5 Reasons Women Struggle With Fitness

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Before October of last year, I knew I needed to take control of my health and fitness, but something came up on a daily basis that prevented me from starting the process. Then, one day it hit me; those things weren’t holding me back from becoming fit, I was holding myself back.

Women tend to struggle with making lifestyle changes for many different reasons, but I feel these five points have crossed all of our minds. I am here to break down these excuses and encourage you to take the next step in rejuvenating your health.

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1. We don’t have time

This was my primary excuse. I have four part time jobs (crazy, I know) and a family on top of that. The weekends are as packed as my weekdays, and I can barely find the time to breathe, let alone workout. Women have a lot of responsibility. As mothers, our job doesn’t end when we come home. It’s easy to feel burnt-out between working and taking care of a family. After reading countless blogs that told me to take time for myself, I decided to listen. Working out has become my “me time”. I get to lock myself in my room for 45 minutes or go for a run around the block. That’s the beauty of creating an at-home gym (Get inspired here). Other perks of an at-home gym include no travel time to and from an actual gym and no hours to abide by. This allows me to save my workouts for the end of the day after my daughter has gone to bed or early in the morning before she gets up. That way, I don’t lose out on any family time, and I don’t have to worry about child care.

2. We don’t see quick results

Everyone would obviously love to see fast results, but the truth is, it doesn’t happen overnight. Real change takes time. Making these changes requires a lifestyle change, not a 21 day program and you’re done. You’re unfortunately not going to lose 20 pounds in a week. Keeping this in mind from the beginning helps ground our expectations and prevents us from becoming disappointed when the weight doesn’t just fall off.

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3. We get bored easily

It’s easy to get bored with the same old gym routine you’ve done a thousand times. Your muscles no longer hurt and you start to lose the drive to workout. Well, this is an easy fix! Mix it up, ladies. YouTube is a great place to get mini workouts or find new moves to add to your current workout. Our bodies like change, so be sure to add new things as you go. You can also increase your weights and reps to get that nice burn in your muscles back. Your workouts should always remain challenging if you want to continue to see results.

4. We compare ourselves

Both men and women are guilty of this. We compare ourselves to others. I think it’s great to have a role model or an image of how you want your body to look, but keep in mind that we are not all built the same. Set realistic goals, and once you reach them, make new ones. Your biggest competition should be yourself, not a three time, gold award winning weightlifter.

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5. We don’t want to get bulky

I am guilty of this. We use the excuse of not wanting to become bulky to skip certain workouts or the workout altogether. For example, when I first began training, I could rationalize skipping arm workouts because I didn’t want manly-looking arms. This isn’t an excuse because in the event you’re gaining too much muscle, you can always make adjustments to your workout. Remember, we workout to tone (assuming this is your goal), not gain large amounts of muscle. Plus, while many of us begin training to lose weight, after the weight is gone, don’t you want something to show for it?

 

As women, we can find a million reasons to not workout, but I challenge you to find at least one reason why you should. Take that and turn it into a reality. Use your reason to fuel your fire and get started today!

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What You Might Be Missing

DSC_0223With today being close to 9 months since I became fed up with being out of shape, I thought it would be a good time to discuss an often overlooked piece to your fitness goals: determination. Let’s face it, passively pursuing a fitness goal, or any goal for that matter, does nothing but put a hole in your wallet with nothing to show for it.

It’s not enough to merely want to lose weight or tone your muscles. You have to be willing to do everything it takes to reach your goals, not just part of them. You have to enter into a fitness lifestyle with goals set in mind and a “can do attitude” to back them up. You have to be willing to push yourself further than you originally expected and never allow yourself to give up.

Determination must be something that sticks with you throughout the process. The second you lose it, you start to lose confidence in yourself. Even when you miss a workout or eat a box of Oreo’s, your determination should get you back on track. You won’t allow a setback to prevent you from reaching your goals.

Your results will drive your determination and your determination will drive your results. They go hand in hand. If you truly want to see a physical and mental change in your health and fitness, the sky is the limit. Believe you can make those changes and don’t quit till you have reached every last goal you set for yourself.

“A dream doesn’t become reality

through magic; it takes sweat,

determination, and hard work”

TIP: I’m a visual person. Therefore, I have learned that having an end-goal in mind makes the steps to get there less painful. I know it sounds cheesy, but find a picture of someone that exemplifies a visual image of your goals. Either print this picture out or burn it into your memory. Going forward, anytime you lose focus, look back at this picture and remind yourself of your goals and why you can’t quit today’s workout after 5 pushups.

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Your Abs are not on Vacation

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My friends call me crazy, but I can’t neglect my fitness and diet while on vacation. Dropping both of those for a week would have a huge impact on my progress, and I must stay focused on my long term goals. Lucky for me, our hotel has a gym. Not so lucky for me, they also serve breakfast. I have to be careful to not over indulge so I can enjoy treats on our beach adventures.

Vacations have a funny way of making you want to eat enough food for a family of 5. While I’m at the beach, I can’t help but want to grab a snack every few minutes. To make sure I stick to my diet, I packed several healthy options so when I feel the need to snack, I won’t ruin my diet.

