Friday, May 21, 2010

Home-Gym Rat

Fitness and exercise are not new discoveries for me.

While this blog, and my new found admiration for Beachbody's products - and specifically their in-home dvd programs, are recent additions to my lifestyle, I am by no means new to exercise and the benefits of committing to the discipline of daily exercise and good nutrition.

My first bout with being heavier than I should be came in 1991 after getting married. Prior to moving to Chicago, I had put about 15 lbs on my frame. And 15 lbs on my frame made a dramatic difference.

Upon moving to IL, George and I were committed to being at a gym 3 times a week. Combine that with my return to dancing in musical theater productions, and I dropped that 15lbs in a heartbeat. I kept in shape with a low-carb lifestyle, and increased my gym time to almost 1 hour, 5 days a week. I was slim and I was fierce.

I then added running to my repetoire. A few 5K's and a baby triathlon.

And. Then. I. Gave. Birth.

I gained 40 lbs and thus had to start all over again. And, due to the fact that I was an on-camera actress by that point, I worked at losing it, for it is true - the camera adds weight. I kept up the exercising, at the Y (although now it was harder, for my baby daughter HATED the childcare center - so I was always getting pulled out of a class to attend to her), kept up the running, and stayed in fairly good shape. I even began yoga, which my body absolutely loved.  My first half-marathon was run when my daughter was 18 months old.  Everything was working, but there was absolutely no consistency.

It was even more difficult with my second child. Putting on 50 lbs was pretty frustrating, but it too came off as I began training for my second half-marathon with a girlfriend. I was in terrific shape for the race only 9 months after he was born.

And then came the stress and a crazy non-consistent schedule.

Work stress, health stress, financial stress. You name it. Our family had it. For four years I floundered between gym hopping - which killed our budget, and where I was never quite at ease for I had two children who never took to gym childcare. Thus, I was always distracted during my workouts. It got hard. Packing up myself and the children to drive to the gym, park, get them "settled" in childcare (never happened), and manage a 40 minute workout actually took an hour and a half. And a frustrating hour and a half at that. I just never quite got into the groove.  I even tried some personal training sessions with a neighbor, but just couldn't keep up the cost.

I have been a member of 6 gyms over the last 18 years. Ballys in Cincy, Ballys in Chicagoland, that swanky club in Bannockburn (where I paid big bucks for an amazing personal trainer), Evanston YMCA, Evanston LA Fitness, Evanston Athletic Club. Heavens. How much money do you think I've spent on gyms? Why the hopping? I just never got into a routine, so I'd jump ship and try new digs. I even bought a membership to a yoga studio - only to sell it on Craigslist.

Maybe gyms work for other Moms. In fact, I'm sure they do. But, when my child gets sick, or doesn't want to go to childcare, or there is a day off from school? I don't have to miss a workout.  I live at my gym. I don't have to miss a day. Most family memberships are around $60 a month. I purchased ChaLEAN Extreme at the Coach price for just under $90. And I can use her again. And again. And again. 

And my clothes don't have to match and I don't have to find parking.  

I'm not dissing gyms for they do work for some. They simply don't work for my lifestyle.

Ok, so now I live in PA. I started running again, toyed with Wii fitness products, got some Jillian Michaels under my belt, and yet, I wasn't progressing. I needed a program. A paint by numbers, step by step, connect the dots type of program.

6 weeks later?

I don't have to tell you, for you already know.

THIS is the first thing that has worked FOR ME in a loooong time, and that's not for a lack of trying EVERYTHING.

Come on, are you ready to keep talking about changing it up, or are you ready to actually do it?

Living at the gym is totally fantastic. When your gym is one flight down!

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