Meg Marie Fitness : “Fit For A Purpose”
a bit of my personal story:
From the time I was a little girl, exercise and outdoor activities have always been a part of my life. I can remember being only 5-6 years old going on long bike rides as a family while my dad would run. Our family would often hike (which I hated), take swim lessons, and tennis lessons. We had weights and fitness equipment in our garage that I had access to whenever I wanted. My mom often served healthy meals, I ran cross country and track in high school and I never had to worry about keeping weight off. Building muscle?! pffftttt…what’s the point?!
Fast forward…the stress of the college years took their toll, as did the plethora of pizza parties we had when my husband served as a youth pastor. Fitness and health had become a side item.
Fast forward again, Matt and I were told we would never have children of our own. Fitness was then not a priority at all, having a baby was. After enduring 3 years of fertility treatments, including a miscarriage, we had five babies in under 6 1/2 years time.
At that point my body was a hot mess. I not only looked bad, I felt bad too.
I knew I needed a plan to make some serious changes. My family needed me. And I knew I couldn’t keep up with the demands of those in my care without being strong and healthy.
But where do I start??? How do I fit it in my schedule?
The temptation at that point was to either become frozen with discouragement or overactive in attempts to achieve some standard of perfection. Sorting through my motivations and my insecurities helped me to see that leaning either way would have led me down some very self-centered, self-focused, and self-motivating paths.
The fitness world seems to be heavily bent on the outward physical appearance of motivating women to achieve a certain shape for the applause of others. Heck, let’s be real…it’s not just the fitness world, it’s everywhere! But I can say from a lot of experience that no amount of me trying to please others has brought about any sort of genuine fulfillment. It’s a mirage of a goal…always moving, always changing and completely out of my control. Being motivated by the opinions of others (even those dear to us) is a rabbit hole of destruction that leads to a lot of grief, guilt and shame. Being motivated by self-promotion puts the focus on the wrong thing and robs all joy from the process.
Although at times it’s been a difficult thing to battle, my motivation is not what I look like. Fitness and healthy eating are important because they help to create a lifestyle that allows me to give more to others. I have to continually keep that in the front of my mind and constantly keep it in check…and repent when I allow wrong motives to creep in.
Those little people that call me mom depend on me. That husband I love so much needs a healthy wife to come alongside him in life. My friends, those close to me, and the dear people I love in our little church deserve my care, effort, love and affection…and without strength and good health I am confident I would have very little, if anything, left to offer.
I pursue my goals in fitness because I am able to serve others best when I am at my best. At the end of the day I want to use all I have to pour out my life for those around me, and ultimately make Jesus’ name great. Fitness is not about simply caring well for myself…its about caring well for myself in order that I am able to care well for those I love most and to honor the Lord with what He has given me. That last clause changes everything…
I want to be really honest that I’ve hesitated to even write this plan. My own self doubt and temptation to believe that I have nothing to offer can often paralyze me in fear. Posting pictures, plans and advice feels like I’m putting myself out there as some expert…which I am most certainly not. I’m still very much on my own journey and also have goals that I have yet to reach. Life gets busy, I don’t fit in all of my workouts that I planned, I love cookies too and the struggles I face are the same ones anybody else out there faces. The daily grind is real and even with the most perfect plan in place the unexpected still happens. So, don’t misunderstand this plan….I have not arrived, I’m simply sharing all I can to encourage and spur on others while I continue on in my own journey.
I also want to be totally open and let you know that I have no official certifications or any legit nutrition credentials of any kind. I have never taken an official health/wellness class and I have never hired a personal trainer. Someone who is an expert in the fitness field could likely shoot holes in my plan all day long as I’m sure I’ve missed a thing or two, or twelve, that could/should have been added.
However, I am eager to admit this because my hope is to encourage you that if I can do this anyone can. I struggle with staying motivated, I struggle with managing time, I struggle with sticking to a plan, I struggle with finding what “works” and I struggle with my massive sweet tooth. It’s tempting to think that if we don’t have all the knowledge and all of the “proper training” we are missing some special secret-sauce-knowledge that will be the key to instant success. But that’s just a lie. Don’t believe it. It’s not true so don’t buy into that mindset. Living healthy, increasing energy, burning fat, and growing muscle takes a plan and a lot of effort, but none of this is rocket science.
My hope is that this 12 week plan encourages you that you can do this too. I want to help you to set your mind on your “why” and give some direction for you to get started. My hope is for this guide to be a springboard for you to take control of your health and to use your success in fitness for your own joy, the service of those around you, and to the glory of God who loves you. It’s not about a hot bikini bod, it’s “fit for a purpose” and that purpose is loving others.
My ultimate mission is to ignite a community of women who desire to live active, healthy, strong, purposeful, beautiful lives.
I’m trying to sort out all of the kinks, but it’s a work in progress for sure. I don’t have a team of people behind me setting this all up, it’s just plain ‘ole me behind a keyboard hacking away in the wee hours of the night. It’s not just creating it, but it’s also designing it here online and the technical backend of presenting it that creates a challenge for me…well, that and the five kids that beckon my attention around the clock! 🙂
I want this to make sense to you all so if you come across something that is confusing please reach out so that I can change or clarify. Most likely if you’re confused, others are too, so don’t be afraid to email or comment to share whatever you need.
I’ll post each new set of workouts every Friday for the next 12 weeks. “Fitness Fridays!” Yay! Each new guide will be for the following week’s workouts. You’ll receive 3 strength training workouts and you’ll also need to fit in one long low intensity cardio and one short high intensity (HIIT) workout. The guide overview explains everything you need to know about what I’ll be posting and what to do each day of the week.
I have a few first steps for you to get started on right now:
- Take a “before” picture-get a swimsuit or some shorts/tank and stand in front of a wall and snap a few pics. Front, sides, back. Don’t suck it in or stuff it up…just take a pic of you standing normal. Why? Because sometimes the changes are so subtle we don’t see them right away. Taking photos is for you to be able to be encouraged along the way that your efforts are making a difference. Continue taking them each week and put them side by side to show yourself that what you’re doing matters. I promise, small changes over time result in big changes!
- Clean out the kitchen-I am so guilty of not doing this but storing those bags of chips, the baked goods, the sweets (ohhh how I love chocolate chip cookies) won’t help you stay on track. Look around with fresh eyes and get rid of the things that you know you’ll run to in moments of weakness. There’s an insane amount of info out there (Pinterest, LeanBodyForHer, etc.) for what isn’t good for you…stop grabbing junk food, stop drinking those sodas, stop the fast food runs, late night binging…and go through those cupboards!!! Get rid of all the junk!
- Pick a date-having a specific start date creates a sense of solidarity. I typically recommend to start on a Monday and then plan out your workouts from there. Look at your week in advance, place your workouts around your schedule. Treat those scheduled workouts like appointments that cannot be changed. Obviously things will come up, so have an idea of how you’ll shift things around whenever something disrupts, but without a plan, you’ll certianly plan to fail. (catchy right??? i stole that from pinterest…)
Whew! That was a lot! I hope you all are as excited as I am! Please pass this along to a friend or two that you’d like to go through the plan with you. Having a friend, even if long distance, to encourage you and help keep you accountable is so huge!!!! Please, please reach out if I can help in any way! And please send feedback if you have any. I cannot wait to see your before/after photos and to cheer you on in your journey! We start next week so get ready!!!
P.S. Be sure to sign up for the FREE PDF download of all of the exercises!!! I’ll be sending you the workouts each Friday in your inbox, insider info of some of my favorite recipes, quick tips and encouragement along the way!