If you would have told me last year that I would be writing a blogpost about a form of working out, let alone include pictures of me wearing a tight yoga outfit I really would have called you crazy.
This post is a pretty personal one, because it comes down to how I feel about my body and the embarrassment of never really having exercised in my life. Reading about other people with similar stories online has really helped me, and to give a little bit back and maybe/hopefully help and encourage others I am sharing my story with you.
A short bio of my non-workout past (which all of you ‘Baby Spices’ might identify with)
The title already reveals it, I have always been the ‘baby spice’ of the group. (yes this is a Spice Girl reference, because they are the best and I was a big fan when I was young: girl power!) I wore pig tails, pink skirts and never did any form of sport (except one year of horseback riding, which obviously didn’t help me get rid of my girly reputation..)
It is an understatement to say that I don’t like exercising, I never have and trust me I tried. Reading about this subject online in preparation for this blogpost I felt a huge relief, because it turns out that I am not alone in this! I have read forums where I spotted similar stories and it felt great to be part of a big misunderstood group of people.
I am and always have been very aware of the necessity of moving around, because it keeps you healthy. So I bike everywhere I go, take long walks, etc. Not to mention that if I didn’t do this and keep eating my favourite food cravings and the occasional glass of wine I wouldn’t fit into my clothes anymore;)
But, a part of me still wanted to fit in, literally and figuratively. I have always been insecure about my body, which I think many of you might recognise. When I turned 15 my, ahum, ‘rear end’ decided to grow two dress sizes, while the rest of my body stayed the same.. (which is why I rarely wear trousers) Only an extreme diet or very regular exercise might be a solution to get my body more balanced out, but I am just not prepared to go that far. (also, I would lie if I said that there isn’t the occasional voice in my head that wants me to be slimmer. But the realist in me is already really happy to get more strength and tone my body)
It did however encourage me to keep searching for a form of workout that I did not hate. So after trying: jogging, going to the gym, swimming, biking and group workout classes, I noticed that besides the form of workout I also didn’t like to schedule my workouts on a set date and time. My work schedule and daily mood is not regular, so why should my exercise be?
I decided to approach it in a way that I approach most of my projects: google. I searched for things that I could do at home and that didn’t require any special items, machines, etc. That is when I found my favourite youtube channel: Yogawithadriene. She has become pretty popular so you might have heard of her. Besides a ton of awesome (free!) yoga videos she also has a playlist called ’30 days of yoga’. Those 30 days introduced me to Yoga and it was the first time in my life that I actually managed to do things that I was never able to do before. (touch my toes while bending forward for instance;)
I realised that I love to get more strength, instead of being able to run fast and it is so much harder (in a good way) than I thought.
Now, before I go all crazy and start to sound like a spokesperson for yoga, I wouldn’t say that it changed my life but it simply showed me that moving, besides going from a to b, can be sort of nice. I am not a very spiritual person and while searching for yoga videos I found a lot of channels that were a bit too wishy washy for my taste. But I just like to keep it technical and focused on strengthening my body.
After finishing the 30 days challenge I realised that I should make a plan before I would fall into my old habits. So I started to repeat the 30 days, but this time every other day. I got a yoga mat as a present and the wonderful Onzie sponsored my outfit so that I could practice in style. They actually have pieces that go so well with my body shape: high waisted yoga pants! Hurray!
And here we are now: 1 year later and I am still practicing on a daily basis. Depending on my mood, I pick a video that matches my moods level and place my laptop next to my mat and start the practice. Because I am not doing it to loose weight, which is why I used to start new workouts before, it feels less stressful and less of an obligation.
But just because I don’t have a weight goal, it doesn’t mean that I can’t make it more of a challenge. There are 3 things that I have always wanted to be able to do: A headstand, the splits and an impressive amount of push-ups. Because whenever I see people do these things, they look so cool and I am always genuinely impressed!
And I am proud to say that I (finally!) managed to do the headstand on my own with the help of a wall for the first time since I was 10 years old. I apparently have a great fear of falling, so managing to do this on my own was a really nice moment.
I never had any new years resolutions, but I do like to think of what kinds of things I would like to achieve. Luckily Yoga With Adriene (she is not sponsoring me, I am just a fan;), who I mentioned before is starting a new free 31 day program TODAY called Yoga Revolution! She is posting a new yoga video on youtube every day for the next 31 days and I am very excited to learn new moves and skills this month.
It would be so much fun if you could join me and let me know how it goes! Click here to go the youtube playlist. And let me know if you are also starting the challenge today in the comment section or shoot me an email.
And to finish this blogpost: Photos of a selection of the moves that I learned this last year.
(All taken by me, which I think deserves some kind of medal because I had to press a button on the remote, hide the remote and wanted to look cool and non-sweaty.. I am still sore right now:))