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  • Writer's pictureMonica Stanley

Yeah, I'm into fitness. And not just fitness whole pizza in my mouth!

Let's talk fitness! Specifically, working out and how that plays out in my life at this time. Let's be real with one another - our opportunities, abilities, and willingness for fitness ebbs and flows throughout life. So logically this hasn't been my only fitness routine in my life - I've had LOTS. There have also been times where I wouldn't say I even had a fitness routine. My fitness routine legitimately WAS fitness whole pizza in my mouth - and that's okay for a bit, but I can't stay there. I've lived across the spectrum of weight. I've been 110 lbs and 160 lbs... it's the gambit.

My favorite place to have landed is where I am currently. Finally mature enough to understand fitness isn't one-size fits all. Finally able to accept myself and my body for what it is and find the ways to accentuate the positive and try to be nice to myself about the rest.

This isn't meant to be an article on weight. Far from it.

I work out to feel better just as much as I do to control the image of myself. My back hurts less, my mind is clearer, and I sleep better when I work out consistently. But, I also would be remiss if I wasn't completely candid with you all. I have two little girls and I am highly conscientious of what a healthy body image means and how important that is. With that, I don't want to precipitate unreasonable expectations.

Some things on my body will never go back where they belong. I had two precious angels 13-months apart that my body took wonderful care of. It takes a toll and it's natural.

I've had a breast augmentation to help my confidence there, but that's about the extent of the surgeries I'm willing to do in the name of vanity of the body. Now my face... different story for a different day! I haven't had much done there yet, but I'm a bit pickier about it. LOL.

Anywho, let's get down to it shall we?

By and large my workout philosophy has centered around variety such as light to medium weights, body-centric practices (yoga & pilates), and some form of cardio (my mortal enemy).

Some of the former workouts I've done include boxing (my fav!), Orange Theory Fitness (sweet Mary that stuff works!), at-home HIIT videos (things like Jillian Michaels), road and mountain biking, heck I even tried my hand at some sprint triathlons at one point (7/10 do not recommend).

I recently made a change to my routine by reducing the days I work with weights and reintegrated a consistent restorative yoga practice. I was getting way to locked up and was in quite a bit of pain. I also added a 10-minute post-workout muscle recovery stretching session to help that. I don't do things like "leg" specific workouts, because that is an area that is naturally okay on me. My legs get plenty of work from the other things I do, so I don't need to give them focus.

Body-shape wise, I am apple-shaped so what I really struggle with is the weight goes straight to the belly, the booty is a pancake, and the arms can be too skinny looking against my wider chest and torso. So I have to focus on booty gains, core work, and keeping muscle tone in my arms.

My current fitness routine includes the following:

  • Arms, Abs, & Ass* (1 day a week) with 10-minute post-workout stretching

  • Total Body Core* (1 day a week) with 10-minute post-workout stretching

  • Booty Day* (1 day a week) with 10-minute post-workout stretching


* These workouts are done on the BeachBody App (BOD) on our streaming device.

The specific program I am doing at this time is 80-day Obsession with Autumn C.

  • Restorative/Yin Yoga - (3 days a week)

  • Brisk Walking or Hiking - (1-2 days a week)

  • Guided Meditation - 10-20 minutes (7 days a week)

  • Pre-bedtime Stretching & Myofascial Release - 30-60 minutes (5 days a week)

As you can see, I am currently back in my working out at home style. That just really seems to work best for me. I've tried the gyms and the studios and, although I really do enjoy taking an in-person yoga class a couple times a month if possible, I am most consistent with my fitness when it is in my own home.

I've got plenty of stuff to organize and deal with, toting my life to and fro from the gym isn't gonna do it for long. I am also a bit self conscious in classes and gym environments, so I have better focus at home.

My home gym closet setup.

This is a small entry closet in our home that I converted into a fitness closet to further remove excuses for working out! It is directly next to the TV I use. Items in my fitness inventory:

  • Myofascial body rollers, balls, hip hook... ALL of the myofascial release items. If I'm working out and not also releasing those muscles and that tissue - I'm gonna hurt, bad.

  • Hand Weights and rack. I don't lift more than 15 pounds per arm currently (and that's for booty day) so this small rack I found on Amazon works great.

  • Kettle Bell. You can use a hand weight just as well, but I really like being able to have proper form with a kettlebell, and I'm less likely to drop that thing.

  • Resistance Loops & Bands. And a set of backups for when they tear/pop - which is fun and terrifying all at the same time! These things bring the pain, but I've never had luck at getting booty gains until I brought these little devil loops into my life.

  • Ab Sliders. There she blows! The least favorite item in my inventory! These are serious business and I don't appreciate using them. I do however appreciate the results they bring.

  • Jump Rope. On the real, this isn't pulled out as regularly as it should be. It's more ornamental at this stage. But I'm sure that will change again someday... maybe.

  • Yoga Mat, Blocks, and Straps. I use these in my general stretching sessions too. The straps and blocks really help open me up even more and deepen my stretches, gently.

  • Yoga Wheel. Another scary but invaluable tool. These really help me get a deep stretch in some areas that are hard to reach without a partner. It is quite funny when I accidentally fall off one though and make a nice thud on the floor!

  • Cushioned Workout Mats. These are very needed because a yoga mat doesn't always cut it. It's okay to be a bit of a delicate flower when you're busting your ass.

  • Meditation Pillow. This makes meditation easier by elevating your hips above your knees, which reduces pressure and the tendency for you legs to go numb so you can meditate longer. You can also use a yoga block for the same thing, but if I'm doing more than 10-minutes the yoga block is a little too hard on my booty. Yes, I'm AM a delicate flower.

  • Neck Therapy Device. This is a neck pump from my chiropractor. It's supposed to be used every night. That's not what happens. But I do like it and it does help when I use it.

  • Towel & Fan. Because sweat is gross.

Welp, that's it! That's the scoop. Yet again, it's that simple and that complicated all at the same time.

What about you guys? What are your routines or favorite workouts to do?

- Monica

P.S. If someone can please get an aerial yoga studio here in Fort Worth, I'd be much obliged!

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