Although I’ve previously dedicated Wednesday blog posts to Wine Down Wednesday with recommendations - and I promise this is coming back in 2019! - I wanted to take a minute to talk about why I signed on to be a Brand Ambassador for clothing line Just Strong.
Let me preface everything by saying that I don't consider myself to be "just" anything.
I'm not "just" a:
wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, colleague, professional, advocate, instructor, political nerd (true story), blogger (would I qualify?), wine connoisseur (definitely wouldn't qualify), shoe addict (sad but true), fashion lover, handbag collector, activewear hoarder, runner, traveller, etc, etc, etc.
But I'm happy to label myself 'just strong'.
Since having my daughter, I've probably been focused more than ever on my physique. I've been everything from amazed at what women can do with their bodies to agonising over when I was going to shed the 'baby weight'. The latter has been a tough journey for me, and I've had moments of great patience in the process as well as times when I thought I would simply never fit into some clothes again (who says the hormones only act up when you're pregnant?).
And when I say journey, I mean it. Getting back into my fitness routine, finding my self-discipline again, figuring out what would work (appreciating that the 'old way' may not work in the same way it once did), going easy on myself, accepting that life had changed and that some days I just wouldn't have time for a workout because someone else was getting all of my time (which I happily gave and continue to give!).
So I had to take baby steps and recognise the small successes. And that meant accepting that I wasn't as toned as I may have wanted to be nor was I as flexible after some time away from pilates, but I was regaining my strength. I was just ... strong.
Over time, I've managed to cut myself some slack as I'm tough on myself by nature (over everything, not just physical appearance). So coming across an active wear brand that focuses not only on the physical but the mental toughness that women demonstrate as well was just awesome. There are some great motivational pieces of clothing out there, don't get me wrong. But these ones, produced by a brand focused solely on empowering women, spoke to me.
Maybe it's because I'm at a point in my life where I'm increasingly keeping quotes about the importance of women supporting women etched in my brain that the brand spoke that much louder.
I'm a passionate advocate for gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and, indeed, all places in life.
My goal for my small pilates business is to help as many people as possible -female and male - to achieve their personal fitness objectives. I do that through the training and certifications that I've received, but I also do it with laughter and personality. Who wants a boring instructor, right? Who wants to feel like they're in the military when they're at a Barre class grooving to cool tunes?
A tee that says "Progress not Perfection" sums up so many aspects of who I am and what I represent that I couldn't not put my hand up to be part of the Just Strong team.
I'm sharing all of this with you to also share something else: a special code that you can use to get a discount on some fun, comfortable and motivational workout gear. With everything from leggings to tees, hoodies to gym bags, Just Strong has got you covered - literally - and will have you looking forward to your next workout.
If all of this sounds like something you too want to be a part of, head to their website and use DEIRDRAMCT10 at the checkout.
And if my goal sounds like something you'd like to have in an instructor, then by all means, get in touch today! Let's build our strength together.