Fit Mom Friday

“Do yourself a favor, and realize that there’s no technique in the world that will save you. There are no pills, no secrets, no passwords on the path to greatness. You’ve got to embrace the pain, push the threshold, and feel the suck, and then you’ve got to muster the courage to go back six times a week.” ~ Jon Gilson

No matter what the thing is I’m working toward…a better body, making it through a divorce, being a better mom, moving forward in a career…I’ve learned there is no easy way. You can’t go around it, over it, under it, or around it. The only way is through.

“You’ve got to embrace the pain, push the threshold, and feel the suck.”

I have always cared about fitness and my physical appearance. So much so, in fact, that it almost killed me. I’ve spent 14 years of my life struggling in some capacity with bulimia. It’s been the thorn in my side since about 15 years old and, like everything else, the only way out has been through.

During my pregnancies, I was the healthiest I’d ever been. My twins gave me a reason to live. A reason to fight. Something inside me changed and I was no longer living for myself. I had two other lives depending on me (and now 3).

Literally, my body sustained them. I grew them inside me for almost 10 months, and then my body provided their nourishment for the first year of their lives. The same body I loathed and despised, abused and destroyed.

Because of my sons, my body became a vital vessel. A place of beauty, strength and life.

I was blessed with healthy pregnancies and both times, I exercised throughout the whole thing. After giving birth, I of course wanted my body back as fast as possible. But for the first time in maybe my whole life, I appreciated my body for the miracle it was, rather than hating it for what it wasn’t.

Sure, I could live without the stretch marks. I’m not a huge fan of my belly skin hanging down to the floor when I do planks. And the cellulite on my butt could find another home and I wouldn’t miss it. I’d prefer full perky boobs over my deflated ski slopes, and I wish that when I waved, my arms didn’t keep waving for a few seconds after I’ve stopped.

But, for the first time in many years, this body is healthy. It’s healthy from the inside out. It’s not perfect. It never will be perfect. And I no longer want it to be perfect.

This body has carried me through my life. My very messy, at times destructive, brutal, beautiful life. It birthed 3 miracles. My ski sloped boobs continue to nourish my smallest miracle. My cellulite covered thighs are strong and help me keep up with my three balls of energy. My floppy arms are capable of carrying the 100+ pounds of boy I birthed, all at once. And my heart, which once struggled to beat 30 beats per minute, is now stronger than It’s ever been and beats for a purpose.

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Working out every day is not always easy with three little guys all 2 and under running around. And quite frankly for a while, I said, “Seriously!? The last thing I want to do with my “free time” is work out. I want to SIT!” But, for the last few months I have become much more dedicated to being as healthy as possible. I have no choice if I want to keep up with these 3. (This doesn’t include the full bag of SmartPop popcorn I hork down on an almost nightly basis. That’s not what we’re here to discuss.) 🙂

I have always been active with my boys and work out “when I can,” but for a while was very irregular in my workout regiment. The last few months, I’ve made an effort to workout for at least 25 minutes a day, with the exception of a day or two, here and there.

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25 minutes is not a lot, and for a while I felt like it was probably a waste of time. I’m a fairly all or nothing type person and so I felt if I couldn’t dedicate myself to an hour a day, it wasn’t worth doing.

Wrong.

Anything is better than nothing!

“You’re not going to get the butt you want by sitting on it.”

I decided to change my perspective on the matter and let go of the perfect body driven focus. I changed it instead to a healthy living focus. I decided I wasn’t going to weigh myself or judge myself for any lack of obvious change, and would solely focus on exercising for my health.

I once read that it takes 30 days for you to notice a change in your body, 60 days for close family and friends, and 90 days for the rest of the world. This helped me stay out of the mirror and remember to just keep going one day at a time.

I’ve made a decision to exercise everyday if at all possible and I’ve turned it into an activity I do with my boys. They now say, “Mommy, I want to exercise with you!” I love that they are getting a healthy view of exercise and why we do it from an early age. I want them to understand the importance of staying active and fit and that it’s not just about how you look. It’s about how you feel.

I feel better today at 29 with 3 kids than I have in probably my whole life.

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I usually do YouTube videos of Melissa Bender as my main workout of the day. They are AWESOME, and best of all, they range from 10 to 30 minutes! I also go on frequent walks with the boys. They love it; and let me tell you, a couple miles of hills carrying 23 pounds on my back and pushing about 70 pounds in a stroller is hard work!

If I can’t do a video, I incorporate exercises into play time with the boys. I’ve done some planks and pushups in between scavenger hunting…

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I do lunges, squats and leg lifts while the boys kick a ball…

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We walk…

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I use the little one as extra resistance…

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And I just do what I can, when I can.

I have finally started seeing some evidence of my effort and it motivates me to continue. There are still areas I don’t love, but in general, I love that I’m healthy! I love that the boys are seeing me be healthy and they want to follow my lead.

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Exercise has become a source of strength and release for me through a very difficult time in my life. I am getting stronger mentally, spiritually and physically. It has propelled me out of an unhealthy situation and into a place of caring about myself enough to take care of me…in ALL aspects of my life. If I don’t take care of me, no one else will. And if I don’t stay healthy for my boys, I won’t be around to enjoy their lives with them.

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I no longer workout to be thin. I don’t exercise because I hate my body; I exercise because I love it. I workout to be strong. To be a healthy mother. To be active with my sons. To be alive! I’m not trying to be a fitness model. I want to be a model of fitness for my boys.

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Happy Fit Mom Friday everyone!

“I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.” Joyce Meyer

 
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25 thoughts on “Fit Mom Friday

  1. Rachael, you look fantastic! I LOVE all the fit mom pics! I didn’t realize you struggled with bulimia. Everything in life is a learning lesson for sure. My daughter is definitely teaching me how to be a better person, mother and stronger person inside and out every day – just like your boys do for you! A healthy mind and body are crucial, in my opinion. Great job getting yourself there and pushing through the pain and “suck!” Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!!! I could not agree more. Its all connected and either the cycle of suck can take you down or it can bring you forward. I’ve been caught in both and I like the up spiral much better ☺ Bulimia almost cost me my life. I didn’t think I’d even make it to my 29th birthday and I certainly never believed I’d successfully carry children. God’s plans are always bigger and better, and I am so grateful He saw a purpose for my life even when I didn’t. ❤

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  2. You are a beautiful Mama and person from the inside out! Thank you for being real with your story. Going from a mentality of being “skinny” to being “healthy” is a journey (one I know very well), but it’s so wonderful to finally realize that God fearfully and wonderfully made us! Good for you having the right attitude and what a blessings you are and will continue to be to your boys!

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  3. You look amazing! I think you’re doing the right thing in exercising to be healthy rather than thin. It’ll teach your boys to do the same.

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  4. “I’d prefer full perky boobs over my deflated ski slopes.” Oh, how I cried in the weeks following my son fully weaned! Deflated ski slopes is the exact right description. 🙂

    “I’m not trying to be a fitness model. I want to be a model of fitness for my boys.” Love this!! Way to go!

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  5. I suppose I need to stop making excuses and get off my butt. I only have one and you’re doing it with three! P.s. So happy you’ve found peace with your body image issues. I think you look amazing. I’m sure you always have looked amazing… But I can tell by the pics that you definitely feel amazing now too…it shows 😉

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    • Oh this means a lot…especially that last part! Its so nice to hear what’s in the inside shows on the outside. That’s what matters! Thank you….and seriously, whether you have 1 or 3, or more, Its hard to find time. I usually let that be when the boys watch Peppa pig and either do it when the little guy is napping or let,him crawl all over me haha..And sometimes the boys just workout with me. Its not always the most serene way to workout, but it gets the job done 😀

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  6. It is so, so, so hard to be motivated when 1) all of your life is for others 2) you’re nursing 3) you’re barely sleeping 4) your workout means you are invariably going to be climbed on while in plank.
    I REALLY commend you for your motivation!!! I have found postpartum, I have looked at my body with immense criticism. I miss the days where, like you said,my stomach didn’t wobble and peak over my pants. Ugh. But, like you, my arms can take a pretty huge toddler load (so can my back). And, I am getting back at ‘er. There’s something about getting regular little exercise in that does make you feel better about those places that aren’t as firm, and better about yourself overall. If this is the weight I’m stuck at, I should be proud of what my body has accomplished and be at peace with that. Great article.

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    • I’m sorry I’m just now responding. Thank you so much for your comment Alana ☺ you’ve got a great attitude about it. Its hard some days to love it all or to stay motivated, but these little dudes motivate me and it’s amazing how when you make exercise a consistent part of your life, you miss it when you don’t do it. I now (most of the time) look forward to my workout and feel like something is missing if I don’t do it. Even if I do have 3 boys literally climbing on me or destroying a room while I do it haha 😊

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  7. girl, you are amazing!!!! and i couldn’t agree more! i love that my boys come to see me run races and know that i take time to workout, its being a positive role model for them! and taking time out for me to be healthy is the best thing i can do for them and me! i love your blog, so glad i found you!

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    • Oh this,means so much to me!!! Truly, thank you!! Good for you! I’m certainly no marathon runner, but I do what I can and I’m happy with that. Looking forward to reading more from your blog and I’m so glad you found me too! Thank you ☺

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  8. Talk about great encouragement! My little family is going through an impromptu move and recently I have been feeling so exhausted! While my boy naps, all I want to do is sit. But you are right, doing something is much, much better than nothing! Thank you for sharing your story. It has inspired me 🙂

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  9. So proud of you for staying healthy and loving your body! Remember God finds you gorgeous no matter what might be a tad saggy! Thanks for mentioning the U tube videos, I’ll have to check them out. PS: sorry I’ve been MIA on commenting, but I’m trying to catch up on your great blog! 🙂

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