Six months into motherhood I found myself in straight up survival mode.
I was trying, unsuccessfully, to balance a child, a marriage, a day job, and a mile long list of all the things. At the very bottom of that list was the one thing I never got to – myself.
I was always involved in sports growing up and still considered myself an athlete at that time, which is hilarious. The closest I got to working out was a very occasional walk with the stroller in a close-to-last attempt to get the baby to stop fussing. At that point I decided I really needed to start focusing on being active again. In fact, it needed to be a daily thing. Thirty minutes was all I needed!
It started out as 21 days. Before I knew it was 50. Then 100. And most recently – a year.
Yep! My once stagnant lifestyle turned into a 365 day activity streak!
So, why did I do it? If you asked when I started, I would have said it was for my daughter. I wanted her to grow up knowing how important (and fun!) living a healthy and active lifestyle was. But in reality, I felt I started for myself. I was drowning in emails and pumping and laundry. I needed to prioritize myself, just for that 30 minutes a day, to breath, relax, and feel like a human again.
How did I do it? Not easily, that’s for sure! I literally had to get rid of every excuse in the book and accept the fact that there was simply no reason I couldn’t do something active every day. Sometimes that meant waking up at 4am. Twice it meant a PJ workout session when I had to crawl out of bed after realizing the entire day had gone by and I had forgotten to work out. Somedays I rode a bike 10 miles, somedays I walked around the neighborhood for 30 minutes. Not everyday was high intensity, but everyday was something.
What did I learn? More than you care to read about, I’m sure!
Personally, the most exciting thing I learned is that I can do anything.
I always heard that growing up, but I really saw it in action. I went from not being able to run a mile, to running my fastest mile and then successfully completing a 5k. Then a 10k. I’m doing things I never imagined, like yoga headstands and even beating my husband in a push up contest. (Sorry, babe!) I never thought I’d get back into high school shape, and here I am in better shape 10+ years later.
The most interesting thing I learned is that you are what you eat.
For me, there is truly no amount of working out that could make up for a poor diet. With any workout program I tried, if my nutrition was on point, I felt and looked great. But, I could definitely feel (and see!) the difference following those same workouts with a poor diet instead.
Lastly, I learned that in the end, I really was doing it for my daughter all along. Allowing that time for myself everyday in turn made me a better mom.
And now that she’s older, I’ve found ways to incorporate her into my active lifestyle. You can read more about our mommy and me workout classes in my post about family activities for working moms. She’s even caught on to my yoga moves lately!
I’m on Day 377 and counting now, and can’t wait to see what new things I’ll accomplish Year 2!
Are you ready to start your activity streak? I’d love to follow along!
Start with a small goal and go from there. Remember, it only takes 30 minutes… 2% of your day!