4 Reasons I Exercise

So. I’ve been doing the 21 Day Fix workout/diet program now for 10 Days. I really hated the first 7 days, but I’m settling in now and enjoying it more. Partly I disliked it because I’m a cardio junkie and all this weight lifting really bums me out (but, I know it’s good for me, so I’m gonna stick it out). But, the real reason has grown more clear to me with every workout. Autumn Calabrese is the trainer and she’s super fit and tiny and a solid trainer, but she’s got me all wrong. She talks to me like I’m in it for a bikini body. She says things like “no one wants flabby arms!” or “get that body you’ve always wanted” or “we all want that round tushie!”


The struggle is SO real.

And while I’d like toned arms and a perfect body and toned tush…I also really feel that if my goals/expectations from fitness fall into those categories, I’m likely going to find myself frustrated and giving up. Because, no matter how hard I work, I will never look like her. That’s why she gets to be a personal trainer with a whole video training program. I won’t be bikini ready in 21 days (I’ve had two kids, it’s unlikely that without medical intervention I’ll ever be bikini ready). But, that’s okay. Because I will feel better. I will be stronger. I will have more energy. I’ll gain a better appreciation for my body and how much it can do. I will get a lot out of this 21 days, even if my arms still jiggle.


Seriously. She’s a goddess.

So, I’ve really been thinking about my “whys.” Why do I get up before 6am every day to exercise? Well, here are a few of them:

I am the youngest I’m ever going to be.

I was talking with Bacon the other day when those words came out of my mouth. It was both the most motivating and depressing thing I think I’ve ever said and in the following days I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

I am the youngest I’m ever going to be. 

If I keep waiting until the kids are older, until I have more time (is that a thing?), until I’m less stressed, until “whatever,” I’m simply robbing myself of the here and now. And what kind of punishment is that to my current self and my future self? I’ve spent a lot of time living in the “life will be better when” mindset and those “whens” I was waiting for – they don’t come. You make your life what you want it to be. Today. So, I work out because today is the youngest I will ever be.

My daughter (and son) need me to

What does the shape of my bum or arms matter? Not much. Except that it does. Because, honestly? The stronger and healthier I am, the better mom I am.

As it says in my bio post – I’m a fitness buff with a binge eating problem. And it’s a real issue I struggle with. But I want to set an example for my daughter that can teach her to have a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food. But, that starts with my example. That starts with my showing her that I take care of myself. Showing her that I make exercise a priority and that I choose healthy, delicious food to fuel my body.

I want to teach my kids that loving yourself means so much more than liking what you see in the mirror. It’s about how you treat yourself. What you feed yourself. What you do in your spare time. It’s about how you treat others. It’s about filling your mind with knowledge and helping the world be a better place. And binge-eating ding dongs while binge-watching Netflix simply isn’t going to foster that kind of self-love and fulfillment. Trust me. I’ve tried. 

So, I workout because I want to be an example to my kids.

It makes me better

Seriously. This isn’t even an exaggeration. Just ask bacon. She can tell when she talks to me on a day I missed my morning workout. I’m not my best. The days where I get up with that 5:45am alarm and workout I feel more energized, I choose better foods, I make better to do lists for work, I get more accomplished. My mind is sharper, I go for a walk on my lunch break instead of sitting on the couch. I’m even more patient with my kids.

So, I workout because it makes me better.


To look better

Okay, so I don’t want to be a hypocrite here. I know I just got all mad at Autumn for pushing me to transform into my dream body. And, I still maintain that’s unrealistic. I’m a pear shape body. No amount of working out is going to make me into my dream hourglass body. BUT, I can look better. I’ve lost 40 pounds since I started daily exercise and I’ve dropped 4 pant sizes. And, guys, I look better.

It’s not anybody’s dream body, but it is my body. And I do want to feel confident in it. So, while I’m not holding my breath for flat abs and cellulite-free legs, looking my best and looking better is certainly a real motivator for me.

So, what are your whys? (And, hey, no shame if your why includes that bikini hiding in your closet. 😉 Wanting a bikini body isn’t a bad thing, it’s just not my personal motivator).

IMG_1794– Oleander

8 thoughts on “4 Reasons I Exercise

  1. Kellie says:

    I work out so I’m more patient with the kids. It’s my ME time. I always feel so much happier less “ug” and awake, no sleepy. I work out because I want to cross that finish line at a better time in a 5k. And yes I want that 4 babies tummy to shrink just a bit. 😀 Honestly though in 3 months I am stronger (got through an hour of p90x without dying for the first time ever) and I like feeling stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oleander says:

      Awesome reasons! And – so true. I’m definitely more patient when I’ve gotten my workout in! (I’m still scared of p90x – maybe I’ll try it soon…) 😉


  2. Shelley says:

    I’m very impressed with your article. I’m also impressed with your progress. I know from experience that what you have accomplished is huge! You are a good example to many. Maybe I’ll try to get back on the bandwagon. It’s just really hard with my knee still bothering me, but no more excuses! Thanks for the motivation. You rock!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oleander says:

      Thank you! You might have to find a new wagon so you can work around your knee – but there’s great workouts out there! You’ll find the right one. 🙂


  3. Stacy says:

    I work out because it is “my happy pill”. It decreases my anxiety, clears my mind and just makes me feel energized and HAPPY. I want to be a good example for my kids. I want to be active and healthy 20 years from now. I don’t want to stop!
    Last summer we were on vacation and I got up every day to workout. My daughter said mom, it’s vacation, you don’t have to workout. And I think you look fine. I said honey….i workout because it makes me happy and I like it , not to look a certain way. Then she got it. Now it’s funny, each morning she says mom, go go t your happy place and work out!!!
    And I want to be an example and if I can inspire or encourage just one person out there…..that makes me happy. YOU inspire me Oleander, and I’m so happy this journey brought us together. I wish we lived closer so we could sit down and chat over a cup of coffee!!
    Thank you for writing this and sharing.

    And I have no doubt you can do p90x. Or p90x3….its 30 min LOL. Keep up the amazing work. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oleander says:

      Thank you, Stacy! It’s been so great to have you as a part of this journey with me as well. I definitely underestimated how important a good support system is. In one of the Turbo Fire workouts, Chalene says (somewhat jokingly), “If you can’t get your friends to work out with you, get new friends.” And it’s really hit me how important it is to surround yourself with people who push you to be your best. So – thanks for your inspiration and support!


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