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Don’t worry; even when a gym isn’t available, you can still squeeze a workout in. No, I don’t recommend bringing weights on your trip – that would be a little extreme. Besides, you have a hard enough time getting your husband to hold your purse while you shop; do you think he’s going to tote around weights for you? Running is usually an option when the weather permits, but if you are anything like my trainer, you’re not a big fan of cardio. Before heading off to your next vacation, develop a bodyweight exercise that can be done from your hotel room. Take time to get your body familiar with the new workouts before you leave for your trip. There are a ton of ab workouts that require no weight, and if you’re anything like me, you love a good ab workout.

To make sure you maximize your time on vacation, plan to wake up 30 minutes earlier than the rest of your friends/family. That way, you don’t take time away from the other people you are on vacation with. Instead of coming back from vacation dreading stepping on a scale, continuing your routine while on vacation will ensure that your progress stays on track and you’re closer to the beach bod you’ve been working so hard to obtain.

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Progress Report

In November, I began a pursuit of fitness, which was rather rocky at the beginning. I missed workouts and struggled with my diet. I wanted to give up, but my body begged for results. After getting the hang of counting macros and exercising, I began seeing results. Although, the results were difficult to see since I was examining my body in the mirror on a daily basis. But a side by side by side photo opened my eyes. My body was undergoing drastic changes, and I was super excited!

I am now coming to the end of the “lean” phase of my diet as I now have 13.7% body fat. Now for the scary part – reverse dieting. Ah, it just sounds like a bad idea! However, after several encouraging conversations with my personal trainer, I am ready for the next step in this process. The best part is, I get to enjoy more carbs!

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When I started this transformation, my goal was to have abs. I didn’t care how I got them, I just knew it was my goal. Fast forward several months – I now want more than just abs. I want to continue to stay healthy and feel good about myself. I’ve always worried about my arms getting too big. I have since moved past this fear, and I am beginning the process of muscle development.

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Enough of me talking about my progress. Here are my measurements from the day I started compared to now. Results speak for themselves, and all my of hard work is finally paying off!

Nov 10th

May 14th

Waist

28”

23.5”

Hips:

34”

33.5”

Arms:

9.5”

8 3/4”

Thigh:

17 3/4”

16”

Weight:

124 lbs

115 lbs

Body Fat:

20%

13.7%

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I’ve lost all of this weight and never set foot in a gym? That’s right! You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment at home to see great results. Read more about when the gym isn’t an option on a previous post. To me, this proves the saying “losing weight is 80% diet and 20% working out”. Anyone can workout. It takes real dedication to stick to a diet.

If you’re looking to start or have started a life style change, my advice is to document everything. Start from day one. On the days you lack motivation, you can take a look at your progress and keep moving forward. Not everyone is going to get the same results I have at the same pace. It may not happen as quickly as you want, but don’t give up! Keep fighting for those changes you want to see. Anyone can get on track to a happy, healthier lifestyle if you’re willing to put the time and effort into it. I hope you’ll continue to follow along as I dive in to this next stage.

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Healthy Creates Happy

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I’ve been slacking when it comes to my fitness blogging, but don’t worry, I have something up my sleeve for the future. I’ve been working hard and can’t wait to share my results with you guys. However, this isn’t that blog. Today, I want to share with you how becoming healthy has become my happy.

We all have a hobby we love. Over the years, mine has changed several times. I’ll usually start something and then drop it within a few weeks. With the demand of my jobs, it’s hard to set aside time for myself. Juggling every day life and then adding in extra activities starts to become a job in and of itself.

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I’m writing today to encourage you to not let go of the things you love. Make time. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself becoming bitter. Life only gets busier, so don’t put off the hobbies and activities you enjoy. If it makes you happy, it’s worth finding the time in your schedule. Don’t feel guilty either. You’re allowed to do something for yourself.

For me, I have grown to love exercising and improving my health. It’s become my passion, and my body is thanking me constantly. The better I am with my workouts and diet, the more energy I have. Overall, I feel better; my body feels better. This fitness journey has rekindled my interest in running, a favorite pastime of mine. I am now challenging myself and constantly attempting to beat old records.

I look forward to my workouts. I usually wait until Ella goes to bed and Evan practices his golf swing in the garage. It’s just enough time for us to enjoy our hobbies while not taking away from family time. I don’t have to worry about people judging me. That’s the beauty of turning your bedroom into a gym. I get to enjoy peace and quiet and a great workout all at the same time. I also feel like I’ve accomplished something for the day, so there is no real loss here.

Now, I’m not saying everyone should enjoy exercising. Let’s face it – some people will never find happiness in bench presses and squats. My point is this: make time for yourself. Do the things you love. It doesn’t have to be everyday, but if you can squeeze in a few hours for hobbies each week, I can assure that you’ll be a happier person.

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What is your happy? If you don’t know, explore and see what sticks. Mine may be working out, but the possibilities are endless!

Happy National Women’s Health Week! I hope you’re working extra hard this week ladies!

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