Accepting my Body and Owning my Attitude

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on April 10, 2012

I did upwards of 5 hours of yoga a day while I was in India so I was was surprised to discover just how much strength I’d lost when I got back home. I’m sure it was a combination of not getting enough food at the ashram and then happily enjoying endless servings of fried foods, ghee, and breads that did me in. But it was all part of the experience and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

My first week home was challenging. I spent most of my energy feeling sorry for myself instead of making goals and staying positive. It was really hard for me to accept how far I’d regressed. All I kept obsessing over was the progress I’d made from November to February…

and how I looked nothing like the third picture anymore!

At about week two of being home, I snapped out of it when I reminded myself that if I had time for self-loathing, I had time for positivity and self-love. Heck, it’s quicker to say something positive about yourself than it is to sit around feeling negative and toxic. Negativity is such a time killer!

So, I worked on my positivity by posting little notes around the house about how awesome I am (hey, sometimes you just gotta be bold!) and have spent the last month trying to get myself back to where I was in January.

I’ve been reserving Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings to bodyrock. I wake up at around 4am, drink a cup of herbal tea, have a big fruit bowl with seeds, dried fruit and a Simply Bar if I’m feeling a bit hungrier that normal, write a blog post, then sweat it out for 12 minutes. I find the workouts very comparable to CrossFit but without the competitive negative self talk and high price tag!

It’s also really convenient to be able to workout from the comfort of my own bedroom. You really cant make excuses when you’re 10 steps away from your gym.

I purchased the sandbag, dip station and a $5 medicine ball from Home Sense and use the Seconds Pro app on my iPhone as an interval timer. The app was only $3, $17 cheaper than a gymboss interval timer!

I would love to bulk up on my at-home gym equipment with a couple of kettle bells from www.fitness-mad.com – they have the customized power blocks that I absolutely love!

You can set your own intervals, workout to music, change beep types, oh it’s fantastic!

I also chose to keep track of the workouts in my old CrossFit book so I can track my progress as the weeks go by!

On Monday and Wednesday mornings, I head to our local community gym for 60 minute spin classes with a 90 minute class on Saturdays. The classes never fail get the heart pumping and it’s a great social activity, too. The instructor is an avid cyclist so the program is geared toward outdoor riding and is as true to the real thing as one can get without having to spend thousands of dollars on a road bike.

I’ve begun going for quick runs after my 60 minute spin classes and Sunday bodyrock sessions. Nothing too drastic, just a couple of kilometers here and there. What with all the changes happening in my personal life (I swear I will reveal them soon) I’ve decided to hold off on racing this year and just take it easy. I’ve never had the chance to run without a specific goal in mind, so it’s been nice to adjust to that and just get out to enjoy the fresh air.

Lastly, when I can, I escape to the yoga studio down the street from my office for a 1 hour vinyasa yoga class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The teacher is fabulous, the class has just the perfect amount of intensity, and I always come back to the office ready to rock the afternoon.

It’s taken me awhile to ease back into a schedule that I’m comfortable with and continue to stay motivated to achieve my very best. All in all though, I’m proud of myself for persevering and accepting my body for what it is right now. Regardless of looks, I feel healthier physically, mentally and spiritually than I have in a long time… and in the end, that’s all that should ever matter.

Have you ever had to restart your workout progress or gotten discouraged or overwhelmed while trying to achieve a goal? How did you manage it?

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda

All. The. Time.
Being at school for part of the year and moving around trying to balance work, schooling, family, friends and other relationships, it is so hard to commit to something. I finally got one of my roommates to go to the gym with me a couple times, and got my boyfriend out to a hot yoga class. The summertime is hard but I always work out a plan in advanced, and tell everyone I know, that way I can’t make excuses, if they know my goals too, then they are less likely to convince me to break them with temptations, they can make plans with me after I get my workout in!
For me I find I am the motivator and I always want other people to be active and set healthy goals, but then I always find myself not having strong ones. Spring time is always when I set new goals, I can not pass up chances to do yoga and my daily resistance routine in the yard, then go for a run outdoors, nothing beats that!
Good luck with your goals!
Amanda

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

Oh my, I love this post. First of all, you look freaking fantastic in those three photos, but I know you look awesome now too! You should be so proud of yourself for the progress you made both before and during your trip. I think your India experience was definitely a different type of progress, but just as important. It sounds like you have got a great fitness routine going and some great classes you can attend to keep you motivated as well. I can sort of identify with you in the re-starting thing because I felt like I lost a lot of strength after I stopped working with my trainer. Part of me just wanted a break, and although I was logging the gym time, I was sort of just going through the motions. I love hearing about people (like you!) who focus on quality over quantity. I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym over the course of the past couple of years and I always get more motivated when I read about what great progress people have with bodyrock, crossfit etc. You’ve motivated me to hop back on the bodyrock bandwagon – and I have a phone app too! I’m excited to hear about your personal life changes.. and at the same time I hope everything is ok!

