the willpower to stop after that!


My Fitness Start-up Tips:
1. Start on a day when its beautiful out--open the windows, go outside for a minute, etc. Beginning on a 'dreary' day wont lift your spirits or get you moving.

2. For the first few days, stand sideways in front of the mirror so you can watch yourself doing squats to ensure you are doing the proper form. (see "The Perfect Squat" below for instructions)

3. Be patient! This is one that I had to tell myself almost everyday. Initially I wasn't seeing the results I had hoped (or wished) for, which was very upsetting.

4. Eat a good breakfast.  Without one, you will not have the energy to complete your workout each day, and you are also essentially wasting your time. Drink plenty of WATER as well! I personally do not like the taste of pure water, so I always add a wedge of lemon to my glass.

5. Create a Motivational Board--you can post anything that will keep you focused-- ie. quotes, magazine clippings, photos, charts, countdowns, etc.

The Perfect Squat
Go Low: Drive butt back (as though sitting on a chair), keeping thighs parallel to floor and knees over toes. This may take awhile to achieve, but as the days pass by, it will become easier on your legs. DO NOT OVER-DO IT  AT FIRST!

Get Grounded: Position feet shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out with your weight on heels. You should be able to wiggle toes.

Open Up: Place hands behind head. Lift chest, and draw shoulders back and down.

Stay in Line: Keep a neutral spine without arching your back; engage your stomach.

So WHAT'S NEXT??? Once you complete the 30 Day Squat Challenge, I can almost guarantee you will want to continue with some other type of routine. For me, I continued with 40 squats a day--4 sets that consisted of 15-10-8-7 and 45 minutes of cardio (which was generally going for a walk while pulling my kids in their wagon--its tough work!) I also researched other challenges online and am about to begin the  "30 Day AB Challenge!"

Feel free to share your success stories! I would love to hear from you! xx

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post (you are on my reader and I had to come over here to comment!). I saw the 30 day squat challenge on pinterest and got to day 5 and then came the weekend and I gave up. I had my fifth baby 3 months ago. With each child it has taken me longer to get back in shape and I can tell if I am not proactive that this time will be even longer (i.e., 1.5 years+). I am not in a hurry, as I am going to breastfeed for at least a year, but I know I could work squats into my day and this post has given me the motivation to start the 30 day squat challenge again. Thank you!