I’ve got a whole lot of “do the same thing every day, all day” in my life right now. And it’s OK — really, it’s OK, and here’s why…
About 7 weeks ago I made a personal commitment to work out more. I mean, we live in Los Angeles where the average daily temperature is like 75*, I can totally do this, I told myself! I’ve always taken Bauer for a daily walk with Max, but since Natalie joined our family in October it was getting harder & harder to load up my crew and head outside for some exercise. Especially if we didn’t go shortly after breakfast. Especially since it takes 30 literal minutes to walk out the door. Especially.
Rewind a few more weeks prior. I saw a photo of myself and thought, “noooooo, no no no”. I didn’t like the woman I saw in the photo because I knew it wasn’t the best version of me. For days all I could think about was how “unlike me” I looked, which meant I couldn’t stop thinking about the photo.
Zack and I are on a journey to becoming debt-free and are practicing minimal spending, so I took the resources I had (a Britax B-Ready double stroller and 2 sets of workout clothes) and began a fool-proof interval workout routine. The only things I’ve bought since starting are a new pair of running shoes and a Fitbit for personal encouragement.
Each morning I take both kids and our pup for a 90-minute walk/run workout, and I push myself to run just a little bit longer than the previous day. As the weeks pass I take the running momentum I’ve gained to work even harder. About halfway through my run we stop at a grassy park so Max can play in the water fountains and run around. (Natalie usually sleeps the entire time.) These park breaks are just as rewarding for me as they are for Max, I love watching him be a little boy and dirty his feet :)
When I was about 3-1/2 weeks into my new journey I had Zack measure me (arms, bust, waist, hips, thighs, calves). Two weeks later he re-measured and I had lost 5.25″ overall. Awesome, I thought. Two weeks later he measured me again and another 2.25″ had been lost, totaling 7.5″ overall. Encouraging!
Monday is another re-measure day and any progress I make is great progress, for sure. But, it’s not just about the numbers I’m recording. It’s about feeling confident and happy and healthy.
The hardest part of this journey? Pushing through once I got bad shin splints on both legs. That was a painful 10 days and I made little progress with running, but I didn’t quit. For the most part it’s been a breeze to continue running week after week, which has me wondering, WHY DIDN’T I BEGIN THIS NEW JOURNEY MONTHS AGO? ;)
I’ve never been a runner. Like, get out the megaphone: I’ve never been a runner. The fact that my body now thrives on running is a bit strange but, I’m not going to fight it. My “pro” column is overflowing with reasons, and my “con” column is absolutely empty.
Having a consistent workout routine has been beyond amazing. Here are my best “yeses” for running:
* my patience has increased
* I’m sleeping way better at night
* I feel way more motivated to tackle projects around our apartment (yeow!)
* many of my (constant) unhealthy cravings have gone away (double yeow!)
* my general outlook is more positive
* there’s so much natural beauty to see in our neighborhood (an abundance of color & texture)
* I enjoy the clothes in my closet more, even though I still wear the same five outfits (ha, ha)
* I feel way more intimately connected with my husband. (This one is a huge PLUS for me. It is hard to sift through the many emotions/needs/postpartum-ness (right?) and seek intimacy with my husband. So like I said, getting outside for a long run each day has been a huge plus:)
When I began my personal challenge I was walking about 2 miles/day, and slowly I’ve transitioned to running close to 5 miles/day. We’re gone for about two hours each morning, returning home just in time for lunch and naps. One huge saving grace with all of this is having easy/healthy lunches ready to serve. I almost always have tuna or chicken salad in the fridge (I make it on Sundays), along with sliced cheese, fruit, pretzels, and yogurt. Once lunch and naps are over the afternoons fly by and suddenly Zack’s on his way home from work.
I miss having hours of morning time at home to play and paint and read books (and lazy around, let’s be honest), but right now this personal journey is well worth the schedule changes. I can’t think of an area in my life that hasn’t benefited immensely from my morning run.
