“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” – Elle Woods from Legally Blonde

Most of us have seen Legally Blonde. At least those of us over 30. (Man, I’m showing my age!) It was a huge rom-com hit in 2001 that left women everywhere feeling empowered to run after their dreams. #gobigorgohome

One of the main things I got from the movie is Elle’s point of view that exercise and happiness are connected. She is trying to prove that her fitness instructor friend, Brooke Taylor, is innocent and did not murder her husband. She says the quote mentioned above in defense of the toned Brooke. It stayed with me.

Maybe because there have been days where I ended up pulling the covers over my head instead of lacing up my running shoes. And I walked around in sloth like fashion the rest of the afternoon with a mood that was just okay. On those days (and every other day in between) I had to choose- do I want to be uncomfortably happy or do I want to be comfortably okay?

Exercise isn’t always fun and, if done right, it stretches me and pushes me out of my comfort zone. The results just in my mood, not to mention my body confidence, are worth it, though. However, laying in bed (or sitting on the couch) all day is familiar and enjoyable. But does my mood exhibit happiness with my comfort or does it seem to be lacking a bit in the lifelong satisfaction department? Hmmm….food for thought, maybe?

I’ve discovered after much testing of both ideas (happy vs. just okay) that I am a more productive person when I’ve done some kind of physical activity that day. My mind is more focused and able to complete tasks on my to-do list way better after a run. My body feels great and refreshed after I sweat out those nasty toxins from last night’s french fry binge-fest. And my mood? Well, it may not be at the Elle Woods level of energetic happiness but it sure isn’t at the do nothing all day level of complacency anymore.

Let’s just be clear- This is not about losing weight. I’m done fighting with the numbers on the scale. I’m through with criticizing my tummy bulge and inspecting every square inch of cellulite on my bootie.

This is about survival. And in my opinion, we aren’t really surviving if we’re living an okay life when we could actually be living our BEST life. What does your BEST life look like? Here’s a glimpse of mine:

More self acceptance, less self hatred. More time for my dreams/goals, less time wasted on Netflix marathons. More joy found in the simple things of today, less despair found in the complicated things of yesterday.

How do I achieve these things? How do I survive well? I put one foot in front of the other despite what my feelings say about my previous poor eating habits or my past patterns of ignoring my body’s cries for help… and I get moving.

We have to equip ourselves for the journey of life and last time I checked this living thing isn’t for the weak and feeble. It’s hard, strenuous and even tortuous at times. But staying stuck in that pit of self pity because you’re not strong enough to climb out? That makes life even harder.

What if I were to tell you that exercise, like life, is as fun as you make it? What if I said that there is no shame in only fitting in 15 minutes that day if that’s all you have time to give? What if I said, anything is better than nothing?

Believe me, the best thing you can do for yourself on those days of grey skies and stormy winds is chase after your BEST life like Channing Tatum is waiting for you at the finish line with a cupcake in his hands. You have to face the torrential downpour head on despite the nagging pull to just go back to bed.

Because YOLO. Because FOMO. Because you deserve to be happy. And a little rain never hurt anybody…in fact, it causes things to grow.

So go get your Elle Woods on and happily embrace today as if it’s only going to come your way once. (Pink workout gear and all!) Because, well, it is.

*PLEASE! If you are young and spry, do yourself a favor and watch Legally Blonde sometime. If not for any other reason then to make me not feel so old.*

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Harmony Vuycankiat

Harmony is a proud Air Force wife and blessed mother of 4 children. Her heart’s cry is to love without limits and live without regrets. She plans to use her criminal justice degree to tangibly help marginalized women and children all over the world. Writing, singing, and running are her methods of soul therapy and Starbucks coffee is her happy juice. The quote that she lives by is, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I’ve used everything you gave me.’ ” (Erma Bombeck)

I Don’t Want To Do Your Exercise Challenge, Facebook Friend

In: Fitness, Health, Motherhood
I Don't Want To Do Your Exercise Challenge, Facebook Friend

Hey girl!  I cringe. Do I dare open it? I do, of course. It’s a new friend I’ve followed on social media, so I try to be kind and just make an excuse as to why I don’t want to do any weight loss challenges. Just 30 minutes a day, it’s so simple. You can make time to work out if you wanted to! You should take care of yourself. I run low on excuses after a minute because hey, you’re absolutely right. There is an extra 30 minutes in my day spent scrolling through Facebook and Pinterest. OK, if we...

Keep Reading

Sorry Gym, We Just Aren’t Working Out

In: Fitness
Sorry Gym, We Just Aren’t Working Out www.herviewfromhome.com

  Dear Gym, After four long years, I feel our relationship has come to an end. I doubt you are surprised by this since we have been seeing each other less and less frequently ever since 2016. But I wanted to end things between us now, before we both end up with too many regrets. Now, I know when people say “It’s not you, it’s me,” that is usually a lie. But I graciously admit that most of the blame falls on me. After all, I have been seeing someone else…on the side. I tried as hard as I could...

