Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Getting fit--We can do it!

As long as I can remember, I've been dissatisfied with my figure. I'm not, and probably never will be, a stick-thin girl, but at a size 6-8 I'm not full-figured either! While I write for Las F, a blog based on the principle of inspiring and empowering women to embrace their true selves, I struggle with insecurity because I don't fit Vogue standards.

I often put myself down or dislike what I see in the mirror. Well, readers, I'm trying to change that.

A few months ago I made a commitment to go to the gym at least three times a week. I had no one to go with me, and I didn't hire a trainer. I'm proud to say that with a few exceptions I've stuck to my goal, and I'm beginning to see amazing results. I'm not as sluggish as I used to be. I'm sleeping better at night. My mood swings are less pronounced. My butt and legs are more toned.

I haven't made as much progress as I'd like, but I have learned something: taking time for yourself is very important. Lots of women tell me they'd love to work out, but that they just don't have time to do it. To them, I have one reply: Honey, you're too busy NOT to work out! Regular workouts will change your life. Once you get over the initial hurdle of working exercise into your schedule, you'll quickly find that you're addicted! I can't wait until school gets out in a few weeks so that I can go every day!

So what should you do? Here are a few ideas to get you moving:

Join the gym. If you don't already have a gym membership, this may be the time to get one. Gyms offer you a ton of different exercise options, expensive equipment, and personal trainers. Most gyms usually have a lot of classes as well. There's something for everyone.

Take a Yoga class. Yoga can improve your body in ways that typical cardiovascular exercises can't. It strengthens your core, the crucial group of muscles all around your spinal cord. Strengthening your core gives you better balance and posture. I've heard Pilates can also be good for this, although I've yet to try it.

Go for a walk.Can't afford a gym membership? Does the idea of working out around sweaty strangers leave you queasy? Head for the sidewalk! Walking can be a great way to get those endorfins going, and the best part is that it's free and independent of equipment. Make sure you walk briskly. Aim for at least 30 minutes 3-5 times a week, but don't push yourself too hard at first.

Take a dance class Have you ever dreamed of soaring across a floor with the ease and grace of a prima donna? Dancing is a great way to develop balance and poise. It's a fun way to get your heart pumping!

Lift weights. There are several reasons why you should begin weightlifting right away. The main reason is that weightlifting strengthens your bones, which can help prevent osteoporosis later in life. Lifting weights won't bulk you up--it will tone your body and help that slimming process. The more lean muscle mass you have, the faster you can burn fat.

Take the time to invest in yourself. You are worth it, dear readers! Don't wait. TODAY is the day to set goals. TODAY is the day to begin feeling the exhilaration of reaching your goals!

PS-I am leaving tomorrow (Thursday) to go to France on vacation! F. Nashville and F. Seattle will be covering for me while I'm gone. I'll be online while in France, but I'll resume blogging again once I return the last week of May.