One of my favorite dance songs is “Get Me Bodied” by Beyoncé. Dancing has long be a favorite activity of mine. Girlfriends and I would go out dancing on a Friday or Saturday night long after the kids had been tucked in, lullabies sung and multiple hugs and kisses good night were had by all.

From the moment we shimmied into the club, the beat of the music would enthrall me and I’d be swept away into the music. Hours of gyrating on the packed like sardines dance floor with pit stops for a drink or water (always important to hydrate appropriately while drinking and dancing) or perhaps the bathroom, would find me and my clothes soaked with sweat and not a care in the world.

Hey, a little sweat ain’t never hurt nobody.

When I went through massage therapy school, we would do exchanges and sometimes I would go through the clinic where soon to graduate massage therapists would work on people at a discounted rate in exchange for feedback and practice. One of the times in clinic, the massage therapy student working on me, working really hard, ended up dripping sweat on me.

I was to put it mildly – extremely put off. In that moment, I found I didn’t like sweat. I made it a hard line never to work on someone who was sweaty or hadn’t showered (as my first licensed massage therapy job was in a gym).

Sweat was not my friend and I couldn’t stand it.

After some time, I think I equated working out with getting sweaty and getting sweaty with something gross or quite frankly too messy to deal with. To top it off, the facility I worked at as a massage therapist gave me a free membership but anytime I worked out, I’d be distracted by someone wanting to talk about massage or the weather.

I stopped exercising. My life got busy and complicated so dancing was out too. You might see where this is going.

Yup, I gained weight. To look at me, you’d think, like most, “she doesn’t look fat.” I never said that. I said I gained weight. I’m a woman, it pooled and puffed out in the belly and hips. I’m also 5’9” which helps with disbursement of the weight – somewhat.

I also got good at hiding the extra weight around my middle. When I hit 145 pounds, I thought, “eh, I was at this weight in high school, no biggie.” Then it went to 150 a year later. Two years after that, 2017, it creeped up to 160 pounds.

I wasn’t happy with that number. Again, I’m not fat nor am I saying I’m overweight. The main issue here is that I wasn’t happy.

Food and I have a love hate relationship. Some days, food in my system is a good thing – unless it is something I have a sensitivity to that I managed to eat not being mindful. Then it is a very very bad thing. As a health coach I’ve learned what to eat, when and how much to gain nutrients and benefits from to maintain a healthy balance. Food was never really my issue.

Inactivity had become my issue. Not sweating had become too important.

I’m not proud of it. It is sad state I was in. I had created a limiting belief that could potentially affect my overall health. My grandmother was overweight and had diabetes. My father has heart disease and a large scar from his quadruple bypass brandished on his chest. Poor health got them both to that place. Though I loved them, I did not want to join them there.

Making changes has been the theme of 2017 for me.

One of the number one changes has been a focus on my health. I decided to let go of a couple of things and add in some others. I let go of a job that was distracting me from my passion – my own business. I let go of always needing to be available for my family – all of whom are adults or near to that and I’m not really that far away.

I added in a gym membership. Not just that, I actually go.

Pick your jaws up off the floor. I know a few friends of mine are about to catch some flies in that open mouth. I go five to six out of seven days each week. Lots of cardio, some weights and a lot of stretching make up my routine. I’m chuckling at the word routine as I never do the same thing each time I go. I change it up constantly.

The place I go offers me this ability to switch it up and not become bored with my exercise. Oh and I sweat too, boy do I ever.

Some of the things that have worked for me:

  1. I asked my family not to derail my attempts to get to the gym. I have a specific time I go and have made them aware of it. They are very supportive of me going so it’s worked out great.
  2. A great playlist. I’ve chosen songs that have always elicited movement with my body. Its an eclectic mix of dance, hip hop, rock and blues.
  3. While others do well with a workout buddy, I get distracted. I found I prefer to compete with myself. I make my own routine and work out on my own schedule. If you are unable to keep yourself motivated, I do recommend wrangling a friend into this healthy activity.
  4. I remind myself each day of the bonuses from working out: I sleep better, my sugar cravings have lessened greatly, I’m happier, I have more flexibility, I’ll be able to wear a bikini with pride and most of all I feel good.
  5. Yogajournal.com for stretches, popsugar.com for exercise routines and sparkpeople.com for accountability, meal plans and more.

Weight has been released, overall I feel better and I’m happier with the changes I’m noticing in my body – toning, flexibility and inches are disappearing.

For me this is huge! I can’t begin to tell you how much I loathed working out before. Now, I enjoy going to the gym. I dance to music while on the treadmill.

I laugh at myself lip syncing my music and I sweat because a little sweat ain’t never hurt nobody!