Being a parent does not mean that you must automatically let yourself go. It is actually a higher calling to fitness because suddenly you are setting an example of health for a little one who is building patterns. I often see my toddler mimic my sit ups or scuttle behind me as a sprint in the park.
The instant mini-me was born, so were a hundred excuses to skip workouts and indulge in calorie rich foods. As enticing as those thoughts were, I battled to refuse them. I had 80 pounds to lose and I was determined not stop until I had exceeded the best shape of my life.
My first 45 pounds were the easiest. Until I was cleared medically after her birth, I faithfully adhered to my low carbohydrate calorie reduced diet (which you can read all about in my husband’s book). Once I was given the green light to perform physical activity, I would get up, bundle in warm clothes and perform my cardio sans my fussy newborn. I started with just 10 minutes of slow intermittent jogging. I did my very best every single day, which meant a lot of walking intervals at first. I finally progressed to 20 minutes of sprint intervals within the first 6 months. By this time, the encouragement of her tiny “sprint giggles” was enough to motivate me. With Gabe away wrestling 6 days a week, I used it as a challenge to see what goals I could meet before he arrived back home. He never cared how much I had gained. He told me to take my time losing it, but this only motivated me more. He deserves a strong fit wife.
At this point I had a moment of feeling “trapped” in a fat suit. I had come so far but I had such a long way to go. I surrounded myself with like-minded fitness friends, bringing myself back to a positive mindset which emerged from prayer and spiritual focus. I added in 20minute sessions of High Intensity Interval Training with items I found around the house ( brick, water jugs, gym bags full of rocks and my favorite, Mini-me in a baby back pack). Each day, I did what I needed to do to meet my goal without obsessing or complaining. I view living a fit lifestyle as a part of my “job” as a mother.
Tracking my progress on this scale (with a body fat reading), progression photos and tape measurements, helped tremendously. It was accountability and a motivation that spurred me on.
On my little ones first birthday, I was 80 pounds down and 2% leaner than I was when I competed! I have maintained 13% body fat since that time. Weight fluctuations can happen, the scale may go up and down but embracing a fit lifestyle is the key to getting lean and staying lean.