This is one of my least favorite weeks of the year – my sons have just returned to their respective places around the world, and I’ve spent the last week pigging out and envying their incredible metabolisms. To help inspire me, and hopefully you, to get back on track after long and indulgent holiday – I’ve decided to repost my exercise routine.

At this point in my life it’s really important to me to be the healthiest I can be and part of that is exercising regularly. I wasn’t always so committed, it’s only been in the last 4 years. In fact there were a lot of years when just getting through the day with 4 kids and work was all I could do.

I’m not the athletic type or at least that’s what I always told myself, which truly was an excuse not to exercise. For most of my life, I didn’t have to work too hard to stay in shape so I got away with it. Not so much anymore.  And I didn’t feel great. Low energy and low self esteem as my body wasn’t looking like I wanted it to.

What didn’t work: I tried workout videos to follow at home but I never could stick with it. Likewise going to a gym where it was up to me to show up and decide what exercise to do and how to do it, didn’t work for me.  I’d come up with an excuse not to go (too tired, too much work, a show on TV calling my name, you get the idea). When I was younger it was easy to take a few extra pounds off, just cut back on meals or even skip meals (not a healthy approach). Well, during a particularly difficult personal year I put on 40 pounds! I had eaten my way through stress. I was approaching my 50th birthday which had me thinking about the things I wanted to change in my life. I decided this was the time to make big changes for the better.

What worked for me: Initially, I walked. Something even a “non-athlete” can do. The walks got longer and longer and coupled with diet, I was getting results. I lost 10 pounds.  I tried to walk at least a mile every day and on the weekends my husband would map out 5 or 6 mile walks for us to do.  We even had our Yorkie, Annie doing these long walks. I actually started to look forward to it, like an adventure.

One night on a walk, we passed by a new gym/studio opening in town, so we peeked in.  The owner and trainer were getting things ready and invited us in to tell us about their place. They told me that they offer sessions with a trainer in groups of 4 clients. They would also counsel you on nutrition and keep track of your weight. It’s by appointment, so you’re expected to show up or you need to call ( with a good reason) to cancel. This sounded perfect for me, they would keep me accountable and give me guidance on how to work out properly.  I was ready for the next level. By this time I had lost another 10 pounds and it was getting harder and harder to lose more, so I joined! I started going 3 times a week.

This was the perfect place for me, it helped me get in the best shape of my life and I lost 20 more pounds, reaching my goal.