Lead By Example

You can help encourage other moms to live a healthier, fitter life, and sometimes the easiest way is by example.

January 24, 2013
Lead By Example

As a mother, one of the greatest things you can have outside of good time management is networking skills. Your kids’ school networks, for example, can be your lifeline when it comes to resources, play time, babysitting, carpools etc. And it’s important to our kids that we as parents set examples they can be proud of within these networks. Being a fit mom comes with its challenges in this area, and it requires more than just going to the gym and eating your meals on time. For instance, when my daughter tried to explain to the school that her mom wore a bikini on stage there were definitely challenges. I had to somehow figure out a way to make people understand why I did what I did and become friends with them.

Sadly, many moms I met at the school were not even close to being fit. I tried the whole “walk and talk” approach to fitness with other moms over the years, but it did not help me lose the kind of weight I needed or wanted to. Once I stopped and focused more on the gym, I became fit faster. And by delving into magazines like Muscle and Fitness hers, I also learned that I needed to set goals and hold myself accountable. That’s when I decided to do a show, and then realized that competing fit my personality and style of training much better. Between my weight and cardio routines, I managed to drop 30 pounds! My achievements began to inspire others around me, and this is how MichelleFitness came to be.

Not everyone respected my new, fit physique at first, however. And as much as I wanted to feel more connected to the moms at my school and in the neighborhood, my goals seemed to be very different from theirs. I also feared failure and that caused me to act a little off at times, especially when it came to getting my meals in on schedule. I’m sure the fact that I would dig into my Tupperware of flank steak with my fingers didn’t help, and I probably should have used a fork if I didn’t want to scare people away.

Being fit has the tendency to intimidate those who are not. One mother went so far as to say that I did not put my kids first, simply because I took care of my body by working out and eating right. No mom should feel or be made to feel guilty for having goals outside their household. Everyone needs his or her own identity and there’s nothing selfish about that. If we are not fulfilled, we cannot be our best versions of good moms and/or partners.

Now that I live the fit lifestyle, I have more energy and am way more productive than before. Being fit has helped me get through my days easier, and I’ve also found that I can handle emergency situations much better. How would you feel as a mom if you were not fit enough to save your child in an emergency that required you to climb stairs or run fast? Often times we associate being fit with vanity, and we discount the functional purposes it serves.

When we manage our lives wisely, and remember to take care of ourselves, we build a solid foundation for our family. And when we share the knowledge that we have to offer, spread our enthusiasm and lead the way, we encourage others to strengthen theirs. For me, personally, doing so has lead to some of those negative people at my daughter’s school becoming my friends and workout partners. In fact, many have become participants in my classes. And some moms have even sent their kids to me for training.

You can help encourage other moms to live a healthier, fitter life, and sometimes the easiest way is to lead by example.

Michelle Johnson