There was a pivotal point in my life where I just got tired of living for others, and it was pretty much exactly at the same time where as a young family we were struggling with money. I had my first child, a workaholic husband, a demanding household and absolutely no time for myself. A gym membership was out of the question and forget a babysitter because there was no money for that either. I had no support system, because I left that behind when I moved and his family was far away. What did I do to overcome so many obstacles? I decided to put myself as a priority – no excuses! I started doing all sorts of floor exercises at home while my child took his naps and even found a YMCA that offered aerobic classes at a reasonable fee with childcare. It was a start towards getting my body back after the initial shock of pregnancy and childbirth but more importantly, towards liking myself again.
By the time I had my second child, I was better prepared, but goodness do these kids suck the life out of you! My energy levels were alarmingly low and soon after the birth of my second child I fell ill. I had very little support at home and was stressed beyond belief… I do think it was the closest I have ever come to being depressed. I needed surgery and knew that once I recovered, I would be pain-free and could get back on that horse. I got through that and continued to keep my focus. Through my home efforts I at least manage to keep my weight under control and felt very proud about that.
The biggest change, however that I experienced as a woman came when I moved to Asia. Expatriate life offers many perks, and one of them was the luxury of time… Now we all know that you cannot buy time, but you can hire a housekeeper/babysitter to clear your day so that time magically appears… All the things that were not possible before, could now be done. I wasted no time! The gym membership was the very first thing I got. I attended classes feverishly, trying out everything, and my body transformed before my eyes. With my new body came overwhelming confidence. My energy levels were through the roof, and to be completely honest, not much has changed today…. I am the oldest in my current boxing/mix fight class, and I leave that class nearly every time with the biggest smile on my face because when we are doing those drills, it would seem that in a room of teens and 20-year olds, I am the only one that can complete them without looking like I’ll be dragged to the next emergency unit! Now that’s something to brag about…!
Returning back to Germany meant a smack of reality and a test to see what I had truly learned about my fitness journey. I no longer had the maid to clean the house nor the babysitter to look after my kids, and the monetary benefits were all slashed. So what changed in my fitness regime now that I had less free time? Absolutely nothing! The moment you make that conscious decision to care for yourself and you begin to reap the benefits, chances are you’ll never go back! It becomes a priority and not an item on your excuse list. Working out should be a habit but never a burden! You do it because you keep remembering how utterly fantastic you feel every time after that. If your attitude is to live a healthy lifestyle, then the fact that you may have little money, have kids to care for, have a house to clean, have a job in a workplace, etc. should never be a reason to NOT do something about it!
Exercising comes in so many shapes and forms. There is something out there for everyone. And today we even have the luxury of attaining a wealth of information online, and get this, for free! One of the great things about exercising besides the obvious fact of staying healthy is the amazing side effect of looking good. People look at you differently, admiringly, with respect and some even with a little bit of envy… ;) How can anyone want that to stop?!?
Being a Hispanic woman has endowed me with steep curves and some serious junk in the trunk! So many believe that I am lucky because they wish they could have it too. Now I’m not going to lie to you, it is great to be curvy IF you can control the fat…. IF you can eat moderately all the time… IF childbirth doesn’t expand you and then deflates parts of you that say “a perky butt once lived here”…
IF the weight you are trying to lose is coming off the excessive saddlebags you’re lugging around and NOT from your already lean forearms… I could go on with the “IF”s, but you get the picture. For me it has always been important to have a body that exudes both strength and femininity. I’m not in this to compete, and I most certainly am not in it to prove that I am stronger than anybody. I am just a normal mom and housewife, who just wants to prove that a positive attitude and an ironclad will is all you will ever need to begin to care for yourself!