What inspired all of this? Many things. First, my mom visited mid-February and was hugely motivating in me increasing my daily activity. Then I saw Lydia’s Instagram post. And lastly, I saw “that one photo” that confirmed I looked as blahhhhhh as I felt on the inside. (Or so I thought.)
Honestly though, it’s not at all about a specific number of miles or inches lost or pounds shed — we don’t even own a scale (and I’m unsure of my weight).
It is about these three things: 1.) I want to be fit so I can be active with my family, 2.) I want to stop feeling self-conscious over how my clothes fit, and 3.) I want to feel absolutely amazing about myself so there are no intimacy walls between my husband and I.
So, here is where things stand: working out 2 hours/day (includes park playtime), running 4+ miles, gone 6 days/week = 7.5″ lost.
Basically, I set a realistic workout goal and I stuck to it. I began by walking fast with super light jogging. Then I increased my jogging time. Then I began to mix running into my super fast walk. I was all, Girl, get up and run! You can do this! You totally can! And when I got home from my first workout and I felt all, Yeahhhh! Yeahhhh!, I knew I had found a routine that was going to work. Success!
PS. there’s also this: #watchMaggierun.
Thank you!! It’s raining here in Wisco today and I’m trying to get up some motivation to get running starting this week :) I have a one year old and an almost 4 year old, do you have any tips on double strollers? What kind is yours, and do you like it?? Thank you!
We use the Britax B-Ready stroller and it’s been pretty good for city running. We don’t do any hills with it and it handles sidewalk bumps/cracks pretty well. I love it because it’s fairly compact and the kids side in front of each other, not side by side. I can get into all doorways just fine. I think with this model there is a weight limit for each seat, I think 50 lbs? Look into that before you make a purchase, I see you shared your one child is almost 4yo :)
Hi have been following you for a long time now and its funny how we have gone through life changes the same, Trying to have our first child and I have kids just your kids age and when I read your blog it is like I could have wrote it. Thank you for sharing your story! Its been inspiring! : )
that is amazing! You go Maggie! You look great. You’ve inspired me to start a workout regimen. I always wanted to start running but I feel silly.
And don’t feel silly. Start slowly but with a commitment. Jog at first, then increase your speed when you’re ready. Also a well fitting bra has been super helpful for me ;)
Any recommendations? Seems I can only find ones for light activity such as yoga, not running.
Victorias Secret has the best sports bras HANDS DOWN. Lots of choices to keep the “sisters” in place.
This is my favorite: https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/ua-eclipse-bra/pid1248338-001
I’ve been watching this from the start and am pumped that you’re seeing such amazing results. Our clothing is the only key we need to assess what our fitness programs do for our bodies, as the scale can be quite deceptive and never tell the true story. But when our clothes fit like we desire, when our moods are lifted, our joy revealed and our smiles expand, that’s the only outcome everyone needs to pay attention to, and the only thing that matters. One suggestion for helping with recovery is to have compression sleeves to slip on after your run. I do a lot of walking at a very fast pace and these really help my calves afterwards. You can get full socks, or just sleeves to slip over your legs and believe me, they help. I love mine. Keep running, Maggie!!!
Hi Kate! Thank you for your super encouraging comment. You are a beautiful writer :) I’ll have to check out those socks, come bedtime my legs are definitely sore and ready for rest.
was the Fitbit a worth it purchase? I’m considering one but the price is holding me back. you are awesome!
I have the Zip and it’s been awesome, it was less than $60 and it’s hugely motivating for me to see how much I can move throughout the day :) I’ve also been doing some of their challenges which encourages me to move even more! So for me, yes well worth the money.