Keep Reading

How Zumba Gave Me Back My Social Life

In: Fitness, Journal, Relationships
How Zumba Gave Me Back My Social Life www.herviewfromhome.com

There’s a spacious park near my home that has a gravel trail in our community for walkers and joggers to enjoy. For years, I frequented this park with my close friend while our children were in school. We met each morning with our water bottles in hand and tackled five miles on the track in the blistering sun. Despite the heat and achy muscles, I enjoyed the 90 minutes of “girl time” I shared with my friend. We laughed and chatted about everything—from our family life, fun vacation spots, the stress of raising teens, concerns for our elderly parents, and...

Keep Reading

Goodbye Size 6

In: Fitness, Health, Mental Health
Goodbye Size 6 www.herviewfromhome.com

Dear Size 6, It’s hard to tell you this, but it’s time we part ways. I’m both relieved and ready to finally let you go. I’m sure you saw this coming, didn’t you? It’s just… Things change. People change. I’ve changed. I’ve grown through the years, and well, you haven’t. Oh, we had our fun together, didn’t we? You and I fit perfectly. I felt spunky and full of life when I was with you, doing all the things we did and feeling like we were meant to be. Oh, the memories of our glory days… We were so good...

Keep Reading

Mama, It Takes More Than Six Weeks

In: Fitness, Health, Mental Health, Motherhood
Mama, It Takes More Than Six Weeks www.herviewfromhome.com

A study from 2011 by Dr. Julie Wray at the University of Salford has recently been revived and is making the rounds on parenting sites. The finding from Dr. Wray’s research boils down to: women need more than six weeks to recover from childbirth. In other breaking news, water is wet and the sky appears to be blue. The vast majority of women who have had a baby are sitting there thinking, “I could have told you that without a study.” Look at it logically: six weeks is a month and a half. It took nine months, or somewhere in...

Keep Reading

Working Out with Kids

In: Fitness, Health, Kids, Motherhood
Working Out with Kids www.herviewfromhome.com

It’s no secret that I love working out. It has helped me drop 130 pounds in a year and clears my mind after a hectic day. Working out is my “Me Time.” Wait a minute, did I really say “Me time?” If you are a mom, you probably laughed out loud at the phrase “Me Time,” not even understanding what on earth that means. When you become a Mom, “Me Time” becomes as rare as a fine wine– it tastes amazing, but you only get it on special occasions. Yet, I can’t wait and just workout out on special occasions....

Keep Reading

What This Mom Discovered When She Was Body Shamed on Social Media

In: Fitness, Health, Journal, Mental Health, Relationships
What This Mom Discovered When She Was Body Shamed on Social Media www.herviewfromhome.com

I love social media. You know that whole Facebook memories thing? I have a feeling that someone, at one time or another, was thinking up all the ways they could make moms of young children spend even more time on Facebook. “Why not let them look back at all the old photos of their kids when they were babies?” they said. Why not make my ovaries burst and make me go tearfully hover over all my sleeping children while wondering how in the world they have gotten so big, is more like it! Do I post adorable pictures of my...

Keep Reading

Feeling Like You Just Can’t? This Record-Setting Mama Has A Message For You

In: Fitness, Health, Inspiration
Feeling Like You Just Can’t? This Record-Setting Mama Has A Message For You . www.herviewfromhome.com

(Feature image via Gameface Media-Bruce Muhlbradt) Running a marathon is hard. Pushing a jogging stroller full of kidlets (and actually jogging) is hard. Heck, just being a mom is hard. Put all three together and it sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen. One rock-star mama made it a dream. Theresa Marie Pitts, a Montana mom of eight, shares a refreshing perspective on achieving that dream. For her, doing tough things is sweetened by including her “whys” in the journey: “Nothing else brings more joy to my heart than being a mother. So, in celebration of life and motherhood, I chose...

Keep Reading

How a Middle School Track Meet Set me on an Unhealthy Course

In: Fitness, Health, Mental Health, Weight Loss
How a Middle School Track Meet Set me on an Unhealthy Course www.herviewfromhome.com

If I introduced myself to you today, the first things you might notice about me are my muscular arms, shoulders, and legs. Based on these features, you might also assume I am an athlete. If I met you in 2011, however, you’d make a much different evaluation of my physical fitness. At 300 pounds, it was quite clear that exercising was not a priority of mine. In fact, it was something I completely avoided because the fear of failure was so debilitating I was not even willing to try. This fear, which set me up for over a decade of...

Keep Reading

Dear Woman in the Yellow Sweatshirt at the Gym

In: Fitness, Health, Healthy Living, Weight Loss
Dear Woman in the Yellow Sweatshirt at the Gym www.herviewfromhome.com

Dear Woman in the Yellow Sweatshirt: It was late one Thursday night. I had just finished a body pump class. I went to fill my water bottle in preparation for getting a few laps in on the track. I was so focused on the workout I just completed I really didn’t notice anything. Until I noticed you. You walked up the stairs. It was incredibly hot and humid out, but you wore long, black, baggy sweats and a long, yellow sweatshirt that you kept pulling down. As you hit the top of the stairs you looked around hoping the “I’m...

Keep Reading