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James Patrick

 

The fitness industry can be  extraordinarily vain.  I’m not staking claim to anything new here, it is what it is.  When so much of it revolves around your physical appearance, how can it not?  The good news is, I have come across some of the most down to earth, inspiring and motivational personalities I have ever known along the way.  People that have not always been in such incredible shape, suffered hardships, overcome obesity and created a new healthier lifestyle for themselves.  Its people like this, that help motivate others to make changes in their lives.  Everyone’s journey is different, but however we get here, I hope we are kind enough to support others in their own journey and not just be all about “check out my abs.”  Sadly, there are many that fall into that category as well.

In a sea of vanity, my personal mission is more of a hope to inspire others to push hard for what they want and for moms to realize they can have their body back and an even better than before having had children.  That said, it has definitely crossed my mind that the way I present myself may create an unhealthy perception in my own daughter’s.  A perception that they too would need to look like me or feel inadequate on some level if they don’t.  On my quest to be a good parent, I often communicate with my children about their feelings, opinions and observations about the world around us.  When they ask me a question, I do try to answer as honestly as possible without sugar-coating it.  I feel if they have confidence in sharing openly with me and don’t feel they will be scolded for telling their truths, we can avoid sneaky behaviors and bad decisions from the start.  I may be naive, but I am certainly optimistic.  I don’t want any topics “off limits” so they can be comfortable to speak openly.

Explaining why exercise or being active is important or why good, healthy, nutritious food is the best option for you is more of my priority than strutting around and flexing my muscles.  We talk about our bodies, we discuss why things are important, all in an effort to arm them with knowledge to make their own decisions and hopefully good ones at that.

Because they have a mom that has dressed in nothing more than a skimpy, sparkly bikini and stood on a national stage as a figure athlete, I realize they too could feel judged because of my extreme lifestyle.  I want them to be comfortable in the skin they’re in, proud of who they are and be active in ways they are passionate about.

Because physical fitness and health are priorities to my husband and I, it’s only natural that we would wish the same for our kids, but allow them to blossom in areas they enjoy.  I couldn’t be more proud of my oldest having just made the cut on a competitive softball team, my middle daughter excelling in golf, drama and on her guitar and my youngest working his way toward a  black belt in karate.  I love watching them succeed in things that excite, motivate and drive them to better and grow as their own unique individuals.  It lights me up inside to be there to witness them come alive over something they’ve worked hard towards all their own.  Saying that my way is the only way would only discourage them from being their own unique little people.

I am amazed each day as they continue to surprise me in so many ways.  I’ve discovered I have definitely not corrupted them, but in fact, I may actually be a pretty decent role model.  For that, I am one proud mama!

 

 

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