Six and a half years ago,at age 38, I found myself physically exhausted, out-of-shape, still hanging onto pregnancy-weight, mentally foggy, emotionally bored, and wondering if I would ever have the energy and ‘drive’ I had enjoyed 10 years earlier. I had no excuse; I was a nurse practitioner for goodness sake! I spent my days, weeks and months helping my patients improve their health, but I couldn’t help myself! My personal journey to heal my body, become physically fit and rechallenge my brain required me to open my eyes and take a hard look at the truth and acknowledge that I had some serious work to do. The truth is, I was addicted to sugar, relying on processed food and eating WAY too much take-out. I was sedentary, had become mentally unstimulated and was letting stress drive my emotions. My clothes didn’t fit right, I was always trying to ‘hide’ my waist and booty. I was just barely getting through my day as a mother, a wife, a professional. I was on a hamster wheel doing the same mundane tasks day in and day out: hitting snooze 4 times, rushing against the clock to get to work on time, spending 8.5 hours in clinic, rushing home through traffic to be a mom, tackling the laundry, watching TV, eating a BIG dessert, then going to bed and repeating! Looking back at that now, I was on a path towards burn-out, weight gain, chronic disease, and depression.
The spark that helped change my mindset was completely unexpected because it was my most despised past-time: exercise! I was a person who HATED to exercise. Multiple times I had started a new gym membership with the same pattern each time: go 5 times the first week, 3 times the second week, once the third week and then never again for the next 24 months…all the while paying a monthly fee and throwing my money away!! Have you ever done that? Bet you have! I hate to run, I’m bored to death lifting weights. I don’t play organized sports. I tried Zumba, Jazzercise, kickboxing… but I’m so uncoordinated that I spent the whole time being embarrassed and worrying about my ‘form’! I tried speed-cycling, heated yoga, pilates, swimming. Didn’t love any of it. There was literally no hope for me….until I tried a free class at a Bar Method studio. This was my unexpected spark! It was honestly the most challenging full-body workout I had ever tried. I ended up hurting, in a good way, inside the nooks and crannies of my body where I didn’t even know I had muscles. I stuck with it because there was NO RUNNING, no confusing gym equipment, I didn’t have to be coordinated and it wasn’t boring! Each week I felt a little stronger, a little more flexible, a little more mentally clear.
It took me 38 years to find an exercise routine that ‘worked’ for me! Fast forward six and a half years; I am still at that same studio and I’m still challenged and mentally hooked. I encourage you, if you haven’t already found your exercise ‘thing’, find it! I KNOW there is something out there for you, so keep searching. Don’t give up because once you start to exercise, a SHIFT starts to happen: you WILL start to question everything else in your life…which leads to making positive change in every aspect. Exercise is a catalyst for change, and I never realized that until I experienced it! All my medical and nursing training didn’t teach me this simple strategy.
My personal transition to living a healthy lifestyle wasn’t my education as a healthcare provider. It was simply finding an exercise routine that I stuck with. Once I started to exercise multiple times per week, I began to reevaluate everything else in my life: eating habits, sleep habits, hydration habits, stress levels and relationships. Little by little, over the course of several years I addressed all these issues and cleaned up my life! But it took me forever! I did it the long way, through trial and error. I didn’t have a mentor or a health expert teaching me how to shortcut all this stuff! Now that I’ve figured it all out, I’m excited to share it with you! Over the next 12 months, join me every month right here on this blog to learn quick easy steps toward improving your health. Learn how to overcome food addictions, how to live an organic, unprocessed life, how to remove toxins from the home, how to eliminate and avoid chronic illness, how to reduce stress, improve relationships, and how to nourish your family. For today, your first step to good health is getting your body in motion and then everything else will start to fall into place. I promise. This month, commit to finding an exercise routine that doesn’t suck, and then stick with it! Next, pay attention as your mind starts to shift. And remember, nobody ever said “I totally regret that time I spent exercising today”!