My Child has Motivated Me to Get Healthier

When I was young, exercising was fun. I calculated one time that on an average weekend in middle school I would ride my bike about 30 miles. I also ran track, played volleyball, and was able to do one-armed pull-ups. Then I got a driver’s license. The bike didn’t come out nearly as often. Over the course of high school and college, I gained a lot of weight and lost a significant amount of athletic ability.

As an adult, I have constantly been overweight. I joined a gym in 2007 and that helped a little, but I wasn’t truly motivated to do right by my body. I even became a Zumba and water aerobics instructor. I started running. But I discovered it didn’t matter how much I exercised if I kept eating the way I was. I frequently heard, “as much as you work out, you should be skinny as a rail.”  I (half) jokingly would reply “I love food and I work out so I can keep eating it.” 

My motivation completely changed when I got pregnant. I did well at not gaining a lot of weight until I developed pre-eclampsia and my whole body started to swell. I started trying to eat (a little) better because I wanted my daughter to see me enjoying healthy foods. As my child became a toddler, my motivation increased. She was getting heavier and harder to keep up with. So I started lifting weights more and increased my cardio. When my daughter was almost 2, my husband challenged me to get certified as a strength training instructor. I struggled with the idea, but in the end,  I wanted her to see me do things even if I was worried they would be hard. Now that she’s almost 3, I have completely revamped the way I eat, and I’m finally seeing actual physical results. 

Over the years, I’ve tried different diets, different ways of eating, but I was never serious about it. I would think I was, but it was always too easy to give in to cravings. This time around, I’ve found it easier to make better choices. Not to cave when cookies or donuts are being passed around, and to have a salad or a single slice of pizza instead of a giant bacon cheeseburger or a whole calzone. My entire mindset feels different. I’m not as easily tempted. The only difference I can figure out is this time I have a child who I want to be healthier for.

So yes, I’m working out at least 4 or 5 days a week. And yes, I’m tracking my food intake and I’m trying to eat better. But I really attribute my ability to finally get healthier to my daughter. Thank you, daughter, for giving me the motivation I needed to take care of myself so I can take better care of you.

Previous articleI’m Letting My Kids Fail
Next articleUnbelievable! :: The Plague
Originally from Dauphin Island, AL, I am a stay-at-home mom who likes to do anything other than just stay at home. My husband and I have lived in 5 states together and are in the Atlanta area now for the second time. I have a Master’s degree from GSU in Multiple and Severe Disabilities and was a special education teacher for 8 years before deciding to work with adults with autism and then becoming a SAHM. I now work as a preschool teacher and fitness instructor. I enjoy spending time with my daughter at parks, libraries, and anywhere else that we can explore our world.