Hi everyone! The New Year is here, and we all know what that means...it's time to eat the traditional "Money Casserole"... wait, what? What's the Money Casserole? It's a family tradition in my family where we all eat a casserole made with sausage, bacon and sauerkraut on New Year's day. Why would we do that? It's supposed to bring you money in the new year. Maybe it's a German thing. I don't know, it's just what we do. Besides, I think maybe I'm doing it wrong, there hasn't been much money coming my way...
But, anyway, enough about casseroles. It's also time for your New Year's resolutions. I thought I'd talk briefly about a common one, fitness. I started my own fitness journey about 2 years ago. Usually, there is an event, like New Years, to get us thinking about changes. For me, it was two things, wanting to be a role model for my kids, and also because of my photography job. When I am on location, I usually bring a lot of stuff with me, and I haul it around by myself. I started realizing that I would get out of breath easily, and my entire body would ache days afterward. Not good. Here are a few photos of me around the time I started thinking that I needed to change. The second is a comparison shot from then and now.
So, I did it. I made a change, and hired a fantastic personal trainer, Shannon. Find her facebook page here. Now, don't get me wrong, in the beginning I didn't necessarily take this working out thing seriously. It took months for me to actually get on board with it and be SERIOUS about it. Once I upped my workouts to 6 times a week for about 30-40 minutes (including warm up and stretching) I started to see and feel the changes that I wanted. I do a lot of High Intensity Interval Training and lifting. I've found that those two things combined are what works for me. I love Holly Rilinger's workouts at Healthination.com, here. I also really regret not taking photos in the very beginning. Here is a progression from probably a year ago, until present.
Progression shots are important! I encourage you to take them. They fuel you, they get you up off that couch, they remind you how far you have come and how amazing your hard work is. In the first two images, I am actually sucking in A LOT. I also used to refuse to show anything below my belly button. I am still working on that area, but almost! These photos below, show me in the same dress, from two years ago up to last month or so. The second is the same skirt, snug fitting in the first image from last year, and so loose that I had to roll the top, in the image from a few weeks ago. Seeing these comparisons, it's proof that it works, and that I shouldn't give up.
So, I kept going. I didn't stop, I couldn't stop. I won't ever stop. Why? Because, here's the truth, I feel so much better now. I am stronger then I ever thought possible, and I know without a doubt that I can be stronger. My body recovers quicker from tough workouts, and now, when I am sore because of it, I don't mind. Because unlike before, this soreness is making me stronger, not dragging me down. I want my daughter to see that strong is beautiful. My son, he needs to see that women can and will lift more then they weigh, and that strength shouldn't be based on gender stereotypes. A woman can, and she will.
If I can do it, so can you. However, the desire and commitment must come from you. There can be zero excuses. And I do mean zero. My workout is important to me, it is part of me, it is part of my day. I make no apologies for having to do my workout, instead of grabbing a coffee. To be successful with a fitness journey, you must commit. Make it something you do everyday, like breathing and eating. Yes, it is difficult sometimes, but get up and get it done. I promise when you start getting into that mindset, "get up and get it done", will become second nature. You will keep going, you won't stop... you won't want to stop.
Booty gains alone will encourage you. Am I right? Whatever your reason, whenever you decide to commit, know that you can do it. Believe in yourself, and don't let negativity stop you. You got this.