My name is Emily. I am a mother of 3 (soon to be 4), a wife and an Orriant Health Coach℠. I continually work towards being and staying fit. As I interact with other moms, I often get asked questions like, “How do you stay so fit?”, “When do you have time to exercise?”, or “When do you spend time with family?” Well, just like anything else, it’s what you make a priority. Yes, there are situations that “interrupt” my plans. However, I have found that if I schedule the time, and help my kids understand this is something important that mommy needs to do, I can reach my goals.
Personally, I know that committing to regular exercise and doing something healthy for me, has done the following:
1. Increased my patience and attitude with family, work, and neighbor relationships.
2. Given me more energy to keep up with the demands of being a wife, mother, and Health Coach.
3. Provided me with a more positive image of myself - Which I feel rubs off on my daughters.
4. Helped to set an example to my children of how important it is to care for our bodies.
5. My children see that setting goals and accomplishing them is a healthy and beneficial part of life.
Here’s my take on fitness and being a mom: it should be part of every woman’s life. Keep in mind, fitness is about feeling good about you and finding a balance that helps you both physically and mentally.
My relationship with exercise started as a child, playing soccer and ballet dancing. I don’t think I ever thought of it as “exercise”, just going out and doing something I enjoyed. The love of soccer carried me through high school and into college. For me it was a way to pay for school, and as I progressed in my studies, I found the benefits that it had given to my body.
Once I graduated from college, I had to find something to keep me fit since I no longer had soccer games and training. I turned to running. To be perfectly honest, I was less than excited to take on distance running. At the time, it seemed to be my only choice with my limited income and minimal understanding for other exercises. It was hard to devote myself to it in the beginning, but then I found ways to make it more enjoyable. I recruited friends to run with me and that eventually led to groups preparing for local races. As I became more comfortable with running, I knew it was time to step outside of my shell. I started participating in group fitness classes. I discovered it increased my overall coordination and the variety of exercises is very beneficial to weight management, weight loss, and changing body shape.
Many years, and a few children later, I have really tried to hold onto my ties of being active. It has become a part of who I am. It hasn’t been easy, but my workout begins at 4 am so I can be home when my husband heads off to work at 6 am. It didn’t just happen overnight, this is a pattern I have followed for the last 7 years. I won’t lie - there are days that I struggle to get up either because of a late bed time, or getting up during the night with kids. But since it is important to me, I find a way to make it work.
Sometimes I find ways to include my kids into my workout. I go for runs with kids in the stroller while the older one rides a bike alongside me. I have exercise DVDs that I do in my front room while, yes, the kids watch a 30 minute educational show. Sometimes they watch my exercise DVD with me, and even try to join in. We walk to the park and while they run and play, I can do strength exercises on the playground equipment or I’ll join in on the fun and play tag with them. If nothing else, I complete short, efficient exercises that at least let me accomplish some type of workout.
I don’t know about you, but I started noticing some “selfish” things I was doing. Have you ever snuck a piece of candy when the kids weren’t looking - moments after telling them they couldn’t have a treat? What about the diet soda the kids can’t have, but mom can? I thought, “What am I teaching myself? What am I teaching my kids?” If I didn’t want them taking it into their body, then why was I? Then I thought, “Perhaps I’m being selfish because it’s something that is mine. It seems like I share everything else with the kids. Can’t I have this one thing?” It’s still a work in progress, but I decided if I was going to be “selfish” (as some like to see it) then why not do it with something that’s good for me?
Everyone has to find their niche to feel good about themselves. Wherever you may be in your process of finding what is right for you, remember this: You are important, you are needed. You have the ability to make things happen. Life might say there is not enough time, but to the adage, “where there is a will, there is a way”.