Never did I ever...

Never did I ever.....gosh, I can think of a lot of ways that I could finish that sentence πŸ€” Reminds me of a game I played one too many times in college...😏.....don't pretend like you don't know which one I'm talking about.  

However, for the purposes of this post, I want to accomplish a few different things with that sentence.  First and foremost, I want to encourage each and every one of you girls. Second, I want to give a shout out and brag on a brilliant artist for a bit.  Lastly, I just want to talk about how I got to the place I am today.

To complete the title sentence...Never did I ever think I could take a photo like the one I took below...

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So this picture is the results of a very big goal that I had been working towards for a very long time...and in a lot of ways, part of the way that Mama.Fit.Life came to be.  Many months ago I saw a picture on pinterest that I just thought was incredible...(I share that inspiration pic a little later on) It was a girl outside doing a pose like the one you see above and I just thought it was amazing. I thought she was amazing.

I was just in love with it.  I thought it was the coolest picture ever...I became slightly obsessed with it I think πŸ™ƒ So time went on...I continued focusing on my workouts...my eating, etc.  And FINALLY, a few months ago, I got to a place where I felt pretty satisfied with myself. I was feeling really good about what I had accomplished over the last few years, post babies, as it relates to working out...becoming stronger...becoming more disciplined and consistent with working out and making it part of my daily life.  Pretty happy with how I had transformed my eating....becoming more conscious of what went into my body and how it impacted me.  Just overall felt pretty good.  

Then I started thinking about something I had always thought would be a really cool experience, which was a photoshoot.  I've always thought that a real deal photoshoot would be the coolest thing ever!  And I mean like the whole shabang....someone to do my makeup, someone to do my hair, someone to tell me how to do different poses....blow wind into my hair with a fan...lol...😁 you get the picture.  Something to make me feel special for the day.  Then I thought....well why not combine the two? I was feeling really accomplished with all the hard work and effort I had put into my health and my body so why not do a photoshoot to capture this moment in time?  Even if it was just for myself.

So I started researching photographers and stumbled upon Andrew Knowles with AJK Images.  Gosh, where to even begin? Andrew is incredible.  His whole business is about giving people a magazine style photoshoot experience....how freaking cool is that?  And it is the real deal...all of the things I was looking for...hair, makeup, expertise, creativity....all in one place.  This was literally one of the most fun things I have ever done.  

Now of course...the entire time leading up to the big day of the shoot....the whole time I was doing the shoot...and sometimes even still (even a little as I am writing this)....I would wonder to myself...what in the world am I doing?  Why am I spending money on this? How selfish can I be to want pictures taken of myself for no reason? But then I kept telling myself....but why not?  Why couldn't this be ok? I had worked really really hard for something that I was proud of so why not capture that if I wanted to?  So many times in our lives I feel like we over complicate things and think WAY too much about it...or at least I know I do.  Especially when it comes to myself.  It's easy for me to spend and do things for others....it is MUCH more difficult to do it for myself.  But nonetheless...I went through with it and ended up with some of the most amazing pictures that I will treasure forever! If you are ever in the DFW area and wanting an incredible experience and some amazing pictures, then look Andrew up!!!

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Now back to the reason for this post.  So that inspiration pic that I found on pinterest so many months ago really became a driver for me.  Something to work towards....I thought how cool would it be if I could get myself to a place where I could take a picture like that?  So when I sought Andrew out for the photoshoot I didn't give a lot of direction regarding what I wanted outside of wanting a fitness shoot and showing him that inspiration picture.  I really wanted him to take the reins and help me create something awesome, but the one thing I wanted to make sure was that we capture a picture like my inspiration picture.

When I saw the finished project I felt so accomplished.  You know when you set your mind to something and you bust your tail to do it? Like really give it everything you have? It could be anything....working towards a promotion or a new job....crushing a new workout routine or committing to start working out for the first time ever.  Focusing on losing the baby weight you gained during your pregnancy.  Learning a new talent like playing an instrument. Nailing a presentation.  Kicking a bad habit that's holding you back from bigger and better things.  Doesn't matter what it was....the idea is the same.  When you set your mind to something and you put forth the effort you can do ANYTHING.  LITERALLY ANYTHING.  

Never did I ever think that after having 4 children in the span of 3 years, that I could ever take a picture like that.....but I did.  Never did I ever, ever, EVER think I would start a fitness blog....but here we are.  It really just comes down to a few things....passion, dedication, and discipline.  If there is something that you have really been wanting to do.....again, doesn't matter what it is....then DO IT.  Create a plan...figure out what needs to happen for you to accomplish your goal, and DO IT!!! Nothing in life comes easy....not many good things at least.  You have to work for what you want.  You have to dedicate the effort to achieving your goal.  You MUST have discipline....especially when it comes to things like transforming your body.  The weight won't just fall off.  The pounds won't just disappear.  The cravings won't just stop.  You won't magically wake up and want to workout at 5am. You have to make those things happen. You have to make a decision that you're going to do something.....set a goal....a REALISTIC goal.  Figure out the steps to reach the goal and then set out on the path to make it happen.  

Speaking of goals...I like to think of goals in 2 ways......an overall BIG goal and then smaller, supporting goals.  Your overall goal may be reaching a certain goal weight.  But the smaller supporting goals can be things like "eat vegetables at dinner every night this week" OR "work out for 30 minutes 2 times this week" OR "lose 1lb this week" . 

