Last year marked my fabulous 30th birthday. I truly feel comfortable and love myself more than ever before. There is truth that wisdom and confidence come with age and experience. And I believe there is always room for improvement.
I realized a couple months before my birthday, that while I was blessed with great genes, I wanted to be healthier and stronger. I might not gain weight from eating all the mashed potatoes and dozen chocolate chip cookies, but my face breaks out and I feel gross when I do. Trust me I really did these things. Thankfully, I’ve changed my eating habits and listened to my body over the last few years.
About 9 months ago I reached out to my friend who is a personal trainer. Shout out to working at Abercrombie & Fitch all those years ago! Some of my best and longest friends came from that place. Once a week, I do* personal training including resistant bands, TRX, sled pushing, boxing, weights, and more. Along with personal training I enjoy yoga, group classes at the gym, and hikes with Mister Milo. I try to change things up so I’m continually challenged both physically and mentally.
*Recently, my knee is giving me problems. The doctor said I sprained it so no squats or lunges for 2-3 months. It’s been tough trying to modify exercises, but I’ve kept up with yoga and group classes and plan on going back to personal training soon.
After working out I always feel invigorated, strong and ready to take on the world. I’ve notice my body toning up and how much energy I have throughout the day; which is awesome since I either wake up at 5:30am to train or go to classes after a long day’s work. The one thing I wish to see more results in is…drum roll…my stomach. My trainer told me it’s my poor posture and I need to engage my abs more. Of course, instantly I throw my shoulders back and sit up straighter. Even now I sat a little straighter. I’m sure you did too! When did my posture become so bad?
The most obvious reason is what most people do—sit at their desks for endless hours in a day. Not including the sitting while commuting to and from work. Thankfully, my company installed standing desks for everyone and bought us balance boards. I need to utilize these more. Goal: Stand for at least half the working day.
Another reason is growing up I wanted to fit in with my friends. I’ve always been a leggy, tall girl. As a kid, I wanted to blend in. I slouched to be eye level with my peers. Bad habits really do form when you’re young. These days I appreciate my height. I’m 5’8” without heels and if you know me I’m always in heels. All those years of shrinking to blend in formed weak shoulders now.
I also slumped over from the abuse. I wanted to be smaller and less noticeable to my aunt. A hunched child is less intimidating one, right? I didn’t know when the next attack would come. Sometimes she would act like she was going to hit me, but didn’t. Instinct was to cringe because most times there was an attack. With the cowering in daily life from abuse, I also carried my emotions slouched over. I’m not the only one whose body slumps when they feel sad, upset or defeated. I spent majority of four years scared then many years with depression and anxiety after. Again, bad habits that are still around.
Not anymore! I’m working on pushing my shoulders back and wearing my confidence tall.
I believe personal training and working out with focus on my core and strengthening my back muscles will help pull my shoulders back. A few consistent massages to help loosen the constricted muscles around my shoulders will help, as well as continued yoga and standing at my desk. All these combined will assist in better posture and continue toning my whole body for the results I want.
How do you practice good posture? What do you do to strengthen your back and shoulders?
Shop my workout gear: