12 Reasons Why Tammy Hembrow Will Be Your New Fitness Inspiration

12 Reasons Why Tammy Hembrow Will Be Your New Fitness Inspiration

If you’re in need of fresh inspiration to ignite your motivation for a new workout routine| it might pay off to follow Tammy Hembrow. Many of Tammy’s followers| her Instagram account has over a million| already describe her as “”goals.”” And it’s easy to see why u2014 the Australian beauty has an amazingly fit body: killer abs| strong quads| and a remarkably toned tush. Tammy has even turned her massive social media following into a business. Users interested in learning some of Tammy’s secrets purchase access to her separate fitness account. But followers on her public account still get to see Tammy’s passion for fitness| alongside pictures of her adorable family and edgy sense of style. Here are all the reasons why anyone looking for more fitness inspiration on her Instagram feed should be following Tammy.

| She’s Got the Bikini Body Down

Tammy is a beach gal at heart and is always hitting the beaches of her native Australia. With that said| Tammy’s followers should expect to see a lot of Summer body inspiration pictures.

| She Loves Her Protein Shakes

Tammy shares on her Instagram that she has a protein shake after every workout. She goes as far as to say that they keep her booty growing.

| She’s Got Killer Workout Style

Right off the bat| you’ll notice that Tammy always has great style. But we love getting to see her stylish workout gear. Because who said you can’t look good while putting in work at the gym?

| She Values a Good Sneaker

Like most fitness girls| Tammy is a total sneakerhead. She often posts some of her favorite kicks from her collection u2014 like this fresh pair of Yeezy Boosts.

| She Knows How to Take a Good #Belfie

Tammy totally knows how to work her angles| and even though she takes her fair share of selfies| she’s not afraid to get cheeky in her pictures.

| She Snacks Healthily

A simple yet delicious bowl of fruit seems to be Tammy’s favorite healthy snack. And Tammy doesn’t discriminate u2014 she’s always munching on a colorful variety that instantly makes us hungry.

| She’s Real With Her Eating Habits

Even though she’s on a strict workout and eating routine| Tammy admits that she likes to occasionally indulge her sweet tooth| and doughnuts are her favorite. She’s just like us!

| She Works Out as a Family

Tammy is blessed in having a handsome trainer for a fiancu00e9. Talk about #relationshipgoals! And we’re sure that both parents will pass down their fitness habits to their adorable baby| Wolf. Because a family that works out together| stays together.

| She’s Dedicated to Her Workout Routine

Tammy’s posts often highlight the importance of sticking to your workout routine. She says the secret to getting her body back after having her baby was sticking to her five-day workout schedule up until the day she gave birth. Now that’s commitment.

| She LOVES Her Squats

With a booty like hers| it’s an easy guess that squats are a big part of Tammy’s workout routine. But she also incorporates weights to help tone the rest of her body.

| She Finds Different Ways to Get a Workout In

When she’s not at the gym or at the beach| Tammy finds other ways to stay active. She often posts pictures of herself on walks with baby Wolf.

| She Proves That Hard Work Pays Off

Tammy loves to inspire her followers to work hard to reach their desired body goals. Tammy admits that| even though she was working out in 2014| she wasn’t doing the correct exercises. She shared before and after pictures to prove the effects of over a year of having a proper booty regimen.

Nude Yoga Girl Is Taking Instagram by Storm

Have you heard of the Instagram account Nude Girl Yoga? Our friends at Self discuss this popular account.

One of my closest friends used to say that tasks don’t stop by doing things all the time.. So you just have to sometimes stop to do things. ? Christmas time you can always find more and more to do. Christmas cards, foods and baking, gifts, cleaning, helping others, home decorations, Christmas parties etc.. And of course this time of the year you have to finish all of your remaining tasks at work.Festive periods can be very busy. ? That’s why it’s so important to keep reminding yourself to enjoy the moment. Otherwise Christmas is here and gone in a blink. Don’t put too much to do on your hands. Try to balance everything out so that you can enjoy the Christmas preparation and decoration also. ? It’s about enjoying the whole journey and not about enjoying it only when you get there. ? Everything doesn’t have to be ready or perfect. You can always do more, but is it necessery? Sometimes less is more. ? #yoga #yogi #nudeyogagirl #nudeyoga #yogapose #yogaeverydamnday #art #instayoga #artist #photographer #modeling #flexibility #blackandwhitephotography #arts_help #artspiration A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

If you haven’t done so yet, it’s time to check out the (NSFW) Instagram account, @Nude_YogaGirl. The account is run by a 25-year-old photographer, model, and yogi who shares images of herself doing yoga ¡ª nude, as advertised. “This is my way of expressing art,” the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells SELF.

“I want to inspire people to try yoga and maybe they can also find the acceptance of their body from there, because I did so.”

Top 50 photographs from around the world in 2015. I can’t believe @mymodernmet (mymodernmet.com) chose to put this photo of mine in that list. The other photos look so stunning. I’m very humbled and grateful for this. Thank you. ??? A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

According to The Cut, Nude Yoga Girl takes her photographs in a small studio space in her home. Her boyfriend helps with the shots.

“I’m very inspired by yoga and photography so I wanted to bring the two of them together in a pure way,” she tells SELF.

? Lines make shapes. ? “I am not what happened to me, I am what I chose to become” #yoga #yogapose #yogalove #yogachallenge #nudeyogagirl #nude #yogagirl #eatclean #fitness #training #workout #pilates #bracelet #glitter #inspiration #meditation #yogi #quote #quotes A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

In the captions, Nude Yoga Girl opens up about struggling with restrictive eating and how yoga helped her love and accept her body.

A balanced life is key to wellbeing. ? I’ve gone from eating whatever I want to a very strict diet and that probably worked on my body but didn’t make my mind happy. In the long run I found days becoming more difficult. There was no balance between getting my body in good shape and simply enjoying food. I enjoy eating healthy food because I feel good from it and if I want to have a little chocolate or something else, I will and it doesn’t bother me anymore afterwards. There is balance. Have you ever felt guilty after having something extra good? ?? No need for that. ? I had also a time when I was practicing difficult poses everyday because I wanted to get better at them. I started to feel pain in my muscles. I added some meditation and easier/relaxing yoga sessions to my weekly routine. Balance was restored and me and my body are happy. Don’t go from one extremity to the other. Find the right balance. ? #yoga #yogi #nudeyogagirl #yogalove #yogapose #yogachallenge #yogaeverydamnday #art #love #fitness #inspiration #fit #healthy #asana #meditation #pilates #yogagirl #instayoga #body #mind #soul #breathe #artist #photographer #model #yogainspiration #love #coreofgratitude #art A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

She also uses the account to spread the message that yoga is for everyone. “It doesn’t matter if you are overweight, inflexible, not sporty¡­or if you can’t sit down, relax and listen to your breath,” she writes in one Instagram caption.

“It doesn’t matter if you have a terrible balance or if you have never tried yoga before. Because yoga is perfect for people who are not perfect (so everyone?).”

My 4 Tips to stay energetic during winter time darkness. ? 1. Do yoga daily. Listen to your body and also remember to plan yoga sessions based on your feeling. Stretching and meditation under candlelight is the best. ? 2. I wouldn’t give up on vitamin D3 food suplement anymore. I eat about 50-100 ?g/day. 3. Hydration. Drinking plenty of water has many beneficial factors and not drinking enough of it certainly causes tiredness and affects your performance. I try and drink about 3 liters of water per day. 4. Projects. Having something exciting to do affects me the most. I have something going on all the time and I get a great amount of joy from new challenges. How do you stay energetic?? #yoga #yogi #nudeyogagirl #yogalove #yogapose #yogachallenge #yogaeverydamnday #art #fitness #inspiration #fit #healthy #asana #pilates #yogagirl #instayoga #body #mind #soul #artist #photographer #model #yogainspiration #love #coreofgratitude #instagram A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

She tells SELF that the reactions to her account have been “amazing.”

“I’m very happy that people have understood my art and my account’s message in the right way,” she says.

I wanted to take off everything unnecessary from the pictures on my account. Nudity in social media is a taboo but on the other hand the nakedness and rawness of my photos reflect well what I want to tell people with my account. ? Nowadays we easily determine how much we are worth with materialistic things. A new car, luxury hand bags or design furniture… We see ourselves as much better if we have a well trained body and our hair is shining after the hairdressers. Or am I wrong? ? Who we are does not equal with what we own. I believe it’s something much more deeper. ? Materials trap you and make you selfish. Freedom comes when your happiness and satisfaction doesn’t depend on materialistic things. ? I’m only on my first steps in the journey towards understanding all of this fully. I’ve however noticed that instead of pursuing wealth and pleasure, I pursue something much more permanent and fundamental. ? #yoga #yogi #nudeyogagirl #nudeyoga #yogapose #yogachallenge #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogaeverywhere #yogaeveryday #yogapractice #yogini #art #inspiration #fit #pilates #yogagirl #instayoga #igyoga #artist #photographer #modeling #coreofgratitude #flexibility #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhite #artsy #arts_help #artspiration A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

Nude Yoga Girl hopes that her Instagram will inspire people to try loving themselves.

“I want people to understand that our feeling inside is everything,” she tells SELF. “Not how we look on the outside.”

I’m very lucky to have so many supportive people close to me. For me it’s important to have family and friends who encourage me to pursue my dreams, are positive, and do not try to discourage the things that can go possibbly wrong. ? Each one of us is scared or tired sometimes and then our dearest ones have a big role. I try to be someone who always supports other people.. I often thank my parents and people close to me because they believe in me in the moments when I don’t. ? Today I just wanted to remind you on what a great impact you can have on your loved ones. Would you like to be a positive contributor or the one who paints devils on the wall? ? What kind of people do you gather around you? Remeber that you are the sum of the five closest humans to you. So the only way to get better is to surround yourself with people who believe in you. ? #yoga #yogi #nudeyogagirl #nudeyoga #yogapose #yogachallenge #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogaeverywhere #yogini #art #yogagirl #instayoga #igyoga #artist #photographer #modeling #coreofgratitude #flexibility #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhite #artsy #arts_help #artspiration A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

Check out the account here.

h/t The Cut

Check out more great articles by SELF:

7 Ways a Yoga Instructor Unwinds After a Stressful Day3 Easy Ways to Be More ConfidentWhy Failing Is a Good Thing ¡ª and How You Can Recover Faster

Nude Yoga Girl Is Taking Instagram by Storm

Have you heard of the Instagram account Nude Girl Yoga? Our friends at Self discuss this popular account.

One of my closest friends used to say that tasks don’t stop by doing things all the time.. So you just have to sometimes stop to do things. ? Christmas time you can always find more and more to do. Christmas cards| foods and baking| gifts| cleaning| helping others| home decorations| Christmas parties etc.. And of course this time of the year you have to finish all of your remaining tasks at work.Festive periods can be very busy. ? That’s why it’s so important to keep reminding yourself to enjoy the moment. Otherwise Christmas is here and gone in a blink. Don’t put too much to do on your hands. Try to balance everything out so that you can enjoy the Christmas preparation and decoration also. ? It’s about enjoying the whole journey and not about enjoying it only when you get there. ? Everything doesn’t have to be ready or perfect. You can always do more| but is it necessery? Sometimes less is more. ? #yoga #yogi #nudeyogagirl #nudeyoga #yogapose #yogaeverydamnday #art #instayoga #artist #photographer #modeling #flexibility #blackandwhitephotography #arts_help #artspiration A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

If you haven’t done so yet| it’s time to check out the (NSFW) Instagram account| @Nude_YogaGirl. The account is run by a 25-year-old photographer| model| and yogi who shares images of herself doing yoga ¡ª nude| as advertised. “This is my way of expressing art|” the woman| who wishes to remain anonymous| tells SELF.

“I want to inspire people to try yoga and maybe they can also find the acceptance of their body from there| because I did so.”

Top 50 photographs from around the world in 2015. I can’t believe @mymodernmet (mymodernmet.com) chose to put this photo of mine in that list. The other photos look so stunning. I’m very humbled and grateful for this. Thank you. ??? A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

According to The Cut| Nude Yoga Girl takes her photographs in a small studio space in her home. Her boyfriend helps with the shots.

“I’m very inspired by yoga and photography so I wanted to bring the two of them together in a pure way|” she tells SELF.

? Lines make shapes. ? “I am not what happened to me| I am what I chose to become” #yoga #yogapose #yogalove #yogachallenge #nudeyogagirl #nude #yogagirl #eatclean #fitness #training #workout #pilates #bracelet #glitter #inspiration #meditation #yogi #quote #quotes A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

In the captions| Nude Yoga Girl opens up about struggling with restrictive eating and how yoga helped her love and accept her body.

A balanced life is key to wellbeing. ? I’ve gone from eating whatever I want to a very strict diet and that probably worked on my body but didn’t make my mind happy. In the long run I found days becoming more difficult. There was no balance between getting my body in good shape and simply enjoying food. I enjoy eating healthy food because I feel good from it and if I want to have a little chocolate or something else| I will and it doesn’t bother me anymore afterwards. There is balance. Have you ever felt guilty after having something extra good? ?? No need for that. ? I had also a time when I was practicing difficult poses everyday because I wanted to get better at them. I started to feel pain in my muscles. I added some meditation and easier/relaxing yoga sessions to my weekly routine. Balance was restored and me and my body are happy. Don’t go from one extremity to the other. Find the right balance. ? #yoga #yogi #nudeyogagirl #yogalove #yogapose #yogachallenge #yogaeverydamnday #art #love #fitness #inspiration #fit #healthy #asana #meditation #pilates #yogagirl #instayoga #body #mind #soul #breathe #artist #photographer #model #yogainspiration #love #coreofgratitude #art A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

She also uses the account to spread the message that yoga is for everyone. “It doesn’t matter if you are overweight| inflexible| not sporty¡­or if you can’t sit down| relax and listen to your breath|” she writes in one Instagram caption.

“It doesn’t matter if you have a terrible balance or if you have never tried yoga before. Because yoga is perfect for people who are not perfect (so everyone?).”

My 4 Tips to stay energetic during winter time darkness. ? 1. Do yoga daily. Listen to your body and also remember to plan yoga sessions based on your feeling. Stretching and meditation under candlelight is the best. ? 2. I wouldn’t give up on vitamin D3 food suplement anymore. I eat about 50-100 ?g/day. 3. Hydration. Drinking plenty of water has many beneficial factors and not drinking enough of it certainly causes tiredness and affects your performance. I try and drink about 3 liters of water per day. 4. Projects. Having something exciting to do affects me the most. I have something going on all the time and I get a great amount of joy from new challenges. How do you stay energetic?? #yoga #yogi #nudeyogagirl #yogalove #yogapose #yogachallenge #yogaeverydamnday #art #fitness #inspiration #fit #healthy #asana #pilates #yogagirl #instayoga #body #mind #soul #artist #photographer #model #yogainspiration #love #coreofgratitude #instagram A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

She tells SELF that the reactions to her account have been “amazing.”

“I’m very happy that people have understood my art and my account’s message in the right way|” she says.

I wanted to take off everything unnecessary from the pictures on my account. Nudity in social media is a taboo but on the other hand the nakedness and rawness of my photos reflect well what I want to tell people with my account. ? Nowadays we easily determine how much we are worth with materialistic things. A new car| luxury hand bags or design furniture… We see ourselves as much better if we have a well trained body and our hair is shining after the hairdressers. Or am I wrong? ? Who we are does not equal with what we own. I believe it’s something much more deeper. ? Materials trap you and make you selfish. Freedom comes when your happiness and satisfaction doesn’t depend on materialistic things. ? I’m only on my first steps in the journey towards understanding all of this fully. I’ve however noticed that instead of pursuing wealth and pleasure| I pursue something much more permanent and fundamental. ? #yoga #yogi #nudeyogagirl #nudeyoga #yogapose #yogachallenge #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogaeverywhere #yogaeveryday #yogapractice #yogini #art #inspiration #fit #pilates #yogagirl #instayoga #igyoga #artist #photographer #modeling #coreofgratitude #flexibility #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhite #artsy #arts_help #artspiration A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

Nude Yoga Girl hopes that her Instagram will inspire people to try loving themselves.

“I want people to understand that our feeling inside is everything|” she tells SELF. “Not how we look on the outside.”

I’m very lucky to have so many supportive people close to me. For me it’s important to have family and friends who encourage me to pursue my dreams| are positive| and do not try to discourage the things that can go possibbly wrong. ? Each one of us is scared or tired sometimes and then our dearest ones have a big role. I try to be someone who always supports other people.. I often thank my parents and people close to me because they believe in me in the moments when I don’t. ? Today I just wanted to remind you on what a great impact you can have on your loved ones. Would you like to be a positive contributor or the one who paints devils on the wall? ? What kind of people do you gather around you? Remeber that you are the sum of the five closest humans to you. So the only way to get better is to surround yourself with people who believe in you. ? #yoga #yogi #nudeyogagirl #nudeyoga #yogapose #yogachallenge #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogaeverywhere #yogini #art #yogagirl #instayoga #igyoga #artist #photographer #modeling #coreofgratitude #flexibility #blackandwhitephotography #blackandwhite #artsy #arts_help #artspiration A photo posted by Nude Yoga Girl (@nude_yogagirl) on

Check out the account here.

h/t The Cut

Check out more great articles by SELF:

7 Ways a Yoga Instructor Unwinds After a Stressful Day3 Easy Ways to Be More ConfidentWhy Failing Is a Good Thing ¡ª and How You Can Recover Faster

This Is the Number 1 Reason So Many People Hate to Exercise

Every week| it seems| there’s a new study or article addressing how much exercise we need to stay healthy. Some studies bear good news: Just 30 minutes three times per week! Other studies are more damning: an hour a day if you want real results. Perhaps the most common publications are the ones trying to reinvent the mousetrap of physical exercise| hoping to offer a shortcut or a “new and improved” program that will make the workout more appealing or the commitment more manageable.

But they’re all missing the point.

If all the research agrees that physical exercise is important for our well-being| and human nature has taught us that we’ll probably find an excuse to avoid doing something we don’t really want to do| wouldn’t a more valuable question be| how can we find an exercise program that we actually enjoy?

Whether it’s 30 minute bursts or multihour Saturday sessions| in a dark studio or under an open sky| breathless and high-intensity or gentle and graceful| what I’ve learned from all my years of sweating is that the best way to do it is however you actually want to do it.

Whenever someone asks me what type of workout they should do| whether they’re hoping to lose weight| get toned| or prep for an upcoming event| my answer is always the same: Well| what do you want to do? I always| always start with desire.

I’ve started so many workout programs that I absolutely hated. I’m a sucker for research| though| so when I heard that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) was the latest and greatest way to do cardio| I vowed to make treadmill sprints a part of my weekly routine. Never mind the fact that I hate the treadmill. When hip-hop classes popped up everywhere| promising to sneak an hour-long workout into what felt like a party| I tried those| too. Never mind that I have absolutely no rhythm.

And guess how long I stuck with those programs? Not long. It’s not the fault of the research they’re effective workouts in their own right for anyone who keeps showing up. It’s my own fault for thinking I could force myself to do something that I just wasn’t that interested in.

It took me a while| but once I realized the value of desire| my whole relationship with exercise changed. Instead of feeling like a chore| it became a choice. Instead of a means to an end| it became an event in itself.

I started by committing to be active in some way any way most days of the week. I picked the activity that felt right that day. I ignored the research. I ignored whatever new fad workout the starlet du jour was obsessed with. I didn’t worry too much about the numbers| about how many minutes or calories or pounds were involved.

I began to create a list of the kinds of exercise that I actually enjoyed: bootcamp classes with friends| hot yoga| anything at the beach. Instead of following a rigid plan with certain exercises prescribed each day| I chose what sounded good that day. After a particularly stressful day at work| banging it out at boot camp helped me blow off steam. After I hit a big goal at work| I rewarded myself with a long| leisurely walk at the beach| and I didn’t beat myself up for refusing to break into a run. On days where I knew my excuses were about to choke out my willpower| I got my butt to yoga| where I knew that| if I just showed up| the instructor would take care of the rest.

When I stopped thinking about it as exercise| but rather activities that I enjoyed| when I stopped thinking of it as a program that I had to follow| but rather a choice that I got to make based on how I felt that day| it became easy to stay active. From there| from letting my desire lead the way| I began to find even more activities that I liked.

After enough bootcamp classes| I realized that I could plan out my own weightlifting circuits| and I discovered how empowering it was to push myself to lift heavier weights. Walks at the beach led to runs at the beach| which led to runs on trails| which eventually led to obstacle-course races. Hot yoga led to Vinyasa yoga| and now no week feels right without a day or two on that yoga mat.

What I’ve learned is that desire often begets desire. If you try to force yourself to do something you hate| you’re likely doomed before you even start. By answering the question of what you want to do| though whether it’s ballet or hiking or Pilates or swimming or walking with a friend or having tantric sex| for crying out loud by starting from there| you set yourself up to actually stick with it. And if you stick with it| you just might expand on it.

Let’s stop overthinking it. We’re lucky to have these bodies that can move so freely and feel so deeply| and wanting to take care of them is part of our humanity. If you’re beating yourself up about the last workout program that you didn’t stick with| I beg you to forgive yourself. If you’re thinking about vowing to start a new program that feels like punishment| I beg you to reconsider.

Yes| commit to taking care of yourself| but do so in a way that recognizes that you are| in fact| yourself. You won’t find me on a treadmill or in the hip-hop class| and maybe I won’t find you on the running trail or in the weight room| but as long as we’re both out there| somewhere| we’re getting it right.

Image Source: Morningstar Photography

This Is the Number 1 Reason So Many People Hate to Exercise

Every week, it seems, there’s a new study or article addressing how much exercise we need to stay healthy. Some studies bear good news: Just 30 minutes three times per week! Other studies are more damning: an hour a day if you want real results. Perhaps the most common publications are the ones trying to reinvent the mousetrap of physical exercise, hoping to offer a shortcut or a “new and improved” program that will make the workout more appealing or the commitment more manageable.

But they’re all missing the point.

If all the research agrees that physical exercise is important for our well-being, and human nature has taught us that we’ll probably find an excuse to avoid doing something we don’t really want to do, wouldn’t a more valuable question be, how can we find an exercise program that we actually enjoy?

