End of an Era

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~Dr. Seuss

Week: #11

Pounds Lost: 9

Pounds To Go: 121

Another week, another pound left on the pavement! This week was hard. Not so much in the eating or exercising department, but emotionally, it was just plain hard. This week marked the end of my time at Baby Boot Camp, and all of the sappy friendship and good bye songs were the soundtrack of the past few days. Mothers need support, and when that support comes in the form of strong women who have a passion for fitness, well… that type of support just can’t be beat.

When we moved back to Florida, just four years ago, I set out to be one of those moms who did activities with my daughter. I would show her what it was like to have a healthy, hands-on mom. Baby Boot Camp was the perfect marriage of fitness and time with your child. You work out in front of your child, you engage your child in the workout through song, and sometimes tickles, it is an amazing program to be a part of, to grow with, and lastly to teach. I was a part of healthy changes in the lives of many. I got to share in stories of success and struggle, and together we pushed through it all. We were bonded by sweat and sweet laughter, and I couldn’t ask for a better mommyhood experience. These were the women I called when I reached my goal weight and went shopping as a skinny girl for the first time. These were the women who I coached back to healthier mommy bodies. These were the babies who I would help soothe and who would go home and do squats as toddlers. Most of all, these were the women who got me out of bed when my world was crumbling. I’m sobbing even as I write this, because a part of me will never be ready to let that kind of love and support go. But… the reality is, living an hour away from where we celebrated health every Monday and Wednesday was just too much. The commute was stressful, and although the workouts were still great, and the women were still wonderful, it was different because I didn’t get to participate in all of the after-workout opportunities to strengthen my village. So, the decision was made in mid-March that April would be my last month of teaching, and time just flew by too fast.

All of a sudden, there we were celebrating my last week of teaching Baby Boot Camp. Old cherished friends came to those final workouts, faces that I haven’t seen in a long time, and my heart was filled with so much love, that it was literally coming out my eyeballs. I made it a point to give it all I had as an instructor for those last two classes. Being able to teach and coach again was a gift, and I wasn’t about to leave without giving everything of me back to the women who helped shape my mommyhood journey thus far. I know my relationships with these strong mamas will continue in a different way, but I also know that these past four years have been filled with some of the best memories of my life, and for that I will forever be in debt to the mommies of Baby Boot Camp.

Mommyhood is a journey, and one that should never be walked alone. We need our village to help us along the way, and whether that village is made up of family, or friends who feel like family, or, if you’re lucky, a combination, each village is special, necessary, and cherished. This Fat-Free Mommy was truly blessed to be welcomed into the fold of the Baby Boot Camp village. Now, as my mommyhood adventures continue on a different path, I know I am strong enough to take on this change of life, even though it may be making me scared and sad in this moment. I am blessed because my village spans more than just my street corner. I have strong mamas I can turn to around the world, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

XOXO, 

Fat-Free Mommy

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The Dark(est) Side

HalfMarathon1thumbWeek: #10

Pounds Lost: 8

Pounds to Go: 122

Oh Boy! Another runDisney racecation in the books! Over the weekend, I took on the Inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon, and let me tell you it was the darkest half of my life! Not because I had to wake up at 1:45am to get to the start on time, and not because the theme was the villainous dark side of Star Wars, but because it was my slowest and heaviest half marathon ever!

You know, research has shown that for every pound you weigh, you put about 4 pounds of pressure on your joints, especially knees and ankles. So, doing the math, I ran this past weekend with an additional 488 pounds of pressure! That’s in excess of the pounds of pressure my frame should have, but I won’t do the entire math equation for you because even the Fat-Free Mommy has to have some modesty! With all that added pressure, of course I would be slower than desired, snails pace even, and I own it! I didn’t go into the race expecting some running angel miracle of speed despite my size. I am this heavy because of bad choices, bad choices have consequences, and instead of a time-out, my consequence was slug like slowness.

