Welcome to the Born for Greatness podcast. I'm so glad you joined me today. Today we're going to talk all things fitness because I love it and I hope that I can inspire you to start a fitness routine if you don't already, or just kind of, I don't know, inspire you in some way. That's the goal, right? We're born for greatness, all of us, so let's figure out how to be okay, so fitness, when, how, why all those fun things.
So I grew up in a family that was not into sports at all. My dad is the super brilliant nerdy type. Sports not his thing. So I never was introduced to really much of anything other than I did ballet, I did gymnastics, all of that when I was younger. But as I got older, really, exercise was not like a big deal. My dad always played racquetball. I played with him once in a while, but it wasn't a part of my life or anything that I enjoyed by any means. So as I got a little bit older, I was like, okay, I think maybe I should start exercising just because I felt it was the right thing to do. I was blessed with good genes in the fact that I never struggled with weight, which in some ways is a blessing and a curse. Because when you're younger, at least you're like, I don't need to exercise. I can eat whatever I want, no problem. Exercise is not necessary. Well, yeah, it is. So as I got a little bit older, I thought, okay, well, I was poor, of course, because I was young in, you know, 1920, I didn't really have much of anything, and I was like, well, what can I do that's cheap? I can run. I can run, which is hysterical because when I started running, I could run from one side of the parking lot to the other. That's it. I'm a sprinter.
I can go short distances, but then I'm going to pretty much huff and puff and die after. So that's not a pretty sight. So anyhow, I got it in my mind that I was going to become a runner. So I can remember setting some sort of like ridiculous path and like, I can do this, no problem. 3 miles, no big deal. Well, it was a big deal. It was a very big deal because again, I made it to like, the end of the parking lot and was dead. So there was that. I knew better because in high school, I couldn't even run the mile. So, yeah, it wasn't good. It wasn't a good situation. So of course I gave up because who wants to be defeated, to feel miserable, awful about yourself? And that was just not something that I wanted to take on in my life. So I gave up. And then the taboo craze. Do you remember Tai Bow? Oh gosh, I thought that was the greatest thing I worked in a Mexican restaurant, and so I ate a lot of chips, and I needed to exercise. At this point, it was like, okay, I'm going to try Tai Bow. I've got this. You push a little video in, and you huff and puff for 20 minutes, 30 minutes. I don't really remember. I loved it. I thought it was great until it got boring, and I was sick of doing something in my living room. And it got hot, and it was the summer, and it was just at a tiny apartment, whole nine yards, doesn't matter.
But I can remember. It was only fun for a little bit, and then I didn't like it anymore, so that ended that. Then I got pregnant young, and well, I was 21, but still walking. We got a dog, my ex husband and I got a dog because that was a brilliant idea. Now somebody has to walk this dog. So guess who was the walker? Well, it was me. So I walked my entire first pregnancy, and I was like, oh, I like this. This is good. I can walk. I'm not struggling. It's not a huge issue. For me, walking is the way to go. Yeah, that was great until I had a child, and that seemed to become suddenly a lot more complicated. Long story short, we won't go into all of my attempts at starting an exercise routine, but they were plentiful. None of them ever lasted until I started going through a divorce. And then I had all of this pent up frustration, and I needed something. I needed something because here were my choices. I could start drinking. I had three young kids at the time. Like, young, young. Four, three. Wait, no, five, four, and not even one. I think that's right. Doesn't matter. Or I could find a more productive way to kind of deal with the stress and anxiety that I was facing. Exercise, it was so I found a boot camp, and I started doing that. I couldn't afford it. And the woman who was leaving it was gracious enough to have to let me do it for free, because she had also been through a pretty nasty divorce.
