We’ve all seen the photos, the bios, the success stories of the Olympiads of the world. The man or woman who rose above and beyond in the challenge to be the best they can be. It’s absolutely awe inspiring, jaw dropping, eliciting an attitude of if-they-can-do-it-so-can-I. Which is true. You can. I’ve been consistently amazed at what a human being can do when a goal and a dream discover traction. People are outstanding examples of triumphing over obstacles, summiting heights, overcoming challenges and defeating the odds.

Arnold-Schwarzenegger-Bodybuilder-Olympia-Universe-Conquer-Classical-Sport-Poster-Home-Deco40-inch-x-24-inch-21Then there are the rest of us. A “mere mortal” – as I like to refer to myself. The 98% of the human population who may not be Olympian status, but still achieving amazing results. Those of us who are raising kids, nourishing a relationship, working a job, launching an entrepreneurial idea and still – in the midst of it all – are striving to maintain our health and fitness.

Fitmark blog

Balancing health, wellness and fitness is no easy (or small) task and as people, we tend to be pretty hard on ourselves. If you don’t have every day to dedicate to health and fitness as your job, it takes some effort to get those workouts in. As a Mom of 18 kids, here are some suggestions that have helped me over the years:

  • Choose your passion(s) – mine is running with a sprinkling of sprint triathlons and some natural fitness competitions
  • Find a place and a time to channel your passion – I don’t have a gym membership. (gasp!) We have a small center set up in our garage for weights and I’m part of two local running groups. Most of my running is done at 5:20 am (Tuesday/Thursday) and 6:00 am (Saturday) with an occasional Thursday evening and Sunday morning thrown in for good measure. I want to exercise and that’s the easiest time for my family. Desire meets opportunity and I go to bed early.
  • Put yourself on the calendar. Balancing life can be a challenge. Calendar your time and stick to it. Think – “oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others.” There’s no way I can be the best version of myself as a partner, mom, employee, entrepreneur, sister, friend – you get the gist – if I’m not giving myself oxygen first.
  • Meal Prep. After over 20 years of meal prepping on a very consistent basis, it’s second nature to me. It takes time to get in the groove, so be gentle on yourself but get it done. It saves time and money, it’s brainless during the often hectic week and you’ll feel so much better. The only time I spend a little more money is when I can buy veggies that are already cut up. You gotta be lazy sometime.
  • Cheat. Yes, said it. Stop being horrified. My oldest daughter (who is 30) had 4 babies and her weight go up to 260 after the birth of #4. When she decided to make a change, I got the call. On her journey, she called me so upset because she had a slice of pizza the night before and clearly she was going to nutrition hades. Nothing in life should be deprivation. Cheat without guilt – just not the entire pizza and not more than once a week.
  • Chart your wins! Sometimes it’s the seemingly small things that are huge wins. It’s the daily, actionable tweaks that can create positive compound interest in our lives. Celebrate what you’re doing to create your best self!

If creating the best version of you and having a fit and healthy lifestyle was easy, anyone could do it with little effort. Poor habits took time, weight didn’t show up overnight, and the same holds true for turning things around. Cut yourself some slack, make changes on your timeframe and keep moving forward. Anything can be accomplished – one step at a time.

(Side note: My daughter is down over 70 lbs!)

*Thank You to Jenn Taylor for contributing above article, Fitmark*

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