The goal is not losing weight, it's not some canned diet. It's real moms sharing their honest experiences with finding an exercise routine that works, that even at their busiest they are making time for themselves because it's important. It's about being able to keep up with and chase your toddler. It's about being present, focused, and having patience with your kids because you feel physically better.
Hope you enjoy reading these stories, and even more, I hope they inspire you to get moving!
Thanks to Mary Gauvin for sharing her story first!
She is an amazing friend for so many reasons, and being strong and teaching her son good healthy habits is just one more reason I adore her!
All images from Mary Gauvin
1. When in your life have you felt the most physically fit and in shape?
October-November 2013. In September of 2013, I did a Whole30 Challenge. It was amazing. Right now, I'm doing pretty well, but I'm not enjoying fall allergy season so I haven't pushed myself as hard as I could.
2. What was it about that time in your life that made you feel so physically in shape?
A combination of good diet, major gains in my training program, and confidence in my abilities. When I say "good diet", I'm referring to the self exploration and trial & error I've done to find what works best for me. As someone who will forever be recovering from an eating disorder, my goal is to be healthy. I use the term "diet" to describe what I eat, not what I restrict myself from eating or a program I follow.
3. When you were pregnant, what type of physical activity did you keep up with and how long into pregnancy? What did you notice afterward with birth, etc. about how your body felt when you were active during pregnancy?
I was so sick from 7 weeks to the day I delivered. Walking, light weight lifting, and prenatal yoga helped with the nausea. I had a fairly quick recovery and a fairly easy delivery. I attribute both to staying active. I stayed active the whole pregnancy.
4. After you had your child, how do you get your body back to being strong again?
A diet that worked for me, breast feeding, walking, Burpees!
5. What exercises are you currently doing? How often do you exercise? Where do you exercise? What time of day? Where is your child when you're exercising?
I currently do CrossFit at least three times per week. My son and I go to the Box , our WOD is at and usually lasts about an hour. R plays while I work out.
6. What do you like about your current exercise routine? Why would you encourage other moms to try this particular routine?
Most CrossFit boxes are family-friendly. The workouts can also be scaled (example: I don't run due to ankle injuries, so I usually row) to ability. It's never the same thing, so your body is constantly changing and adapting. My coach worked out up until she delivered!
The CrossFit community is also incredible! It's a second family. Even if you are the last to finish, there's always someone there cheering you on. I do best if I have someone telling me what to do... and the fact that I pay for it is also incentive to attend.
7. What are some challenges you find to working out?
One of my favorite quotes (not sure of the author) is: You'll never regret working out, but you'll always regret missing the workout. Sometimes motivation is an issue... especially when I have to shovel the driveway (i.e., do a workout before the workout even starts!) or if my son didn't have a great night's sleep (which means I didn't).
8. What are the best parts to working out?
Having more energy, less illness, and seeing results! I recently hit the 200lb club for deadlifting. That was pretty cool. Both my husband and I also love that our son is exposed to health and exercise.
9. What is your advice to moms who just can't find the time, don't have energy, cannot seem to make working out a priority? What helps you to make it important in your life?
As with anything, if you want it to be a priority, you have to make a change. It's important to me because I want to be around for my family as long as possible. Start small, even once a week. Go for a walk. Do a situp or a Burpee challenge. Small goals can equal great accomplishments!!
10. How does being physically active make you a better mother?
I have a three year old boy. If I can't keep up with him, it's all over. It's pretty awesome to be strong enough to toss my 37lb child up above my head... I had a friend caption a photo, "It's not just Daddy that can throw me up in the air!". I also think that modeling a healthy lifestyle is one of the best lessons we as parents can share.
11. Anything else you want to add?
Get after it. Find a workout buddy! Believe in yourself.