Hi blog-friends! My name is Sydney, and I am blessed to be the daughter of Glam-ma Misa! In fact, it's my precocious three year old that gave my mom that name. My little girls look up to their Misa so much; with so many females in my little family, we have a lot to learn from her beauty tricks!
So, I'll leave the skin-care and beauty treatments to her (she's definitely the expert)....today I want to discuss something equally as daunting to many people: fitness!
I've certainly had a love-hate relationship with the gym, working out, and most of all accepting and LOVING my body. Let's be honest: how many women out there have trouble accepting our body? Most of us, I'd say. In my case, by the time I was 22 I had two little girls under the age of 3. I was tired. I was in the middle of a rocky divorce. My relationships with many of my friends and family were strained. I self-medicated through eating and for over 2 years I could barely stand looking in the mirror. I had gone from being a high school girl who worked out every day and weighed 135 pounds to a mom that barely had energy to make it through the day...much less the energy to get to the gym.
After my split with my husband, something occurred to me. I had spent so many years not loving myself. I was not happy. About a year ago, I started going to the YMCA. At first, I would just do a couple miles on the elliptical and then duck out before anyone noticed me. I was so embarrassed. But I kept at it, and every day I became a little more confident and comfortable. Soon enough, it became an every day part of my life. It became a way for my girls to interact with other kids at the daycare and a way for me to have some much needed "me-time". Amazingly, I was becoming myself again! I never thought I would be one of those women who could run on a treadmill...but now I'm running for an hour every other day! I was always intimidated by the free weights and the women who could workout with the guys, but I realized I wasn't there to care what anyone else thought! I was there for me, and me only.
Fitness is about more than looking a certain way. Do I still have stretch marks? Yes. Do I still have cellulite? Absolutely. Do I love my body? You bet I do! I workout 6 days a week and I fuel my body with nutritious foods. This body carried two beautiful humans and this body gets stronger every day. At the end of the day, it's not about that reflection in the mirror. It's about energy, mood, and confidence. I've learned to love my body because my body is STRONG, my body is healthy, and my body is a work in progress. I hope that I can teach my two little girls that they are strong and that they learn from my example how important fitness is for your whole life. And to any ladies reading this that are struggling with depression or body dysmorphia, know that you are NOT alone and it can and will get better! I had to learn to love myself before I could commit to a full-time fitness routine, and I'm so happy I was able to. I know you can too!
Until next time, ladies! Be strong and be happy!
P.S. one of the biggest things that has helped me is a pre-workout supplement. I know it's not for everyone, but when you're a mom of 2, student, and a waitress...sometimes you need a little boost in the mornings! I am going to link a couple of my favorite pre-workouts below.
Because this topic is so incredibly important, I decided to continue with the subject before moving on to other interesting anti-aging topics. Yes, ANTI-AGING starts with regular, consistent exercise. You must find something that you can stick to daily. For some, it is hitting the gym or taking yoga classes. For me, the easiest thing to stick to is a daily walk! It's free, it's easy on your body, it clears your head, and it helps your skin to become beautiful! You can do it anywhere, even on vacation!
Let's touch on the skin part....a brisk walk circulates the blood and oxygen to your skin. This creates a rosy healthy appearance. If you are walking or exercising fast enough, you should sweat and this detoxifies your skin which leads to better looking skin immediately. Your skin is your largest organ, so it is important to practice daily detoxification!
Now, let's focus on the emotional benefits.....a brisk walk clears your head and lets you think about things more objectively. I always de-stress with my walks. I can tell because even my tight muscles are loose afterwards. If you can find a walking partner, even better. Talking while walking will make it seem like you are NOT even exercising. Time just flies by when you walk with someone.
Let's talk about how beneficial just a daily walk of thirty minutes is to your fitness goals. Did you know that 30 minutes of brisk walking burns about 150 calories? Well, that might not seem like much, BUT that is a whopping 15 POUNDS of calories lost in ONE year. Think about how quickly a year goes by (Christmas is almost here again).
Furthermore, many studies are now finding that "sitting is the new smoking" and Americans love to sit! By practicing a daily walk, it helps to decrease all that sitting time! This helps prevent many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.
I hope you will find a walking partner or plug in some headphones of your favorite music and start this fantastic habit. You can also put those babies in the stroller if you are a new mom and get moving. The babies LOVE walks and pushing a stroller ADDS lots of extra calorie burn! I don't know of many things in life that can give you such huge returns! As my grandmother, who lived well into her 90's, used to say "Move it or lose it!".
33 years ago (when I was 23), I weighed 40 pounds more than I do today. I was in college in 1985 studying to become an Accountant, when I looked around the classroom and had a revelation. I looked at all the girls in the classroom and realized that I looked far older than most of them (like I could be one of their mothers). And the reason I looked so much older was because of all the excess weight I carried. It gave me a double-chin and a matronly look. My clothes were frumpy because nothing cute and chic fit me. It was at that moment that I decided to do something to change my life for good. I went home after class that day and made the changes. I started watching my calorie intake and researching healthy alternatives on the foods I ate. Afterwards, I put some music on and jumped around my bedroom for thirty minutes. I probably looked pretty silly doing jumping jacks and whimsical dance moves, but it got me moving and sweating.
For the next six months, I started eating healthy, nutritious foods and fit in 30 minutes of movement each day. It worked and I lost 40 pounds in those six months! I was a NEW person and looked years younger. My skin changed and my facial features became more defined. I even realized that I had a dimple in my right cheek which had been covered by fat before I lost the weight ☺️
Long story short, I continue to exercise everyday for the last 33 years. Most days it is a morning walk in my neighborhood with my husband or my sister. But, the key is to make exercise a HABIT and do it EVERYDAY (or most days), rain or shine! You don't need a fancy gym or fancy equipment. You just need some walking shoes and an umbrella for when it rains.
I found that once exercise becomes a habit, you crave it......everyday