She kind of understood what I was going through as much as you can. And so she sympathized with me and let me do it for free, which was awesome. That's when I got addicted because I saw results. I loved it. I had people around me encouraging me. That was super helpful. But then, of course, get divorced. I move now I'm a single mom. I can't just leave the kids to go to a class. That was just not going to happen. So there was a gym next to my office, and one of the guys I worked with was like, why don't you just come over and work out with us on our lunch break? So I thought, okay, all right. I can do that. So I did, and I worked out with a couple of these, like, huge bodybuilders, and that was fun. But then our schedules just didn't, like, really coincide. So I was in there by myself at the gym, and I always tell this story because it's pretty comical and working out, doing my own thing, thinking I'm doing a great job. And this gentleman comes over to me, and he was like, yeah, so I've been watching you and you're doing everything wrong. And I was like, oh, okay. Awesome. I think he knew who I was from the whole work situation, whatever. And he was like, hey, do you want me to train you? I'll train you for free. He's like, Just work out with me and I'll teach you everything. So I was like, yes, please. So I spent two years working out with this guy, and he was an older gentleman. Army, was it? Army? Yeah, I think it was army. Anyways, changed my life, literally changed my life because I found something that I loved.
I was struggling, but in a different way. Not like gasping for breath struggle, if you know what I'm saying. I was really into it. I was starting to see definition, and I was so excited about it. The rest is pretty much history from there on out. But I found something I loved, and that is what made the difference. Then from there, it was like, okay, I'm not being challenged enough. Let's start running again, right? Let's sign up for a half marathon because you're an awesome runner. But I was determined because I was determined, and if I'm determined about something, I can guarantee you it will be completed, finished. It's going to happen. So I did, and I somehow miraculously ran a half marathon and then two months later did my first tough mudder because why not throw that in the mix? But it was an outlet for me. It was something that I could kind of get all of that anxiety that I was dealing with, bring it to the surface, all the stress I was under, and kind of like, learn to let it go. So I tell you all of this and my whole ridiculous exercise journey story because I don't want you to feel like you try something, it doesn't work for you. And therefore exercise is not your thing because that's not true. You just have to find the right thing. You have to find the right thing that you love. And maybe it's walking. Maybe that's all it is. And you walk. And then you get to a point where walking is so easy and not a problem, you add something else because you start to look for this challenge because you feel good. And when you feel good, you want to keep that up and how can I feel even better? And that's where I think it all comes into play. So needless to say, I've been weightlifting for, I don't know, 910 years, maybe nine, I don't know, somewhere around there. And I've never stopped. I mean, I I did stop at one point for like, three months because I gave up my gym membership and oh, COVID. There we go. Of course, COVID. And I was like, I'm going to work out at home. I'm going to do those workout videos. So workout videos aren't for me. No, I get annoyed, and it's not my thing at all. Same with yoga, regular yoga, I can't handle hot yoga. I feel like I'm being tortured a little bit. So that works for me, but only kind of, sort of. I go with my best friend, and the poor thing, like, she's trying to, like, take it in and, like, get into the whole yoga thing.
But they're telling me to see things with my third eye and feel the breath. And I'm rolling my eyes, like, are you freaking pitting me? I don't sit still well at all. And now you're asking me to practice my breath and think through my third eye? No, absolutely not. I'm just going to be over here sweating to death, doing my stretching. Leave me be. But anyways, I can throw that in the mix every once in a while because I think it's really good for you. I'm too high strung, I think, for yoga. Again, unless it's hot yoga. And I feel like I'm going to pass out and then I'm just trying to stay alive, so I can handle that. Anyhow, okay, so I told a story the other week about how I was on my flight home from a conference the other week, and I sat next to this gentleman, right? Bigger guy. We were in economy plus, but he probably should have been in first class. And as soon as he saw me, he looked so relieved. And he said to me, he's like, I cannot tell you how happy I am that I got sat next to a skinny girl, because that's always what I hope for when I get sat on a plane. He's like, I know that I'm bigger. I am so sorry. I'm going to like, if you're watching on YouTube, he's like, I'm going to sit like this with arms closed together and trying desperately not to be in my personal space. But of course, he kind of was because he couldn't help it. And he profusely was apologizing. And I was like, hey, no worries. No big deal. Like, of all people, I'm not going to judge you, and it's totally fine. So again, this is where we can practice being kind. And so I did. And anyhow, he was a talker, which we all know I'm a talker, so you put two of us together, and a five hour flight is gone.
