MOM ON THE RUN ~ By Handful AmBadassador Melissa Williams
December 1st is always going to be a memorable day for me. That day in 2014 marks one of the biggest turning points in my life. My youngest son had just turned 9 months old, and I had been bruising myself falling off the wagon so many times, trying to regain my health.
Backing up a bit, I had two C-sections 23 months apart, and one pregnancy loss prior to those, so my body had been through quite a bit in 3 years time. I was tired and hormonal and I was lacking motivation. As someone who had a running and fitness background (Trainer/Instructor) before pregnancies, I was struggling with accepting the body I had acquired from growing two babies (and housing box after box of Little Debbies Snack Cakes during that). I knew I needed to get back to running and fitness and make myself a priority, along side my children.
There were 3 components that were crucial to re-building my healthy lifestyle --
Support, Time & Healthy Habits.
The biggest part was finding and building a support system. Having like-minded people who support you, encourage you, and give you the push to keep going when you need it, keeping you accountable is KEY! The month leading up to 12/1 was when I started scrolling Instagram more frequently. I had my account, but I rarely posted there because I was depressed. I started following all of these sweet, beautiful and motivated women and moms, who were so strong and uplifting! I watched these women, many with situations similar to mine, also with young kids. I saw them making time for themselves and getting workouts done – regardless of their limitations. Not making the excuses that I always found the time for. I was suddenly in the midst of this positive and uplifting community -- and knew that it was a good thing for me.
The night before 12/1, I remember specifically sitting on my couch, thinking about how I'd probably eat my way through December and feel even worse. I was feeling particularly down and negative, and as I scrolled through IG, I actually thought to myself, “I wish I had the time like these women to run & workout.” And then it hit me like a truck! If you missed what I just said prior to that, I said I was SITTING ON THE COUCH, scrolling Instagram. Ugh. Yeah, I did have the time. I just didn't make fitness a priority, and up until that point when I realized I had been self-destructing, things had never been so clear. That night the match was lit, and the next morning, Monday, December 1st I threw gas on that flame and never looked back.
Another big piece of the puzzle for me to overcome was giving myself TIME. As women, our bodies go through so much during pregnancy. It is an incredible and amazing experience, but it's often overlooked that it took an entire pregnancy to gain that weight, and for most of us, it is going to take at least equal time to get it back off.
In a society that is so spoiled with technology to have everything we want and need right NOW, well, it's no surprise we want to apply that concept to other things in our life -- like weight loss. Kinda like how we go for that first run, or finish that first 30 minute workout, and our instinct is to see if our abs are showing yet, am I right?!
Creating healthy habits was the final piece to my puzzle, and I don't just mean food, but positive self-talk as well. I vowed to stop being so hard on myself and so negative about my body. Love myself more. I would celebrate all my small victories along the way, and not just wait for some huge end goal that felt out of reach at the start.
The 3 biggest things I applied to start:
Those small changes made a HUGE difference and in that first month I dropped 11 lbs, in December no less! It was amazing how much better I felt overall, just from four weeks of healthy changes.
Now 3 years later I am happy, in the best shape I've ever been in. I have since become a Certified Spinning Instructor, and last month I ran my 5th and fastest 26.2 marathon, which was an hour faster than the best one I’d run before having kids.
The truth is, until you really want to better yourself, and start making positive changes in your life, no one is going to be able to talk you into that, or keep your motivation at 100%. You need to find what motivates you and fight for that. At the end of that November, I was looking at my habits and behaviors. I had become the most sedentary I’d ever been in my life, and realized now that I had two tiny humans watching my every move. Kids mirror your behavior, and they look to you for guidance as a role model, so I want to make sure I give them something great to imitate. I knew I wanted my boys to see me as the happy, fitness-loving girl I had always been. Additionally, I needed to get myself in shape and stay active enough to keep up with them!
Most importantly, once I reached my end goal, I realized that it wasn't the end. The work didn't stop there. This was a lifestyle change I had created; THAT was the biggest difference between now and every other time I had “started over.”
My boys and I are happy, healthy, and we have miles to go!