Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

March 12, 2019

How I Got Back into Fitness + Weekly Gym Routine.

    For my March Tuesday blog post series, we're talking all things routines! Last week, I shared my daily makeup routine for work and church. Today, I'm sharing the current fitness routine that I've had in place since September, and how I started finding different workouts that work for me!

{Photo originally from this blog post}

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Why I Was Struggling With Fitness:
     The answer is pretty simple: for the past several years, I've been trying to force myself to become a runner. And I HATE RUNNING. There- I've admitted it, haha! Here's a little bit more background on my history with fitness. I grew up as a competitive figure skater, and even after I stopped competing (age 12), I still took lessons a couple times a week until 10th grade. I also took dance classes from ages 7-14, which coincided with skating. Later in my high school years, I joined a local gym in my hometown and frequently attended Zumba classes, and I would also bike to the beach pretty often with my mom.
     For much of college, I struggled to make fitness a priority, since I was really busy with schoolwork, internships, sorority events and of course my blog! During my senior year of college, I finally started to get better about working out regularly. I would go to workout classes once or twice a week in the university gym, and this is also the time when I started running! I set a goal for myself to run a 5k later that year after graduating college. I didn't really enjoy running, but made myself do it. By the end of spring semester, I was running up to 2.5 miles (almost at 5k distance) on the treadmill. Unfortunately, two weeks before I graduated college I was physically assaulted and had a serious concussion. I was then unable to workout for several weeks with doctors orders. Once I was allowed to again, I didn't have the motivation to run anymore. I could barely run half a mile before feeling exhausted.
     I completely lost whatever workout schedule I'd had my senior year of college for the rest of my time in Charlotte. When I moved to Vermont for my first job, I received a membership to a local gym as an employee benefit. I started going to the gym 2-3 times a week, and was focused again on trying to become a runner and make that 5k goal. I think the furthest I ran during my year in Vermont was two miles, and once I found out I was moving to Virginia I was determined to keep going with that.
     Well-  it finally hit me once I got to Charlottesville how much I truly HATE running. Last spring I tried running on the treadmill in my apartment gym, as well as outside in my neighborhood, and I despised both. My apartment gym here in Charlottesville especially wasn't great- it's super tiny and always dark in there, so it feels like exercising in a closet. I think the reason I tolerated treadmill running at the gym in Vermont was because I was in such a bad place in life during those months, and I would take my anger out through the treadmill and the running cramps that came with it. Once I got to Charlottesville, I was like "Why am I making myself do something that I hate?" It was actually really freeing to realize that I'm just not cut out to be a distance runner!

     The thing was that once I stopped trying to be a runner, I kinda stopped fitness altogether for a few months. Last summer was great, but it was a lazy few months for me. I tried a few at-home workouts from Youtube, but working out in my apartment just wasn't for me. Around the time that I stopped trying to run, I started gaining a bit of weight. (It's important to note I don't think the weight gain was solely from not working out- I think the majority of it was due to eating a lot of sugar and a medicine change. But I think having a lazy summer didn't help!) By the end of this summer, I was sick of attempting and failing to work out in my apartment, had zero desire to try running again, and I was unhappy with the extra pounds I had gained. I knew something had to change!

     How I Got Back Into Fitness:
     Three words: JOINING A GYM. Actually- five words. PAYING TO JOIN A GYM. Shortly after my birthday in September, I decided that enough was enough with the laziness! I realized that running and working out with at-home Youtube videos weren't working for me, but I needed to find something that did. Gym memberships aren't cheap, but I knew adjusting my monthly budget for a gym membership would be an investment in myself, and my health! I began researching all of the local gyms in the area, as well as comparing them to specific fitness studios (like a barre studio). Charlottesville now has ClassPass, but back in the fall we didn't have it yet, so that wasn't an option for me.
     I ended up deciding to join a gym that had a great special going on at the time that I joined! I liked the fact that the facilities were big and spacious (and full of light), and that membership included using the regular gym machines, as well as all fitness classes. I remembered how much I enjoyed going to Zumba in high school, and the classes I tried during senior year of college that were offered in my university gym!

