Losing 100 pounds has been the greatest thing I have ever done for myself.

Only, truth be told, I’m not really doing it for MYSELF.

I’m doing it for them.

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Yep, those three cuties in that picture with me. They are the reason for all of this you are reading about.

I’m a Mom to three amazing children, all with different personalities, from my diva-tastic daughter to my people-pleasing middle, to my strong-willed and stubborn baby. They are truly my world.

I’m doing this for them.

When my children were born I was at my dread weight. So they have always known me as heavy. I can remember the first time I was in the backyard playing with my daughter, who was then 6 years old, and our neighbor girls called me fat. I remember how she was so worried that I would be hurt.

There were the times we would go to the waterpark with my best friend and her family, and I would send the kids with her to go down the tall waterslides, because I wasn’t comfortable going down myself.

And there was the time in the Dells, when I made up an excuse instead of going on a ride with my kids because I read the weight limit for the ride.

I started this journey to get healthy for many reasons, some of which I’m still discovering. But most of all, I did it because I have three sets of big beautiful eyes watching my every move.

I’m doing this for them.

I’m doing this so they know that health = happiness.

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I want them to love being healthy. To love exercise and good eating. They see that Mom is a lot happier now because she has more energy, the ability to do more things.

I’m doing this so they know they can do anything they work hard for. They see me struggle. They see me sore. They see that I go to the gym everyday. And they see I’m getting results. Everyday that I get up and start again I’m showing them that if they work hard, it pays off.

I’m doing this so I can play with them.

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I don’t mean just play with them, I mean REALLY play with them. I always have been hands on with my kids, but now I really play. I play basketball with my son, go down slides with my youngest, dance with my oldest. I’m really playing.

I’m doing this so they are proud of me.

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My kids are so proud of me. They cheer on all my victories. They love looking at before and after pictures of me. They are my biggest and loudest cheerleaders. In fact, my middle son was in line at a Cinnabon and watched two large men order 9 rolls. He turned to me and said “Mom they should follow you on Instagram – you can help them!”

I’m doing this because I know they are watching me.

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I never really truly grasped how much of a role model I am to my kids until I started this process. Early on, my youngest son, got a step tracker from his McDonald’s meal and started looking at it mirroring my behavior: “Mom, I’ve got to get my steps in today”. All of three of them in their own way mirror my behavior. They are watching. When I run on the treadmill, they watch. When I do my body pump class, they watch.  So, if I quit…what does that show them?

I’m doing this so I can see as much of their story as humanly possible. My kids amaze me and I can’t wait to see who they become. I don’t want to miss a single minute and I definitely don’t want to miss a big bulk of their story due to health issues.

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I’m doing this to stop using them as an excuse. I really used my kids as an excuse a lot. “I’m too busy to work out because of the kids”.  “I have no time to do that because of the kids”.  When I started putting myself first and making time to workout – I noticed that I stopped using them as excuses. They are not excuses…they are reasons.

I’m doing this to show them how to set a goal. They know that Mom set out to lose 100 pounds. They watched the progress and kept tabs on how close I was getting. And they know that Mom hit that goal.

I’m doing this because it’s teaching them that physical activity is more fun than screen time. 

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Before I started this, my kids spent way too much time on their tablets and other technology means. Now, they go to the Y with me and play basketball and walk while I work out. It’s getting them away from their screens, which I love.

I’m doing this for them to see me as something other than their Mom. When my daughter was in pre-school she was asked what I do for a living. Instead of saying I’m an attorney, she drew a picture of me with her. Her teacher asked her why she did that, because she knew I was an attorney.  She smiled and said… “No, she’s a Mom”.  My kids see me as their Mom. PERIOD.  They don’t see me as a woman, as a determined person, as an individual. I’m doing this so they see that I am so much more than their Mom, even though being their Mom is the most important thing I do.

I’m doing this so they become more independent. The one thing I’ve had to do to make this work, is spend more time away from my kids when I work out. I don’t sit at every practice, I don’t wait on my kids hand and foot. Now, they know Mom works out for about 1-2 hours an evening and it’s amazing how much more they can do for themselves.

I’m doing this so they see what it means to be passionate about something.  I’m developing a true passion for working out.  A true love for my healthy lifestyle.

I’m doing this so my daughter doesn’t think she’s a victim.

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I spent many years of my life thinking I was a victim. That life chose me to look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain way. When bad things happened to me..I always blamed someone or something.  I see a lot of myself in my young tween daughter. I want her to see that she is not a victim – that if she wants something to change, she has to change it. She can’t cry about it…that won’t fix anything. She needs to make change happen. I’m the living embodiment of that.

I’m doing this so they conquer fear. My kids and I are so much more adventurous now. We try things. We don’t sit back and watch, and I think that’s mainly because I don’t sit back and watch. My kids are notorious for not trying something unless I try it. Now I’m showing them that we can do anything.

I’m doing this to teach them healthy eating. 

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My kids may not be as religious about this lifestyle as I am, but they are learning so much about healthy eating. They are learning about moderation, about the fact that sugar should be counted more than calories. So although they aren’t perfect – they are learning.

I’m doing this so they know it’s okay to be a little selfish. I’ve always done things for others. This is really the first time in my life I’ve done something for me. I want them to see that its okay to put yourself and your needs first.No one ever tells you that that is okay. I want them to know it most certainly is okay.

I’m doing this to be the best Mom I can be.  I’m a better Mom when I’m less stressed, less anxious, more happy. My new lifestyle is creating that. And they are watching that.

I’m doing it for them.

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R.C.

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