But we got to talking, and he kept bringing up his weight over and over and over and kept apologizing. And he then got into he was like, hey, how are you so fit. And so I told him kind of my back story and how I love to lift and all of that, and he's like, I keep trying over and over to work out, but every time I start, I only last, like, three or four days, and I give up. He's like it's too much. It's exhausting. I can't handle it. It's too much time. You know, like, every excuse in the book was coming out. But I also knew, like, he was feeling desperate, like, I need to change. Something needs to change, but I don't know where to start. So I told him. I said, hey, listen, I applaud your super lofty goals. Awesome. I think it's great to have big goals, but they're not realistic, not right now. What you're trying to do is never going to work. You can't go, I'm going to go from nothing to I'm going to work out an hour and a half, five days a week. Well, no, because you're not going to love it. You're going to hate every second. You're going to suddenly find all these excuses not to, and you're never going to keep it up. It's not going to be a part of your routine. You're going to be trying to shove this hour and a half somewhere in your day, and it's going to be monotonous, and it's going to feel like something you have to do, and you're never going to be consistent and keep it up. It's just you can't expect to create healthy habits overnight. It's just not the way it works. I mean, some people can, but very few.
So let's just say that. Now, let me preface and just say, I am not a personal trainer. I am not a nutritionist. I am not trying to tell somebody or anyone here. This is what you should do, and this is how you should do it. I'm just sharing my story on what worked for me. So anyhow, I told him, I said, listen, why don't you start three times a week? Three times a week, 15 minutes, that's all. That's all you need to do. Whether it be walking, whether you want to try weight lifting, whatever you find to be something that's not excruciating, that doesn't make you want to, like, jump off a cliff, right? It needs to be something that, okay, you're probably not going to love it, but not really hate it. And do it 15 minutes three times a week and keep that up for two or three weeks and then add five minutes, do 20 minutes three times a week and, you know, so on and so forth, and keep it going. Let it become part of your routine. Let it become a habit for you. And then when you start to, like, feel a little bit better and you want to add some time, add some time, and it's only going to increase as you go. And now you've set goals that are obtainable. Anybody can carve out 15 minutes three times a week. I'm sorry, you can't tell me that you can't because you can. It's do you want to, right? 15 minutes less of sleep is not going to kill you. I don't want to hear excuses when it comes to 15 minutes. 15 minutes you can handle. So anyways, I just tried to encourage him in the fact that he could do it. And I think everybody should do it.
Everybody should work out. I mean, the benefits are immense, I think. I mean, I think most of us know the benefits of working out, right? Some form of exercise. But why would you not want to feel good, right? So starting at an obtainable level, giving yourself a goal that you can achieve, that first of all, will help propel you to doing a greater amount. And it helps you build your confidence too, which I think is super important. It's funny because when I started lifting, I would look at these women. So the gym I went to was like a bodybuilder type gym, right? It wasn't like your everyday kind of people, which that didn't sound right, but you know what I mean, like your average just work out. These are like these giant guys. And now I don't remember where I was going with the story. Isn't that awesome? Oh, yeah. Okay, so here we go. I would look at there was a couple of women in the gym, and they were like super buff. And I admired it like crazy. But I did not want to look like that. I was like, oh, that's like a little too much muscle for me. If I lift heavy, that's what I'm going to look like. So I can't do that. Little did I know, looking like that is not just lift heavy and you're good to go. The amount of work and effort that people put in to looking like that, like a bodybuilder, is extreme. It's not something that you can achieve even just by lifting heavy on your regular workouts. I mean, you're talking crazy amounts of protein and a whole thing, right? It's not lift, and you're going to look like that. So you should not be afraid, especially women.
We need to stop being afraid to look a certain way. Because first of all, who cares, right? As long as you feel good, that's all that matters. But if you're like me, and I was like, did not want this certain look. I just want to look toned. And I was under this belief that being toned, which I think comes from hearing things and seeing things, meant you do lightweight, high reps. That's how a woman should work out in order to look toned. False. Super false. I mean, yes, that does work, but lifting heavy with smaller reps also gets you really toned. And I don't really have a whole lot more to say about that other than don't be scared because I promise you won't look like a bodybuilder if you lift heavy. It's just not going to happen. So anyhow, I feel like I'm all over the place on this one, but I'm just so super passionate about weightlifting mostly, but exercise as a whole, because there's been such wonders for me. A lot of people ask me if I work out in the morning or when I work out. A lot of people like to get up and start their day with a workout. I do agree. Gives you a ton of energy, makes you feel great. But for me, because I primarily use exercise as a stress reliever, I do it after my work day because I find for me, that's the thing that helps me kind of unwind and get out any stress that I've had during the day and just kind of mellow out. It's equivalent to my glass of wine at night, right? So for me, that's what works on the weekends. I tend to do like a mid morning thing, but certainly on weekdays, it's always in the evenings or right after. Kind of like the normal work hours. But anyhow, that's what's worked for me. Does that work for everyone?
No, not necessarily. But for me, that has worked wonders. So find a time that works for you. Find days that work for you and then just keep at it. It's going to become, again, part of your routine, like drinking coffee or your evening glass of wine. That's my evening workout. How do I stay motivated? That's a question. I get a lot too. I don't there's days that I don't want to work out. But you get to a point where motivation is awesome and it's going to get you started and kind of get you into that routine. But motivation doesn't stay with you. That's where discipline kicks in. And discipline can be discipline is tricky. It's not easy, but when you kind of get past that point of seeing all these crazy results and you're kind of like you're stable and you're just kind of maintaining whatever you're at in your fitness level, it can be difficult. But it's disciplined. We can all be disciplined. We can all work on ways to be disciplined. I can get into that at a different time. But for me, again, it's just one of those things. In my day, I got to check off my list and I don't dread it. I look forward to it, actually, except for on the weekends. Sometimes on the weekends, that's where I struggle because I haven't had a heavy work day. And so I'm not like, I need to release this. So I usually have to push myself a little more on the weekends. But I do it anyways. How often do I work out? I get that a lot, too. Six days a week, almost always, unless I'm traveling. I give myself a lot more grace when I'm traveling because there's again, certain times that you just don't want to, and that is okay.
So, yeah, that's that's pretty much what I do. Oh. I also don't work out, like, you know, an hour and a half at a time. Let's not be crazy. When I lift, I usually lift for 25 minutes. I don't take big breaks or rests in between sets. I do it pretty fast paced so that I can get it done in a short amount of time. And then three to four of the six days, I will add in some form of cardio, whether that be running or on the treadmill, like doing an incline walk. I'm trying now to incorporate one day of hit just to mix things up, but, yeah, that's what I do. So exercise is amazing. It can do wonders for you mentally, along with physically, and I encourage everyone to find something that they love. I can guarantee there's something that you're going to enjoy. Maybe you just haven't found it yet. Maybe it is racket ball. For my dad, it was it doesn't have to be what everybody associates like outside of sports fitness to be, which is either weightlifting or running. At least that's what I feel like it is. There are so many other great forms of exercise. Just move your body. It's all that really matters. Move your body. Keep it healthy, keep it strong, and again, you're born for greatness. You can do it. You want to run a marathon? I will cheer you on. So, anyhow, I hope that this brought some sort of value to you, and hopefully I can be an encouragement and get you to get out there and move your body. So thank you for joining me, and I will see you on the next episode.