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marla

You are amazing. It is so hard to let go of the ideals we create for ourselves ~ especially after all of the active FUN travel. I tend to beat myself up after we get back from CO. My body back in the OC does not get nearly the exercise it does in the mountains.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Thank you, Marla :)

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Averie @ Averie Cooks

Our bodies are always in a state of flux based on what we’re doing, where we’re at in life, life stage, i.e. pregnancy, new motherhood, new job, new family, etc and so sometimes I look at certain pics of myself and am reminded that I am in a different phase and that’s okay (and to be embraced!), too. Your India trip sounds life changing on every level and you’ll get your ridic body back in no time if you want to :)

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Marisa

You look awesome and glad to hear you are getting back into a schedule. I have been following your blog for awhile, and even though it doesn’t relate to this blog post I also wanted to tell you that your trip to India inspired me to book a trip to Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach Florida for their 9 week health educator program this summer. Even though it isn’t 1/2 way around the world, it is WAY out of my comfort zone. A lot of the emotions you expressed in your post are similar to what I’ve been feeling but reading about how you decided to make the trip and really live the experience has inspired me to do the same, so THANK YOU! And about restarting a workout program… that is exactly what I’m experiencing now as well. About a year and 1/2 ago I ran a marathon and for the past few months I’ve been feeling down about letting stress at work derail my running progress. Then I decided to really start loving myself, so I quit my job and am looking for some 5k’s to sign up for!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Wow Marisa, thanks for sharing your story! You should be so proud of yourself. It is really scary, but I’m sure you’ll have a great time. That program sounds absolutely amazing. Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you :)

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marisa

Thanks Leanne!

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

Yes! It stinks, but once you get going again, it feels so good. Mine happened after having kids and then after my two surgeries. It’s a bit frustrating to regress, but setting up new goals definitely helped me feel more accomplished even after realizing that I wasn’t where I was when I left off. Great post Leanne!

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Sonia

I have gone through the same thing many times and I like to call it life, “when life gets in the way”. It’s not necessarily a bad thing it’s just what happens. Just like what Averie said.The important thing is to recognize that you’ve fallen off track before you let go of yourself completely. Then make a new plan, set some new goals so you have something to work towards again.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks, Sonia! You’re totally right, better late then never… just try, try, try again :)

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katie @KatieDid

first of all- damn those muscles girl!
I know what you mean about the negative self talk related to crossfit because its very hard not to compare when you’re working out (and keeping score!) with a bunch of other people. I would get very worked up before classes, so this break I’m taking has been nice. Although I do miss the intensity of crossfit at times. I’ve been bodyrocking and getting to the gym to do heavy lifts and mini metcons because I really don’t want to lose the strength I have gained through 3+ months of crossfitting. Ahhh but life is a constant ebb and flow right! Thanks for this positive post Leanne!

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R. E. Maley

Inspiring as always, Leanne. I recently returned from a week at a farm / zen monastery in California, and re-acclimating to this lifestyle is difficult, to say the least. I especially love what you say about negativity — too much time and energy wasted with that mess!

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Andrea

You are so beautiful inside and out Leanne! I am doing just that right now – restarting my workout progress. I got into kind of a slump with working out because I was becoming very overwhelmed with things going on in my life and felt like I literally just had NO time for ANYthing! But I am now including regular [instead of sporadic] working out into my life again and making it a priority. Not just for physical reasons either, I know that it will help reduce my stress level and make me feel better mentally! Your plan sounds really great. I am starting to get into swimming a little bit and love the variety it gives me. Do you have a pool in your gym or anything?

Have a great night Leanne!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I can totally relate! The last thing I want to do after a stressful day is head to the gym, but I always thank myself afterward. There is a pool at the gym that I go to, but I no longer have a membership :( They increased the prices this year and it was just too much on top of the spin classes, so I turned to bodyrock. I used to love swimming though, maybe I’ll join a class in the Fall. So great and relaxing.

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Suzanne H

I can relate to the body image issues. I’ve put on some weight and am fighting to stay positive about myself. It’s not easy. Just remember, it’s not your body that needs to change, it’s your viewpoint.

Do any of you know of any websites similar to bodyrock where the ladies aren’t dressed so revealingly? That’s a huge trigger for me (my anxiety’s way up after clicking the link).

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Suzanne, I really don’t know of any other options out there that are similar to bodyrock. I’m so sorry I can’t give you a suggestion on this and that clicking on the link brought on emotions for you. If I come across anything, I’ll be sure to post it on the blog.

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Megan

You can try POP Pilates. She has a ton of free videos on youtube. Maybe not as hard core as body rock, but a great workout, and they are pretty short videos. :)

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lou
Christina

Leanne,

You can always do the earlier workouts with Zuzanna. She tends to have more clothing on. I loved her as the star of BodyRock.

There is an app i think it was $1.99 on google Play for You are Your Own Gym which is really nice. Then there is a free on for “Workout Trainer” thru skimble and i liek those for a quick workout in a pinch as well.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Thank you, Christina! I love her older videos, so much better than what Bodyrock has turned into. I’ll have to check out the Google Play app, that sounds awesome!

