I use to wake up to my mom doing her aerobics before work. She would stand with her arms outstretched to the sides, balancing on one leg while swinging the other back and forth as high as she could. “You’ve got to exercise to keep your belly small.” She would say as she switched legs. “It’s good to sweat to keep cool.” Mom would say as she whistled to call the wind. A breeze would stream gently past and she smiled certain of her accomplishment.
Some days, after dinner, we would ride our bikes or take a walk. “It’s good to walk after you’ve eaten, your belly feels better because walking makes you fart,” She would say. My mom always motivated us to stay active. She was and still is a great example to her children.
I have always been an active kid. I grew up playing soccer during P.E. with our class and continued playing through high school. At home we would help in the garden and play kickball in the yard with the neighbors. The only thing that kept us inside was when the Texas summers reached temperatures in the 100s.
Now that I am 35 I can actually say that I am in the best shape of my life, physically and mentally. I was a lot skinnier in high school, I also could eat anything I wanted and never gain an ounce. I have had a lot of ups and downs with my weight and staying consistent with my workout routine. During and right after college, the only way I would “workout” was to join a women’s soccer league. Eventually I would become pregnant so soccer was not an option.
After I had my first daughter, I struggled to stick with a workout routine. I started a Facebook group in the Spring of 2012 called “Healthy Mommies, Happy Babies.” It was a local group that would schedule workout-play dates. The sidewalks in my neighborhood were awful for running with a stroller. I chose a nearby park with nice running trails. I met two girls that came to workout often. We would do a stroller workout and sweat our booties off that entire summer. We kept it going for a year, until I became pregnant and we moved to a neighborhood that had great sidewalks. We still keep in touch.
After I had my second child, I struggled to get back into a routine. My husband tried to help the best he could. He made me workout videos from Zumba to T-25. I also had p90x which seemed impossible even though I use to do it before I had kids. I even joined a gym and started going to a 5am spin class. The spin class helped me lose enough weight so that my knee didn’t bother me as much and I could start running again. I did get back to running. As soon as I scarfed down dinner, I would be out the door. Since I worked nights, I was only able to do this a few times a week.
It wasn’t until after I started staying at home that I found the secret to sticking with my fitness goals. I needed a routine in the worst way for physical and mental shape.
One day, on our neighborhood ladies Facebook page, a lady asked if there was anyone who was willing to go running with her. She wanted to get back in shape but needed a buddy. I excitedly agreed and met her at 5:30 the next morning. From there I started holding workout groups at my house. We have always had a very underutilized garage workout area. My husband installed a pull-up bar and we moved the squat rack so that we could actually use it. For almost 8 months I hosted groups Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. My girl, Melanie started hosting Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. A few girls got a running group going in the evenings with their husbands.
Then I moved 30 miles away, I tried coming back to join in as much as I could. I am proud to say that they kept it going and even added more workout times.
Right after I moved I tried to visit as much as possible, my workout routine was off. I have always tried to motivate my husband to workout and he finally agreed. I pretty much cried and told him that I needed someone to hold me accountable and he needed to be that someone.
If anything I needed to be a constant example to everyone around me. Something I try to remember is to always strive to facilitate fitness for my family and with those around me. Everyday is a struggle but it can also be fun! Never let an opportunity pass where you can sweat with a friend.