I’m going to be 100% transparent here and show you my “before and after” of my exercise journey. Now, it might not look like everyone else’s before and after, but I’m proud of it.
Are you ready? OK….
Confession: those pictures are just a few hours apart. A few hours BEFORE I worked out and then right AFTER I worked out.
You may not see much difference, but I do. What makes my before and after different is it’s not about what I physically look like, it’s about how I FEEL. Both physically and mentally.
I feel strong. I feel exhausted. I feel powerful. I feel happy. I feel sweaty. I feel confident. I feel the weight of the stress from my day mostly gone. I feel ready to get home. I feel a little more patient for all the “what’s that?” and “I do it myself” that are about to happen for the next few hours. I feel good.
I feel ME.
You see, working out has always been a part of my life. I’ve played team sports since I was five and I was the only girl to use the weight room in high school. Not that I lifted very much, but it just felt good to be there. I played intramural sports in college and used the gym as my little getaway when studying was making me crazy. I took a jog after work to clear my mind when I could.
I didn’t realize how much I relied on my workout routine to make my mind happy, until I didn’t have it.
After having my little girl, my body was physically different. After she was born I knew something was off. Despite not actually having time to workout, I knew I wouldn’t be able to even if I tried.
So, I contacted a great pelvic floor specialist and trainer and learned I had Diastasis recti, which was keeping me from working out as effectively as I used to. I was able to close my gap and relearn how to properly engage my core and pelvic floor when I worked out.
I then realized that closing the gap wasn’t all I wanted. I wanted to actually feel strong. I wanted to make time for working out. I missed it.
So, I started crossfit. I know, I’m that crazy one. I went all out in getting back into a workout routine. But you know what? I freaking loved it.
I felt stronger and more capable than ever. My body was exhausted after every one hour class, but my mind? My mind was strong and clear and felt better than ever before. Something about that sweat and grind and struggle gets my endorphins going and I feel ready to take on anything.
That was over a year and a half ago that I took a serious step to make fitness and working out a part of my daily/weekly routine again. I haven’t stopped since. I don’t have a “goal weight” or a “goal size.” I have a goal mentality – I want to feel strong, confident, happy, and be a good mom. I know that exercising is what helps me achieve that goal.
Sometimes I get a good sweat in at the gym. Sometimes I walk by the river while listening to a podcast. Sometimes I just wander the park with my daughter and look for bugs. It doesn’t matter what it is – I move my body.
I don’t care what my body looked like one year or ten years ago. I love where it is now and how I feel in it. And that’s really all that matters, right?