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Pre-babies, I loved going to the gym to work out. Those after work 5:30PM group classes with friends, wearing cute workout clothes and socializing was amazing.
Then three years ago I had my son. After 12 weeks, I went back to work full time and realized quickly those precious hours with him after work took precedence over my once-loved group classes. I did not quite get my fitness act together in between my son and my daughter, as I got pregnant with her when he was 14 months old, but this January I decided there were no more excuses. I ordered DVD workouts and an eating program online, joined an online accountability group and started working out at home, and I have NOT looked back. I lost 20 pounds and over 10 inches after nine weeks.
Here is six reasons why I now choose to work out alone.
1. I can work out on my schedule. While that is usually at 5:10AM, if I want to sleep in, I can easily change it to 8PM without any stress. I don’t have to stress about class times, when the gym is open, etc.
2. I don’t have to wear cute clothes. Lately, I have purchased some new workout gear and I LOVE it. While that is a nice motivation, if I haven’t done laundry for a while and I want to wear my husband’s shorts and a sports bra to work out, I can and no one cares.
3. I can sweat as much as I want. Not sure if you are the “sweaty girl” or not, but you surely know someone like that. When I work out at home, I’m never worried about whether the girl behind me thinks that I’m a sweaty pig (cue voice running through your head: “Did I put on enough deodorant?”).
4. I can work out with my kids/press pause (or take a break) when I like. Inevitably, some child wakes up during one of my workouts and I have to go get them. I press pause, retrieve said child, sit them down next to me and hit play to resume workout. At a gym, my workout would have to stop because I’d have to run to the childcare room. Sometimes I will even work out intentionally while the kids are around on a weekend day. My son likes to lift the 3-pound weights and say, “I have strong muscles,” while my daughter likes to lay on top of me when I’m doing leg lifts (she likes to challenge me).
5. I have less opportunity to make excuses. Far and away, this is the biggest reason I love working out at home. I sleep in my workout clothes, hop out of bed when my alarm goes off (okay, more like crawl) and take about 40 steps to where I work out. I just push play, tie my shoes and go.
>> Read more: 4 Ways I Became a Morning Person
6. I challenge myself. While this takes a little more effort, if you write down your fitness goals and display them where you are working out (maybe it’s a 5K or half marathon time or even a picture of what your goal body looks like), I find that inner drive motivates me more than I ever dreamed.
The biggest downside is, of course, the accountability factor. I miss seeing familiar faces in a class that will ask where I have been if I skip a few times. However, finding an online accountability group for me was KEY to making my working out alone successful. It gave me just the flexibility I needed as a busy mom, but provided me with the right level of accountability and most importantly, the results I was looking for.