At times it is hard to balance a busy lifestyle and a health and wellness program. We become so wrapped up in our daily responsibilities that we fail to see we how important it is to make time for ourselves and our mental and physical well-being. Please make no mistake they are connected.. Here is Caitlin’s story..!
When Bart asked me to write about my training, I thought, what can I offer other working moms that might help them take steps to improve their health? What motivations can I share? So I thought, why do I train? How do I make time to train? And what has making the time done for me?
During my later years of university I knew that I needed to start exercising regularly before it was too late. But as with most young people I’m sure, “too late” seems so far off and I was SO busy how could I ever find the time to work out?
Then I graduated, got engaged, went to teachers college, planned a wedding, started my teaching career and bought a house. Plenty of time to work out, right? Then I got very sick. I lost a lot of weight. I spent a lot of time sleeping and being tested for every possible cause imaginable. It was nothing, just stress the Doctor said. I was shocked! I’ve always been an anxious person, I’ve always been stressed out about things…how could stress have become so debilitating? I needed to find a way to change the path that I was on. I needed to find a way to deal with everyday stress and the challenges that would surely present themselves in the coming years as a teacher, wife, and, a few years later, the mother to a beautiful baby girl.
I tried a variety of things with my mom at my side. We went to the gym (treadmill and machines), outdoor boot camp for women twice a week, indoor boot camp twice a week. They were a great help but I still found myself in a rut and stressed on my days “off”.
What changed my life was Bart’s October Challenge. It was a little contest that he posted to his tribe – Who can attend class the most days in the month of October? A simple concept for sure, but not an easy task for anyone with kids or other priorities (or a life for that matter). There is no way I could go to the gym every single day! What about those days when I get home and all I want to do is sit and relax? What about the weekend? Who goes to the gym on a Sunday? I mentioned the preposterous idea to my husband when I got home that night. He laughed when he noticed how worked up I was about it.
“I know what that means” he said, “it means you want to do it”. He was right, I wanted to prove myself wrong. With my husband on-board, I didn’t want to lose face and now I was super motivated to accomplish what I had set out to do! My husband was amazing throughout; he dealt with baby bedtime every night so that I could go to the gym. My muscles hurt and I was tired but I was less stressed than I had been since University. Over a few short weeks, I noticed a HUGE difference in how my clothes fit, how I looked and, most importantly, my physical and mental abilities. I was proud and glad to be out of my rut. I was terrified to stop and go back to my stressful and unmotivated days!
I attended class everyday in October and when the month ended, I kept the challenge up and I continue to make time everyday for these classes. I always told myself that I was too busy to work out but what I have learned since is that life just always gets busier! Is my house always clean? Are the dishes always done? Do I watch all my favourite shows? NO! I give up things that I have decided are less important in order to be healthy and happy and less stressed. I also decided that since I was devoting my time everyday to the gym, I would be motivated to work as hard as I could while I was there. After all, this is time away from my family so I’m not going to waste it.
My advice for other moms? Find your balance. Do you need to go to the gym everyday? Maybe not. But vigorous exercise should be a part of everyone’s life and it is important to find the balance that works for you.
I can’t thank my husband enough for the support he has given me through this journey my mom for joining me and supporting me along the way, and Bart and his team for pushing me further than I ever knew possible 🙂
As you can see there is really no excuse to not have a health and wellness journey in your life. It’s important to make that commitment to yourself. You would never skip an important appointment with your doctor, dentist or court appointed attorney 🙂 so why not make an appointment with yourself.. are you less important? Book time to go for a walk, ride your bike, or engage your favorite activity.. Just get off the couch and move. Don’t get fixated on how you look, or the fitness level you currently maintain, its all relative, movement energizes and heals. Movement is life..!
President and Founder of Zenfit Inc.