If you have been following some of my posts on my social media, then you may have completed a workout challenge and read about my two pregnancies. Even though it has been nearly four years since my final pregnancy ended, I am still astounded how much pregnancy has taught me about my “why” and my mission for KatFit. Don’t worry; this is not another personal trainer or fitness guru blog about six pack abs immediately after pregnancy, or why you need to look “cover model ready” emerging from the hospital with a beautiful new baby in your arms. Rather this is the opposite.
If you have read my bio I have always been physically active. I began running track at age 11 and went on to be a college-athlete earning multiple All American titles. When I graduated college, I remained fit. It was never anything I had to work at. I had a great metabolism, ate healthy, and had all the free time I wanted to work out. I thought I had a healthy relationship with my body. I could walk into a store and be confident anything I picked out would look good. If you asked me then if I had a great self-body image, I would have replied in a very confident voice, “YES!” However, it took getting pregnant to reveal to myself I did not. It wasn’t the extra pounds, the stretch marks, the c-section scar or the VERY visible cellulite that revealed a negative relationship with my body.
After my first pregnancy, I had this overwhelming desire to get back to who I was before I had my son. I was not satisfied with my workouts. I looked at myself in disgust. When compliments were given to me from my husband, I figured they were given out of obligation. I met my goals and lost the baby weight. I fit back into all my clothes by my son’s first birthday, but I wasn’t happy with my body. I constantly picked out little things I didn’t like about my body. I needed to be more cut here, I couldn’t wear this outfit because this area wasn’t toned enough, and so on. After a frustrating workout, looking down at my flabby, lose skinned stomach, it hit me. The negative self-talk was destroying my motivation and my acknowledgement of meeting my fitness goals. Plain and simple, it was destroying my happiness.
When I was competing in college, my competitions and my practices that were not successful had a common denominator. I was negative with myself. I wasn’t permitting myself to grow and focus on my “why”. When I was positive and focused on my goals, I was successful. Slowly, I began to apply this to my postpartum recovery. It was difficult at first to break the habit of body-shaming myself, but slowly I noticed that negative voice went away. Mentally and physically, I felt lighter. My workouts felt easier and I was happier.
When my husband and I decided to have second child, I knew my mental positivity towards my body needed to be present. What I didn’t know was how I would be challenged in the second pregnancy. The second pregnancy was a high-risk pregnancy where I could not work out the entire pregnancy, pick up my first son and was forced to limit my daily life activities. When training clients, I needed to sit down, and when I was not training clients, I needed to be on the couch. Negativity wanted to creep in on so many levels. From “You are going to get so fat from not being able to work out”; “You should not have given into that pregnancy craving!”; “Why did you even attempt to get back in shape?”, to “Your body has failed you.” Some days were better than others, but what this pregnancy taught me was another aspect of mental toughness.
Yes, I could not work out because of the risk of premature delivery, risk of losing my unborn child and/or my life. It was during this time I needed to strengthen my positivity with my body and self image. This helped me iron out my “why”.
Why I work out is not for my looks. It is for my physical health, it is for my mental health, it is for the challenge, it is for the growth of learning about myself, it is for peace in my day to refocus. When I begin a workout, I take a deep cleansing breath and repeat in my head and in a soft whisper, “you can do this.” It is in that moment that I release everything on my mind and let the workout take over. I don’t have a care in the world. It is me vs. myself to push myself to my limits and go beyond.
To me the most incredible thing you can watch is someone pushing themselves to their preconceived limit and breaking through it to gain increased growth. It is my mission to inspire people through a whole life change to lead a life of fitness and vitality. In my gym, anyone who enters comes as they are to grow mentally and physically to be able to be a champion of their lives.