This post is sponsored by Zappos, thank you for supporting me and helping me share my passions, all opinions are my own.
Fitness and working out is a huge part of my life! I realize that other than occasionally on my day to day Instagram Stories, I don’t share much about my fitness journey. But, I think that is going to change! Truth be told, when I think of fitness bloggers or fitness influencers, I think of rock solid abs, perfectly shaped booty’s, hard core healthy eating, counting calories and macros. I just didn’t think I quite fit that mold. While I workout six days a week (I also like to eat!), I never felt like I was any kind of an authority to talk about it much since I didn’t have the six pack to go along with it, or some amazing before and after. But, fitness is something I love, and has benefitted me in so many ways, so I would love to share more about how I like to approach it!
I have talked a little bit about my fitness journey before, here, and here. But, I am always changing and evolving in what I enjoy doing, and I always love to try new things! Something that may be a little different for me is that I workout because I love how it makes me feel, and because I love my body! I’m not saying I wouldn’t want to change things about it, because I could go into a long list of things, but I have always tried to approach it from a gratitude standpoint and stay very positive and not go into what I don’t like, and appreciate what I do. And, that is the immense gratitude I have for a body that is healthy, alive, bore three children, and serving me well day after day. What more can I ask for? (Maybe some rock hard abs would be nice.. I kid!) Joking aside, I am truly SO grateful for this amazing body that allows me to do so much, I thank God every day for it. I exercise and try to eat a healthy diet to thank my body by keeping it fueled, strong, and healthy.
The one thing that has been a constant in my fitness journey is running. Brooks Running Shoes have always been on my top go-to shoes for running, and I have been using their running shoes for years and years! Their new Brooks Levitate 2 Running Shoes I ordered from Zappos (love their free shipping, returns, best customer service) is a new favorite! They are perfect for my treadmill workouts, as well as an outdoor run. A perfect neutral shoe that is both comfortable, durable, and lightweight with their new DNA AMP energized cushion system! (All so important!) I also grabbed the Brooks Greenlight Running Capris, that are the perfect thickness, suck you in, and don’t slip around or need to constantly be pulled up. The Brooks Array Short Sleeve workout top is also so comfortable, absorbent (I’m a sweater), as well as stylish with a cute split fabric detail in the back!
I was thinking the other day that have been running regularly (at least 2 plus times per week) for more than 20 years now. Wow, it’s crazy to count back, but time flies! To tell you the truth, and a not so fun painful memory for me is how I got into running and exercising regularly at the tender age of 15. I was always “thin” growing up, and active, I swam on the swim team since I was five years old, but you reach maturity things can always change in that area. A close family member told me that I had Mega Fat Potential, and that I was an “MFP!” An MFP, is someone who was always a “thin”, but could potentially end up very fat. My family has all different sizes, and the thing is, they weren’t wrong, if I didn’t watch what I ate, and exercise regularly, then yes, I could end up being “fat.” I am not someone who can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. No, quite the opposite, I have to pay attention and know that if I indulge, I will gain weight, basically overnight. So, from that tender age of 15, I was made very aware of my potential, and I decided for myself that it was important for me to exercise regularly and try to eat a balanced healthy diet. Luckily, I was sound enough in mind to make that decision at that age, because looking back I could have used that negative comment to feed something that could have been much worse, and dangerous. That comment could have easily allowed me to develop a very negative self image which could have lead to things like an eating disorder, or even over doing it with excessive obsession with exercise, but I am grateful and still so grateful that I was able to turn that negativity into a push to motivate myself to stay active and exercise and try to eat healthy (most of the time) from a very young age. So, with a lot of hard work and dedication, for the most part, I have been able to maintain roughly the same size and weight give or take about ten pounds, and one or two sizes or so since my late teens. Which, again, has been a lot of hard work and discipline, especially after gaining and having to lose the weight having three children. No magical easy button. Just a lot of hard work, exercise, and trying to eat a mostly healthy balanced diet.
Anyhow, now that you know my back story on how I got into running. You know what is strange, and also interesting about human nature? We love to give ourselves limiting beliefs on what we are, what we can do, who we are, what we are good at, what we are bad at. Why is that? Can you believe that even though I have been running regularly for over 20 years, when people ask if I am a runner, my answer usually is, “well, sort of, I run sometimes..” Why is it so hard to just claim it, and own it, and say Yes! I am!
I think for me, I tend to I think that real runners are always training for some big race, or run extremely fast, and a lot of miles, whatever it may be. My running training has looked different over the years. For many years, running was my only form of exercise. I even trained and ran a half marathon once with my husband, putting in a lot of miles per week. Some years I would just run a few miles a couple of times a week. And now, I run at least 2 to 3 times a week whether it’s during my treadmill time at Orange Theory, or just a run outside with my husband so we can catch up and chat, even a trail run in the mountains every now and then. The point is, not matter your size, how far, or fast, or often you run. If you run, you are a runner! And, now I am finally at the point in my life where I am setting aside my limiting beliefs about myself, and saying yes! I am a runner! Why not own it? There is no criteria that you have to pass off to be one! Just claim it as yours! It really feels good to make that declaration, and not to have any explanation or excuses, other than, yes, I am a runner! I run!
Lately, for my workouts I have been loving training at Orange Theory fitness two days a week, then doing weight training at the gym four days a week with Sunday being my rest day. I am not sure why I didn’t weight train more often sooner, but I have been regularly the past three years, and really loving how it makes me feel! I have also really enjoyed the challenge of training at Orange Theory (only about 2 days a week, I don’t think it would be good for me every day). It is a combination of treadmill, row machine, and weight floor exercises. I have enjoyed slash hated every second of the challenge on the treadmills these past few years training there. It has pushed me a lot with a new workout combination every time. I never know if I am going to come into an incline day (the worst!), or sprints, or endurance, or a timed distance run. It really has challenged me and kept me on my toes when it comes to running, and has overall made me a faster runner too as I have challenged my pace over the years. I have enjoyed the intervals and up and down speed training, something I never did before.
Running has always been such a beneficial mental break for me. There really is nothing like it, that runner’s high can’t be beat! I do a lot of pondering and thinking even praying while out on my runs, and it really has helped keep my mind clear and healthy over the years while helping my body!
So, get out there all you runners! Claim it, own it, because you ARE a runner!