Celebrating the small wins is important....small wins are not only what keep you going and keep you motivated and feeling like you're moving in the right direction, but they are also what help keep you from sliding backwards or quitting altogether.  If your goal is simply to "lose weight" there are so many things that can go wrong there.  

First off....how much weight? When their is ambiguity or unknown associated with a goal it becomes much more difficult to focus on and attain.  What are you working towards? πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

Second...what is the time frame?  Is there an end in sight?  When you don't put some parameters on a goal it's hard to measure your success towards that goal.  It's also hard to stay motivated sometimes if there isn't an end in sight or you don't know when your supposed to "reach the goal."

So based off that so far, maybe you adjust your goal to become "I want to lose 15lbs in the next 6 months."  Now you know exactly WHAT you are working towards, and WHEN you want to accomplish it by.

Now that's your BIG overall goal.  Now think about the little supporting goals associated with that BIG goal that will help keep you motivated along the way. 

You could count the weeks in 6 months and then associate a weekly weight loss goal with that.  Or you could set yourself some exercise parameters...workout 2 times each week the first month, 3 times each week the second month and so on.  Walk for 20 minutes a day 3x a week.  It can be anything.  The point is that you have to give yourself small wins.  You have to create goals that are realistic and attainable small wins.  You have to create stepping stones for yourself so that you don't just feel like a failure and quit, just because of a small setback.  

When I think back to my body just a few short years ago while I was going through my pregnancies.....

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For some reason I couldn't find a pic from this preganacy in the 30+ week range...

For some reason I couldn't find a pic from this preganacy in the 30+ week range...

35 weeks with babies 3 & 4!

All I can think about is how much of a mountain it seemed like to think about losing all of the baby weight and getting myself back in shape.  I was essentially pregnant or breastfeeding for 4 straight years and my body had been WORKED OVER!!! Things were not in the same place they were before I had kids 😩😳....skin was losing and sloppy, muscles were practically non existent, I had zero energy....the list goes on.  It seemed like an unimaginable feat to think about getting my body back to "the way things used to be."

But I'm happy to say, that I feel better about myself today...6 years after having that first baby....than I did even before I had kids.  I am healthier and stronger today that I have ever been.  It was by no means an easy road.  Or a fast one. And it was not without many MANY setbacks, tears, struggles, moments of giving up....quitting, starting again, quitting, more tears, anger, etc.

Like I said before, nothing good in life ever comes easy.....but ANYTHING CAN BE DONE!!!

What is it that you really want to do?  What is it that you have been wanting to commit to but haven't seemed to be able to? Losing weight? Starting a workout routine? Cleaning up your eating habits? Being more active? Playing outside with your kids more often? Moving up at work? Being a better child of God? Doing your bible study more often? Setting aside time for date night with the hubby?  You name it....but you know what it is for you.  What better time than now to do it?

Stop letting yourself make excuses, be afraid, or tell yourself that you don't have time to do it.  Whatever it is, if you just focus, give it 100% and take it one day at a time...one step at a time, you CAN do it!!!

Find your motivation...whatever that may be? For me it was that pinterest photo so long ago that inspired me to continue to work harder and harder at achieving my fitness goals.....then it was a desire to capture that moment and that accomplishment....and finally some sweet and loving friends and their words of encouragement that led me to share it with you girls here today.

So let's see....to recap, did I cover my 3 main objectives for this post that I mentioned at the beginning?  First was to encourage you girls - if nothing else, that is the one thing I hope I accomplished here. I just wanted to give you a peak behind the curtain that is my life and what helped motivate me to get to this place today.  I hope that I showed you that its ok to want something for yourself....in fact its fabulous and you need to embrace it! As I say everywhere on Mama.Fit.Life....being the best version of yourself impacts EVERYONE around you.  Your kids, spouse, family, friends, co-workers...everyone.  If you focus on yourself....make time for yourself...push yourself to be better, to reach your goals, to make new ones, to continuously improve....then it positively impacts everyone around you.  So you aren't selfish or silly. You aren't self-centered.  

Many times I hear mama's....especially working mamas....talk about how they feel guilty about going to workout after work because it cuts into the precious little time they have with their kids during the week. Hey I get it.  Trust me.  The struggle is real.  BUT....what if spending 30 minutes a day working out and focusing on getting healthier led to better quality time with your kiddos? What if that extra energy you get from working out....because trust me you will, it's a wonderful side effect....led to more games of tag in the backyard or hide and seek in the house? What if working out your frustrations in the gym led to a better attitude at home and more patience with your spouse or your kids?  The possibilities are endless, but one thing is true.  You must make time for yourself.  Making yourself better and giving yourself the things you need will reap you more rewards that you can know.

So figure out what it is that you want to focus on today to take you one step closer to the best version of yourself.  Make a plan...set some goals...big and small...come back here for motivation, and let's do this together! 😘

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P.S....for this and every post moving forward, you'll just have to bear with me on the typos.  The more times I read over the post looking for errors before I publish it, the more the critic in me takes over and I just keep rewriting it and changing it - at some point you just gotta put it out there, so apologies for any grammatical errors! 😁