By Sugey Palomares

Sticking to a gym regimen has always been difficult for me. Surprise, surprise—it got even harder after I became a mom, but since it’s summer and I’m trying to live my best life, I decided to develop my very own gym challenge.

My inspiration? Instagram transformation photos spanning from celebrities to mom bloggers and influencers. Also, Jessica Alba’s latest InStyle cover story where she talks about being motivated by Kate Hudson’s every-day-work-out approach. Granted, that’s not my reality. As a full-time working mom, I can’t visit the gym every day, but I wanted to define my own “best” and actually stick to it. Would I lose weight? Or start to notice a difference in the mirror? I was committed to finding out.

I decided to create my own fitness challenge, which consisted of working out three days a week for six weeks. My workouts would include two cardio classes and one yoga class. The results were pretty amazing, but not the kind you see in infomercials or before and after collages. My first workout for the week was Zumba. As a former cheerleader, a choreographed dance routine feels like the best type of workout. No, I didn’t always follow the moves, but the music was enough to keep me pumped and make me reminisce on the days I carried pom-poms around.

My second weekly activity was yoga. It kept my Zen up even after a hectic day. The stretches also helped relieve my soreness from the previous day and I was able to give my body the relaxation it needed. I found that I slept better at night and was more present when spending time with family.

Finally, my third workout of the week was Pound, a cardio class that combines aerobic exercise with Pilates. Similar to Zumba, the class is focused on toning and cardio. I felt energized and was sweating like crazy during class! I also got to live my fantasy of being part of a band, since you get to hold Ripstix that are similar to drumsticks during class. Banging those sticks around definitely made me feel strong and badass!

After consistency sticking to my routine for six weeks, I felt my body get a little tighter and I lost five pounds. The best part of it all, I proved to myself that I can stick to a workout routine of my own. Dedicating three hours a week to the gym was the ultimate self-care I needed to feel good from the inside-out. I’m ready to make the challenge a regular part of my weekly lifestyle, but I’m also mindful to not be so hard on myself if I don’t make it to the gym.

I’m trying my best and that’s good enough.