Gabi is an inspiration to us all. Setting her mind to the #StrongerMamaChallenge and going strong. It wasn't easy though, as it never is for us Mothers and finding that ‘me-time’.
Ready Gabi's story below as she write this to help not only inspire other Mothers, but also, and most importantly, be a role model for her two gorgeous girls.
Yay! I did it! I literally only missed one day of the whole four weeks but I'M SO FLIPPING PROUD OF MYSELF!
Just to let you in on a little bit of my exercise background; I grew up in a family that didn't exercise. My Mum has battled with her weight for as long as I can remember, always trying to get below a size 16, still to this day.
'In my household, exercise was mostly equated with being fat; you only exercised to lose weight'
It's been a long journey for me to identify this unhealthy correlation between weight and exercise in my head and for so long I didn't realise that my aversion to exercise was about admitting to myself that I didn't like my body and was only moving it to get rid of half of it.
After I had my second baby, I came along to your classes, initially to lose weight (I know you want to laugh, go ahead; I'm laughing as I write this).
BUT your classes have helped me realise that:
Looking after your body not for results, but because you owe it to your body and your future self.
Around Week 3 of the Stronger Mama Challenge, I weighed myself as a check mark (I weighed myself first thing on a Monday morning before breakfast each week) and I was disappointed to see the scales hadn't shifted since the week before.
I was disappointed, absolutely. In my head, I have gone from doing next to zero exercise each week to six out of seven days; my body should be melting before my eyes according to my brain!
Needless to say, I had a really long battle with my head that day when it came to my standard daily workout time. I wasn't seeing the results I wanted and it didn't seem fair.
But in that moment, I made a choice; I stepped off the scales, shoved them back under the bed (where I probably should have left them for the whole four weeks!) and pep-talked myself hard;
"Girl, you're doing this for strength! You're doing it to change your 'exercise=fat' mentality. You're changing it for your girls, who need to know that exercise is a normal and healthy part of life.
You're doing it to prove to yourself that you can. You're doing it for 'future you' who will thank 'present you' for taking care of your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles when you carry/birth your next baby. Now shut up with your whining and GET IT DONE."
So I did. I worked out with zero motivation and patted myself on the back.
COVID and working from home have been kind to me; I don't do early mornings and
I can't muster up the energy to workout after a long day so fitting the half hour workout into my lunch break/baby sleep time has been ideal.
I'll be honest; I still don't love it, but this challenge has shown me that I can do it.
Even recently I had a sick baby during the day which rendered me stuck under cuddles on the couch during my workout time.
Realising that this was going to be the rest of my day, I settled in for the long haul.
I loved that I knew you would applaud my choice to be there for my family.
And forgo the exercise if that's what my body was telling me I needed to do and that.
There was no guilt attached to missing a workout or feeling the need to catch up.
So freeing considering we're Mums and schedule-interruptions are practically our bread and butter.
I've honestly really enjoyed it and have found it to be the perfect balance between hard and helpful. I feel so much stronger (in my arms, hello yoga) and my body is so much more mobile now.
I love that each session has a forced stretch (because, let's be honest, if it's not in there, it ain't getting done) and your calm and soothing voice makes those hard exercises that much more bearable. Even my husband, who often works out in the gym at the same time I do, often replies "Thanks Kerryn!" to your inbuilt encouragement during the videos. Haha!
I thought you'd love to hear how you're helping change people's mindsets towards exercise. I'm betting I'm not the only one!
I'll definitely be on board for next month!