In this episode of the Feel Good Effect, Robin Long is talking about finding consistency and joy in your workouts. This conversation is being reaired as we are heading into a new year so we can reframe and rethink the way we move our bodies. We talk about body acceptance, grace over guilt, and Robin also dives into pelvic floor health for better posture and injury prevention.
The Secret to Consistency & Joy in Your Workout Routine with Robin Long
*Use discount code: robyn20 for $20 off your Balanced Life Membership!
The Balanced Life Sisterhood
Robin has found that even though body-love and body-acceptance have become trendy, there is still a lot of messaging behind it that she struggles with.
She keeps in mind that her videos are watched in family homes and a lot of kids hear her message, so she wants to make sure that kids learn about health for the right reasons.
Robin started as a traditional pilates instructor teaching in-person classes, but quickly found that she wasn’t fitting in with the fitness industry.
People came to her for a flat tummy and toned body, but she found that what people really needed was to connect with their bodies and benefit from that healing power.
They would come in for the fitness, but they couldn’t understand why they felt so good after class: it was the mind-body connection.
She decided to start taking her message and perspective online.
She started by selling her workout videos to clients and family, and now her business is entirely online, The Balanced Life Sisterhood.
This is a community of women looking for a healthy, balanced relationship with health and wellness.
There is a focus on how we are living (on and off the mat), how we are talking to ourselves, and how we are being an example to others.
The Sisterhood is a lifestyle approach rooted in pilates.
Am I wrong? Or am I in the wrong place?
It is so valuable to have something different to offer or different to say– someone else out there needs to hear it differently, too.
Robin used to teach in a high-end fitness center in the Bay-area with lots of money and high-achieving trainers and clients.
There was this drive to be very visually fit; she didn’t feel like she could connect with anyone.
But her classes were full with months-long waitlists.
Robin was doing something totally different: she wasn’t talking about looking good or losing weight.
She was helping people feel good in a different way that really resonated with people.
If you’re feeling like you have something different to say or offer, there are people out there that need to hear that.
You’ll stand out and find those people if you’re not afraid to share your message and your truth.
People want to see the real journey, not the airbrushed journey we sometimes want to put out there.
Can we talk about body positivity without talking about our bodies?
By calling attention to body positivity, we are still talking about how our bodies look.
The body-positive movement is incredible, but is there a way to have the conversation without being so hyper-focused on how we look from the outside?
Even by sharing acceptance and body love or #fitspo (fitness inspiration), attention is still being called to how our bodies look.
As women in the health/fitness industry, Robyn and Robin know how to make that viral post, whether it be posting a curvy body or stretch marks.
But they want to be truthful with their communities and thoughtfully share their messages.
Finding a more gentle approach to wellness
Grace over guilt is a more gentle and self-compassionate approach to wellness.
Robin noticed that she often used to make decisions based on guilt: she would go to the gym because she felt guilty for eating a certain way.
That punishment mindset creates a negative relationship with exercise.
It was a cycle of guilt: punishing herself with exercise, rewarding herself with food, punishing herself for eating that rewarded-food with exercise, etc.
And it sounds pretty extreme, but if you dig a little deeper you might notice that a lot of our relationships with exercise and food are bathed in guilt.
It’s an unhappy way to live.
“Instead of wasting time and mental energy feeling guilty for what you did yesterday, just extend some grace to yourself… and pick back up today”.
Robyn has found in her research that one of the number one factors in sustainable, long-term change is self-compassion: the ability to be with yourself when you don’t live up to your expectations, and not confusing perfection with consistency.
Finding the time for self-care + exercise
It’s not easy – it takes work and attention.
If you’re busy, self-care and exercise are often going to be the first things to go.
But, there is real burnout that can happen.
“Your body will no longer support you if you do not take time to take care of yourself”.
Robin sees it in so many women that come to her, and she emphasizes getting rid of the all-or-nothing mentality.
To combat that, Robin provides short, effective workouts that can fit into most busy schedules (even in 10 minutes!).
She incorporates a baby-steps approach to breaking the association that exercise always has to be an hour or has to result in lots of sweating.
If you haven’t been doing anything physical in a while, it can be really hard to get started and ignore negative self-talk.
When you first start, you have to give yourself room to be where you are.
Remember: If it’s hard, you’re getting stronger.
Finding a community of authentic people can really help, too.
When you’re in a community, like the Sisterhood, you’ll see that other people are struggling too.
The Balanced Life Sisterhood has a group of 55+ as well, who are focused on Robin’s message of mind-body wellness and non-vanity motivations.
Building a strong core through pilates
Pilates provides a way to build a functional strong core.
A common misconception is that your core is just your abs.
All the ab muscles are a part of your core, but so is the pelvic floor.
Some of the things pilates addresses are two neglected parts of your core:
Paying attention to the pelvic floor is important for both people who have and have not had a baby.
It’s a muscle, just like any other muscle, and it should be considered anytime you’re thinking about going back to exercising.
Ab separation is a separation down the middle of your abs as a result of childbirth.
After having a baby, it is so important to check for this before jumping back into exercise.
If this isn’t addressed, there won’t be any progress.
Embracing postpartum life
Robin just had twins and is totally embracing postpartum life.
She’s finding her new balance, easing back into work and working out, and figuring out what it looks like to have 2 kids and 2 babies.
It’s about finding little ways to work wellness and fitness into her current season, remembering that this isn’t forever; life moves in seasons.
What it means to be healthy
“What it means to be healthy is to feel good in my body, and to be at peace mentally and physically.. It’s not a size or shape of my body, it’s more feeling peaceful and feeling good in my body”.
Robin Long is a certified Pilates instructor and creator of The Balanced Life, a website dedicated to helping women love their bodies. The Balanced Life provides quick, yet effective, online Pilates & barre workouts that can be done from home or on the road and serves tens of thousands of women all over the world. Robin is passionate about helping women transform their relationship with exercise and healthy living by choosing “grace over guilt” and finding a balance that feels like FREEDOM. Robin lives and works in sunny Santa Barbara, CA. She obtained her comprehensive Pilates certification through Body Arts and Science International and her barre certification through Balanced Body. She is passionate about creating programs that empower, strengthen, restore, and rejuvenate her clients from the inside out.
Website: The Balanced Life