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Good Words

Friends, my playlist is about to get a major Mama makeover. Elliott and I have never been the kind of parents to keep our preferred music away from our son. Sure, some of the content got watered down once little man’s ears started to pick up on words, but we never fully converted our music of choice over to a Kidz Bop-approved variety. Over the last year or so, Brooks – our son who is now five years old – has taken a special interest in singing along with me to the songs that are on my playlist. We sing in the car, he sings along with the music while I work out or while we run down back country roads. It’s kind of become our thing. When we get to the songs that are filled with uplifting messages – messages that reinforce our faith or encourage self-confidence – I always say, “Listen, buddy! These are good words.” After a few months of me reminding him to pay close attention to the lyrics in certain songs, Brooks has now started to ask me, “Mommy, are these good words?” wh

ETD x AFP: Lose Your Excuses; Find Your Best Self

Today is kind of a big deal at the Austin house. Today is the very first day of our AFP 8-week trial. Which means that we have three folks who have agreed to test out our workouts and take our advice about fitness and wellness, all in an effort to find the healthiest versions of themselves. And that, friends, is a dream come true. We aren't making a dime off these folks - they are actually doing us a favor, by providing my husband other guinea pigs to test his workouts on other than me. But much more importantly, it means that we have taken a shared passion and worked together to officially start helping other folks improve their health and their lives. I can't think of much else that could feel better than that.

To celebrate, we are teaming up to write the first entry in a periodic series of blog posts - Every Third Day x Austin Fitness Project. This first post is going to zero in on the three main excuses that we commonly hear folks use for not working out and getting healthy. Because friends, let's be honest...whatever reason you're using to not get in shape really is just an excuse, agreed?

Let's cut to the chase. The choice you have made to not work out, not eat right, not be the healthiest version of yourself...that truly is a CHOICE. And it's one that YOU are making for yourself - not your spouse, or your kids, or your mama, or your boss. YOU are the one choosing not to be the best version of you. We know...that's a hard dose of honesty. And to clarify, if you are reading this and have an illness, handicap or injury that keeps you from working out, please know this post is not intended for you. BUT. We know that most of the folks reading this don't fall into that stay with us.

One of our main goals in starting the Austin Fitness Project was, in addition to holding ourselves accountable on our own fitness journeys, to equip people with the tools they need to make healthier choices...and to help folks realize that those choices don't have to be complicated, intimidating or expensive. We started AFP because we had countless conversations for so many years about the core reasons why people choose not to make healthy choices.

In all of our conversations with each other and other folks, we have realized that there are three primary reasons that most people give for not getting in shape:

I don't have time.

I don't have the money.

I don't know what to do at a gym.

We hear each of these excuses pretty often. And at the risk of writing an unpopular blog post that might step on a few toes, we decided to start our ETD x AFP blog series by debunking these excuses...which are really just lies that we tell ourselves and the folks around us about why we couldn't possibly work hard to find our best selves.

Let's dive in, shall we?

I don't have time.
Y'all this is probably the excuse that we have the LEAST amount of sympathy, patience and tolerance for when talking to people about why they don't work out. Why? Because we believed this lie for a long time, too. But here's the deal: we don't have any more time in our day than anyone else. But we have decided - together - to make working out a priority in our house. We take turns going to the gym on different days so there's always someone home with our son. We get up early. We stay up late. We move our schedules around. We make it work.

We'll be honest - this is a whole lot easier if you have a partner who is supportive of your fitness goals. Bonus points if you guys both want to make healthy choices and support each other in your wellness journeys. But we know that's not the case in every household. Not everybody has a supportive partner...not everybody has a partner, period. We get that. But we also know it's possible.

On shift days, if I need to get a workout in, I do something at home. I run with the jogging stroller, pushing our 36-pound son up and down hills. That's one heck of a good workout. Or I do push-ups, squat jacks and sit-ups until I want to puke while he plays with his toys right next to me. In these situations, not only am I multi-tasking, by getting in some self care and also watching over my son, but I'm setting an extremely important example for him. When he sees his parents making wellness a priority, he starts to believe that it's important too. We're no parenting experts, but that seems like a good life lesson to us.

I don't have the money.
We have SUPER EXCITING news for you. Hold on to your pants. Are you ready?

You don't need money to work out.

Everybody ok?? Are we all still breathing? Let's collect ourselves from this shocking revelation and keep the conversation going.

Some of the hands down, most effective workouts that Elliott writes involve little to no equipment. You can do incredible workouts that use nothing but your own body weight. Movements like push-ups, squats, squat jacks, planks and sit-ups can literally transform your body...for FREE.

If you do have a little money to invest in your workouts, you can assemble an awesome at-home gym for around $100. The photo at the top is the little home gym that Elliott crafted for me for my last birthday. It's simple, but it has absolutely everything I need. A few free weights, a couple of kettle bells, an ab roller, some resistance bands...that's it, y'all. My next purchase will most likely be a jump rope, and than I'll literally have everything I need to do almost any workout he writes for me.

I don't know what to do at a gym.
This is the one excuse that we actually understand. We get it - gyms can feel intimidating. And not everybody has the money to pay a personal trainer to show you the ropes. But while we understand this, we also firmly believe this is the most simple to overcome of all reasons to hold yourself back from working out.

For starters, we just talked about how working out at home can be extremely simple, affordable and effective - so there's a great starting place if you don't feel comfortable going to a gym. But gyms have a lot of value, primarily if you want a change of scenery or feel more motivated by working out somewhere other than your home.

So if you like the idea of joining a gym, and you have the resources to pay for a membership, but you don't want to pay for a trainer, here are a couple of options:

1. Look up workout videos on YouTube. Y'all there are SO MANY workout videos on the internet. It's bananas. If you have questions about how to properly do an exercise, or which movements work specific muscle groups, or how to effectively combine cardio and strength training...just Google it!

2. This may be a bit of shameless self-promotion...but check out our AFP (@austinfitnessproject) account on Instagram. We post several workouts each week that are simple and highly effective, and you can save them and go back to them for reference. And nothing makes us happier than hearing from folks who have tried our workouts - either to let us know what did/didn't work for them, or to ask questions.

That's a lot of good, hard truth...and we know we run the risk of ruffling some feathers by working to dethrone some of these excuses. But as much as we like to be liked (and we do!), we LOVE helping folks get healthy and find the best versions of themselves. We are passionate about this work because we have believed these lies too, and we have had to work hard to overcome them. You can overcome them too.

Here's to Day One.

Elliott & Elizabeth


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