When I was 18, I started my fitness journey. What did that look like you ask? Simple, 4 mile walks every – single – day. I also did Billy Blanks TaeBo a few times per week as well. I knew nothing about exercise. The only thing I knew was, the days of playing high school sports were coming to an end and I needed to do something else.
I also wanted to lose weight. Desperately! I was unhappy with the way I looked, I was heavier than all of my friends and I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. Despite playing sports and being active every day of the week, I was not eating healthy. What did that even mean? I had no clue! So the first step I took was to just eat less of what I was eating and start walking more.
When I was 20, almost 21, I got pregnant with my son. I stopped walking and working out and I used it as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted. I was young and clueless! I had no fitness or health inspiration in my life so I didn’t know better. I thought, well I’m going to gain weight anyway, so I might as well just eat what I want. Well 9 months later, I was 80 lbs heavier and left with stretched out skin that would never return to it’s pre-pregnancy state.
My son was born in May and I returned to walking. I used to take him out for walks almost every day. He got so used to it, that he loved the routine I had set. Little did I know that’s what I was doing. On days that it rained, I would put him in his swing and I would do my Tae Bo DVDs in the living room. I lost all of the weight and more really fast. My stomach never returned to the way it was before I got pregnant but I was fitting in smaller clothes and I was actually really happy for once.
I continued to workout either with him which consisted of taking walks OR in front of him like doing my Tae Bo in the living room. Five years later I got pregnant with my daughter. I continued to workout while I was pregnant this time and I didn’t use my pregnancy as an excuse to eat what I wanted. I took an interest in health and nutrition since having my son and I learned a lot about eating healthy so I was not going to make the same mistake twice.
My daughter was born at the end of October so the weather was pretty cold. I didn’t get to push her in a stroller like I did with my son and by the time warmer weather arrived, she had absolutely no interest in being in a stroller. I tried, but she cried every time. So I just continued to workout in my living room. I found other workout videos to follow online and that’s what I would do. My daughter was a very fussy, gassy baby. She cried a lot, wanted you to walk around the house while carrying her, and between 5pm and 9pm she was colicky and my husband would have to walk with her to get her to calm down. This lasted for about 4 months at least…it feels like it lasted a lot longer though. I was also working a full time job. I forgot to mention that at the beginning of this post, but I worked after having both of my kids. I took the summer off when my son was born, but got a full time job in the fall. I worked out in the morning before going to work or at night after getting home. It wasn’t always easy to fit a workout in when you have two kids to take care of, but working out had become a big part of my life and I knew that I had to make time for something that was important. I also wanted my kids to grow up knowing this was part of my life and eventually to understand why.
When my daughter was a toddler, she liked to workout with me. She would see me doing pull-ups in the doorway and would ask us to help her so she can do them too. My kids were involved in sports and my daughter started gymnastics at 18 months. I wanted them to know that fitness is important. My son wasn’t as enthusiastic about exercise as she was. He would lift a few weights with me but that was the extent of that. The one thing my kids both knew was when mommy is working out, whatever you need her for (unless a true emergency) can wait until she’s done. They never bothered me during my workouts and to this day they still don’t.
When I worked a full time job, I either worked out before work by setting my alarm 40 minutes earlier, during my lunch break because we had an hour or after work. It wasn’t always easy to fit it in, but I always made time. One thing that helped me was to make a schedule of my week. If the kids had sports after work, I would workout in the morning on that day. Having this schedule set ahead of time helped me to stay on track. On days when the kids were sick or we just had a full day of plans, I would try to fit in 10 minutes here and there. Those 10 minutes add up so it’s much better than doing nothing.
Some things that helped me and may help you too:
I hope this helps you. If you would like more tips on how to live a healthy, active life as a busy mama join my free community here