I am no fitness junkie, nor am I a fan of exercise. What I am – is a single mom in my mid 30s struggling (Struggle is real) to get and stay in shape. I would love to say my current journey to becoming fit is a result of greater health consciousness, but, that would not be true. I credit my fitness journey with FabFitFriends to my, much too articulate and assertive 6 almost 7yr old princess. For some time now, my very athletic daughter had been badgering me to get active, get outside, and exercise. Up until now, her appeals have either gone unnoticed, or met with my impatient retort “I’m tired.” I could safely say, the sum of my physical activity was reflected in my halfhearted and the obligatory trips to the park with her, or her suggestion that we walk and not drive somewhere. If and when I did take her to the park, I prayed, other kids would be there, so I could sit and read a book or scroll through my twitter feed.
So what changed? I had known for some time that I needed to start exercising, but I was stuck in the proverbial rut. I “kinda” had the time (If I made some real effort), I had home exercise dvds, I had cable, assorted exercise tools and the big outdoors. Yet, I watched the pounds pack on, ignored some clothes and put exercise on my vision board. Still, nothing happened. Not until, that fateful morning when my daughter who had observed me, in varied states of dress and undress, said in her quiet gentle voice: “ Momma” why is everything on you so bouncy?” Note well, the term “bouncy” was her polite and kind way of saying fat. I stared at her blankly (All the time, silently screaming how dare you). Emboldened by my silence, she continued- “Your butt is bouncy, your tummy is bouncy, your breast is bouncy- everywhere on you is bouncy”. Annoyed and defensive, I responded by telling her to leave me alone. But, I didn’t stop there, I proceeded to make it a “teachable moment” and gave her a lesson about not calling people fat and recognizing that everybody’s body is different.
Truth is, her comment had made me feel self-conscious and her innocent observation had hit a nerve. Regardless of my mini- sermon, my daughter was right and had not said or done anything wrong. I had gained some extra pounds that were beginning to show and it seemed that my little princess noticed. And then it hit me, among the many things I was trying to teach my daughter, I needed to demonstrate a healthy and balanced lifestyle. In that moment, I realized that I had to make some changes to my routine. For starters, I couldn’t keep eating like she did. I needed to find a way to manage my eating habits and manage how much of those homemade treats we made (ice cream smoothies, pizzas, apple pies) and how much I consumed. Plus, I couldn’t keep tasting all her food and snacks every time she ate. Though I didn’t have any healthy issues, I didn’t like how I looked in the nude, was always tired and seriously needed to start exercising. And so, I shared my dilemma with my FabFitFriends and we formed a plan to get started.
It’s been 3 months since that happened, and I can seriously tell you, that my biggest fan, best exercise partner and toughest critic is my daughter. Once I told her of my plans to start exercising and how I would shift things around so that, I could make the time to work out at home or go to the gym, she has been nothing but awesome. I can count on her to tell me when I am doing an exercise wrong, or to tell me to get moving when I am exhausted , resting for too long, and count on her to ask or remind me that we have to go to the gym. The best part is, I am slowly becoming fitter, I have a lot more energy, my daughter is having fun with her “ Momma” in new ways, and watching me take better care of myself.
So moms, I get it. Whether you work outside of the home or not, or are even in transition, you have a lot on your plate. So much so that, at times, it seems you do not have any time to do anything for you. I have walked that road (still on it) and found all the excuses myself. Yet, we have to make an effort to take care of ourselves and strive to become the best versions of ourselves. Remember, our children are watching!