I have always tried to live a healthy lifestyle by eating fairly healthy and exercising regularly. Although I have gone through a few of what I like to call my “big phases” over the years, I’ve never truly had weight issues (my heaviest non-pregnancy weight was about 40 pounds from my current weight). I have four kids, so you can only imagine the weight gain and loss that came with each pregnancy. When I  needed to lose weight after those “big phases” and after all of my pregnancies, I did so with various diets and workout routines. But they were all quick fixes. I have since learned that trying to live a healthy lifestyle and actually living one are completely different things.

About a year or so ago, I started to feel super unhealthy. #4 was about a year old, I was exhausted all of the time (this was a different feeling than just being a mom of 4 tired), I wasn’t eating much and when I did it was kid food, and I was in a rut with my exercise routine. Also, the fact that I was fast approaching my 40th birthday, made me start thinking about my long term health and the desire to stay healthy for my kids. I needed a major change!

lifestyle change
Me at my heaviest nonpregnancy weight and me now

I started with my diet. Now, I used to be the one who would roll my eyes when I heard people start talking about only eating organic, being a vegan or jumping on the clean eating bandwagon. Although I haven’t completely gone to any of those extremes, I have adopted certain eating habits from each of them. It’s quite simple–lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, substitute turkey for beef and pork and try to eat more natural food than processed ones. That doesn’t mean that I deprive myself of my favorite junk food. I am a firm believer in all things in moderation. We have pizza night every Friday, I give into my salt addiction and my chocoholicism quite often, and I’m not sure I could survive motherhood without partaking in alcoholic beverages.

I’ve been an active person my whole life. I danced and played three sports growing up, but I have always despised working out. Gyms give me anxiety…I feel like I’m at a meat market, there is sweat EVERYWHERE and on EVERYTHING, and listening to people grunt and groan for 45 minutes while on various barbaric machines, sounds like I’m listening to the soundtrack of a super seedy porn. I love being outdoors, hiking, walking or just playing with my kids, but living in Florida, sometimes it’s just too damn hot to even walk to the mailbox. Being a SAHM to 4 kids I am constantly on the go and rarely have time to sit, but that isn’t exactly cardio. I have done various fitness DVD’s and back in the day, some VHS tapes, but even though Cindy Crawford was quite motivating in her Shape Your Body Workout circa 1992, I found myself quite bored with doing the same workouts over and over again.

I am happy to announce that I finally found the perfect workout program about six months ago, and it has changed my entire life. It’s called Daily Burn, and it can be streamed on any device. They offer a live 30-minute full-body workout every single day. There is a different trainer and a different routine daily, so you never get bored. If you can’t make the live viewing, you can replay it anytime during that day. They also have a vault of other videos you can do and can cater them to your own wants and needs. It is amazing! My husband works from home, so we do it together. It’s a great way to spend time together, and it holds us each accountable to staying on our fitness track. The fact that it is only 30 minutes means it’s the perfect amount of time for my kids to entertain themselves with a minimum risk of a major crisis.

lifestyle change
Daily Burning it!

It’s amazing how simple these changes I made were and how remarkable the changes have been. I hate using the word diet, and that is so not what this is. It truly is a lifestyle change that has completely transformed my life. For me, it isn’t about the number on a scale or what size pants I fit into–it’s about how I feel. I feel healthy. I feel like I have more energy than I did before. I feel like I’m being a good role model to my children, by practicing what I preach to them on a daily basis. I feel more confident in myself because I feel so healthy and strong. I am 40 and feel the best I have ever felt in my entire life!