I am not a fitness expert or a fitness professional. I’m a busy stay at home mom. Up until a year ago, I was a busy working mom. Like many women, my size and weight have fluctuated dramatically as an adult. However, I am a real life example of how you can go from detesting exercise to loving it.
Until I hit 25 years old I was rail thin. I was the girl that was too thin to donate blood.
I wasn’t athletic as a child or a teen—unless you count marching in band, which I guess you can because marching in the Florida heat and humidity can be brutal. My level of activity was pretty low when it wasn’t marching season.
Then I graduated high school and discovered how much I loved to dance. My friends and I danced every night all night. We pretty much did cardio 6 hours a night. Good times.
After I got married and settled down at 23, the weight crept on but at 125 it didn’t worry me. Then I got pregnant at 29.
I went from 125 to 204. Yes, I was that woman. (To put this in perspective, I am Asian and 5’3.” Being 204 lbs may not be a lot on some women but it was on my frame.) My baby was born 5 lbs so I couldn’t even blame it “on the baby.” I looked a lot like Violet Beauregard after she turned into the giant blueberry.
After I delivered, the weight dropped to 150 from breastfeeding and constantly being on the move. Then my clothes started to get tight again. I found out that my second child was going to be just over a year younger than my first.
Between having two babies that rarely slept through the night, two dogs, and a full time job with a horrible commute, I had no time to work out. It is not “my excuse.” It was something I could not move higher on my list of personal priorities. During this time frame the first hints of Pea’s Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis started and our nights and mornings were spent with a toddler crying in pain.
And it took two long years to get the arthritis diagnosis and the correct treatment.
Finally when the kids were 3 and 4, I was able to fit in time for exercise. However with a husband that travels for work and a daughter that has a chronic and unpredictable pain condition, my workouts had to be flexible.
Because of my work hours and hour long commute, I could only work out in the wee hours of the morning or late at night. I didn’t have the luxury of being able to have my husband take care of the kids.
So I worked out at home with amazing results. At 130 lbs, I was down to my previous clothing size but much healthier and stronger than I was at 120lbs.
I wanted to gain more energy, lose the fat, and fit in my clothes when I worked out from home. I wanted to be able to park in the last row at the Magic Kingdom transportation center parking lot and not have to take the tram. I wanted to be healthier for my kids.
The scale is a poor measure of fitness. A pound of muscle takes up much less space (and burns more calories) than a pound of fat does in your body.
But as I said before, my size has had some dramatic changes. After my miscarriage in Oct 2013, I gained weight again. Though I stopped working outside of the home at the end of that year, I did not exercise again until a year after the miscarriage.
I blogged and took online classes. My time was spent on a chair at the computer and it showed.
I knew that I needed motivation to get back into shape so I agreed to join a friend (who is athletic and competitive) at a gym. It took me a month to fall back in love with fitness. (Those first few weeks suck.) I started working out in November 2014.
I was 145 lbs. We took a week off for Thanksgiving and two weeks off training for Christmas.
I am now 147 lbs but have lost inches around my waist and thighs and am much stronger than before. I’m ending my first 9 week cycle of building muscle and adding more cardio. My gym workouts are NOTHING like my home workouts but i have different goals now.
I was not a fitness buff before having kids. I wasn’t even a fitness “liker.” I was a please let me stay on the couch reading this book forever type of person. Now I am here talking about fitness motivation for moms. Kids do weird things to you–like make you really want to be healthier.
I am merely sharing some of the tips and methods I used to become a more active mom. We all have our own journey, hardships, and goals. My idea of fit is not the same as yours. My idea of healthy is not the same as yours.
Working out at home when I was an exercise “beginner” was great for me. My confidence takes a hit when I see ultra fit people surrounding me. I still get uncomfortable but I know we are all at different points in our journey. Going to a big gym like L.A. Fitness was outside of my comfort zone. It was only when it was right for me and my family that I joined. Don’t spend your money on a membership if you can’t actually use it. Every mother has something going on in her life that may have more priority than working out. There will be no judgement here.
The words “active fit mom” are relative. For me, they describe an active mom that feels good about herself, her body, and her ability to keep up with her kids. Reaching that “fit mom” status isn’t like arriving to a destination and staying there forever. There will be set backs and there will be successes.
Read more about my fitness philosophy and methods.