I’ve been following your progress on Instagram and saying to myself, I should totally just do that. No fancy equipment, no money spent, just gooooo! (We have the same stroller, too, except mine is a single!) I ran-walked a 5K last year and I’m not runner AT ALL. I want to get there again. Keep up the good work, Maggie. I’m about to join your ranks. :)
It’s such a FANTASTIC feeling knowing I could tailor my workout routine to fit my family and our schedule. You can do it, Heidi! ♥ Pick something that you will enjoy and will push you to better yourself! And thank you for the super encouraging comment!!! xoxo
Good for you! I saw a picture of myself a little while ago that I didn’t like either. I’m trying to work out often as well, it’s good to know other people are in the same boat and I’m even more excited for you that you are making a change! I feel more inspired already.
You have helped me a lot these couple days. There is a lot of stuff going on and reading through your blog and archives has really helped. You were literally the second blog I ever started following way back in 2011 and it has been so much fun to see your journey. You are such an inspiration to me-don’t ever stop.
I live in LA as well and would love to get coffee sometime, when you aren’t running ;)
I love this chain affect of women encouraging other women, THAT is what makes me happy! :) You’re doing great, you’ve planted a seed to make a change and so now you need to keep up the momentum. Like I shared with another commenter, find a workout that fits with your family and schedule. You can do it!
I saw on your blog you work at PP, Zack has worked at many post-production houses since moving here about 2.5 years ago, from Santa Monica to Marina Del Rey to Venice. Similar market, eh? ;)
We should meet up, send me an email! maggie at maggie whitley dot com
I know what you mean by “i am not a runner’
Neither was I.. I didn’t even run to catch the bus.
But a few weeks ago, after being cleared for excercise by my physical therapist, I started running.
and it is awesome!!!!!
I currently have an inflamed joint in my foot ( thank you fybromyalgia) and am not allowed to run but.. I actually miss it.
i can’t wait to start again!
Oh man, you had me at “I didn’t even run to catch the bus.” :) Girl, that’s some truth!
Watching your journey on Instagram the last few weeks literally got me out of the house to run! I went for my third run this morning and I’m feeling great! I think I’ve found something I actually like… and I never thought I would like running!!
When you say you run 4+ miles, are you running the whole time or is it a walk/run? I’m still walk/running and want to work up to consistent running!
Keep it up lady, you’re inspiring others :) <3
Ahhhhh, SO EXCITING! Good for you, girl! I’m walking probably 60% and running probably 40%. It’s a great mix that’s givingme great results. My goal is to be running maybe 70%? I have to stop a lot for sidewalk intersections and bumps, I run in a cute little downtown neighborhood so there’s a lot going on… I can’t just “run” without stopping. I give myself maybe 20 minutes to warm up (1 mile) and then I start mixing my walking with running. What’s helped a lot is to push myself to run longer the next time I do an interval run. It’s so good! :)
I started running a couple years ago cause a few women in my MOPS group started running and I really did it more for the fellowship but I had to start doing something workout wise so win win. They were running a 5K every time (2-3x a week). We did intervals and we weren’t terribly fast and that first one was AWFUL. But after my first 2 runs it was kind of like no big deal. Running is great cause ANYONE can do it, you don’t have to be fast you just have to be moving forward. Exercise is LIFE to mommas with littles! It really helps!
Thanks for this! Before I got pregnant with my second (she’s 15 months) I had become a runner (started when my first was 9 months). I had been running for six months and training for a 10k when I got pregnant with the second. So running went away and during pregnancy I somehow ruptured a disc in my lower back. When Eva was 7 months old and I had endured a year of severe pain I had to have surgery. So here I am 9 months later not liking myself in photos. I’ve been walking with the girls now that it has stopped snowing (Kentucky) and got new shoes. Monday I decided that maybe I could still be a runner? My back hurts every day anyway so I may as well try. And I did about a mile! So there’s a new running group at our church and I think I’m going to join it. All that to say that #watchmaggierun has been part of my inspiration!!
