I think that when you have children your perspective on life changes in so many different ways. I had always thought my self-esteem was above average… I’m a fairly confident person in general, so not a whole lot really holds me back. Post childbirth, though… I stopped leaving my house and I refused to have my photo taken. I was not in the shape I was hoping for prior to getting pregnant with Liam. I had just started losing weight when I realized I was pregnant with Sylvi. To be completely honest, I was really glad to be pregnant again because I could actually answer yes when people eyed my belly and asked for my due date. I’d never been the “fat friend” and I really didn’t like being her now.
Additionally, I now have a daughter. To be completely honest, when I stand in front of the mirror tearing myself down, it’s my mother’s voice in my head. It’s her words about her body that I hear and I suddenly realized that if I didn’t get it together, my own child would be hearing my voice complaining about stretch marks and flab. At the same time, a friend invited me to attend a session of Mommy and Me Fitness in late January. Not only did she invite, she called, she texted and she was waiting for me outside the building that night. I knew that I was out of shape and class was going to be rough; I hoped she would forget about me. In that class, I was introduced to the Burpee. Many, many burpees. I cried most of my drive home. In fact, I cried on the way home for a few classes. About a month into the classes, I suddenly realized that I had done everything without a break. I knew I looked like a fool grinning ear to ear as we counted our way to 200 jumping jacks, but in that moment, I saw progress and strength and I wanted more. Then, it was announced that one of the instructors was going to be offering personal training and I saw it as my chance to actually re-learn how to exercise. I know how to exercise as an energetic college student working for a grade. I know how to exercise to maintain weight, but not how to lose. I didn’t know how to gain strength and endurance. Through tears (yes, I cry a lot) I emailed Brooke and told her that it wasn’t so much about being a bikini model as it was about having positive body image for the sake of my children and finally feeling healthy enough to be a great mom.
The next week, I started my exercise plan, tracked my calories and attended class. I lost 8 pounds the first week, but it came back in the form of muscle weight. At the 9-week mark, I had lost an official 10 pounds and have currently kept it off for over a month. However, my measurements are changing and dropping. This weekend, I bought a shirt in a size I haven’t worn since before I had children!! The point of this is that I feel strong. I feel healthy. And I love my butt.
I have set some goals for myself personally to achieve by October 14th and as added bonus, I found a group of bloggers who are looking to Go Green and Get Fit in the next few months. The challenge officially begins June 18th, but I’m announcing it here now so that if you want to join in as a participant you have the time to set your goals and prepare yourself mentally. GGGF has a Facebook page, Twitter feed and Pinterest boards to follow along with.
The goals for myself:
- Continue to strengthen my core. As a result of pregnancy, I have a serious Diastasis recti. Through the core exercises, the space between my muscles is closing, but I still have a lot of work to do.
- Continue to workout 6 days a week, with two days having twice-a-day workouts. Tuesday is my main 2-a-day as I’m taking a running class in the morning and my regular class in the evening. Some of my workout days will be lighter so I get a rest, but I am counting on Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays being my more challenging days. (I am also willing to count a bike ride or hike on the weekend as a workout as long as I add in some weights/abs.)
- Run and complete the Color Run in Columbus July 21st. I’d like to finish in less than 40 minutes, ideally as close to 30 minutes as possible.
- Run and complete the Mommy and Me Fitness 5k (October 6th) in less than 30 minutes.
- Participate in and complete the Life Time Fitness Indoor Tri (October 14th). I just registered myself this morning so it’s official… I’m committed and taking the challenge. And my hands are shaking. :)