So there I was, jalking along the course, not knowing a single character, because I have never seen a Star Wars movie, I know blasphemy, but it’s the truth. Stopping for characters wasn’t going to slow me down, that’s for sure, but my lack of speed still ignited a certain level of anxiety. If you don’t meet the pace requirements, you get swept, end of story. If you fall behind the sweepers, you don’t get to cross the finish line, you typically still get a medal, but really, who wants a medal they didn’t earn? Ok, a lot of people, but I am NOT one of them. For the first time, in 24 half marathons, I was terrified of being swept. Looking over my shoulder or around the corner probably wasted more energy than it was worth, but nevertheless my head was on a swivel. Then, by mile 11 I was surrounded by people who appeared to be in pain, with defeated looks on their faces. You can do it, and Are you ok? are words I would call out as I passed. One woman in particular that I saw, had rubbed her thighs so raw with the friction of movement that she was bleeding, to her I offered my emergency bottle of Aquaphor. At that moment it dawned on me, that even though I was much slower than I wanted to be, and much much larger than I wanted to be, I still wasn’t injured or defeated. I pushed myself, but not to the point of injury or pain, and I finished ahead of the sweepers by a couple of miles. I was ok. I did it. Sure, I was sore and exhausted in the two days that followed, but nothing that a little rest couldn’t cure.

Beyond anything, this weekend got me thinking… Yes, I am on a long journey back to health, but it could be worse. A lot worse. I have the means and the knowledge I need to be my own success story, and really that is all I need. No matter what, just like in the race, if I keep pushing forward, I will reach my goal line!

 

XOXO, 

Fat-Free Mommy

Sometimes You Gotta Laugh

33ce9ad74c8603b60f9f130910f24b27Week: #8

Pounds Lost: 5

Pounds to Go: 125

Woohoo! Another week and another 2 pounds gone! I would celebrate with a happy dance, but this week I seem to have channeled my inner Lucy, so I fear I would hurt myself! Some weeks are good, some weeks are bad, and then there are weeks like this, where you just have to laugh.

It started Monday, a normal Monday by Monday standards, started teaching my bootcamp class, and during the warm up I managed to sprain my middle finger while attempting to stretch my quad. Yes, you read that right, I sprained a finger stretching my leg! Who does that?! If I didn’t live it, I really wouldn’t think it were possible. But there I was kicking my leg back to catch in my hand, and BAM, missed and kicked my own middle finger. I screamed through a smile, some of the kiddos laughed at me, and I sent the mommies for a little warm up run while I composed myself. Class went on, life went on, and about 5 hours later I figured it would be time to ice my finger, you know, since it had almost doubled in size. By nightfall I finally got around to putting a finger brace on it, and when I awoke the next day it was a beautiful rainbow of purples, blues, and yellows. That’s me, Mommy McClumsy! It gets better though. The next day I could bend my finger a little without pain and I took off my finger brace to wash  my hands, in swoops the little hands of my little prince and my brace disappears. Where is mommy’s finger brace? I ask… Over there, he answers. Now, Over there, to my two year old is really more of a general anywhere in the universe type of location. So, here I am, healing slowly without a brace, and I really just have to laugh.

Why I share this story, is because that incident on Monday could have gone one of two ways. I could have gotten discouraged and stopped, or I could have just kept going knowing that it would get better. I chose the optimistic route, and just kept going. My finger wasn’t falling off, or contorted into some unnatural direction, so for me, that meant that it could be dealt with later. I had a “show must go on” type of attitude and I know that this attitude can translate into my weight loss journey. So, I had a painful experience, that doesn’t mean I had to then eat a cake to feel better. So, I had a nibble of my kiddos pasta, that doesn’t mean that I have to turn and binge the day away. One simple mistake, mishap, or moment of negativity does not define a day. Get back up, and keep going, because the day isn’t over yet, and you never know what hilarious Lucy type moment is just around the corner.

XOXO, 

Fat-Free Mommy