I started a brand-new wellness program back in January. The longest and hardest workout routine I have attempted on my journey thus far. Three months, and hard, hard, hard. When I first learned about the program, I thought, “There’s no way I can do that. That’s for people fitter/thinner/stronger than me.” My workout routine thus far had been much less challenging. So when I decided to actually do the program from start to finish, I was nervous, yet proud. It was a huge commitment, with hour-long workouts and an intense nutrition plan.
I started strong, full of enthusiasm, and vitality. I considered doing another full round of the program once I finished the first round. I was excitedly telling people that I already couldn’t wait to do another three months, immediately following my first three months. I was thinking I had found my soul mate workout program.
The past few weeks have been a huge mental game. I sailed through the first 3 weeks of this program, but was warned by the program's creator (I'm in a private test group with her) that I may need to bump up to a bigger meal plan as the weeks went on. I stupidly tried to fight it, but the past few weeks, it started to become clear that the meal plan wasn't working for me anymore. I was hungry & frustrated, & picked up some old bad habits of binge eating – which unfortunately hampered my results. Among other things, I had eight – yes, eight – cupcakes over two days (and… ahem… three muffins), which I'm not proud of. – I paused & looked at what was happening. There was no way I could get the results I wanted if I felt deprived & hungry – I am NOT about that life, & neither is my company – we promote *healthy* lifestyle changes that last & NOT based on deprivation & hunger. The program's creator urged us to bump up to more food if we needed it, & that is precisely what I did. – The mental change was immediate – a huge breath of relief. I'm trying to not place too much importance on the scale (though it's hard!), but after staying at my same starting weight, plus or minus a pound, for four weeks, I finally woke up Sunday & broke into the next tens column (LOL!). – I tell my clients all the time – getting healthy is not a punishment, & it should never feel that way. You shouldn't walk around hungry, or feeling frustrated, or deprived. – To focus on the positive – I’ve never felt this strong, ever. I worked out for almost a year with 5 lb weights, & have been doing this program exclusively w/ 8s and 10s – & doing moves I couldn't do before. I can finally see definition in my arms, which is one of my goals. – Lucky me, this is a three-month program, & I am ready to amp it up & dominate the rest of the program. Including on the mini-getaway Derek & I are on now. Worked out in the hotel gym already! – Here’s what’s in it for YOU! My newest clients have gotten acclimated into my February wellness accountability group, so I'd love to bring in THREE new ladies this coming week. – Send me a message now, score your spot, & we will get the ball rolling together!
But – this is something I’ve been struggling with for quite some time. I finally made a hard decision that ended up giving me a lot to be happy about.
It actually physically pains me to type those words, because I take great pride in showing women – moms especially – that they CAN do this – that they CAN eat healthy and exercise, even within the very busy schedule of motherhood. This isn’t something I take lightly, and I hate giving up, especially with the finish line so close in sight. I am a wellness advocate and guide. I work with women across the spectrum – working moms, stay-at-home moms, old moms, young moms, and show them how to fit wellness into their days, with baby steps that add up to big changes in their overall health.
As mothers, we very often put ourselves on the back burner, and let’s face it, #momguilt is real. I can’t tell you how many times I felt a twinge of guilt when doing a workout while my kids were fending for themselves. I can’t tell you how many clients have expressed guilt over taking 30 minutes to themselves each day, just to fit in a workout. But I always tell them, it’s worth it. You are worth it. As cliche as it sounds, we have to put our oxygen mask on first, just like on an airplane. We are of no good to our families if we don’t have some kind of self-care. And eating healthy and getting exercise are two of the best ways to become a better mother. It fuels our bodies and our minds with what they crave, what they need, helping us have more energy and patience and joy during those long days of parenting little ones.
Now – back to my story. This program – it is freaking amazing. I can’t say enough about it. The results are phenomenal, the workouts are incredible (I seriously smiled and laughed every single day) and feature moves I’ve never seen before. I have never felt so strong in my entire life. I started using weights bigger than I ever thought possible. I’m finally seeing that elusive definition in my arms.
But here’s the thing. Everything’s not for everybody. When I started my wellness journey a year ago, I promised to be honest – to share the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I suffer from exercise-induced migraines – basically, every time I exercise, I’m taking a risk that I will get super sick during, and could be down for the count for 1-5 days. Yes. DAYS. I manage it with supplements (high doses of vitamin B-2) hydration, and many frequent breaks to keep my heart rate lower, but sometimes that’s not enough. The harder the program, the higher the risk of a migraine. And the longer a workout, the higher the risk.
Every day in this workout routine is 30-60 minutes, yet it was taking me 1.5-2 hours each day, 6 days a week, to complete. Between all of the breaks I have to take to ensure I don’t get a raging migraine, while simultaneously managing a 4-year-old and 1.5-year old, it has been getting longer and longer each day. And lately, I wasn’t even able to get past the first 2/3 of the workout before my 2 hours was up, and I had to jump in the car to pick up/drop off kids somewhere.
Two hours of entertaining an exceedingly mobile and climb-savvy 18-month-old. Two hours of not doing things around the house. Two hours of pushing through a workout and not even completing it within that timeframe on most days. I am ALL FOR taking time to yourself to get healthy. All freaking for it. I could not support that more if I wanted to.
But at this stage of my life, I can’t spend 2 hours a day, 6 days a week, trying to fit in a workout. 30 minutes? Absolutely. An hour? sure. 2 hours? No.
Instead of looking forward to working out, I was feeling stressed about how long it would take me, how many things William would get into during it, how many snacks I’d have to give to Julia, and how many shows or movies I’d have to put on for her, so that she was busy.
So? I quit. I agonized over this decision for weeks, but once I made it, I haven’t looked back since.
The somewhat ironic part is that I posted this on Instagram right as I was starting the program – full of hope and excitement for the results I was going to get, and what was to come. I didn’t take my own advice then, but I am taking it now.
The good news is that the bitch is back. I’m going back to my roots with the very first program that started this all. And I. Freaking. Love. It. I’m excited to work out again. Julia saw me dancing away today and said happily, “YAY! You’re doing your favorite workout again!” Then, she joined me.
I always tell my clients that I am here to help them find a program that works for THEM. Because everyone is different, and like I said – everything is not for everybody. My job is to help you find a way to make these programs work for you. There’s something in my arsenal for everybody – it’s just a matter of finding what brings a smile to your face. And my smile is back.
For more of my personal wellness journey, follow me on Instagram, and read my Heather Gets Healthy column here.