Fitting Fitness into Motherhood 9

DSC_0665Being a Mom was all I ever wanted. It was a lifelong dream, that came true for me when I had my first positive pregnancy test in Target on my lunch break, a few months after turning 24. That pregnancy with our first child who’s now 7, changed my body forever. I have stretch marks that look like I must have carried triplets. Gaining almost 80 pounds, I truly ate for 2. I was so wrapped up in this lifelong dream coming true, that taking care of myself completely left my mind. His birth was amazing, we figured out nursing and then the path to loosing all of that baby weight was a long, long road, filled with many, many miles walking with the stroller.

A year later, just as I was about 5 pounds away from loosing it all, we got pregnant with our second child. Again, a wonderful pregnancy, gaining less weight this time- about 44 pounds, but still more than I should have. Same story, I slowly lost it all over about 1 1/2 years and then we decided to have our 3rd baby. With her, I gained somewhere around 45 pounds and most of it came off over the course of a year, but something changed this time after the newborn fog cleared…for the first time in YEARS or maybe even my life, I realized that women can be Moms and also be strong and fit…..I wanted this. 

I had always wanted to be a Mom, but I’d never thought about how my body would feel as a Mom. All I knew is that I wanted kids and when they were young, I  wanted to stay home with them. I’d never considered how health, weight and food choices could affect my energy, my patience and even my confidence to get out and spend time with friends.
DSC_0674 Last summer I found myself back at the gym for the first time since Motherhood rocked my world 7 years ago. Sitting on my yoga mat, the instructor asked if I’d done yoga before. Smiling, I told her that yes, I used to workout all the time, prior to having a bunch of babies. 7 years off from consistent exercise and then coming back….I felt so new and like I’d lost so much strength, but I wasn’t upset with myself. I was simply happy to be there, not looking back, only looking ahead.DSC_0681As women, we need things in our lives that remind us how strong and capable we are and for me as a Mom, I need things that remind me that motherhood is wonderful, but it’s not the ONLY thing I’m about. My body is still mine and it’s the only body I’ll ever have. I had my babies when I was 24, 26 and 29. Lord willing, I have a lot of life left and I want to do everything I can to make the most of this life I’ve been given. 

Finding fitness in motherhood takes more effort and sacrifice, but it’s also much more rewarding. A few years ago, I’d never considered that Moms could be there for their families, and also take care of themselves at the same time. I assumed it was one or the other. After having postpartum anxiety, I knew something needed to change. It was then that I realized how powerful exercise can be in our lives. 

For me, exercising hasn’t really helped me lose weight and that’s okay. Most people get discouraged because exercise doesn’t help the scale go down. Good nutrition plays the largest role in helping the scale move. For me, exercise releases my stress, it gives me more energy and it helps me be more productive, kind, patient and creative throughout the day. 
DSC_0693When I started NW Healthy Mama last June, at the time I felt like I needed to lose 10 pounds first and be a little “more fit”. I still feel this way sometimes, since I’m just as normal as anyone else, but this space isn’t about me so, I can let that go. What I want is for the women in this part of the world to pull themselves up and do those things that make them feel strong and empowered. Do you even know how amazing you are and all that you’re capable of? Most of us are walking around using  only a small amount of our full potential!DSC_0696For me, fitness isn’t about being skinny or the “best”. It’s about feeling empowered to be a strong woman, something I’d never considered to be part of Motherhood. Fitness for me is managing stress and anxiety in a healthy, productive way. It’s about using the one body God has given me and feeling strong enough to do the things I love.

A big thank you to Lucy Activewear for providing me with the clothes pictured in these photos. For comfortable workout gear, that transitions well from the gym to the grocery store or to the trail,  Lucy is the best.

Lucy specializes in clothing for women who love to move. They design high performance workout wear that focuses on a woman’s strengths and lets her shine. Whether you’re a practiced yogi, happy bootcamper or your life is a constant sprint, they’re right there with you.

All of their gear features the high-performance qualities you’d expect, such as moisture-wicking, breathable fabric with four-way stretch, and chafe-free flat locked seams.

And because details make a difference, Lucy loads them up:

  • mesh in high heat zones
  • reflectivity front and back for night owls and early risers
  • thumbholes to keep the chill at bay
  • cinchable waist drawcords to keep pants in place
  • pockets galore – at your waist, on your back, at the hip, down the sides of your legs, and tucked into your hems

They make gear you’ll love to be in, and find yourself reaching for everyday.

Pictured here is the Pocket Capri Legging, with the Fitness Fix Tank and above you’ll see the Lift It Up Pullover. Currently they are having a big 25% off sale. If you’re looking for quality activewear, be sure to check out Lucy.

….And lastly, a big thank you to my sister for taking these photos. Sister-friend has awesome camera skills!

What does your fitness journey look like as a Mom? I’d love to hear! 

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids' school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.

9 thoughts on “Fitting Fitness into Motherhood

  • Sarah

    My friend and I are doing a bucket list of hikes this summer with our babies!!! We started following your blog! We love all your posts and pictures!

    • Angela Strand Post author

      Hi Sarah!
      Thank you so much for letting me know you’re reading along! I’d love to hear about the hikes on your bucket list. Sounds awesome!

  • Whitney

    I love this post so much Angela. I struggled after I had Riggs with a little bit of confusion: I had waited so long to be a mom, and then once I became a mother, there was this huge realization that I still had to go on being me and a mom at the same time. It seems obvious, but for me it was actually one of the hardest things I had to figure out after having him. One of the biggest aspects of self-care for me is exercising and it’s also one of the hardest things to make a priority when you’re a mom. Thank you for sharing your story. ❤️

    • Angela Strand Post author

      I couldn’t agree more. Exercising is HARD to fit in, but it’s so important! I love the way you fit it into your life and share your gorgeous photos on Instagram. You make me want to visit Alaska!

  • Kim

    Great post Angela! I love being on the journey beside you. You have been such a positive influence!

  • Kim Smelser

    Love this! We all find our way and what motivates us to be the best selves as well as be the best moms we can be. (20 Half Marathons later and more coming!) You look great Angela! Great example to those adorable kiddos of yours! Way to inspire others as well!

  • Charissa

    Loved your article. It’s been almost 7 years since my first baby and I definitely felt it was time to strengthen my body intentionally. I’ve been consistent since November and have seen great results. This is so important for us mothers to find time to take care of ourselves! Glad you are encouraging other mothers.

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