My family and I raced out the door so Daniel and I could make the Master Step aerobics class on time. We dropped the kids at the child center and ran upstairs to the studio. Quickly, we put together our steps at the front and center of the class so we could follow the instructor, because it has been years since we did a step class. Immediately, the class started and we were moving. About 10 minutes into the class we were dying, but we kept going. We began picking up weight bars, dumbbells, and elastic bands. With jelly legs I ran out to the water fountain during one of the 20 second breaks. On the way back into the studio I checked the schedule and realized we were in the wrong classroom. What!? We had unknowingly joined a conditioning class!

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The instructor of the conditioning class was intense and yelled a lot. I wouldn’t be able to walk for the next three days, but I felt empowered and fit after making it through a painful hour of cardio.

It’s crazy difficult to get fit and healthy while being pregnant and caring for babies and toddlers. My youngest is now 4, we have the means to pay for a gym, we have the time, and I don’t have a reason to avoid getting fit.

Well meaning phrases can produce resistance

Now I feel like my resistance to exercising are things I read online. Sometimes I grow tired of hearing phrases like, “You need to accept your body” or “You need to be proud of your mama body, because it’s beautiful that you gave life to others” or “You need to accept how you have had too many babies to wear clothes with a fitted shape and you mine as well wear clothes that are flowing and gracefully drape your body.”

I know that people who preach those phrases mean well, but what I hear is, “Be complacent,” “You are a mama, so you should give up.” “You are too old to wear clothes like that and you should only buy free-form Anthropologie clothes.” Of course, that is not at all what they are saying. They probably mean that if you are 5’5’ and built like an athlete, then you will never look like a tall model from your Pinterest style board. They also mean that those stretch marks and extra tummy skin are never going away. Yep, it’s all is true.

However, I don’t have to be complacent or even accept everything. There are things I can change. I can change how far and fast I run. I can change my weight with my diet. I can change how much I can lift and build muscle definition.

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A season of getting fit

It’s my season to get healthy. For a long time we didn’t have the means to join a large gym. Now the gym is a priority and our kids are old enough to be well cared for by other people. I don’t like working out in my house. I love to run, but I can’t leave my kids at home alone yet.

Inspired by reading Breathing Room we joined a large gym last year on Black Friday. The child care center is humongous, clean, and my kids love to play at the gym. Sometimes they play gym games and my daughter has made several friends. They are sad when we pick them up, because they don’t want to leave!

I’ve become a bit of a gym rat and I love it. We’ve started going at least 3 to 4 times a week. Sometimes I work out on my own with the treadmill and exercises I learned from a free personal training session. Other times I do a conditioning class or a barbell strength class. Daniel does a small group class with a personal trainer twice a week.

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I’m an extrovert and I love being among people while I work out. I’m inspired by the women who are older and fit or on their way to being fit. I have to stop myself from asking strangers about their history of workouts and nutrition.

I know I can’t change the number on the scale unless I change the food I eat. A few years ago I ran a full marathon and didn’t lose a pound, because I was throwing back burgers, fries, and milkshakes every chance I got. We are using the MyFitnessPal app and advice from a Nutritionist at the gym to change our diet. It’s not easy to change our diet, but I know it will be worth it.

I don’t feel shamed into being thinner by society’s love of tall, thin women. I’m really grateful to finally have a chance to do something I enjoy. Getting fit and working out with my husband is a lot of fun. I like being able to fit into the clothes in my closet. The gym gives me breathing room and I feel like a different person after I leave.

Other ladies who inspire me to get fit:

Amanda Muse – She is working out at home with her littles ones and changing her diet.
Trish at Love, Laughter, and Insanity – She recently did a 21 Days of No Sugar challenge
Lisa Pennington – Lisa got healthy the old fashioned way with diet and exercise. I am amazed!
Rachel Hollis – yep, that lady who posted an Instagram of herself in a swimsuit after having three kids inspires me too.
Bernadette at BarefootHippieGirl.com – This mama of 4 does triathlons and runs in freezing temps. What!? I also liked her recent post on why she posts her workouts on social media.

What does getting fit look like for you?