The BetterU Challenge is an American Heart Association sponsored event where twelve women, including myself, undergo a total lifestyle transformation with the assistance of coaches and trainers. We’re in Week 9 . . .
I’ve always been a fairly self-centered individual…until I had my first child. Then it became not so much about me, but about her. Then there came child number two, and suddenly, I became lost in the shuffle.
Throughout these last two months, I have struggled with my obligation to my children vs. my obligation to the challenge. I already have mommy guilt supreme since I’m currently working two jobs. As a general rule, I try to save my writing until after the kids have gone to bed, but I’m still gone the majority of the day.
Last week on my way out the door to go to the gym, my youngest grabbed at me and said “I don’t’ want you to go exercise”. Now, keep in mind – she’s a pretty cute kid. She has a big round face and naturally curly blond hair. Throw in those big blue eyes of hers and it’s nearly impossible to say no to her. In fact, I almost didn’t. I was just about to throw my gym bag on the floor and stay home when it hit me. The best thing I could do in that moment was leave.
As mothers we believe in doing whatever we can for our kids. We sacrifice our alone time, our husband time, and whatever else we need to better their lives. Because I’ve not taken the necessary time to work on myself over these last few years, I’ve potentially sacrificed the very thing both my kids and myself regard as being most important—time. By not working out, by not eating healthy, I’ve potentially taken years off my life. In the short term, by sacrificing that ‘me’ time, I’ve given my children a fraction of the mom I could be. I don’t have energy, I’m tired all the time, I’m stressed out, and I spend more time covering myself up at the beach then enjoying time in the water with them.
That’s not quality time.
So, I gave my child a kiss and told her I would be home in a couple hours. I don’t go to the gym every night, just a couple nights a week. But since going to the gym, I’ve regained bone-density, I’m less fatigued, and far less stressed out than I was. I try to work out at home when I can, but I still benefit from the sessions spent with the trainer so I’m willing to give up a few hours with my kids. By doing this, I’m showing both my daughters that it’s okay to make yourself a priority sometimes. And hopefully they grow up knowing that personal health is hugely important. And hopefully they’ll understand that my short term sacrifice will benefit our entire family in the long run.
And on a sidenote – Lots of inches lost, a few pounds shed, five pounds of muscle mass and some good ol’ bone density gained