A Fitness Journey: Love P.


I’ve been utterly amazed by Love’s family for years now. I have enjoyed watching them grow and prosper. When I saw that she was in her fifth week of boot camp class, I asked if she would share her fitness journey with us. If Love, a mother to nine, can make the time to exercise and make herself a priority, so can we! Thanks, Love, for inspiring me once again! Follow Love’s story at moments with love.

I heard about Beyond Gym Walls boot camp from 2 of the members from my Listen to
Your Mother cast. They raved about it and I pretty much thought they were nuts. They talked about how empowering it was to find themselves running distances that they’d never dreamed and conquering obstacle courses that

included carrying tires above their heads and flinging around huge, heavy ropes.

I woke up one morning and decided it would be a really big challenge for me & was intrigued to see if I could do it. Everyone has challenges they face as they make time for something new. Since the beginning of my pregnancy with the twins, my husband, Matt had taken over morning duty with the other 7 children. Now that the twins were 10 months old, this was a combined 20 months of being able to sleep in a bit or just lie in bed and nurse the girls. Getting up at 6am instead of 8:30ish 5 days a week seemed like the biggest challenge for me. I hadn’t really done any consistent exercise since freshman year of college–1999. Yeah. That was 14 years and 9 children ago. I saw my last challenge as the 9 children–how could this work for our family

right now with 9 kids ranging in age from 11 to 10 month old twins?

Honestly, I desperately wanted the energy benefits that I hear about regular
exercise and was ready to get healthy. Matt was on board, so I signed up.

I’m so thankful that I didn’t let any of those “challenges” stop me. I completed that 6 weeks and just signed up for the next one. Maybe you have some of these challenges, too. I hope I can encourage you.

I truly believe if I can do it anyone can.

I’m not a morning person. Well, become one. I feel like I can do anything that I want to and believe in–so I did. For the last 6 weeks, I set my alarm for 5:45am and [very carefully] maneuvered my way out from underneath the sleeping twins. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t and they got time with Matt or an older sibling. I felt guilty about missing this cuddling time at first, but have since let that go. I’m happy to have them attached to me almost 24/7. An hour and a half without me–and with people who love them–will be okay. Even on the weekends now I wake around 6am and I’m okay with that.

I maybe even like it a little.

I haven’t exercised in too long/I won’t be able to do it. Yes, you will. Find a program that works for you, believes in you and commit. I like that the boot camp is always different, the work outs are hard, but short and that the group is like a family. The second day of classes, they handed me a route and told me to run. It was 2.5 miles. It wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but I did it and have since worked up to 4 miles. When I was the slowest person during the fitness test and wasn’t sure I could finish my run, suddenly I had a group of ladies around me that were already done with theirs

and chose to run with me for encouragement.

We’re too busy. It just doesn’t work for our family. If it’s important to you, figure out how to make it work. I don’t want to use my 9 children as a get-out-of-hard-things free pass. This has been hard and worth it. I did finally see the energy benefit of regular exercise at 5 weeks in and I know it’s made a difference for them, too. We’ve become an all around more active family. My mind is more clear. The family sees me taking care of myself.

It has made me a better mom.

I have one last bit of encouragement. Try to find a place that focuses on living a healthy life and being the best you. As I expected with nursing twins and knowing my body, this wasn’t about weight loss for me right now. My number on the scale stayed the exact same down to the tenth of a pound. As I watch pounds shed off others, I refuse to be discouraged. I’m feeding two little lives and my body always seems

to hold on the everything it can during this time. Everyone is different.

I love that this program measures your progress in multiple ways. I’ve improved my sit ups from 2 to 15 in 2 minutes [my abs are ripped apart and I never thought I’d be able to do even one] and my military push ups from 0 to 6! That is something I truly never imagined. My 2 mile time has improved by 4 minutes. I’m slow, but I’m doing it. I’ve become stronger with more endurance and energy.

I’m doing it.

And you know what? If you want to, you can, too.

3rd photo credit: Tony V. Martin, NWI Times

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Melissa is the Co-Founder the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans and the Shrinking Kitchen. She has been married to a wonderful man forever and is mother to six amazing children (18,15, 11, 11 and 3 and 1!). Melissa has reached her goal weight, and is now trying to find ways to fit fitness into her crazy busy schedule. She loves kickboxing and hates running, even though she has completed 4 half-marathons. When Melissa isn’t helping her little girl battle her brain tumors (Love for Jazmine Joy), she loves to travel, laugh, tend to her chickens, and dream of sunshine and mountains.
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