It’s been four weeks since Allie and I did the detox and started training with my friend Jennifer at Zen Girl Fitness in SOHO. We go three days a week for an hour and while Allie works out on her own as well, I most definitely DO NOT. Going from zero to three days a week is enough of a life change and commitment for me, thank you very much.

Plus, I like to think all the walking around the city and the picking up after my kids counts for something.

So, how’s it going?

Well, it’s a HUGE time suck. That’s for sure. We usually work out in the early afternoon so it feels like the work day stops short before we’re ready and once we get back, the day ends too quickly to get stuff done. But, like with everything (having kids, etc.), you figure out how to reprioritize and make it work. I’ve still managed to publish a post almost every day, meet my deadlines, pick up the kids when necessary, attend class field trips and both the household and the business churn on.

Here’s a video that Jennifer posted of us on DAY ONE.

Even if it takes away from the work day, Allie and I both really enjoy the sessions. The work outs are always super intense (like laugh through the pain intense) and then we walk out feeling longer and leaner and like we’ve accomplished something. We have a nice walk back to the office, stopping for a juice along the way.

It feels great to have something scheduled that doesn’t require us to be at our desk. It also feels great to put taking care of myself back on my priority list.

Now the big question— do I notice a difference in my body?

Well, I haven’t weighed myself since the detox, so I can’t give you those kind of details. I really don’t want this to be about restricting myself or becoming obsessed with the scale like I have in the past. I will say my bra strap no longer feels too tight, which makes my morning that much happier. And I’m more comfortable in tighter workout outfits than I was in the beginning.

Look— I’ll even show you a pic of my bare arms!

To be honest, I’m not sure how different I look, but I feel pretty great.

I’m way less tired, for one. I feel more energized and ready to begin the day. And I don’t find myself having an afternoon slump that requires more coffee. I’ve been sticking to just one cup in the morning and then a juice in the afternoon. I don’t know if it’s the juice or the workouts, but my eyes seem brighter and my skin is clearer too.

After almost every work out, I am really sore the next day but I enjoy the feeling of knowing I’m working and building those muscles. There are moves that we did in the beginning where I didn’t feel like I was targeting anything at all and now I know exactly which muscles I’m hitting as I do them and push harder.

The one downfall has been that I feel much hungrier. I guess the answer to that is eating a more substantial lunch, as opposed to feeling like I can make it through the day without eating at all. The trick appears to be feeding the hunger with the right kinds of foods and not things with Twizzlers, which sadly, DID NOT SIT RIGHT WITH ME AT ALL.

The other thing I’ve learned through the workouts is that I was exercising all wrong when I used to be obsessed with the gym. I used to do mainly cardio and although I did intervals, I would do the exact same routine every time. Back then, my focus was calorie burning and it was never effective.

Now, Jennifer has us do a mile on the tread mill at the start of every session to get our heart rates up, but we do it differently every time, using things like inclines, intervals, skipping, side-to-side, weights, etc. and then we do about a half hour of strength training. Jennifer leads exercises that use your entire body at once. There will always be something happening with the legs, something happening with the arms and the instruction to use your core, tighten your butt, engage your upper back, drop your shoulders, etc. so that every muscle works together, including your brain. Every move seems next to impossible but we get through it and then move to the pilates section of the studio where she has equipment like the chair, the tower and the reformer and finish up the hour there. We are lying on our backs for most of it, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less difficult.

The real key to our workouts is that no session has been the same. Jennifer switches up the exercises each time and makes them harder as we get better at them— adding a ball, ankle weights, a ring or a pulley.

When I used to work out, it was about mastering a routine; whether it be a cardio session, a class, an exercise tape or free weight exercises. I now understand that the way to change your body is to switch things up and keep making it harder, which is something I didn’t have the discipline to do on my own.

That’s not to say consistent workouts aren’t also good for you— it just wasn’t giving me the results I was looking for.

My goals are different now. I don’t really care about losing a ton of weight or getting the perfect beach body. And I don’t feel like I’m starting at a point where exercise has to solve some larger unhappiness with my body. I’m at a point in my life where I just want to be fit and healthy as I continue to get older. I want to feel strong instead of soft.

I’m amazed that I feel a big difference so quickly.

Now I just have to keep it up.

Jennifer’s been doing a “Mommy Shorts Move of the Day” on her Instagram account three times a week; that’s every time I come in. You should follow her so you can either start working out or learn how to switch things up for yourself. Each move is usually something you can do at home. She also posts random videos of Allie and me exercising so you can see our ACTUAL PAIN in real time.

I’ve also been trying to convince her to do a daily LIVE exercise video on Instagram or Facebook so let me know if you’d be interested in the comments!

And lastly, if you are coming to my reading in NYC at Bell’s Coffee and Design, I’ll be giving out a free session (private or group for up to four people) with Zen Girl Fitness as raffle prize!

Curious- when do you fit in a workout? And what do you eat so you don’t binge on Twizzlers?