How I Sweat: Meet Allie
Welcome to How I Sweat, where we catch up with members of the incredible Sweat Community to find out more about their lives and why they choose to Sweat.
Today, we’re talking to Allie, who first joined Sweat in 2019, but didn’t start consistently working out alongside the Sweat Community until the pandemic hit.
Allie is in her early thirties, lives in the US and works as a Mental Health and Crisis Therapist. As her Instagram handle suggests (@that.fit.therapist), Allie is passionate about helping others through difficult periods in their lives. She has worked in the mental health field for over a decade, and her work is a huge source of meaning for her.
When she’s at home, Allie is spending time with her four-year-old son (who often joins in on her home workouts) and her husband (who was once her high school crush!), but says she wouldn’t be where she is today without the support of the Sweat Community.
“I cannot say enough good things about the Sweat Community. The women I have “met” through this community have shown me such blind support, encouragement, and togetherness during difficult times. There are several women that I speak to on a daily basis, and consider real-life friends, despite having never met.”
Has her fitness journey changed since she first joined? You bet.
“My goals have shifted greatly since I first joined. What started as a weight loss and self-care goal has transformed completely to just a normal part of my everyday routine that helps me feel like “me”. My anxiety is more manageable, despite all that’s going on in the world, and I’m connected with women from around the world who cheer me on, challenge me, and help me to grow, both with my mindset and physically.”
This is how Allie sweats.
My fitness journey and why I Sweat
In terms of fitness, I was never active growing up. I was an Equestrian, but for some reason I felt like it didn’t count - maybe because nobody I knew rode horses and always figured I just wasn’t the “athletic type” due to my lack of interest in sports, and I preferred to opt-out of any physical activity.
That changed after I got married. I have lived with anxiety my entire life, and my newly-married life included graduate school and a full-time job, so I knew I needed to do something to care for myself.
One day, I decided I wanted to be a runner and exercise as my self-care, so I signed up for a 10k race. I followed that path for several years in my early twenties and moved on to triathlons, completing several until I became pregnant. After I had my son in 2018, I struggled to find balance again and was going for the occasional run up until I joined Sweat.
Throughout my fitness journey, my “why” has constantly evolved. When I first joined Sweat, I had no idea how to prioritise myself. I was “mom”, “wife”, and “therapist”, and as wonderful as those identities are, I didn’t know who I was beyond that.
I had gone from training 2-3 hours a day for triathlons, both at home and in the gym, to struggling with time management, “mum guilt”, and lacking enough energy to even get out of the house for 10 minutes of exercise.
I knew it would be too hard for me to re-join a gym, and after following Kelsey Wells for a while and seeing she had an at-home program, I took the leap and joined. It took three attempts and seven months before I found my footing with consistency, but once that happened, everything clicked!
It might sound cheesy, but I’ve learned that I am an athlete. I used to think that if I didn’t look a certain way, nobody would take me seriously in the gym or in regard to health, and I’ve come to realise that’s just not true. I’ve learned I’m stronger than I thought and my limits are much higher than I could imagine. Each new program I complete, I learn something new about myself.
How I Sweat
Several of the Sweat trainers have been there for me at different stages. I started my journey with Kelsey Wells’ PWR At Home, did my first Barre class with Brittany, and challenged and pushed myself with Cass Oholm’s High Intensity Strength.
However, I continue to come back to Lifting at Home. I connect with this training style and I’m currently doing her Lifting At Home 3.0 program!
No matter where you are in your journey, the best advice I can give is to simply go at your own pace, find movement you enjoy, and don’t be afraid to change your goals along the way.
Be flexible with your time! I would not be where I am today if I didn’t allow myself to work out at any time of day depending on what life throws at me. I’ve also found it’s really important to learn the difference between skipping workouts due to low motivation and skipping because I truly need a break.
Drink water, move your body, fuel your body and unless it’s for medical reasons, don’t restrict whole food groups. It’s pretty basic, but doing these things consistently can bring about plenty of positive change!
Finally, find a support system. If my husband wasn’t on board with this lifestyle, everything would be exponentially more difficult. If your family and friends aren’t supportive initially, look online. There’s a whole community of women (and men) ready to cheer you on and the Sweat Community is incredible!
I don’t subscribe to “never miss a Monday” rhetoric, but I do try to start on Mondays, as I tend to be busiest mid-week. Although I nearly always set my alarm for 4:30 am, the likelihood of it being a successful early morning workout is much lower on Monday if I’m being honest! Sometimes this is due to my four-year-old waking in the middle of the night, and sometimes it’s just because Mondays are hard and I’m tired.
My morning routine consists of getting myself ready for work and tag-teaming my son’s routine with my husband. I’m normally out the door before everyone else in the house and work as a mental health crisis responder in a school district until about 4 pm.
I’m home before 5 pm and my husband takes over my typical dinner duty so I can get a workout in before bedtime. My son will hang out and watch a show in the basement with me while I work out and the soundtrack of his show often becomes my workout playlist.
