Family and Fitness. They are not two opposing forces, fighting for your time and attention. They are two non-negotiables. You are a mom, dad, husband, wife, grandma, grandma….whatever God has called you to be in this season of life AND you are called to be well, healthy, fit.
It can be difficult to find the time. I whole-heartedly empathize with those juggling so many tasks that all seem to demand 100% of your time and attention. However, difficult doesn’t mean impossible.
One of the biggest obstacles I hear from parents as they set their initial fitness goals is not having time or more specifically, time away from their kids. I am here to tell you, there is a way.
My fitness journey started 8 years ago. My daughter was a newborn, I was pushing 200lbs, and my child was the grumpiest baby to ever be birthed onto this earth. No exaggeration. She had colic, her tummy constantly hurt, and she was always crying. She hated me. I hated me. I didn’t know what I was doing and man oh man, I was exhausted.
Finally, when the cries wouldn’t stop even after being fed, changed, burped, rocked, bounced and swayed, I put her into a jogging stroller, popped in my ear buds, and went walking. Day after day, I walked mile after mile while my baby cried and I ignored every wail in a desperate attempt to regain my sanity. Lydia did eventually overcome her grumpy baby phase, but what I found in that time was a new rhythm, quite literally. I wasn’t walking any more, I was running.
Years have passed and since then I have had to upgrade my single jogger for a double, because I now have two littles accompanying me on my miles. There are many days I opt for lifting or circuit style training. Often you’ll find me in my driveway getting my workout in, and you better believe my kids are right there with me. They are either at my side mimicking my every move (even my grunts and exasperation) or I’m using one of them as a weight.
Where there is a will, there is a way. Don’t wait until “they are out of the house” or “when things slow down.” I hate to say this, but if life has taught me anything: It does NOT slow down. When you are ready to begin your fitness journey, your rhythms will change too. It may look like getting up earlier, leveraging your lunch hour, hitting the gym after work or training right in your living room with little Susie on your back while you do squats. It could even look like going into your child’s world. Going for a bike ride. Doing cartwheels until your dizzy. Playing tag. Doing handstands. Do the things that brought you joy as a child, that will get your blood pumping and your body moving. If you are up off the couch and not parked in front of the TV, your kiddos will not be either.
I’m not super mom. I am just a woman on a mission, to better myself and to instill healthy values into my family. I will never stop modeling a healthy lifestyle for my children. No matter where you are right now, God is not surprised at all by what holds you back, by what consumes your time, by what feels to be butting heads.
Change is hard, but it is not impossible.
Change is simple, but it is not easy.
If you are ready to start your fitness journey, bring your kids, your spouse, your parents, whoever….. along for the ride!! They too, will benefit. Family is your team. They are not going anywhere, but your health is of equal precedence.
Family AND fitness: it is an AND, not an OR.
You are strong, you are able! Let’s gooooooo!
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered, when you run, you will not stumble.
– Proverbs 4:12