The Push I Needed Today To Workout – On Greek butts, bikinis, Chinese food, and Healthy vs. Superficial WHYs

“OMG my hips got bigger.” -exclaimed by me, this morning.

Two days ago, I thought my butt looked a bit bigger in my jeans. I wasn’t sure if it was true or if I was just imagining it. (Stretchy jeans have ruled out us being able to measure ourselves with clothes nowadays unless there is a drastic difference.) Maybe the lighting was better. Maybe I actually looked closely in the mirror.

Today I looked at myself in a short video wearing yoga pants. I saw my hips. I thought, “Whoa whoa whoa, what is that?” My hips definitely looked bigger. To me. That doesn’t mean that anyone else would notice—in fact they probably wouldn’t—except for my mom. You can always count on moms to tell you when you’ve gained weight or look terrible.

So, I have a Greek butt. It’s a bubble butt. Many Greek women have great butts. It’s in our genes I suppose. (Do we know why?) I’ll never forget one of my best friends commenting on Greek butts at my dance practice. I Greek danced professionally for over 10 years and had practice once a week. One of my friends from college came with me one week and watched. When practice was over, I asked her what she thought. She said “Wow Greek women have great butts.” She was sitting outside the big circle we typically dance in with a nice view of everyone’s backsides. All she saw were butts for 2 hours.

I digress. Back to today.

My immediate reaction was: I have to do an insane workout today. Today and every day after.

That’s the push I needed.

Before you get mad at me for this reasoning, let me explain.

Lately, I have been taking it easy. I’ve been tired. I’ve felt lazy. I’ve wanted to eat…and drink…and eat some more. While I never gorged myself, I definitely ate things I don’t ever eat—like Chinese food. I can’t even remember the last time I had Chinese food. And of course they give you copious amounts of food so I ate Chinese food three days in a row.

I was drinking wine for nearly a week straight in the evening. There were parties, events, and evenings of simply just wanting a glass of wine. I have nothing against wine, I love wine, and I wasn’t drinking a bottle every night, but 2-3 glasses per night can catch up to you. It not only made me feel puffy, I never felt great the next morning. And I never sleep well even if I have one glass of wine.

I’ve just felt off.

I told myself it’s because I’ve been running around constantly. And I have been. In-person meetings with potential clients and other entrepreneurs. Online coaching and training with clients. Networking events. My book launch party. Speaking events. All day running around from appointment to appointment. Driving distances. My book launch party (yes I say it again because it was kind of a big deal—totally awesome and totally exhausting in a good way.)

I have been ON. No time for taking a bit of a break. ON constantly. During that time (mostly October, also right when I came back from a whirlwind trip to France and Amsterdam), my only physical exercise was yoga. I love yoga. And I needed yoga during this time. My body was craving yoga. So I did yoga. I took classes. I did 12 minutes every morning. It centered me through my continuous running around.

But then I stopped. My body stopped craving it. I started to crave harder exercise again. So I did more strenuous exercise a couple times a week: some body weight exercises, my own workout videos, some weights for my arms. I felt good but I didn’t push myself. As you know, I’m a big fan of listening to your body. So that’s exactly what I did. I exercised, but not too hard.

But I still didn’t feel normal. I was tired. I wasn’t drinking as much water as usual because I wasn’t working out as hard. I craved cookies instead of yoga.

Then I saw myself today on video. And I said, “NO MORE. STOP.”

It wasn’t only the hips, I won’t lie. (bad pun) It was all of it. The tiredness, the laziness, the cookie-eating, the dehydration, the puffy and soft feeling that was happening in my body because I stopped exercising the way I used to. It had to stop.

Superficial WHYs vs. Healthy WHYs

I have ground rules for my personal training and coaching clients. One of them is that we work on healthy goals, not superficial goals. My clients want to workout because it will relieve them of anxiety and stress or make them sleep better or give them more energy throughout the day or because they want to prevent disease. (And usually all of the aforementioned.)

But they also want to drop the last 10 pounds (or 100), they want to wear a little black dress and turn heads, they want to stop being afraid of the camera, they want to buy yoga pants and look hot in them, they want to try on a bikini for their upcoming vacation and be excited about imagining themselves frolicking along the sand without a care in the world (especially not about what they look like). They want to look and feel sexy.

I usually focus on the healthy whys vs the superficial whys. But at the same time, sometimes you need a push. And if the push you need is the bikini or yoga pants, then think about them when you have that debate in your brain on whether you should workout or lay around. I know “strong is the new skinny” and “real women have curves” and all the other marketing taglines out there can rev you up and make you feel better, but are you pinning them to your Pinterest board and forgetting about them or are you seeing them and moving?

This is why I was almost embarrassed to admit that the push I needed today was because I thought my hips looked bigger. It’s a superficial why. But it’s a why that got my Greek butt up to sweat, squat, lift, jump, push, lunge, and twist for 45 minutes.

And I felt damn good after I did that. I’m so hydrated I can’t stop going to the bathroom. My body feels leaner already. I avoided a bag of Dorito’s I found secretly stashed by someone else. (I literally ran away when I saw them.) And I’m ready to push myself every single day—whether that’s doing the insane 45 minute workout or a gentle yoga class or 20 minutes of strength training or a 2 mile run.

My body and my mind need it. They need movement. They need it so I can turn OFF. My brain needs to shut down. When I exercise, I think about one thing—moving the right way. And that is what gives you the break you need. Your brain needs to shut down and only thing about one thing. (Thinking about nothing is blissful and doable, but I’ll get into that in another post.)

I know not pushing hard has led me to feel lazy, to future-trip more than usual, and have a case of the blahs. Everyone needs something different. Your weeks will be different, hell, your days will be different. But listen closely to what your body craves and what your body needs.

I’m not beating myself up for the last couple of weeks of taking it easy. I needed them. And now I’m ready to get back to work.

Tell me, below, what plagues you. Tell me what your body has been craving. Tell me how you move. Tell me what you want to be doing that you’re not. Tell me if you’ve been feeling off. Or if you’re on fire. When you’re honest with yourself, you can let it all go and start new. If you need help, click here to grab my book on Amazon.

  • Kate Marolt

    Girl I have been RIGHT there with you- from having surgery 2.5 months ago going straight into traveling then moving across the country (twice) and having to totally revamp a few things in my life– my body has been wanting more couch sitting and less strength training! And now that I’ve had time to de-stress and re-center a little bit, I notice the same things. Not only have I not been feeling as energized and excited lately, but my body is definitely reflecting the changes. I also went from teaching group fitness/yoga 10x/week and training on my own 8-10 hours a week to essentially doing none of that. And you’re right- sometimes we need that external motivation. I’ve started working out again, and it feels awesome. It’s harder to get started when I don’t have a training center to go to or in person classes to teach- but when i finally actually MOVE, I feel AMAZING. I eat better, I sleep better, I enjoy life more. And if what finally gets me motivated is my pants are a little tight? Totally fine. Thank you for sharing!!

    • Kate, YES, I love this comment. So glad to hear your story. I wish you a great recovery and some kickass workouts!!! xo