Blog by: Jennifer Gonzales

It feels like day 700 of the stay at home mandate. I’ve cooked more meals than I can even begin to count. I’ve organized. Decluttered. Rearranged. We’ve done every sidewalk chalk activity possible. I’ve even managed to keep a full tank of gas for over a month!! And bonus points for never running out of toilet paper!! 

Like everyone else, I’ve found myself often looking around thinking, “what is actually going on?” Every bit of normalcy and routine has come to a screeching halt; leaving us all to find a new day to day way of living. In our fast paced society, being forced to stop and slow down can feel somewhat like cruel and unusual punishment. 

I recently read a quote that really challenged me. “In the rush to return to normal, let’s use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” Truth bomb!! I’ve realized certain things I can stay “quarantined” from. There’s new appreciation for other things. I hope to never take community for granted again. We were never meant to do life alone. I hope I always remember what it’s like to be unable to embrace some of the ones I love the most. Sometimes we all just need a good hug.

A few things that have been a constant the last 5 weeks (and have kept me sane) are sunshine, endorphins, and moving my body. All three of these are completely free and completely up to us. Sometimes the motivation may not be there, but there’s nothing like pushing through to smash a workout! You’ll never regret a good workout!

While I desperately miss the gym, the amazing coaches, and the familiar smiling faces…. I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve been given the tools to make it on my own while necessary. When the days feel long and monotonous, just hold on. We’re almost there. There’s light at the end of the tunnel! Grab whatever equipment you need and hop on that zoom class. Go outside, grab your chalk and write the workout on the sidewalk. Make it happen! Soak up the sun and let the endorphins flow. You’ve come so far, buff mommas. Don’t let this slow you down. You’re strong. You’re resilient. You’re beautiful. You are Girls Gone Buff.

What is your definition of a really good workout? Mine is when you hate doing it, but love finishing it.

Have you ever started a workout and quickly realized that it seems nearly impossible to finish it? You know, when the end result may be the death of you? Because sometimes I feel like I am dying! Yeah, maybe I am a bit dramatic, but really, sometimes it does feel that way. 

Inside each one of us there is a strong champion. And we can ALL reach down deep and pull it out when we need to; when things seem too hard. Like, when we can’t get another rep in, when our muscles are totally fatigued, or when we’re at the point of exhaustion. This is when we DIG DOWN and REACH for that INNER CHAMP! This is where those few more reps or that last minute is found.

One thing that helps me muscle through a tough workout is knowing that those endorphins will start being released. I AM A SELF-PROCLAIMED ENDORPHIN JUNKIE. —Endorphins are a natural chemical in your body that relieve stress and pain. Exercise causes the release of this chemical, along with adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine.— They’re responsible for letting your HAPPY FLOW! This means that working out is an INSTANT MOOD BOOST! And we women can be pretty moody.

Will your problems disappear? NO. Will things instantly change for you? NOPE. Ya know what will happen though? You’ll realize you’re a lot stronger than you thought. You’ll see that you can do more than you thought. Ya know why? Because we were made to do hard things! This is what we train for. This is part of the process. We are working on the muscles that make us stronger and able to endure. 

Next time you feel like you hit that brick wall and can’t go another second? Maybe you’re just down in the dumps or in a funk. Or it’s just too hard? Remember — YES. YOU. CAN. Our body was created to work in the most perfect way and to supply all that we need to finish. Those all natural, feel good hormones are on their way to do their job!

That post-workout feeling is more than just an endorphin release, it makes you feel proud and want to do it again tomorrow.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Success is not an action, but a habit.” — Aristotle

Have you ever admired a healthy, fit person from afar and wished you had their motivation, drive, and passion? Or what about just snapping your fingers and having immediate results? Even better — what if someone could just do the work for us?! 

