Pursuing Strength to Enhance an Active Outdoor Lifestyle

Pursuing Strength to Enhance an Active Outdoor Lifestyle

Pursuing Strength to Enhance an Active Outdoor Lifestyle

This is a post I never really thought I would write. It’s funny how life sometimes throws you opportunities and challenges and ways to grow. It happens all the time.

I try to remain open to what come my way – I like to try new things and experience life a little differently so I don’t get bored or lazy or simply fall on the “cruise” button and not let it up until I’ve missed more than I realize.

If you’re new here, I want to preface this with some facts about me that I think are important:

  • My goal as a mother is to be strong and fit to keep up with my FAMILY, not the next fashion model. I refuse to obsess over physical appearance, focussing rather on overall health.
  • I personally feel better about myself when I am working out in some capacity every day – it’s the way I get through the day, and I believe that most people feel the same way, whether they are aware of it or not.
  • This post is to share my own successes and invite you to join in a group to help encourage each other towards fitness, strength, and continued adventures with your family. I’m in no way saying I have everything figured out, but instead am constantly learning, growing and working.
  • I believe in overall fitness – while most of us have a favorite activity or two, it’s incredibly important to challenge ourselves, branch out and keep moving continually throughout the day as much as possible.

 

Baby L is turning 1 tomorrow. I know it’s so cliche, but I really can’t believe that it’s been a year already. Being child #3 means that her first year goes exponentially faster than the other two. While, like the other pregnancies, I did everything I could to remain active and moving, I still managed to gain 45 pounds (similar to my first two pregnancies.) Active or not, healthy or not, that is just what my body does, and it’s a long road back down. She was also my only full-term baby and so I experienced stretching and body changes that I hadn’t had to deal with with my first two babies.

Let me just say that 6 weeks after Baby, your body is NOT healed. It’s an arbitrary number and doesn’t allow for the resifting of muscles and ligaments and so much more. But, like most pregnant women, I am always incredibly anxious to feel back to “normal” and back up to par. I am always tired of losing my breath on a walk around the block and suffering from fatigued muscles. And I remember feeling particularly surprised that even 6 months after L’s birth, I was still having pain. It’s just what my body DID, and I had to work very hard to surrender to listening to my body and paring back if needed (which was more often than I would have liked.)

Here’s my point – after the time of the pregnancy plus the time of true healing, I had a lot of muscle strength to build back up. I don’t care about looking “perfect”, but I am always striving to be the best version of myself (whether I succeed or fail on a daily basis) physically, emotionally and spiritually. I do it for me, for my chosen adventures, for my family and for the others that I interact with on a daily basis.

Try as I might, I also had/have to (daily) surrender to the fact that my 3 kids are my priority right now. Between homeschooling and housekeeping and parenting and loving and adventuring, I don’t have TIME for serious athletic pursuits. I have dreams of them in the future, but my kids need me now. And I am choosing family time over serious training time that takes me away from them. For now, I’ll live a little vicariously through Alyssa and look forward to more running and triathaloning and all the fun further down the road. It will happen.

 

Finding My Groove

Truly by chance, this winter I was invited to join an exercise accountability group. With the lure of workouts under an hour, a concrete plan and people to keep my accountable, I was able to find the motivation to jump in and be successful. I was honestly quite apprehensive for months leading up to it – I am NOT a “gym-rat”, not a “dieter” or a “quick-fix” gal. I just want to be able to do what I want to do without any extra struggles than I already have in 3 children.

I knew I was being successful when I kept turning to Bill and saying things like, “that is the first time I have skied in YEARS and not had jell-o legs at the end”, and “that hike wasn’t hard, even with a kid (or two) on me!” and “I feel stronger now than I have since before we were married.”

While no schedule is “perfect” with young children, I was finally feeling like I had some control over my health and wasn’t just stumbling through each day.

When I completed the 21 Day Fix, I had lost 10 inches total on my body and 8 pounds, and I was feeling good and motivated. I choose to continue with the PiYo program and continue to alternate both. They offset and enhance my biking, hiking, skiing, walking, running, playing and living. The BeachBody program as a whole and, more specifically, these programs, have worked wonders for me. It feels good to be comfortable in my own skin again.

 

An Invitation

I know I am not the only busy, outdoor mom out there. I know I am not the only one who struggles to find time for myself, to find a balance in family life and to make sure I am taking care of myself so that I can take care of the ones I love. Truly, it’s why I write this blog – to keep myself accountable and to build a community of inspiration.

Again, this is not a path I ever saw myself taking, but after great personal success after Baby #3 in finding my strength and ability to be back at a good fitness level, I’ve decided to do a little Beachbody coaching through a Facebook accountability group.  The idea is to encourage each other to be stronger and healthier so we can continue the outdoor life we love.

I am opening TWO challenge groups for eating healthy and exercising consistently for strength and/or weight loss. I would love to have you join us! While spots are limited, this is open to ANYONE of all abilities, ages, and strengths. I’ve had great success with both and relish in feeling strong again (a little bit at a time!)

While you buy the programs, the coaching and accountability is completely free. To be transparent, I do receive commission off your purchases, but am doing this because I think it changes lives, not because I am out to make money.

 

The deets:
Group 1: 21 Day Fix – 30 minute daily exercises, portion control, clean eating and a good jump start to get your body in gear with cardio, weights, stretching and modifications if needed.

Group 2: PiYO – an INCREDIBLE strength-building program with no impact. Based off of a mix between Yoga and Pilates. Great results (when paired with good eating) and all you need is a mat and water

Both groups will tentatively start on Monday, February 16th (though I may push this out a week if need be, depending on interest), so if you are in, you would need to contact me sooner than later.

Coaching and support is given through our private Facebook group, Mountain Mama Fitness, which I would invite you to join once you are signed up.

If you are interested, please send me an email (mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com) to secure your spot.  I will walk you through how to sign up, join our community, and make sure I can be your coach (though any “coaching” takes a community for sure!)

As always, I am happy to answer any questions either via email or comments here and look forward to building our community.

Finally, I don’t want this challenge group to be completely exclusive. If you are doing something else, but need a little accountability or just want to lurk a little and see what it is all about, I get that. Message me and we’ll talk.

 

I want to know – how do you find time/motivation/interest in remaining active and strong? Let’s start a discussion!

 

© 2015, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

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