For the past year, life has been hectic at it's best and down right insane at it's worst. Between looking for and ultimately buying our first house and then the death of my father, I've spent the last year feeling like I'm barely eeking by. Something had to give and unfortunately that was eating well and working out - two things that likely would have helped me feel more centered with everything. No use in beating myself up over the past, but I have made a concerted effort since June to really step it up. To start eating better and to recommit myself to the gym. Over the past few weeks, the changes are starting to pay off. The scale is moving in the right direction and I'm feeling stronger and healthier. It's all good stuff.
I was really sad to leave my old gym last year when we moved. It was the first time I had been a gym member where I really enjoyed the facility, the instructors and the classes. One of my favorite instructors, whom I now consider a friend, knew that I was looking for a gym with good classes and gave me the names of two places to try. One of which, was a brand new facility, not yet open that was run by a friend of hers. Hmmm. In my experience, good instructors tend to know other good instructors, so I swung by to check it out. I actually signed up that day, months before the club was even open. I just had a good feeling about. Best thing I could have done.
I LOVE MY NEW GYM! LOVE!
Now that I got that off my chest, let me explain. It's a brand new facility, privately owned by a very cool husband and wife team, has a full schedule of amazing fitness classes, fabulous instructors and a friendly group of members to boot. While I miss one instructor in particular from my old gym, I'm so much happier with this new place. I was going a couple times a week for the first half of the year (again, was still trying to get myself back in check), over the past couple of months, I've really stepped it up. I'm there 5 days a week and can truly say I drive out there with a smile on my face each night.
I have a small group of instructors that I truly adore and that make that 1-2 hours at the gym a real pleasure. In becoming a real 'gym rat' I've also found a group of other members that are on a similar schedule and we have become friendly with one another - chatting before and after class and keeping tabs on how the others are doing. There was one week in there that I was gone on vacation and not only did the other members ask where I had been when I returned, but the owner of the gym even sent me a message on FB asking if I was alright. It's evolved from just a fitness thing to a social outing - something that I feel keeps me motivated to get my butt there even when I'm tired or would rather go home. Whoever said peer pressure died in high school obviously isn't a member of a gym like this. ;)
In addition to all of this, I've come to realize that I really admire and respect the wife owner of the gym. I think it's rare at this stage in life to find other women that you can look to as a role model, but this woman more than fits the bill. She is a wife, mother and small business owner and appears to be doing it all with aplomb. She is extremely outgoing and always has a kind word and a smile for everyone. You can tell she loves what she does and I think it really influences the vibe of the gym. I feel lucky to have met her and to be able to take her classes several times a week.
On the fitness side of things, all the time I'm putting in is really paying off. I'm getting so much stronger and have more energy during the day. I'm sleeping better at night and waking up easier in the morning. All things that would have been quite useful earlier this year, but I'm just grateful for them now.
I'm reluctant to post the gym name here (though it wouldn't be all that difficult to figure it out), but if you're at all interested in this place, email me. It's really such a motivating and uplifting place, something that I don't think you'd say about most gyms out there.
In addition to the crazy exercise schedule, I'm also back on my cooking kick, which I know is also working to help me get my weight back where I want it. The great thing - my healthy meals are yummy and interesting and are far from resembling rabbit food. Take a look:
Greek Steak Pitas
Cedar Plank Salmon
Slow-Cooker Carnitas Tacos
See why I miss when I have the time to cook - because then I get to eat yummy stuff like the above and I know it's not hell on my health. Yay! :P