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Cheyenne Holman

Hi. Thankyou so much for introducing me to BodyRock via a post on facebook. I’m by no means trying to lose weight but I’m super into health and fitness. I go to the gym and run regularly but as I’m studying at uni (Bachelor of Exercise Science/Masters Nutrition & Dietetics no less!) it’s good to know that if I can’t make it to the gym, there’s always a 12 minute BodyRock workout. Your whole blog is great too, very inspiring! I don’t have much money to spend on food, but I can adapt recipes for my ingredients and I’m slowly expanding my pantry. Thanks for the brilliant recipes!

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Paulina (One Smile Ahead)

I absolutely love BodyRock! I’ve been following the site for over a year now, and I can’t believe the progress I’ve made. It’s great to workout at home! It’s awesome that you’re back at it :] Thanks for the positivity in this post! Definitely needed some of it today.

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Asuma

I’m so glad to hear that you’re being able to have a positive mindset about your body and workouts! Before I used to force myself to workout, but now I feel like I’m being able to enjoy working out more because I do what my body feels like doing, be it intense cardio, weights, pilates, yoga…and I’m grateful that I’m actually comfortable where I am now :)

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Lauren @ www.cravingsgoneclean.com

I’ve nominated you for a couple awards :) Thanks for being awesome. http://cravingsgoneclean.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/versatile-blogger-and-liebster-awards/

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Cheryl @ happy is the new healthy

This is such an important realization…finding what feels good! It can be tough, and I know I’ve erred too far in either direction in the past. After a nagging hip injury in January, I’m finally starting to feel like I can work out and just “do my thing” (almost).

Now I’m finding that even though I have a training plan for triathlon, having a kind of “intuitive exercise” approach on top of that helps. If I’m really not feeling a workout, I skip it. In the long run, it’s worth it! If I am feeling full of energy, I might add an extra something or other. I’m rekindling my love for yoga (especially classes that make me feel powerful!) and I’m starting to add the circuit training I miss. It’s all a process!

Thanks for articulating how important it is to find a routine that feels right and is balanced without too much pressure. Good message for everyone. :)

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Michelle @ Push.Pump.Progress

great blog post! I am currently going through the same thing, I ran my first marathon last year came out of it with a hip injury and had kinda let myself go a bit. For the past month i have been in hard core training mode getting back in shape to where i want to be. In the mean time i am like you, accepting my body for what it is right now, and getting it back into shape in a healthy way :)

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Holly

hahaha. You’re so positive, it makes me smile. I can’t post notes like that around my apartment – I wish I could. And 4am! Inspiring.

Right now I’m working towards the goal of meditating everyday and living mindfully, and then hopefully getting my health back under control. Seeing a doctor this week is my most pressing issue…

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Simone

Wow, what a post. I so hear you on life getting the better of you and getting in the way of your ‘plans’ (how dare it?) But I guess otherwise it would get boring… I struggle time and again with the goals and expectation I set for myself, I own and operate a fitness Boot Camp and run workouts at 5:30am, between that and an afternoon office job, there’s sometimes just nothing left for me to workout on my own. And since I set these lofty goals for myself I get out of wack when I only run twice that week, or don’t even have time for Yoga or anything :( We all make up these expectations for ourselves about how we are supposed to be or what we are supposed to do, but at times it is what we are that should be most important. And enough. I am trying to ‘reset’ my expectations to allow myself more time, more me time, which will give my mind and body a rest (or so I am hoping) and that will help with motivation and everything else. Exhaustion never served anyone and I have to try an honor myself and not expect so much. Even though there are oh so many pressing tasks that should have been accomplished yesterday. My new goal therefore is to take time for myself everyday, at least twice, even if it is only for a 10 minute Reiki Session, and a 7 minute relaxation meditation. Gotta start small :)
Thanks for sharing your struggles, it is a relieve to me ( and I am sure to many others) that I am not the only one out there who just can;t get it all together.
Hugs
Simone

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Cara

We all go through phases. I’m in a huge rut right now – have been for a few months actually. (For me, a rut is working out 4x per week instead of 6, which used to be my norm – so it’s not like I’m entirely inactive, but still!) In past years, when I was all about the self-loathing, I never would have allowed for this to happen and if it did, I wouldn’t be very kind to myself. But now, it’s different. I’m able to recognize that there is a lot going on in my life and I can acknowledge that whatever is holding me back from my peak health and fitness right now will not be forever. I’m just plugging along, waiting for the dust to settle, and looking forward to fully committing again. And the best part is that I feel totally ok with that decision.

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michelle

You have an amazing back. nuff said

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Lauren

I am feeling lazy this morning. I did 5 days of focused muscle groups plus some cardio intervals, walking and yoga, but today I don’t know if I had some bad spinach or what, but I had upset stomach and that has really taken the wind out of my sails. Trying to muster up the motivation to do some at home workouts but i feel gross and deflated. This post is helping me feel a bit better about getting my butt out of the chair. Oh, and your photos and posts are very well composed. Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to get better written posts? (just write better, duh!) haha, any advice would be appreciated, though!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I encourage you to listen to your body, Lauren. It always knows what is best!

Eak, I don’t know what to tell you about writing, I kind of just… do it. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

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