She gets up while it is still night and provides food for her family and portion for her female servants Proverbs 31:15

She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue Proverbs 31:26

As a mom I sometimes sometime think that caring about being fit is selfish, there is a lot of guilt.

“How do you find the time to be so healthy?”

“How do your fit your workouts in?”

All well meaning questions but sometimes the questions make me squirm. They push the mom guilt buttons in my heart. If you are a mom you know what I am talking about. The feeling that any moment you spend thinking of yourself is evil and selfish. It’s hard to take that time. We all lead very busy lives with lots of commitments. When I was a physique competitor I would get up at 4am and do a second session after 8pm juggling being there for my daughter with my own goals. I still struggle questioning myself, wondering why I push so hard. Why do I care so much? I can give you a ton of tips about how to manage your time better or prioritize or set goals but none of that is going to help unless we address what’s going on deep down in your heart and mind.

My earliest memories are of my grandma in the kitchen. We would go to her home every weekend as a family and she would always cook a huge meal for us. I remember her spending hours in the kitchen mixing and creating and pouring all her love into the meal. I also remember when it was time to sit down and eat that my grandma was always absent. She never sat and ate with us but observed the meal from the kitchen. I remember bringing my empty plate to the kitchen and seeing my grandma eating standing up out of one of the pots. Eating the leftovers. Giving her family the first and best. I know that this was her way of showing love to us. In my 7 year old mind I remember feeling sad for her and wondering why she didn’t want to sit with us.

This is a very powerful memory for me, it put a lump in my throat to remember it. It got me thinking. How do we as moms overcome this? Why do we think this way? God loves us abundantly. Why don’t we love ourselves the same way?

What if we gave ourselves the best? Gave ourselves the time to decompress and regroup? Whole foods so we eat well and time to exercise? I think that it might allow us to be at our best so that we can give those around us our best. Share our love from a place of abundance. I always failed math but I know the best of 100% is better than the best of 50%! It may seem like a radical idea, but it can change everything! That small shift can help us to realize that we do matter.  We don’t deserve leftovers, in what we eat or how we view ourselves.

I have loved you with an everlasting love I have drawn you with unfailing kindness

Jer 31:3

Instead of guilt I try to see my self as the gatekeeper of good nutrition and exercise in my family. Most of the time I decide what everyone eats, I shop for the groceries and I cook. I also exercise on a daily basis and many times bring my daughter, she makes up workouts and wants me to time her, she practices her handstands.   A big part of the alone time my husband and I spend is over a home cooked meal or running around the lake on a Sunday morning together. Through my actions and choices I am influencing my families behavior and habits. That is so much more important than any speech I can give my daughter about the importance of exercise.  The edorphines released on our runs makes hard conversations between my husband and I a lot easier! Kids today are smart. The old way was “do as I say and not as I do”, that just does not fly anymore. Kids want integrity and for you to be who you say you are.

I try to think about the choices I make on a daily basis. Could they be better? Am I missing an opportunity to lead my family to be healthier by the example I set? Am I modeling behaviors that I would like to see in my daughter? Am I giving my family my best? Choices are seen and good or bad, and many of us feel like we have no choices. But there is always a choice. I am working on letting God guide those choices, it’s a work in progress.