I believe you can achieve great results with walking, don’t let that deter you!!!! You may have to do a few more miles each day to get the results you want, but they’re totally achievable. So exciting! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, it means so much :)
Great work! I’m trying to get myself to move a bit more than my walk now that it’s warming up here in the Midwest. Wishing I had a friend to jog with, but thinking that your IG encouragement might do the trick! :)
I LOVE IT! ♥
This is so inspiring! I only have one baby (9 month old baby girl) but I have been way stressed at work lately and have been stress eating to the max! This post could not have come at a better time – I so needed to be inspired and see someone out there getting results which will make me push harder! I have a fitbit and am determined to reach my daily goal and then some!! Could we be fitbit friends? I need someone to keep me in check and challenged! You are an amazing person! So proud of you!! You are a serious inspiration to me and everyone else!
That is the worst! I heard recently that a lot of times we misinterpret thirst for hunger, which I’m totally guilty of doing! Yeahhhhh, add me, my email is whitley dot maggie at gmail! ♥
Inspiring! Go get it Maggie!
Girl this is so amazing. Good for you!! I know there’s always a struggle after having kids especially and looks like you’ve found your groove. You’re also making time for yourself and something that you love which is a bonus. Good luck. Keep it up, I know you can!! xo
oh you, i love you!! you look fabulous grrrrrl! always such an inspiration!! i GOTTA do this! xoxo
Dusted off the old fitbit this morning. Winter was really hard, but your IG pics are very encouraging.
PS. This popped up in my bloglovin list this morning… maybe it will help with the shin splints: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Exercises-Prevent-Shin-Splints-8028901
This is so very encouraging, spring is coming and I am going to get outside and soak up some sun and find some great energy too. So proud, as always. Love you girl.
Thank you so much for this post Maggie! I’ve always loved your blog, but this post, whoop whoop, it is JUST what I needed to hear. My first baby is just over 6 months old, and I’m (finally) ready to get myself back into shape. No more excuses. So Monday, I’m starting out. Fingers crossed and prayers said!
You won’t regret it! Finding a workout that I enjoyed was super helpful to me commiting to it. I’m so excited for you :) there’s nothing more important than a mama who takes good care of herself. Keep me updated!!!!!!!
You go, girl! As another Mama Maggie … a few years ahead of you and a “learned” runner as well … you are all over this. You’ve got it. It’s so good for you AND your family. Keep it up, my friend. I have four not-so-little-anymore ones and I started running when my final baby was born. I’m in better shape and a better frame of mind now than I ever was before. It’s good for me and a beautiful example for my kids. Hugs to you, beautiful one!
This is such an encouraging comment, I’m so glad you took a moment to share it with me :) I hadn’t understood what the hype was about running, but definitely once I hit 2 miles on a run I begin to understand. It’s so therapeutic, and like you said, I’m in “a better frame of mind”. xo
Aw, Maggie, I have been ‘lurking’ on your IG for a while now and just wanted to say hooray! You’re doing an awesome job! Thanks for taking the time to share these encouraging real life snippets with the world :*)
AMAZING! Yay! :) Thanks Ines!!!
What I love about all this is your commitment to prioritize health/wellness/mama in your life. It takes a lot of energy just to get out of the house with littles at all.. I love that you are making it the first priority in the day and letting the rest of the day sort itself out around that number one goal. Plus, I bet your littles are loving it – kids thrive on predictable routines, and I’m imagining it’s very comforting to Max to know what to expect each day!
Plus, that glow – your energy and health and joy seriously radiates, and it is SO encouraging and just makes me happy to see!
I really need to prioritize physical activity more. For some reason I feel like I should be doing all kinds of things during the week when really the one best thing I can do for my kids as their mama is to be well. Add me to the list of #seemaggierun converts! :D
You know, I think they *do* love it! Especially Max and Bauer ;) It was hard to keep going day after day, but only for like a millisecond. I feel like I’ve found the perfect exercise for me. Thank you so much for commenting, Sarah! ♥
I have the same stroller and was truly letting that stop me from running with my 4 month-old… been thinking I needed a specialty running stroller or some such other thing we (too) shouldn’t spend $$$ on at the moment. Realizing now that the stroller was just an excuse. Thanks so, so much for the inspiration!