     My Current Fitness Routine:
     I'm so happy to share that joining the gym back in September has turned me from feeling unenthusiastic about fitness to excited about it! While I do occasionally work out on my own with the treadmill and gym machines, I've found that I truly love going to fitness classes! I'm so happy that I joined my gym instead of a specific fitness studio, because I've gotten to try so many different types of classes! So far I've tried Zumba, Barre, HIIT, Step Aerobics, Spinning, Yoga, and BodyPump- all very different types of classes. Since I'm able to try out so much, I've learned what's not for me (*cough* spinning), and also have been pleasantly surprised by how much I've loved other classes (looking at you, BodyPump!).
      My goal for 2019 is to go to the gym 3x a week minimum (hopefully 4-5), unless I'm on vacation for part of the week or am sick. I wish I could tell you that I go to the gym at the same time on the same days of the week... but it varies week to week! That's another reason that I'm happy I joined a gym like mine- they have such a varied class schedule, so each week I can find different classes that work at various times I'm free. With that said though- I do have a few favorites that I try to go to weekly! My favorite classes are Barre and Step Aerobics, and I try to go to each of those at least once a week. My ideal gym schedule is going to Step Aerobics on Tuesday and Thursday, BodyPump on Wednesday, and Barre on Saturday, but if I am traveling or have commitments at those times, I re-adjust my schedule and work out on other weekdays or with other classes. Sadly I haven't been able to go to much Zumba lately as those class times often don't line up with my schedule, but I do still love that type of workout!

    If you've also been feeling unmotivated with fitness or keep trying and failing to do one type of workout, I can't recommend joining a gym enough! While gyms like Planet Fitness can be convenient and cheap, I highly suggest looking into one with classes included with membership, like mine. I feel so much more motivated to push myself when I'm in a room with a teacher and others who are doing the workout with me! If you're local to Charlottesville, feel free to DM or email me and I'll let you know more information about my gym and the classes I go to regularly.

    And of course a quick fashion note for workout attire- I've never been one to spend a lot of money on workout clothes, and even though I workout more regularly now that still hasn't changed! Lilly Pulitzer luxletic leggings are my favorite (buy them during the After Party Sale), I love Forever 21 for sports bras, and I also like Old Navy's workout clothing.

      I'll be continuing with my Tuesday routine series next week- and I'm planning to do a Day in the Life routine post! A lot of y'all have been curious I know how I manage my time and what weekdays look like for me now that I'm a morning radio host, so hopefully that post will help answer everything. I'm excited to work on it this week.

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese 



  1. Girl I am totally with you on hating running! The funny thing is I was on the track team from 7th grade until 10th grade and I played soccer from age 7-19. I joined Burn Boot Camp last January and I have been so much more motivated to go because I am paying for that membership and like you said gym memberships aren't cheap!

  2. Getting back into fitness the the hardest thing right now!! I love your JOIN A GYM concept and if I lived in a town where there was a gym I would totally would do that but the closest gym is 20 minutes away...

  3. I'm not a fan of cardio or even sweating but I had to motivate myself so I can get ready for the wedding. It actually gets easier the more you do it.

  4. Going to a class is definitely more comfortable. My husband goes and just lifts, but the thought of that makes me very self conscious. I know people aren't staring, but in my mind they're judging me. In a class it's easier to blend in.

  5. I find that paying for a membership helps motivated me too. I need to try more fitness classes.

  6. We have a gym membership at the Y for free through Andy's work and I have a gym on-campus at the college where I work (that I can also go to for free!) but I have been maybe *once* in 1.5 years. I've realized that I don't like to exercise alone. Andy and I have been holding ourselves accountable to exercise together, which has definitely helped!!

  7. This is a super inspiring post. I hate to hear that you had an experience with assault, but I think it's so cool that you used running as a way to channel your anger -- even though you hate running! That's a fighter's spirit, there! Glad, too, that you've found new ways to exercise that you actually enjoy. That definitely makes getting up and getting cardio a little easier.

  8. I'm always more motivated to workout when I'm doing something I actually enjoy. I've found that paying for a gym membership isn't enough motivation for me... I still have to get there and when it's cold outside it's hard to motivate myself to leave the house. But having something I enjoy will get me up and moving!

  9. Girl, I wish buying a gym membership got me back to the gym! I have one and never go! lol but hoping to get back there soon!

  10. Okay this is great! I just heard my barre studio is closing, so I am in need of some tips to get back into a routine. I was out of town last week, so I missed working out all week. I will have to try your routine. Classes are the only way I can be motivated. I need someone to tell me what to do haha.


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