Sometimes he joins me or tests my cardio by asking questions about every move I perform. He asked for his own weights for his birthday this year, so I know this time spent getting stronger is good for him too. In Lifting At Home 3.0, Monday is Low Rep Lower Body day. I finish the workout and feel good, like I’ve ticked something big off my list for the day. On days like this, I have less time to soak in the good feelings of my workout.
After dinner I spend time with my family until my son is in bed. It’s the late-night hours that I find time somehow speeds up! It’s the only time I get to myself, but also includes cleanup, prepping for the next day and unwinding. I’m usually in bed by 9:30 pm.
I wake up to my alarm in my son’s room after him waking several times in the night. When he was younger, he slept great. As he gets older, his sleep is more interrupted (as is mine) and although I used to get frustrated, I’ve slowly learned to adjust my routine. It’s not ideal because I prefer morning workouts, but I make it work.
Tuesday’s routine is similar to Mondays. When I get home, instead of forcing myself to do a quick workout, I choose to spend the time alternating between cooking dinner and playing. Although I’m currently tracking my macros, nobody else in my house does, so I’ve found home-cooking dinners 5-6 times a week and eating leftovers is much more realistic and sustainable than meal-prepping.
I change into my workout gear before getting my son’s bedtime routine completed - that way there’s one less step! I start my Low Rep Upper Body workout around 8:30 pm and eat a post-workout snack and muscle recovery supplements before getting to bed by 10 pm. I feel energised yet exhausted afterwards. These are my least favourite workouts, as I find my sleep is the most disrupted following a difficult late-night workout, but I need to be flexible with the timing if I want to stay consistent.
Each semester I teach one graduate psychology course at my alma mater. Currently it’s on Wednesday and has me out of the house until 9 pm.
On Wednesdays I try extra hard to get up by 5 am to get LISS completed. LISS for me at this time is simply a 30-45min walk on the treadmill. This morning I made it work, but I always leave room to declare it a rest day if I need more sleep.
After my day job, I run home to say hi to my family briefly and throw together a dinner to eat on my drive to the University. When I get home, it’s prep time. I get lunch ready for the next day, eat whatever remaining macros I have (I often have a lot leftover on this day for whatever reason), and head to bed.
I get up at 4:30 am and knock out High Rep Lower Body. This leaves me feeling refreshed and focused, which really sets the tone for the rest of the day! Despite starting my day so much earlier, I always struggle to get out of the house on time after a morning workout. I imagine it would work better if I actually got out of my bed right when my alarm went off instead of laying there fighting off sleep haha. Haven’t mastered it yet!
Thursday at work looks much like any other day. When I get home I prep dinner and then it’s off to my son’s activities. We get home an hour before his bedtime so it’s a hustle to get dinner cooked, get everyone fed, and get him ready for bed. Thursday nights I tend to allow myself to stay awake longer. Fridays are typically rest days, which takes the pressure off having to get up so early!
Today is a rest day! I sleep until 6 am, which feels like a sleep in. After a full day of work, I grab some fresh groceries on the way home for dinner - does anyone else’s weekly shop never seem to make it to Friday night?
I cook dinner while my husband plays with our son, we eat as a family, and typically will push bedtime back to give everyone some added family time. After our son is in bed, Friday is normally a movie night for us. I'll have a glass of wine too, if I don’t think it’ll make me fall asleep immediately!
Saturdays start off slowly, with me making breakfast for the family, playing, and doing chores around the house. Mid-morning, I head to the basement and get a High Rep Upper Body workout done. Sometimes the boys join me, sometimes I get this time to myself. Saturdays are my favourite lifting day since it’s rarely rushed. I’m able to zone out and just focus on myself. If I have extra time, I’ll add 20-30 minutes of LISS in as well.
In the afternoon I join my son for a nap (because honestly it’s hard for me to pass up the opportunity to sleep!) and we all head to the grocery store afterwards. I plan our dinners for the entire week, always leaving a night for takeout. I’ve done this most of my adult life and honestly I don’t understand how people know what to buy if they don’t know what they’re going to cook!
Sunday looks much like Saturday, but without all the errands and chores. During summer there are usually more weekend activities or family functions and we love to go for long walks to grab coffee and breakfast, but in winter we try to stay inside and play around the house.
Winter means more walks on the treadmill, and I squeeze in a short nap if I’m lucky. If not, I spend the time either reading or working on the courses I teach. Then it’s leftovers for dinner and an early bedtime to prepare for the week ahead.
How do YOU choose to Sweat?
No matter what you’re juggling in your day-to-day life, what form of movement you enjoy the most, or what time of day you can squeeze it in, Sweat can fit into your lifestyle.
There’s a large variety of programs, workout styles and trainers to suit any fitness level or goal, and an amazing community of women ready to cheer you on every step of the way.
So tell us in the comments, how do YOU Sweat?
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.