working mom-of-three heather has been athletic most of her life. growing up, she knew the importance of eating right and exercising, but still, as she grew into adulthood, she, like many women, fell prey to body-image struggles and fad dieting in an effort to stay at a “healthy weight.” it wasn’t until her mid-30s, after an infertility battle and two high-risk pregnancies, however, that her health became a serious issue.
“i was tired and overwhelmed, and while i wanted to get a handle back on my health and fitness, i struggled to do so,” said heather. “it was a few months after my second son was born that i knew something needed to change. we went on a family vacation and i remember coming back and looking at our pictures and feeling devastated upon seeing myself.”
shortly after returning from that vacation, a routine physical revealed high blood pressure, an unfavorable cholesterol panel and pre-diabetes. heather took her results and decided she was done making excuses. it was time to get real and get help.
“at the start of all of this, my doctor asked me to keep a journal; a food and exercise log that i could bring to him so he was able to help me better,” said heather. “he also said that by doing that, it would hold me accountable. and he was 100% right! but all i had at the time was a three-ring binder.”
over the following two years, with the support of an online group, heather went on to lose 65 pounds and gain a boatload of confidence, as well as perspective on her “why” for living healthfully. and in the process, she found fitbook.
“honestly, i wish I would’ve found it sooner!” said heather. “while yes, you can log things in a three-ring binder, fitbook goes so much deeper than that, not just with the basics, but with being able to log your goals and successes. it guides you as you go in a way that plain paper cannot do.”
and even when the progress was small or slower, heather felt that seeing it written down did something for her self esteem.
“rather than ‘one pound lost,’ i see it as forward progress,” said heather. “and though it may seem small, i know by looking back through my fitbook that i put in the work to make that happen!”
we sat down with heather to get the 4-1-1 on her fitbook journey and found out why she enlisted her 6-year-old son, jackson, to get in on the action as well.
[what did you want to address going into this health journey?]
i believe too many women, moms in particular, excuse away their ability to ‘get serious’ about their health. we feel guilty for taking time to focus on ourselves because we are constantly needed by our little people and pulled in 10 different directions all day long. but i had to acknowledge to myself that by taking a simple 30 minutes a day to exercise, i was also taking care of my family. it wasn’t selfish of me; it was saving me - and them. because i wanted to be that mom that could get down on the floor and play with them, take them to the park and run around without getting winded or needing a nap afterwards.
[did you feel like you wanted to lead by example?]
of course! i also wanted them to be healthy, yet realized that by not being healthy myself, i wasn’t really setting a great example for them! as moms, we need to realize that we definitely lead our kids more by our example versus what we tell them to do. and they are watching - more than we think!
[speaking of kids, you had your oldest child, jackson, join in with a fitbook junior of his very own! why?]
because he is my pickiest eater and completely motivated by rewards. i have three kids, all with different personalities. jackson is 6, levi is 4 and addison is 19 months old. my younger two willingly choose healthier things constantly, and i have to wonder if their better eating habits are because mine were different by the time they started eating solids, as opposed to when jackson was a baby. unfortunately, he got most of my unhealthy years - he got way more pre-packaged, processed foods the first several years of his life than my younger two. he is also my type-a, motivated-by-rewards kid, so i felt like fitbook junior would be a great way to help him not just track his choices, but also be able to work towards goals for rewards.
[how’s it going? has he been more active?]
i can say that their activity level has never been lacking; they have energy for days! they regularly work out with me. i do workouts at home using many different streamable programs, as well as fitlosophy’s 6-week COMEBACK workouts! all it takes is for me to start my workout, and within minutes i have a small army on the floor joining in the fun. so while the activity log is not the biggest reason why i wanted jackson to join in, fitbook junior is a great way to help him focus on his veggie intake, which is the biggest challenge i face with him.
[yes, that’s definitely been a common challenge for moms throughout history! noticed any progress?]
we are both a work in progress, but forward movement is better than no movement! jackson is doing way better in terms of veggie intake. i believe writing it down and working towards something in this area of his little life is helping. sometimes allowing our kids the opportunity to take part in their own health decisions is all that is needed to get them going. he likes the rewards he’s able to track and earn. if he knows a new lego set is coming at the end of the month simply by meeting his daily veggie goal, it’s easier for him to make the willing choice to do that!
as for me, i will most likely always have a “mom bod” due to many different factors over the last several years. but that’s ok, because my “mom bod” is a strong one! i consistently exercise. i do my best to eat clean about 70% of the time. i allow myself treats and realize that life is about living.
[we couldn’t agree more! so what now? any new goals you’re working toward?]
there are goals I am working towards yes, but my BIGGEST goal i would say is “healthy.” i love fitlosophy’s motto: live life fit. it’s about living your whole life healthy, not “skinny” or “ripped.” but healthy looks different for me now as a mom to three small kids, and i want them to be raised with a healthy perspective on their own health and body image.
have i also lost pounds and inches? yes. but I have no plans of stopping once i hit a certain weight or achieve a certain body shape. what i can say is that i am far more consistent in achieving my goals - goals that look more like: five workouts a week, only three treats, 88 oz of water a day, writing down three things i am thankful for each day, rather than things like “lose 10 lbs” or “fit back into my pre-baby skinny jeans.” because of the changes my body has been through birthing three kids, i may never put on those skinny jeans again, and i’ve learned that in order to remain healthy long-term, i have to be real with myself and let go of unrealistic expectations. women - moms in particular - have so much pressure put on us to look and be a certain way, so i have had to set myself up for success by surrounding myself with friends, both here in my hometown and online, that help to support and encourage me in a positive way. your friends matter, and don’t ever underestimate the power of online support! not only am i super proud of myself at the end of a long week when i have hit every single health goal for myself, but hearing the cheering come from others helps me to keep going.
congratulations on this age of health enlightenment, heather! we are so proud to be a part of your journey, as well as little jackson’s quest for veggie success!
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