Awww, I’m SO SO HAPPY to be reading your comment :) Yeah, girl! You can totally do this! Put on your favorite workout outfit and head out with your sweet baby!!!!
[…] via one of my constant faves: @EliseJoy: Maggie Whitley’s Runnin’ Motivation – She says it well: “Girl, get up and run!” Love it! Thanks for the reminder, […]
Like you, I have never been a runner! I like to say that I only run if my life is in danger! I do love walking and walk a few miles each evening, but maybe this week I’ll throw in a few jogs! :)
Maggie!! I have been following your running journey on IG and this was awesome. AWESOME! Good for you, I love your goals. I feel the same way about working out, for me it’s yoga. I also felt that Wow! feeling, never expecting to love it so much. I hope to kick up my running, you’ve really inspired me! Do you start at your home and begin your run or at a park? Just curious.
Yes! We run our neighborhood. We live just a couple blocks from the cutest downtown area, it’s got lots of fun shops & restaurants and is always bustling with people and dogs. I typically walk the first mile to warm up and do this while still in our neighborhood (I walk the streets, there are many, and walk both sides of the houses on a street to get in extra steps/miles). Then for mile 2 I walk a little farther in our neighborhood before heading over towards the downtown area. I walk mile 2.5-3.5 “out”, past the downtown area. Once I hit 3.5 miles I turn around and head back home, which takes me at least 1 full mile. Now I’m at 4.5 miles and am like, “WOW that was super easy!” :) It always goes by so fast. I’m amazed! There’s a part a few miles away that we sometimes walk to, it has a steep hill that I’ve been training myself to be able to run up with the stroller ;) Yeowwwwwwwwwwwww!
Love this I just started walking the 2mile round trip for school pick up, and its super easy to fit into my day since it only adds 10 min to my pick up time. I plan on keeping it up and just start jogging the last stretch home…your instagram post on running made me get up and run :)
Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh! LOVE THAT! :) Great job Aimee!
thanks for this post, and for encouraging others by sharing your fitness journey. i’m a work at home/homeschool mom of four and it’s been so very hard to find any time for fitness for myself. for as long as i have been a mom, it just hasn’t fit because of work at home and full time mamahood. and this post motivated me to just try it WITH my kids in tow. there’s no other option, so i just gotta do it. thanks again, and great job on what you’ve accomplished so far!! :)
[…] How to Start Running […]
Very happy to have come across this entry. I am at the point where I feel all the things you described above (not feeling my personal 100%; self conscious with clothing; sluggish; overeating of junk food; lack of patience…). And I’m not a runner. Just perhaps aiming to get out and walk is a realistic goal. I live in Canada and we had a rough winter but now the weather is improving so really walking is the best activity. How old is your little one? My daughter is 27 months and not sure she’d have the patience to stay in a stroller for that long. She often wants to explore on her own. I might have to tweak this plan by going out walking on my own in the evening after she goes to bed….Overall, this is a happy and positive post. Very motivating and good for you!
[…] Los Angeles’ infamous “June gloom” is almost over, the blue sky appears flawless, my creativity is flowing, and I owe it all to running each morning with the kids. Running has been a real game changer for me, more on that soon. (But in the meantime, here’s a post I write on how to run with your kids.) […]
[…] been nearly five months since I became a runner, can you believe it? What’s inspired me to keep on going, to work through the pain and the […]
[…] (This is part II of my running journey, click here to read part I.) […]
[…] hey Monday, so good to see you! :) It’s been six months now since I started running (here’s a detailed FAQ post), which is exactly what inspired me to create a hip pouch. I […]