For Project 13, I decided to do something to represent all the changes I’ve been making in my life lately.
Back in February, I made the decision to start trying to exercise regularly. I’ve always been nervous about trying to get fit. That’s because I’m one of the many people who starts and stops exercise programs. After so many failed attempts, I felt like it was my fault. Then when I got sick it became harder and harder to exercise. So, when I got the report my health was looking up, I wanted to try once again to find a program that worked. To be perfectly honest though, I didn’t think I’d find anything to stick to.
I had a friend recommend pilates, and one Google search later, I found Robin Long. She runs a website called The Balanced Life. I spent some time going over her website, reading blog posts and checking out videos. My initial reaction was, it’s great, but ten minutes a day? How was something that small going to help me feel better? But, I loved everything Robin stood for, such as making time for yourself, focusing on feeling more comfortable in your skin, and her motto “grace over guilt”. I’ve spent too much time with programs focused on weight loss, calories, and working out 1 hour each and every single day of the week.
Those programs just aren’t realistic for me.
Firstly, in February, I was weaning of off of medications that made me sleepy and dealing with new diet restrictions. Secondly, I’m a mother of two and have a house to keep up with. Thirdly, there’s my professional life as an artist, plus running the new coffee roasting business with my fiancé. Needless to say, I have a full plate! I didn’t have two extra hours for the gym.
Robin’s programs work because they’re realistic. She doesn’t expect you to wake up at 5am and commit two hours of your life to working out. The program I did last month (30 Day Pilates Body Challenge) was ten minutes each day. And let me tell you, it doesn’t sound like a lot, but Robin knows how to get the most out of ten minutes. Her workouts are quick and effective. They were fun, challenging and easy to fit in during the day. Sometimes I did them first thing in the morning, other times I did them late at night.
What made me do it though is the mentality Robin brings to pilates and health in general.
How many of us have fallen off the bandwagon because we get disappointed? Because we feel there’s so much pressure to be perfect? Or get results within a couple weeks?
Robin taught me that you have to do what’s right for you. Which sounds like common sense, but so many of us forget to just sit and listen to our bodies. Sure, CrossFit, weight lifting, cycling and all kinds of exercise trends are great. But that doesn’t make them great for ME.
And just because they don’t work for me, doesn’t mean I failed.
Pilates works for me. It is helping me gain back all the strength I lost fighting this kidney disease. Robin also works for me, because she is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever “met” online. She’s created an environment with her Sisterhood program that is supportive and loving. I know that I wouldn’t still be working out daily (and looking forward to it) without my fellow Sisters and Robin.
I’m excited to exercise again and it’s because I’m learning to love myself. I don’t have to be perfect. I’m going to mess up, but that’s okay, I’m human!
Grace over guilt. That’s my new motto.