If you are reading this, thanks already.
When I was 9 years old, my mom got pregnant with my baby sister. By the time I was 11, my mom had 2 small children, 2 years apart.
As a pre-teen, I began to bare witness to a Mother who took time for her health and fitness, while simultaneously taking care of us all (in addition to my rebellious 16 year old sister and my Step Dad who was diagnosed with cancer and seeking treatment through her 2nd pregnancy and postpartum).
Yet she would get out after dinner and push a double stroller across town as I rollerbladed in tow. A standard 8KM running route I could map instantly.
She’d bike uphill with a baby carriage trailing behind her, a 100 pound woman with 30 lbs. of toddler at her wheel.
She’d stretch on the floor while I watched movies. Always being able to touch her hands flat to the floor: a skill I only mastered in adulthood.
She would eat salads and often turn down pizza, but never stopped making spaghetti and mayo-soaked bologna sandwiches. She filled the cupboards with Wagon Wheel’s and Chips Ahoy cookies, but sliced Watermelon and Sweet Potato cubes also had a place in the fridge.
She’d make phone calls from her downstairs treadmill at night, a place she’d encourage me to sit and tell her about my day. I’d login to MSN Messenger while she crushed cardio after putting the littles to bed. Not “finding” the time- MAKING the time.
She would take me to the gym, patience of a Saint, demonstrating each exercise to me with proper form. Together we would drop the toddlers at gym daycare with Mom explaining, “I’ll be a better Mom if you give me an hour”… and she was right.
You see, my Mom didn’t decide between a “fitness based lifestyle” and “more time/commitment to her family”: she just showed up. A lesson I have, and will continue to, take with me through Motherhood and beyond.
Because having great “fitness” and being a great “Mother” are NOT mutually exclusive concepts.
So we NEED to drop the guilt.
I deeply believe that you can have the health and fitness goals you desire without lacking as a parent- a philosophy I will employ with my @perfectfit4u clients, and through my own personal fitness journey.
Yes, you can.