We’re a bit behind on our fitness tips (not our fitness!) because of the holiday last week, but not to worry. Val’s back, more pregnant than ever, and still fit as a fiddle. Only 8 weeks till baby time and Val’s been doing a lot of thinking. I’ll let her explain:
With the arrival of my baby girl just 8 weeks away, I’m finding my thoughts shifting away from all things pregnancy and into the “How to” of parenting. I know I’m not alone when saying I want to raise a happy and healthy child. But with the recent changes in my body – you know, the whole growing a baby thing – I’m reminded of how important a role a mother plays in her child’s own body image.
It brings to mind a conversation with my older sister, Jen, from when she was pregnant with her first child. Jen and I had a long history of working out together and a shared interest in discussing calorie counting/burning, weight loss, and what we didn’t like about our imperfect bodies. Thankfully my sister recognized that once her daughter, Leila, came into our lives, she would also become a part of our workout routine. In an effort to be positive role models for Leila, we consciously replaced negative body talk with healthy alternatives. From that point forward we agreed to remove certain words from our dialogue. Gone were the days of verbalizing the need to lose those last 5 pounds or feeling fat. We now express the importance of working hard to stay fit and encourage healthy habits to grow stronger.
I recently came across a blog post that struck a similar cord. The author, Brynn Harrington, brings to light many of the same things that I want my daughter to know about working out.
- Strength equals self-sufficiency. Being strong – particularly as a woman – is empowering. It will feel good someday to be able to carry your own luggage down the stairs if the airport escalator is broken, and it will be important to have a solid shot at outrunning a stranger should you meet one a dark alley.
- Fitness opens doors. Being healthy and fit can help you see the world differently. The planet looks different from a bike or a pair of skis than it does from a car or an airplane. Out in the elements you have the time and space to notice details and meet people and remember smells and bugs and mud and rain and the feeling of warm sunshine on your face. And those are the moments that make up your life.
- The bike is the new golf course. Being fit may help you get a seat at the table. Networking is no longer restricted to the golf course, and the stronger you are – and the more people you can hang with on the road and trail – the more people you’ll meet.
- Exercise is a lifestyle, not an event. Being an active person isn’t about taking a class three times a week at the gym. It’s about things like biking to the grocery store and parking your car in the back of the lot and walking instead of taking a cab and catching up with friends on a hiking trail instead of a bar stool.
- Health begets health. Healthy behavior inspires healthy behavior. Exercise. Healthy eating. Solid sleep. Positive relationships. These things are all related.
- Endorphins help you cope. A good sweat session can clear the slate. You will have days when nothing seems to go right…when you’re dizzy with frustration or crying in despair. A workout can often turn things around.
- Working out signals hard-working. The discipline required to work out on a regular basis signals success. Someone recently told me they are way more likely to hire marathon runners and mountain climbers because of the level of commitment that goes into those pursuits.
- If you feel beautiful, you look beautiful. Looking beautiful starts on the inside. And being fit and strong feels beautiful.
- Nature rules. And if you’re able to hike/run/bike/swim/ski/snowshoe, you can see more of it.
- Little eyes are always watching. We learn from each other. You may have a daughter—or a niece or a neighbor or a friend – one day. And that little girl will be watching and listening to everything she you say and do. What messages do you want her to hear?
Major insightfulness from Ms. Brynn! Thank you! Be sure to read the whole article HERE
Only one more fitness tip to go before this baby’s estimated eviction date. The anticipation is killing me! Stay tuned!
Photo by: Limelife Photography