3 Month Transformation Programs That Will Make You Love Exercise

Hello, my name is Lisa and I’m an expertly flawed binge exerciser.  I have discovered that I only last about 3 months in any given workout routine.  Then, just after I see results, I stop and eventually end up trying something else.  

My flaws can hopefully serve some use to those of you looking for a way to transform yourself for a wedding, vacation, or just because you want to start feeling and looking healthy.

First, let’s clear up some misconceptions:

  1. You do have enough time and money for your workout.  Stop prioritizing yourself last.
  2. Your house, your kids, and your job won’t miss you too badly AND you’ll have more energy to handle them all when you’re done with your workout.
  3. You are strong enough and nobody is going to judge you (stop being so critical of yourself).

I lie to myself all the time and end up talking myself out of the gym a lot.  If only I could be more like my husband.  He makes the gym a priority every single day.  He’s up at 4am making egg whites & protein shakes so that he can hit the weights before the kids are up.    

I, on the other hand, HATE working out!  You may have read my dysfunctional gym behavior post that described how it all began… In the 80’s with leotards and leg warmers.  

Sweating, touching germy equipment, being watched by other people, were all things that kept my story alive, exercise is not my friend.  

Now that I’m fully immersed into my 30’s, exercise has to be my friend.  If I go more than a couple months without it, my mid section shows nostalgia for my past pregnancies and becomes a digestive nightmare.  After a weekend of eating out, my face swells up like Rocky after 10 rounds.  My butt, which had always been a source of pride, sinks, and saddle bags grow as a last stitch effort to hold up my droopy cheeks.  My arms grow dimples and I wear more clothes than needed, especially to the beach.

 

In the past, all I needed was a little yoga and healthier eating, but the dreaded thirty’s have brought the gift of slow metabolism and stubborn muscle memory.  If only I was as “fat” now as I thought I was in my 20’s.

 I met my husband just after my 30th birthday.  I had just gotten divorced and was raising 3 girls on my own.  Stress, not a healthy lifestyle made me super skinny back then.  Two years later, I was planning a wedding and was noticing that if I wasn’t careful, I wasn’t going to fit in my dress. 

3 Months of personal training before my wedding

Benefits of personal training:

  1.  You are working one-on-one with a trainer who can answer any questions or address any problems you’re having.
  2. You are held accountable since each week you are weighed and measured.
  3. You are shown the right way to do exercises and taught ones that are most effective for your areas.
  4. Finally, you realize just what your body could do.  He/she will push you beyond what you would normally do yourself.

Cost was around $90 per month for 3 days a week.  My personal trainer gave me a meal plan that included clean, non processed meal ideas and recipes.

Final result, I lost a total of 16 pounds in 3 months.

After the wedding, my husband and I spent a year enjoying the married life.  I tried to watch what I ate and continued the exercises I learned from my trainer, but eventually, I gained the weight back. 

Then, my brother-in-law decided to have a destination wedding in Aruba, and we had to get fit again.  I decided to conquer my fear of weights and join a Crossfit gym.

3 Months of Crossfit before vacation 

Benefits of crossfit

  1.  You learn proper form using equipment that you may have been scared to touch before
  2. Your workouts are exactly laid out for you so you know what you’re getting into
  3. You compete against yourself when it comes to how many reps or how much you can do
  4. Smaller “boxes” can basically be like one-on-one training, especially if you go during certain hours.
  5. You will feel like a total badass!

Cost varies but our location was about $100 per month for 2-3 times per week.

Final result wasn’t as obvious in the weight category (I was building big muscles I guess), but I lost a total of 22 inches off my entire body.  

Aruba was last year and I’m entering my 5th month off.  At 36 years old, I feel like I’m gaining weight faster than I can take it off.  I know I’m inconsistent, it’s a flaw I embrace.  I love going out with my husband way more than I love the sweaty, smelly gym, but now it’s time to get back to work.

3 months of Group Classes at the Y before summer

Benefits of group classes

  1. There’s an awesome kid care program
  2. It’s easy to make friends:  The people at the Y are friendly and usually have similar goals
  3. The instructors are always open to discuss your needs and scale programs as needed
  4. You push yourself more than the gym, because you’re keeping up with your peers
  5. There’s a variety of classes and times to choose from.  My schedule includes:
    • Monday:  Les Mills Body Flow (yoga/pilates)
    • Tuesday: Tabata (full body cardio)
    • Wednesday:  Les Mills Body Pump (weights)
    • Thursday:  Les Mills Body Combat (kickboxing)

The cost is another benefit as a single membership is only $40 per month.  We have the family membership which is $80 and my kids and husband often come to yoga with me.

Since I’m not quite 3 months in, I can’t post my results yet.  I’m hoping to lose 15 pounds in 3 months with a gym routine of 4 classes a week combined with my themed meal prep.  Come back to see how I did.

I may not be as consistent as my husband when it comes to working out, but I’m making an effort, and 9 months out of the year isn’t bad.  As women, we have a hard time making time for ourselves and often get overwhelmed thinking of all our responsibilities.  Exercise seems like one of those chores, but when you find a good program it is THE thing that will make everything in your life easier.  Take it from someone who hates exercise!

Do you have an exercise routine you’d like to share?  Comment below and let me know how you stay motivated.


 

How to Cure Dysfunctional Gym Syndrome

I’m an 80’s kid.  I watched Olivia Newton John strut across my giant tube television screen as she “got physical” and I’ll never forget Jennifer Bealls’ sexy leotard as she danced bare bottomed in Flashdance.  What a feeling it must have been to wear a sweatshirt so loose a boob slip was inevitable or a leotard so tight a camel toe adjustment was needed every take. 