Whether it’s 30 minute bursts or multihour Saturday sessions, in a dark studio or under an open sky, breathless and high-intensity or gentle and graceful, what I’ve learned from all my years of sweating is that the best way to do it is however you actually want to do it.

Whenever someone asks me what type of workout they should do, whether they’re hoping to lose weight, get toned, or prep for an upcoming event, my answer is always the same: Well, what do you want to do? I always, always start with desire.

I’ve started so many workout programs that I absolutely hated. I’m a sucker for research, though, so when I heard that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) was the latest and greatest way to do cardio, I vowed to make treadmill sprints a part of my weekly routine. Never mind the fact that I hate the treadmill. When hip-hop classes popped up everywhere, promising to sneak an hour-long workout into what felt like a party, I tried those, too. Never mind that I have absolutely no rhythm.

And guess how long I stuck with those programs? Not long. It’s not the fault of the research ¡ª they’re effective workouts in their own right for anyone who keeps showing up. It’s my own fault for thinking I could force myself to do something that I just wasn’t that interested in.

It took me a while, but once I realized the value of desire, my whole relationship with exercise changed. Instead of feeling like a chore, it became a choice. Instead of a means to an end, it became an event in itself.

I started by committing to be active in some way ¡ª any way ¡ª most days of the week. I picked the activity that felt right that day. I ignored the research. I ignored whatever new fad workout the starlet du jour was obsessed with. I didn’t worry too much about the numbers, about how many minutes or calories or pounds were involved.

I began to create a list of the kinds of exercise that I actually enjoyed: bootcamp classes with friends, hot yoga, anything at the beach. Instead of following a rigid plan with certain exercises prescribed each day, I chose what sounded good that day. After a particularly stressful day at work, banging it out at boot camp helped me blow off steam. After I hit a big goal at work, I rewarded myself with a long, leisurely walk at the beach, and I didn’t beat myself up for refusing to break into a run. On days where I knew my excuses were about to choke out my willpower, I got my butt to yoga, where I knew that, if I just showed up, the instructor would take care of the rest.

When I stopped thinking about it as exercise, but rather activities that I enjoyed, when I stopped thinking of it as a program that I had to follow, but rather a choice that I got to make based on how I felt that day, it became easy to stay active. From there, from letting my desire lead the way, I began to find even more activities that I liked.

After enough bootcamp classes, I realized that I could plan out my own weightlifting circuits, and I discovered how empowering it was to push myself to lift heavier weights. Walks at the beach led to runs at the beach, which led to runs on trails, which eventually led to obstacle-course races. Hot yoga led to Vinyasa yoga, and now no week feels right without a day or two on that yoga mat.

What I’ve learned is that desire often begets desire. If you try to force yourself to do something you hate, you’re likely doomed before you even start. By answering the question of what you want to do, though ¡ª whether it’s ballet or hiking or Pilates or swimming or walking with a friend or having tantric sex, for crying out loud ¡ª by starting from there, you set yourself up to actually stick with it. And if you stick with it, you just might expand on it.

Let’s stop overthinking it. We’re lucky to have these bodies that can move so freely and feel so deeply, and wanting to take care of them is part of our humanity. If you’re beating yourself up about the last workout program that you didn’t stick with, I beg you to forgive yourself. If you’re thinking about vowing to start a new program that feels like punishment, I beg you to reconsider.

Yes, commit to taking care of yourself, but do so in a way that recognizes that you are, in fact, yourself. You won’t find me on a treadmill or in the hip-hop class, and maybe I won’t find you on the running trail or in the weight room, but as long as we’re both out there, somewhere, we’re getting it right.

Image Source: Morningstar Photography

Runner Gets Called a Dumb B*tch, and a Little Boy Comes to the Rescue

Julia Price was out enjoying a lovely run| when it was almost ruined by a well-dressed man| eating outside on his lunch break. He yelled| “Sexy lady| hey| hey| hey| sexy lady!” so loud| she could hear it over the music blaring in her headphones. She took the high road and reacted the same way most of us would by just ignoring him. But then he took it to the next level and said| “eff you| dumb b*tch!”

Oh no| not the “B” word! She tore off her headphones| prepared to stand up for herself| but she didn’t have to. A little boy walking with his mother and sister called| “Hey. That is not nice to say to her| and she didn’t like you yelling at her. You shouldn’t do that because she is a nice girl| and I don’t let anyone say mean things to people. She’s a girl like my sister| and I will protect her.”

