Being a “Fit Mom”…for me – NECESSARY.
I see this all the time; controversy and negativity surrounding being a “fit mom”. When a mom expresses her desire to ultimately Gain or REgain control of her fitness – there are usually 1 of 2 reactions from the outside world. There are the people rallying around her with support, or there are people offering up backhanded comments like, “Be sure to still make time for your family” or judgmental comments like, “Why would you want to live at the gym when you have kids?” etc. These are a couple comments that I personally have experienced throughout my fitness journey. I know I’m not alone, either. I absolutely take offense to these kinds of reactions. First of all – if you call an hour or 2 at the gym a day “living” at the gym, then I call your hour or 2 in front of the TV the same. Perspective.
One of my new year’s resolutions this year was to become a less judgmental person – towards myself and others. The more that I have worked towards this goal, the more I see how much time others spend judging people and their decisions. It’s toxic. The more time people spend judging and degrading others, the less time they have to spend learning to love themselves…which is where their focus needs to be.
Not that I feel I need to justify my decisions or lifestyle, but I want to lay it out there for some who may not understand and pass judgment on people like me. Anyone who truly knows me knows that being a mom is by far my life’s greatest purpose. I live to love and support my babies, and be the best positive role model for them as possible. I’ve taken the time to assess how I can be the best mom to my boys. It’s taken some soul searching and self-discovery, and in order for me to be the best Ashlee (whether that is defined by the best mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc.) I need to be strong in mind and body. I haven’t always been as strong minded and confident as I am today…and I still have my struggles. But – today I am a much stronger person than I ever have been. How have I achieved this? Personally, I take the time to hit the gym and make sure my nutrition is on point. Why? Because that is what makes me feel strong and healthy. And when I feel strong and healthy, I’m a much happier, positive, and more confident person. When I’m a happier, positive, and more confident person, I am a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc. See how this is snowballing?
Now, not everyone will follow the same path to happiness as me, and that is ok! But, this is my life and my journey. This is what it takes for me to be the best version of myself so that I can offer the best support to my family.
So – to anyone who wonders why “fit moms” spend time in the gym away from their family, or why they spend hours prepping healthy meals for the week on Sundays? I have an answer for you…this is how we take care of ourselves so that we can take the BEST care of others. Some may call this selfish. I beg to disagree. Is it selfish to love yourself? Is it selfish to make your happiness and well-being a priority? No. Absolutely not. Take care of YOU and your happiness– and you will see the positive radiation of this throughout all aspects of your life. Guaranteed.
Here is my advice and challenge to you – Let go of those judgments against others (and yourself), and begin the work that is needed to love and accept yourself. Make your health and happiness a priority through whatever route is necessary, and watch every facet of your life gradually improve. It’s not easy and may take a lifetime, but it’s worth the work it takes to love yourself. I promise.