As humans, we often admire what’s seen without giving much thought to the unseen. We see before and after pictures, without realizing all that took place in the “and” between before AND after. We don’t see the blood, sweat, and tears. We don’t see the denying of cravings, the countless hours of meal prep, the early morning or late night sweat sessions, or the battle of the mind fought day after day. We don’t witness the moments of weakness or falling down. We gaze upon the finished product and think to ourselves “if only I could be like that” or “I wish I could.”

I want to let you in on a little secret. YOU CAN! You have what it takes and you are totally worth it. The fact that you’re reading this tells me that the desire is there. Desire is like a seed. It gets planted and becomes motivation, but motivation only takes you so far. Keep watering that thing and watch it grow into discipline. Remember, “the day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.”

 After having my daughter six months ago, I found myself discouraged and defeated in my own journey. She was my healthiest and most active pregnancy out of all five. I set a goal in the beginning of my pregnancy with her to run 15 miles a week until I delivered. Crazy, I know I stayed focused and committed to that goal (the power of a made up mind y’all haaa). I was confident that all of my preparation during pregnancy would lead to a fast, complication-free delivery. Well, I was wrong. After a really rare and bizarre set of events, she arrived via emergency c-section. Recovery (physically and emotionally) seemed impossible and far off. 

My first day working out postpartum felt ridiculous. It felt pointless. It felt like it was in vain because I was just too far gone. I felt weak. I “felt” a lot of things. Can I tell y’all something liberating? Feelings lie!!! They’re fickle and ever-changing. We can’t trust ’em. 

After indulging in my own pity party, I had a choice to make. I revisited my “why” and desire was born again. That’s all I needed. And it’s all you need. 

Desire > Motivation > Discipline

Does discipline mean perfection? No way!!! Your journey to health and wholeness is a never ending one. We were created to be ever evolving and growing, never having “arrived.” Appreciate where you are in your journey, even if it’s not where you want to be. Every season of your life serves a purpose. It’s a beautiful thing to reach down deep, pull out our inner champion, we all have one down in there, and keep pressing forward toward the goal!

fit•ness • the condition of being physically fit and healthy • the quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task

Ok Buff Mommas, let’s talk FITNESS! I’m not talking about sculpted shoulders, tight booty, bulging biceps or washboard abs. I’m talking body movement and activity…. training your physical body to complete the task at hand — MOMMING!

As a mom to four {active} boys and a new baby girl, I’ll be the first to say that motherhood is exhausting and not for the faint of heart. It pushes you to your limits physically, emotionally, and mentally. We give and we give, and then we give some more… sometimes without recharging and totally neglecting ourselves.

Taking care of yourself is part of taking care of your kids. Read that again. It’s true! Making your health and fitness a priority goes beyond yourself. It goes beyond a certain look or body size/shape. It’s so much more than that. It’s stewarding the body we’ve been given well. The way we value our health and physical bodies will be the example set for our children. It was said by a certified strength and conditioning specialist that you’re helping to create habits that can last a lifetime. “Kids that see their parents exercise and have a positive experience doing it with them are more likely to stay active for life. Parents that are active with kids create a ‘culture of wellness’ in the home.”

So what does this look like practically? I’m so glad you asked! Taking control of your health starts with your WHY. Ask yourself what your “why” is and maybe even write it down. My “why” is to live a long/healthy/active life and fulfill every plan set out for me. I’m committed to showing my kids what whole, healthy living looks like. I refuse to let poor choices limit my ability to thrive or even cut my life short. The next step, in my opinion, is the most important step in your whole health/fitness journey — MAKE UP YOUR MIND. There’s so much power in a made up mind. Your body can stand almost anything, it’s your mind you have to convince.

Will some days be hard? Without a doubt. Is it a sacrifice? Absolutely. Will it seem next to impossible to find the time some days? For sure. There will be good days, bad days, overwhelming days, and totally awesome days — but when your WHY is always before you, you show up on all of those days! It doesn’t have to be extreme, it just has to be consistent.

Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle. All you have to do it believe in yourself. Because you are worth it, your family is worth it, and you have what it takes.