I was on my usual running path when I heard an older man yelling loudly enough for me to hear through my headphones. “…Posted by Julia Price on Wednesday| 18 November 2015

The man felt embarrassed as he should| and Julia turned to the little boy’s mother and asked if she could thank him with a hug. James| the brave boy| just shrugged and said| “Well I just wanted to make sure your heart was OK.”

Um| we don’t know about Julia| but our hearts are melting. After posting the moving story to her Facebook page| Julia ended by thanking the moms and dads of the world for “raising the next generation to be brave and courageous and to be little earth angels for all. I am so touched.” So are we| Julia. According to James’s mom| “this is a typical day in the life of James.” Hopefully this story will inspire other people to be more like James| so catcallers| beware!

Related: Before Running Alone| Read This

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell

Runner Gets Called a Dumb B*tch, and a Little Boy Comes to the Rescue

Julia Price was out enjoying a lovely run, when it was almost ruined by a well-dressed man, eating outside on his lunch break. He yelled, “Sexy lady, hey, hey, hey, sexy lady!” so loud, she could hear it over the music blaring in her headphones. She took the high road and reacted the same way most of us would by just ignoring him. But then he took it to the next level and said, “eff you, dumb b*tch!”

Oh no, not the “B” word! She tore off her headphones, prepared to stand up for herself, but she didn’t have to. A little boy walking with his mother and sister called, “Hey. That is not nice to say to her, and she didn’t like you yelling at her. You shouldn’t do that because she is a nice girl, and I don’t let anyone say mean things to people. She’s a girl like my sister, and I will protect her.”

I was on my usual running path when I heard an older man yelling loudly enough for me to hear through my headphones. “…Posted by Julia Price on Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The man felt embarrassed as he should, and Julia turned to the little boy’s mother and asked if she could thank him with a hug. James, the brave boy, just shrugged and said, “Well I just wanted to make sure your heart was OK.”

Um, we don’t know about Julia, but our hearts are melting. After posting the moving story to her Facebook page, Julia ended by thanking the moms and dads of the world for “raising the next generation to be brave and courageous and to be little earth angels for all. I am so touched.” So are we, Julia. According to James’s mom, “this is a typical day in the life of James.” Hopefully this story will inspire other people to be more like James, so catcallers, beware!

Related: Before Running Alone, Read This

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell

Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards Prove This Is the Year of the Badass Athlete

Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards Prove This Is the Year of the Badass Athlete

Glamour‘s 25th annual Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall in NYC on Thursday night recognized women’s influence and achievements in fashion| politics| business| and more| and with Amy Schumer opening the award ceremony| you know it had to be good! Aside from the gorgeous gowns on the red carpet| a prominent theme prevailed u2014 2015 was the year of the strong| powerful| confident athlete. Check out the highlights.

| Misty Copeland: The Showstopper

She became the first black ballerina to be promoted to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre and definitely deserves to be honored as a woman of the year. She said| “”Be strong| be fearless| be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.””

| Team USA: Game Changers

Go team USA! They didn’t just win the Women’s World Cup u2014 they dominated it. Glamour awarded these world-champion athletes for their strong voices in bringing awareness to women’s equality.

| Caitlyn Jenner: The Transgender Champion

This Olympic hero was recognized as a female trailblazer due to her bravery in revealing her true identity last June. After Laverne Cox| she’s the second transgender female to receive this award.

| Serena Williams

Though not awarded this year (she was awarded back in 2009)| the 34-year-old 21-time Grand Slam winner showed off her strong| fierce| athletic figure and took the stage to offer some advice to the young women in the audience: “”The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong| be extremely kind| and above all be humble.””

| Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King| a former WOTY and world champion tennis player who won 39 Grand Slam titles and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987| also had some advice to pass on. Standing on stage next to Serena Williams| she said| “”Don’t let anyone define you; you define yourself. Lift up| learn| lean in| and be inclusive.””

Even After 10 Years of Running, the First 10 Minutes Still Suck

Throughout high school, I was tasked with having to take a mile test ¡ª at the beginning and end of each year. The goal was to ramp up your running speed. And guess what? I cheated. While I’m not proud that I lied to my gym teacher Mr. Facet ¡ª I said I was on my last lap when it was really my second ¡ª there was no way in hell he was going to get me to run it. My strong hatred for running continued through college until I gained so much weight eating crap, I had to do something about it. A dear friend who was sensitive to my struggle casually suggested I do a little cardio to burn calories. You mean run?! Ugh. I hated the idea of pounding the pavement, but I hated how I felt in my unhealthy body even more.

