Working out: The ultimate mental health remedy, idea generator, and answer to looking and feeling your best. Here’s how and why I do it for inner and outer results!
I started working out everyday on a day I knew something was terribly wrong. This was the moment I realized the positive impact physical fitness has on our mental health.
I have always worked out – and intensely! I used to workout 1-2 hours, 3-4 days per week from long distance running to strength training, but it was at a time when I knew I needed to walk away from a relationship that I started working out every MORNING. The morning factor being as important as getting my heart rate up and I’ll explain why.
My workouts changed from 90 minutes to as little as 15-60 minutes. They changed from a random time of day to every morning. Before I’ve even had a cup of coffee my daily routine starts with slipping out of a silk chemise, half asleep, rolling out the mat, and pressing play. Yes, I workout in my underwear. Unless I’m going for a run, or recording it for a blog of course. 🙂
I like working out with one of four girls who provide free yoga and pilates videos on youtube that are quick and effective: Boho Beautiful, Blogilates with Cassey Ho, Bailey Brown, or Move With Nicole. Depending on the vibe I am after, the mood I am in, and what I am trying to achieve in what length of time, I choose the best girl for the job and get to work!
Blogilaties with Cassey Ho: Cassey is my fitness cheerleader. I turn to her for killer pilates and am particularly into her 10 minute or less burns where she focuses on specific body parts. I like to do two or three of her videos at a time.
Bailey Brown: I love Bailey’s short pilates videos. I like to throw one or two of her videos in the mix when I want to do a bit of additional toning and strength training before or after a run or yoga.
Boho Beautiful: For yoga, I always turn to Boho Beautiful. I also turn to her for pilates sometimes. She also introduced me to Yin Yoga, which I highly recommend if you are looking to improve flexibility and calmness of mind. I try to do Yin once per week in addition to working out, for about 20 minutes.
I actually mentioned my love for Boho Beautiful in my first Self Love Hacks Edition because she is who I started with! If you missed the first edition, you can click here to read ‘8 Self Love Hacks + My Exact Beauty Smoothie.’
Running in moderation: Running is good for you, but it can also be bad for you if you do it too much as it can be very hard on the body, the joints and the organs. I run about twice a week for two miles or so. I like to track my runs with the Under Armor app: Track My Run. It’s free, easy to use, and helpful. Fun fact: (More like a funny fact.) I run in three sports bras and do lots of push-ups and chest workouts to keep my boobs perky. I also wear a bra to bed- hence being able to throw off my chemise and hit the mat.
Move With Nicole: Her pilates videos are super effective and manageable. She moves a bit slower which can be lovely, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t hard! You will absolutely positively FEEL THE BURN. She’s also as beautiful as her videos – in fact all of these girls are!
Why Win The Morning Win The Day: Paramount to seeing physical results, my new workout routine has taught me the power of starting the day right, which to me, begins with time that is purely dedicated to self care. From working out to prayer, it prepares me for the day ahead, helps me to lead with calm focus, kindness, listen to my heart, stay motivated, and have courage with everything I do. I don’t think it’s done anything to improve my patience yet, but I’m not losing hope… I’m also not holding my breath! Ha ha…
Our state of mind is instantly changed by a good workout. It’s science! I recently finished 50 Cent’s new book, Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, and he too credits working out to his ability to think clearer and improve his ideas for whatever he is working on.
I know it may seem off brand to mention 50 Cent, but his book might surprise you. He’s terribly wholesome, almost romantic, loves luxury items, keeps it classy, and creates everything he makes with love, just like us! : ) Without a doubt, I could see his future wife in the Glamour Gown or a long, luxurious velvet robe, but most of all, I’m positive that 50 would love our silk boxers and men’s silk pajamas. And I could really see him rocking the men’s waffle robe too!
It’s safe to say that the creative concepts I come up with for our campaigns start on the mat. Like the campaign I recently shot of the new Celine Slip in SoHo, or the one of my former roommate for Steel Magnolia, which brings me to one more thing I don’t think can go without mention…
I always photograph my friends or myself when I shoot campaigns for Christine because to me, the beauty I see inside of them translates to the photographs and thats what makes them strong. When I moved in with my now friend and former roommate MaryAnne, she was struggling with weight and her mental health. She was always kind, but for the first year or so, when she wasn’t teaching science to 7th graders, it was hard to get her out of bed. I knew, at least a little, what she was going through.
And so, no matter how many times she turned me down, I would knock on her door and ask her to join me for yoga or pilates a few days a week and when I didn’t, I knew she could hear me sweating it out in the common area anyway and hoped the seed was planted in the back of her mind. I asked her to workout with me for over a year, and then one day, out of the blue, she said yes.
It was January of 2020. I’ll never forget it because I had to hide my delight and shock. In some ways, the quarantine that was ahead of us was an environment Maryanne could thrive in because it removed the pressure of having to leave the house. It gave her a chance to gain some strength. And that’s exactly what she did.
This was a girl who started with ‘don’t come near me with that camera’ to agreeing to model for a lingerie campaign this past September. She became my curvy muse. This was a girl who turned me down on working out for over a year, to kicking my ass at every video we took on. MaryAnne, who shines in our campaigns for Sedona and Steel Magnolia, is now stronger than me. She works out everyday.
In fact, she, my other former roommate and myself stay in touch with our workout videos being the platform to do so. It’s a simple way to do the thing we all find impossible – staying in touch. When I am finished with my videos for the day, if I find a real good one, I shoot it over in our group text and explain what I liked about it. They do the same. So we keep each other motivated even though we’ve moved on to new chapters of our lives. This little story brings me more satisfaction than results ever will.
I made this tiny change to my daily life a few years ago and have stuck with it ever since because it has helped me, inside and out, in profound ways. For every gain I’ve had with my physical strength, my mental strength has matched it. And a few months after I started this new way of life, I had what it took to walk away from the relationship I was in. This change to my workouts was a big part of it.
With that said, as we all know, one triumph doesn’t mean there won’t be more challenges ahead, and to this day, I still credit my capacity for endurance to my endurance. I credit my ability to overcome challenges it felt like my whole world doubted I could overcome, to my ability to overcome yoga practices I once couldn’t get through. Or my ability to try again when I have failed, to my ability to try again when I have failed on the mat. I credit these little victories in the mornings to my little victories in life.
So… Tomorrow morning… See you on the mat? 🙂