By Guest Writer Di Anne Allan
After 23 years of marriage, my husband looked at me in counseling and said “I feel like I’m running a marathon with you, and you’ve put me ten miles back. If you can’t forgive me for how I’ve treated you for 23 years, maybe you should just go.”
His words were like a punch to the gut. The counselor white-knuckled his chair, waiting for me to explode. Instead, I took a deep breath and said, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” I didn’t say I was leaving at that moment, because I needed to get my ducks in a row. I was a stay-home-mom, taking care of three kids and running a household, while he ran a business and took care of the money.
When I started looking into our finances, I realized I didn’t have access to all the bank accounts. I felt stupid and naïve. This was a culmination of events in our marriage, most of which left me deeply depressed and questioning my self-worth. It was time to make a very painful and difficult decision.
After we separated, there were days I could barely get out of bed. One night my oldest daughter found me in bed at 7 pm, sobbing. She asked, “Mama, are you okay?” I said, “No.” Then my sweet 20-year-old girl climbed into bed with me, followed by my 17-year-old daughter, and we all cried together, followed by some laughter, then more tears.
It was an important moment for my daughters and me. They had never seen me break down. After all, I’m the supermom who can juggle a million things and make it all look perfect, right? I realize now that my desire to make it all look good and perfect was what nearly destroyed me. It turns out that, no matter how hard you try, there is no such thing as perfect. You can’t please everyone. And I’d exhausted myself trying.
The only place where I was an authentic version of myself was in the gym. As a fitness instructor, I could let my guard down and be the silly, clumsy, dorky, imperfect person I am. Teaching fitness was a constant battle in my house, but it was a battle I fought for, and I fought hard! I saw the importance of how it made people feel: empowered, happy, and strong. As much as it helped my students, it helped me more. On the days I didn’t feel like teaching, or going to the gym, I did it anyway. It was a part of my day, like brushing my teeth. Without thought, I would get up and put on my gym clothes. My nutrition was also routine. The majority of my diet was whole foods, coffee, and water, with minimal processed food and sugar. However, I would be lying if I said there weren’t nights I would grab a bottle of wine, a cheese quesadilla, and binge-watch Yellowstone or Modern Family. This happened on more than one occasion, and that’s okay.
A healthy lifestyle is about consistency, not perfection. It’s about creating a routine that is realistic and simple. At some point we’re all confronted by stressful events or trauma. The key is making sure you have a routine set up before these stressful moments hit. Prioritizing your physical and mental health is not selfish; it’s necessary. It is never too late to build a routine for yourself and become the healthiest version of you. We all have a God-given purpose. In order to fulfill that purpose, we need to be healthy: physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially.
About Di Anne Allan
Born and raised a Southern California girl, I was immersed in dance and cheerleading. After trying out for the Los Angeles Laker Girls, and working for Banana Boat Sun and Skincare, I decided to get serious with my studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. In 1996, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Communications, with a minor in Health and Wellness. I’ve lived in Arizona for half of my life, where I’ve raised three beautiful children: Reagan, Taylor, and Shane. I have taught fitness for 20 years and personally experienced fitness as a tool for not just physical health, but mental wellness. My favorite thing about teaching fitness is watching how it makes people feel, and the friendships that are formed through class participation. I believe it’s important to build each other up as a community, because we are in this fitness fight together. I will lead you through fun, effective, inspiring workouts, and help you set up a realistic and simple nutrition plan to help you feel amazing and empowered. My Number 1 rule is HAVE FUN!
Coffee is my go juice, and my favorite food is anything smothered in artichokes!
Certifications include: AFAA, TurboKick, LesMills BodyJam, PiYo, BOSU, and Insanity. NASM Nutrition Certification. Instructor at Revolve Cycling and LA Fitness