So I sucked it up, picked up a pair of New Balance sneakers from Marshalls, stuffed my Double Ds (that used to be Cs) into two sports bras, stepped out my front door, and ran around the block. And those 10 minutes were so brutal. My legs hurt, my back ached, and I was breathing so heavily, I thought my lungs would explode. I envisioned the local news team posting a pic of me with the headline, “Girl Takes Casual Run, Dies Sad Death.”

I thought, “How the hell do people run marathons?” It must get better. So I stuck with it and was amazed at how quickly my endurance built up. After a couple weeks, I could confidently jog around the block ¡ª without stopping! Yes! I, the running-hater was actually running, and although I was in no way loving it, I could now call myself a running-tolerator. There was a huge sense of pride being able to say I ran for 10 minutes straight without dying. My body felt stronger, and more importantly at the time, it looked slimmer.

My lofty goal was to run for 30 minutes straight ¡ª without stopping and without pain. After a few months it happened. I went from running-tolerator to ¡ª gasp ¡ª running-lover! What worked for me was that I took it very slow (I could have probably walked briskly at the same pace), and took each day as it was. Some mornings, I’d run three times around the block without stopping, and other times getting around once was a huge feat.

I’ve been running on and off now for 10 years, and even at this point ¡ª training for my first half-marathon ¡ª those first 10 minutes are still the worst. My body just rebels with shin pain, sore feet, tight hamstrings, and a foggy brain. And it’s not just me. Every runner I talk to agrees, and some say it takes them up to three miles to warm up and feel good on a run. But once you hit that moment, where your muscles feel strong and open, you feel light on your feet, and your energy’s high, you feel so happy, free, and alive, like you can keep going and going; that moment makes those first 10 godawful minutes so incredibly worth it.

If you’ve always hated running, it doesn’t have to be that way! Start off slow like I did, and just breathe through those first 10 minutes. Make sure you don’t skip out on the warmup, know how to fuel yourself for a run, know what to eat afterward (I’m so into this hydrating watermelon smoothie right now), and remember how to stretch to prevent soreness and injuries.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

Even After 10 Years of Running, the First 10 Minutes Still Suck

Throughout high school| I was tasked with having to take a mile test ¡ª at the beginning and end of each year. The goal was to ramp up your running speed. And guess what? I cheated. While I’m not proud that I lied to my gym teacher Mr. Facet ¡ª I said I was on my last lap when it was really my second ¡ª there was no way in hell he was going to get me to run it. My strong hatred for running continued through college until I gained so much weight eating crap| I had to do something about it. A dear friend who was sensitive to my struggle casually suggested I do a little cardio to burn calories. You mean run?! Ugh. I hated the idea of pounding the pavement| but I hated how I felt in my unhealthy body even more.

So I sucked it up| picked up a pair of New Balance sneakers from Marshalls| stuffed my Double Ds (that used to be Cs) into two sports bras| stepped out my front door| and ran around the block. And those 10 minutes were so brutal. My legs hurt| my back ached| and I was breathing so heavily| I thought my lungs would explode. I envisioned the local news team posting a pic of me with the headline| “Girl Takes Casual Run| Dies Sad Death.”

I thought| “How the hell do people run marathons?” It must get better. So I stuck with it and was amazed at how quickly my endurance built up. After a couple weeks| I could confidently jog around the block without stopping! Yes! I| the running-hater was actually running| and although I was in no way loving it| I could now call myself a running-tolerator. There was a huge sense of pride being able to say I ran for 10 minutes straight without dying. My body felt stronger| and more importantly at the time| it looked slimmer.

My lofty goal was to run for 30 minutes straight without stopping and without pain. After a few months it happened. I went from running-tolerator to gasp running-lover! What worked for me was that I took it very slow (I could have probably walked briskly at the same pace)| and took each day as it was. Some mornings| I’d run three times around the block without stopping| and other times getting around once was a huge feat.

I’ve been running on and off now for 10 years| and even at this point training for my first half-marathon those first 10 minutes are still the worst. My body just rebels with shin pain| sore feet| tight hamstrings| and a foggy brain. And it’s not just me. Every runner I talk to agrees| and some say it takes them up to three miles to warm up and feel good on a run. But once you hit that moment| where your muscles feel strong and open| you feel light on your feet| and your energy’s high| you feel so happy| free| and alive| like you can keep going and going; that moment makes those first 10 godawful minutes so incredibly worth it.

If you’ve always hated running| it doesn’t have to be that way! Start off slow like I did| and just breathe through those first 10 minutes. Make sure you don’t skip out on the warmup| know how to fuel yourself for a run| know what to eat afterward (I’m so into this hydrating watermelon smoothie right now)| and remember how to stretch to prevent soreness and injuries.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart