One of my goals as a fitness blogger is for mamas to find motivation from within. I use the term “fitness blogger” loosely because I am not sure that is what I am. Most people assume a fitness blogger is going to provide tips on exercise, nutrition, and motivational fitness tips. No. I am not interested in that. There are bloggers out there who do an amazing job of providing fitness and dietary advice. I follow them as well! My purpose is for a Fab and Fit Mama to be her own fitness guru.
Let’s also put aside the intangible odyssey for fitness motivation and identify some concrete answers. Let’s create an Exercise Narrative. Think about the following: When did you start exercising? What times in your life did you exercise the most or the least? Why did you stop? Why did you start again? What made you take things to the next level?
The purpose of an exercise narrative is not an application for self-approval. It’s a time period of answers and truths. The narrative is to help you identify patterns, strengths, weaknesses, and prepare you for for the next stage of your narrative: Your most honest and happiest mama self.
Choose some notable times in your life. Identify the time period and give a short summary about what was going on in your life and how you reacted to exercise. Not exercising during this time period absolutely counts. At the end of your exercise narrative, provide yourself a stream of consciousness style evaluation. What immediate thoughts, conclusions, or insights did you discover?
Enjoy reading my often Cringe-Worthy-Honest-Exercise-Narrative
High School– Oh, the horror! I started working out at fourteen-years-old. I was far from an “athlete”. In fact I hated every sport and was often chosen last in gym class. In fact, one lovely individual booed me and said I was a “slow poke” when I chosen for her team. Such lovely memories!
I digress. My freshman year of high school was spent after school eating pizza bagels and not being involved. My eighth grade boyfriend who started dating a Cross Country runner also dumped me. Hmmm…That summer I would run for 1.5 miles, ride my parent’s stationary bike, and I eventually started using 5lb weights. Long after Cross Country Girl moved and dumped my Ex, I joined the Cross Country team. I was not very good. I got a new boyfriend. Still, I looked forward to running with friends after school. I did not like the meets at all. Sometimes I would not even participate in a meet. The training was what I liked.
College- I joined the Cross Country Team. I had no business joining it. I was a terrible runner. The worst on the team. Still, I liked the training. Going into my sophomore year of college I got into weight training. I also work up at 5:30 am to run and weightlift after work. I shaved minutes off my time. I was never good but I got tired of chasing “good”. My future was more important to me and studying did not come easy! I eventually quit the team and focused on my studies. Training was something I craved and continued my way. The freedom of exercising how I wanted was what I enjoyed. Exercise was a necessity.
Teaching Years: Exercise was my therapy. Teaching was not for me. I went to the gym after work and on weekends. Still, I had no idea about the freedom I had back then. I could have left sooner and seen the world. So it goes. I bought my first Muscle and Fitness Hers in 2001. My soon-to-be-insecure-exboyfriend was horrified.
Early Mom Years– I still worked out but I had to revamp everything I new about exercise. I had no time, no sleep, and I discovered I had diastasis recti. My abdominal tissue was split. No crunches for me! Even though I was struggling with motherhood and other issues, I decided that I was going to start a new career as a personal trainer. Way to put a band aide on things! I wanted to help new moms everywhere. I was on a mission! I wanted to tell the world about it! I was going to be the mom who got her body back and launch an exercise career! I told everyone about my plans because all fellow moms are so supportive, right? The sarcasm is so thick right now! My husband and family would be so proud!
Personal Training Years: The hardest of my life. I thought everything about myself was terrible: I was a waste. Bad mom. Bad wife. A lot of anger. Many friends tossed. In an effort to prove my many haters wrong, I found a terrible competition coach. Trained for a competition. Did terribly. I spent two years year trying to build muscle and emotionally heal. I shut the world out for a long time. Terrible.
Second Baby/ Big Girl Went to Kindergarten: Joy had seeped back into my life. I took a break from personal training because of my tough pregnancy, and I was around for my big girl’s transition into kindergarten. I focused on weight training, not a lot of cardio, four meals a day, and no crunches. I was so happy and I let go of so much darkness and anger. My family was (still is) my heartbeat. But, I could not understand why I was losing so much weight. I just had a baby!
Shortly After: Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Frustrated. Determined. Juice boxes and epic spikes were new additions to my workout routine. My weight fluctuated a lot. I thought I would never have exercise freedom again. Running was almost impossible. Proper nutrition for weight training was a question mark. Still, nothing was stopping me. I had been knocked down before. I promised myself I would not allow it happen again, even if my own body was back stabbing me. My husband and daughters kept me going each and every day. Every time I stepped into a gym, pounded the pavement, or completed another pull up, my fears subsided…a little.
Present Day: Wife, Mom, Trainer, and Coach of the Fabulous and Fit Mamas: I am in the best shape of my life. I am in love with obstacle course training. I am a big fan of zoodles and cauliflower mash! With all of mistakes I made, and an autoimmune disease to fight, I have never been happier. The things that scared me the most such as opening up to people and social media are a big part of my brave new world. I train how I want. I eat how I want. I want nothing more than for every other fab and fit mama to find the same peace. I am surrounded by the positivity of the Fabulous and Fit Mamas. I run. I weight lift. I socialize. I try not to take anything for granted. I see that exercise is a gift even when I want to smash my husband’s 5:00 am workout alarm.
Stream of Consciousness Style Evaluation: I enjoy exercise freedom. I don’t like to be tied down to things that soon won’t matter. I cut out negativity. The more positive I am the more positivity comes my way. I am not an island. Family and friends are a must. Dark and happy times never stopped me from moving. My ex-boyfriends were idiots. A lot of my ex-friends were idiots. I am getting more comfortable in my skin. I am actually a big mouth. A polite big mouth. I remained mute for too long. I have to make up for lost time. A lot of people tried to knock me down. I know what I am not good at. A lot. I know what’s important to me. I love people. I care about people. I will continue to learn about what works for my body. I am Fabulous and Fit. Everyone can be. She just has to get it Done and celebrate her choices.
An exercise narrative is a workout for the soul. Motivation comes from the soul, not the latest infomercial quick fix. Try it. Find your Fabulous and Fit Soul.