Fitness is about looking good. Fitness is about perfect bodies in skinny jeans and tight dresses. Perfect abs, perfect legs, no cellulite… It sounds just perfect. But wait, I am not Rosie Huntington-Whiteley or one of her gorgeous colleagues. Neither am I the beautiful Kate Hudson (by the way, she is a co-founder of Fabletics; their collections of activewear are fab). I am a mummy, an ordinary human, and definitely not perfect.
Fitness is not about being perfect. It is not all about how you look. Fitness is about how you feel. A trivial thought, isn’t it? Then, why should I keep writing this post any further? Because I hope it will reach at least a few mummies who still can’t find the motivation to begin.
This is for you, dear mamas. Forget about your fears. Get rid of your uncertainty. You are mothers, you are strong. “Why should I work out? I’ll never have the body I want anyway.” Forget about that. Forget about the photos of girls showing off their sculpted bodies. Come on! I mean, is this what could let you down? You gave birth to one or more children, maybe breastfed, had and still have tremendous tantrums to deal with, and don’t remember what a peaceful night sleep feels like. You are the one to be admired. Besides, would you stand in front of a mirror (a messy bed behind is a must!) and take a half-naked selfie. Not very stylish, is it?
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against fitness selfies. Well, the bathroom and bedroom ones kill the beauty somehow. I like the pictures of fit girls and it’s OK that such pictures are everywhere. But aren’t you sick of too much perfection at times? They thrust it upon us as if there is an established standard to follow. Forget about the standards. But don’t forget to honour your body. It gave a new life. Your saggy belly is more divine than the ripped abs you yearn for. Jennifer Garner, a mother of three, has put it so well, “From now on, ladies, I will have a bump, and it will be my baby bump. It’s not going anywhere.” (Source: People). You see? Even a gorgeous Hollywood star is not perfect.
Better? Now, let’s give fitness a second chance. Bedtime? Put your kids to bed and choose your thing. A GymRa video or maybe a gentle Yoga class (Gaia is a good place to start from; you could also take a peek at the teachers I have practised Yoga with). As for fitness and health blogs, check out Fitness 4 Mamas by Mirka Moore, and Health Mastery Movement by Eva and Bob.
I am writing this after a 20-minute high-intensity workout, while my son is having a nap. So give it a go. And do it not because you are in pursuit of the perfect beach body. It is a bonus. You may get it one day, you may not. Who cares? Your body will soon change, that’s for sure. Your efforts will pay off. But more importantly, your mind will change. You’ll have those quadriceps toned, and it doesn’t matter if people see the difference through your clothes. You’ll also have your arms stronger (Oh, look! I have nice triceps, too!), and perhaps, no one has even noticed. Who cares? You have noticed. You have begun because you love your own body, all the imperfections and all the marks that motherhood has left here and there.
You do it because it feels great. Every time, you feel the burst of energy and you already love the feeling. It’s not a competition and now you know it. Perhaps, your tummy will never get to its pre-pregnancy days again. Perhaps, you’re not one of those blessed mamas who look like they haven’t experienced three baby births or so. Neither am I, and I have only one child. 😀 Once again, who cares? Fitness is fun, not a boring routine they insist you have to do. It is a wonderful thing to include in your weekly schedule, but first, see its beauty beyond the aesthetic photographs on the web. The perfectly proportioned ladies there are not the standard. Make your own standards. And you don’t even need “before and after” pictures of yourself. Frankly, I don’t have a single image of this kind. 🙂
You only need a bit of a strong will to keep your motivation up in the very beginning. Not a big deal. You are a mother, you are stronger than that. Fitness is not necessarily a tough challenge that you are supposed to survive. This is how I started. It doesn’t sound daunting, I believe.
A few months ago, I read a blog post by Kelly Edwards from Bringing Up Georgia, Wobbles and all: Me in my mum-kini. She emphasises the importance of loving our mummy bodies, and I think she looks amazing. She looks HAPPY.
If you respect your bodies, exercising will feel great. So dear mummies, love your bodies, smile to the world and be comfortable in your own skin. Do exercise, every day if possible, but don’t allow the anxiety for physical perfection to destroy the pleasure. Find joy in your fitness experience.
Try fitness, endure the hard start, do what you can, stay strong. In the end, you’ll love it.
Be imperfect and love your imperfections. Be happy.