When I got engaged, I was in the middle of a weight loss journey that was really important to me. Dave and I had seen photos of ourselves and realized our happy hours at Applebees with mudslides and boneless wings hadn’t been kind to our bodies. By the the time we got married, I had lost almost 45 pounds and was feeling much better about myself. Just a couple months after getting married I found out I was pregnant and tried REALLY hard not to stress over that growing number on the scale…baby was healthy and I tried to stay as active as possible on top of teaching and watching my feet turn into unrecognizable sausages. Rinse and repeat 🙂
I’ve always been athletic and enjoyed being active. While that hasn’t changed after children,
finding making the time has been a different story. I know my health needs to be a priority…put your own oxygen mask on first, right? Why is it do damn hard to work out then? Between kids unintentionally ruining the best of my workout intentions by either waking up super early, skipping naps, or fighting bedtime like champs, any time I had to exercise felt like it fell at 10 pm on a weeknight when all I wanted to do was go to bed myself. I try to eat healthy and while I’ve never been skinny, I hardly ever got very down on myself about an extra 8 pounds of baby weight (unless I was jean shopping. UGH!) … I made 2 beautiful babies and that’s awesome! I wasn’t feeling strong though; I felt like my ‘cardio’ was chasing my kids around and that’s all well and good but I longed for something a little more structured.
Enter Fit4Mom Body Back classes. It’s a boot camp style class for moms. I’d looked it up before and I’d been intimidated; I don’t like being a newcomer to things and it’s not cheap. I got a random email letting me know about a new session starting and then I saw a post on Facebook about the same thing. I guess I would call those a sign! David, being the super supportive hubby that he is, told me to just do it. A friend from the school I used to teach at fell in love with her BodyBack trainer and the program and so after picking her brain a little, I decided to just go for it and signed up for the session she was in that was about to start.
My first class was full of assessments and weights/measurements. The trainer, Kelly, was the real deal. She’s a mom herself, just like every single other woman I was working out with. There is something to be said about that bond; you don’t even have to talk about kids or families but knowing everyone around you has had similar struggles is SO supportive. I will not forget the running assessment – much like any other fitness class, there are a wide variety of levels. One of the last runners to finish was going to come across the line alone and a group of women (who had already finished), ran to meet her and cross the finish line with her because “nobody should finish alone.” You guys, I nearly cried right through my sweat. That is support and strength in motherhood.
When I thought I couldn’t do it, Kelly made sure I could. I actually told her I was going to miss a class because of a minor injury and she literally called me to say ‘no, get down here, I’ll modify things for you.” The look on Dave’s face was priceless – that was the kick in the butt I needed! I only missed 1 class in the the 8 week session; staying up far too late to prep for the kids birthday party meant that a 5am wakeup call for class the day of the party wasn’t going to happen.
The 8 weeks wasn’t easy; it was physically draining but I could feel myself changing so I kept pushing through. It was also tough mentally. I mentioned I hate being a newcomer…I am far from shy once you know me but I’m not the person that puts herself out there and says ‘Hi, I’m Courtney!” and strikes up a convo. Many of these moms were friends as they’ve been working out together for some time and it was (still is) difficult being in a group where you don’t feel like you know everyone. I’m working on being a more open person and this is a super supportive group of women to do that with.
I finished my first session last week. I didn’t do as well on the scale as I hoped I would but my assessment results SERIOUSLY remind me that weight isn’t “it.” I got so. much. stronger!! I actually surprised myself with how much I improved in regards to strength. It totally made up for the disappointment I felt in not losing more than 5 pounds. The chart shows my before and afters on the 1 minute timed assessments. I increased my plank time by a minute and a half and shaved off 42 seconds off my hill run!
Aside from the obvious physical benefits I’m feeling so much better mentally. While I spoke about struggling to open up and make mom ‘friends,’ I’m just happier overall. Taking the time a couple days each week to go do this for me has made me appreciate all that I’m capable of. David snapped this photo of me Easter morning. We stopped and got a coffee treat on the way to church and when I looked at it, I wasn’t disgusted with what I saw; I actually felt proud of myself. This is a HUGE improvement.
I enjoy going out for walks and jogs now. Caitlin thinks it’s fun to exercise and be healthy which means I’m setting the example I want. Healthy and happy for all of us! I happily signed up for and finished a Mother’s Day 5k with the same group of women I workout with this weekend and it was so uplifting and fun!
I loved it all so much I’m actually working on Round 2 right now! We just started last week and I’m excited to see the progress I make. This round I’m really looking forward to working on my running and focusing on my eating habits. I can’t wait to update in 8 more weeks with some more progress…both mentally and physically!