Shed the Shirt

Shed the Shirt

#shedtheshirt

Have you ever had an A-Ha moment, like that light bulb not only went off, but it freaking exploded above your head? I had one! Let me set the scene for you. I was halfway through a 15 mile run with a friend of mine. It was HOT, like humid, sticky, clothes drenched, sweat pouring hot! I made the comment that it would be nice to just run in a sports bra, if only my abs were better. My friend agreed making a similar remark. It hit me, WTF, I was so afraid of someone seeing my less than perfect abs, that I was going to run in a shirt that was making me hot and very uncomfortable. I was going to allow some crazy standard that probably is mostly in my head dictate what I should wear on a run.

Let’s back up here a bit. I have very distinct memories of running through the park after having 4 kids and being passed by girls in college and high school running what appeared to be, care free in their sports bras. Abs beautifully toned and flat. No extra skin, no stretch marks, ahhhh, young abs! We all seem to have an obsession with abs lately. It’s all over social media. “Lose those love handles”, “get a six pack”, ab selfies, eating for abs, no carbs, fasted cardio, reach around skinny test (google that f’ed up test if you haven’t heard). We are OBSESSED with chiseled abs! We equate the level of fitness with the number of abdominal muscles that show.

So back to the run. After we both had commented that if we had better abs we would run in our sports bras and that bulb went off, I suggested to run in our sports bras, it would be empowering. It was too. As we ran the last of our 15 miles, we discussed our thoughts on what we were doing. We weren’t there to be oggled, honked at, cat called, or for the entertainment of anyone else. We weren’t trying to look sexy (oh believe me, our facial expressions were far from that!), we didn’t care if anyone was offended by our skin on display. It was ridiculous that fear of being judged, of looking less than perfect, was holding us back from being comfortable.

Shedding our shirts was a symbol, a symbol to embrace our bodies, to embrace who we are without fear of what others will think. To not focus on our cellulite, stretch marks, extra skin, funky belly button, whatever it is that we want to hide from the world. It’s to not let societies standard of beauty dictate how we look or dress.

When you get out there next time, run however you want. Wear that skirt, run in that sports bra, be you. You are not there to make someone else feel comfortable or excited. You are training, you are making your body strong, fit and healthy. You are working to smash your goals. Every sweaty, painful, happy, step you take. Whether you are a runner, crossfitter, yogi, dancer, zumba-er (is that a thing), whatever your goal, you be true to you, don’t let fear hold you back!

#shedtheshirt

Easy ways to fit in fitness

Easy ways to fit in fitness

You’re busy, I get it. I totally feel you. After work (even if you are a stay at home parent), school, kids, friends, errands, what have you, the last thing you have time or energy for is to workout. Not just that, but if you are like most parents, there is a large amount of guilt that goes with taking time away from your kids to workout. So here’s a little list I threw together to maybe spark some ideas and help you out!

  • take the stairs not the elevator or escalator.
  • do squats, lunges, toe raises, standing crunches, while you cook and or do dishes.
  • fit in fitness during kids bath time. Put the kids in the tub and do what you can right there in the bathroom or hallway. You can even work in some cardio (jump squats, jump lunges, just Google HIIT for ideas).
  • Just like above, fit it in at work. Take a few minutes several times a day to bust out some moves.
  • Walk for your lunch.
  • scale the stairs- have a stairwell at work? Throw on some earbuds and walk, run, lunge, side step up and down those bad boys.
  • Take the kids to the playground and get creative with the equipment. You can do tons of TRX type stuff with the swings. Pull-ups on a bar. Run around the playset.
  • Get up early and workout. My kids are up before the sun, so I was never a fan of this, but maybe this plan works better for you.
  • create a plan that you can do at home after the kids go to sleep.
  • Park WAY out in the parking lot when you go shopping.
  • Make it a family affair. Involve the kids. Make an obstacle course in your backyard. Go for a walk or bike ride.
  • Throw the kids in the stroller and walk with a friend, or alone, whatever.
  • Make it a playdate. Grab some friends and get creative in the backyard. I have a friend that comes over in the summer. We give the kids a bunch of outside stuff to do and we make stations to rotate. We use the wagon (with sides removed) for step ups, sprint the yard, push-ups, get creative with it.
  • Get over the guilt. Taking a little time for you a few times a week is important. We need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. Plus it’s a great example for our loved ones!

You can do this, Just remember taking the time to get fit and active will also give you more energy to do the things you want to do. Give yourself permission to focus on you a bit.

What do you do to get moving and fit fitness in?

Thanks for reading!