80’s workout gear revealed more than just rib cages and pelvic bones. Even Disney’s Mousercise featured the trainer wearing belts and suspenders to compliment her thigh high, neon leotard.  It’s no wonder “Great Shape Barbie” wearing heels and leg warmers or Richard Simmons’ short shorts and sequined tank tops are still popular Halloween costumes two decades later, but can you imagine actually working out in those clothes?

I blame the 80’s for my dysfunctional gym behavior.  While I didn’t show up in leotards and pumps, I did view the gym as a place to be seen.  I walked in with full make-up, beautifully groomed (and tanned) legs and underarms, and the best workout clothes a teacher salary could buy.  If the clothes were dirty or the legs weren’t shaved, that was reason enough to skip the gym.  When it was time to hop on the treadmill I made sure my ponytail swayed as I walked as fast as I could, without running, and as soon as I started to sweat, I hopped off.  

If you’re thinking I’m superficial you’ve never been to LA Fitness at 6pm.  Some girls my age wouldn’t even be seen in a ponytail; They look like they just came from the salon, their perfectly formed tresses flowing down their back as they lifted 10lbs in front of a mirror.  Maybe they suffered from the same 80’s syndrome I did because they weren’t concerned that their hair would stick to their sweaty back and look like a hot mess by the time their workout was complete… BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T THERE TO ACTUALLY SWEAT!

Fast forward to 2010 where female fitness icons showed women that muscle is sexy and how hard work (aka sweat) is necessary to getting a toned body.  Soft curves have been replaced with athletic ripples and recognized as the new sexy, but it takes hard work to get that type of muscle definition.  Women seeking the new sexy have to be ready to sweat so much that shapes form in places that would have made Mickey Mouse and his Mousercise crew blush.

Recently, one of my class instructors wore a pair of gray capris.  About 30 minutes into a 50 minute kickboxing class, a wet spot started to seep through her pants.  She saw it, shrugged and kept kicking ass.  She wore her vagina sweat like a badge of honor.  It made me think, had Olivia Newton John ever sprung a leak in her leotard?  

A few months ago, I was doing crossfit.  On a particularly tough WOD, I turned to look at myself in the mirror and noticed everything was drenched, except two circles around my boobs.  I had worn a regular bra in my rush to class and it showed through to the entire gym.  10 years ago, I would have been mortified, and I have to admit that a tinge of embarrassment did surge through my body.  Then, I had an epiphany, “who cares?”  That goddess looking back at me was a red faced, pineapple headed, armpit stubble, sexy beast who had just pushed her body to its limits for 60 minutes straight.  That boob sweat rockin’ bitch was the sexiest thing I had ever seen.  Doctor, I was cured!

My 80’s syndrome was treated by some amazing female trainers that didn’t let me stop because I was too tired or concerned about what I looked like in the depths of my workout.  They showed me that true confidence and strength comes from within.  

It was also cured by my beast of a husband who stinks up the gym at 5 am every morning and our resolve to eat clean, healthy foods.  They’ve all shown me that it’s not about the image that you put out in the gym, it’s about being healthier and actually becoming stronger.  

My mantra to my 80’s self:  Vagina’s sweat, armpit hair grows, make-up melts, hair gets tangled, and if it doesn’t, you’re just not working hard enough!

 

Diet Flaws and Some Must Needed Changes

I generally eat healthy and my kids enjoy a variety of food, but I have some serious health flaws.  I love a fast, easy meal, even if it is terrible for me, I don’t eat breakfast, and I hate going to the gym.  Sometimes my car is filled with fast food bags and I hate myself for it.  Other times I’m blasting my mom of the year recipes on Facebook and making my kid’s school lunches the envy of their friends.  Why can’t I be more consistent?  Because I’m expertly flawed, of course, but here’s my attempt to try in 2017.

  1. Stop eating out

Sometimes I actually convince myself that I’ve been so productive that I deserve to be treated to a meal someone else cooks for me.  Other times, I convince myself that I’m just too tired to cook a meal for myself and my family.  Either way, some weeks we eat out more than we cook and that needs to change!  Pintrest get ready, because I’m coming for you!  I will be pinning recipes and actually cooking them!  Night one Baja fish Tacos… Yum! One night a week I will treat myself.

  1. Eat Breakfast!

I’m guilty of running out the door without breakfast.  Most days I purposely skip it and have even been guilty of not making my kids eat breakfast as well.  I’m not sure if there’s something chemical to not wanting to eat so early in the morning but it seems so since they couldn’t care about this important meal either.  I’ve heard nutritionists, coaches and my nagging husband say that it’s the most important meal of the day.  It jumpstarts your metabolism and gets everything moving.  So, I started the New Year off right and bought some yummy breakfast foods at the grocery store.  My breakfast is a piece of whole wheat toast with almond butter and a smoothie.  I’m still struggling with finding healthy breakfast foods my kids will eat.  Share some of your favorites with me (here)

  1.  Sweat at the gym, not over eating clean all the time

I don’t have any gluten free requirements or allergies so why do I obsess over eating clean all the time.  I obsess over it so much, I sometimes skip a meal (or stop and get something completely unhealthy) just to rebel against the cutting and prepping that preparing fresh food requires.  This DOES NOT mean that I’m going to abandon fresh foods completely, I’m just not going to sweat it if I include carbs like whole wheat bread or brown rice lunch or dinner.  AND FRUIT!  Screw the sugar… I’m eating fruit dammit!

4.  Exercise for an hour a day 4-6 days per week

Eating right is only half the battle… and all that blather.  I know I have to get my exercise on if I want to feel good mentally.  Plus, I’ve noticed that when I’m in a regular workout routine, I naturally want to eat better.  After all, why suffer through an hour of pure pain, when one fast food sandwich will throw it all away?  

5.  Stop being so hard on yourself (period).