Confession: I was wrong for about six years of my life. I thought it was impossible for a working mom to find time in her day to workout daily.
WARNING: This post may contain pictures of me without makeup.
It all started on a cold day, in a hotel in Missouri.
Was I willing to commit my body to 100, sweat inducing, muscle building, life altering days of working out – in a row? The only requirement – get up and move daily. As a working mom of two kids, I used to be proud of the fact that a couple mornings a week at 5AM I made it to the gym. I always considered myself an active mom, coaching baseball, regularly taking the kids for bike rides and playing catch. For years I told myself that my life was too busy for me to workout more regularly.
Then I met #workout100: (http://workitout100.com/).v Introduced by a friend who had done it before and posted pictures on Facebook daily of her activities. This friend was crazy busy too: mom of three kids, a teacher, a fitness instructor, taking classes to complete her Masters, on a number of committees for school and church. Maybe 100 days was reasonable. She was going to do another 100 days leading up to her birthday and was looking for others to join her on the journey. My competitive juices started flowing.
That was 101 days ago.
As someone that has always had body image issues, I was going to use this first 100 days to prove I could do it. I wasn’t going to do weigh in or take measurements. I needed to know first that I could make the time in my busy life for me and for being active. Along the way I learned a number of lessons:
1) It doesn’t take an hour to get in a good sweat.. Workitout100 doesn’t set stipulations around “what is considered a workout”. However, I do recommend having something that helps with your numbers. I have a Fitbit (remember this post: https://dailydoseofdilemma.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/i-3-my-fit-bit/) that tracks my activity. This helped me establish baselines.
2) Plan ahead. This 100 days wouldn’t have worked if I didn’t look at my calendar in advance to figure out when I was going to get in my daily activity.
3) Find a few cheerleaders. My husband was mine. He encouraged me throughout, asked about my workouts, bought me new workout clothes and never flinched when I told him I was heading to the gym.
4) Documenting helps with accountability. For me, annoying or not, I posted pictures nearly daily of my activities or about what my workout was going to be. I learned along the way that people paid attention to my posts and followed me along on my journey. If I stopped or missed a day, then I had a posse of people that could call me out.
5) Make is social. By the end of this 100 days, I was almost never working out alone. I had a gym buddy that met me Tuesday and Thursday mornings for cardio and weights. I was hitting up new classes at the gym. I was meeting up with friends and family for power walks and runs.
6) Buy some cute workout clothes. Sounds dumb, but it is amazing how motivational a cute pair of workout pants can be.
7) Think into the future. I made a couple of goals along the way. One of those goals was to do a 5K and run the entire thing. Now I am working towards a 10K.
8) Try new things. How boring 100 days would have been if everyday I did the same workout? I can’t even imagine. During this 100 days I made many weekly goals to try a new workout: yoga, warrior ropes, kickboxing, spinning, bootcamps, stairs… This made the 100 days interesting and a learning experience throughout. Like I learned that yoga is still not my thing, but I really like spinning.
9) You’ll be sad when it’s over, even though you aren’t going to stop. My friend asked my husband if he was excited for my 100 days to be over, assuming that it had been a huge burden to our family. He replied, “She’s not stopping at 100.” As I said before, he was one of my biggest supporters and he could just tell that I was enjoying this and also was feeling better. I was glad that me working out was now not just becoming a habit for me, but also was becoming something that my family had gotten used to and was unfazed by.
Today was day 101, my husband is out of town on his annual fishing trip and the weather is crappy out. 101 days ago, I wouldn’t have worked out. Today, I brought my running clothes and went for a 30 minute jog with a coworker in the rain and I’m already figuring out what I can do for day 102.
Thank you #workitout100!