The day personal fitness became a priority for me was a really ordinary day. I was doing the regular, routine task of lifting my two-year-old daughter out of her high chair. I was hosting my very pregnant sister and her two-year-old daughter, and I had thoughts of putting out a delicious cake with tea and coffee, and cupcakes for my 5 kids. As I was bending over to put my daughter down, my sugary day dreams were interrupted by shooting, immobilizing pain. I had thrown out my back and could barely move.
It was in that moment of intense pain, as I lay crumpled on the couch with my children all around begging me to get them all kinds of things, that I knew I had to make a change. After having 5 kids in 6 years, exercise had become non-existent. Eating healthy was simply just an idea in my head and the thought of working out when I was already so tired was akin to torture.
But that day on the couch I decided that my kids deserved better and I deserved better, and that I simply could not afford to be in poor health. I decided that day that I never wanted to be in the position again of not being able to take care of my kids because my health was poor.
If you’re like me, and you want to make changes in your physical health but are intimidated and overwhelmed, here are a few ways to get and stay motivated on your fitness journey.
1. Remember what’s at stake
It took an experience of intense pain for me to make changes and realize the stakes, but it doesn’t have to be the same for you. The stakes are simple: if we don’t take care of ourselves, we will not be able to take care of the people in our life that matter most. Use this as motivation to join a class, eat well or increase body awareness.
2. Remember what you have to gain
There are so many benefits to being physically fit. In my life, I have more energy, I am less out of breath, I am less stressed and I have increased confidence in my body. Was it easy to lose the weight? No. Do I enjoy exercise? Not when my trainer makes me do dead lifts. But do I love what I have gained as a result of a regular fitness routine? Absolutely. There is so much more to gain priority than there is to lose when you make fitness a priority.
3. Don’t go it alone
The wonderful thing about motherhood is that we are part of the best club ever. It’s also a club that puts strain on our bodies through baby deliveries, C-sections, sore backs and tired arms. We give so much to our families it is just so easy to forget about ourselves. So I have found it easiest to enlist help and not go it alone. For me, I have hired a trainer that shows up at the house, making it really simple for me to keep my fitness appointments. I have another girlfriend who swears by the dance class at her local gym as she loves the regularity of the timing and the camaraderie of the class. Finally, think about working toward a goal like a run or competition. I am excited to be an ambassador this year for the Sporting Life 10k, which raises funds for Camp Ooch. It’s motivating to know so many people will be running the same race, and that I am joining a huge team of people in a shared goal. It will be my first race ever, made more fun by the communal aspect involved.
In what ways do you make physical fitness a priority in your life? I’d love to know in the comments below.