I recently became a member of a great group of fitness bloggers over at Fitness Blog World. Every couple weeks the group gets together to answer a question posed to us. Readers get to see the answers from everyone’s perspective, and I like that it makes me give thought to topics that I might not have otherwise.
How has fitness changed your closest relationships?
For good, bad or both?
Being a single mom with my closest family a half a country away, my situation is probably a little more unique than others. I don’t have a significant other that I need to worry about, but I have a 12 year old daughter that gets my primary focus. She’s pretty understanding of my crazy schedule for the most part and I do try to plan my workouts around her activities so that she doesn’t end up missing out on anything she wants to do.
When I go to workout, I don’t have another parent that I can leave her with so unfortunately she either needs to go with me or stay home while I’m at the gym. I really like our time in the car back and forth to the gym when she goes. She does choose to stay home most of the time so she can work on homework or do kid stuff like read, watch TV, or hone her Rock Band skills. I completely understand since it’s probably pretty boring to watch someone lift weights, whine, and sweat profusely.
I don’t like that fitness takes that time away from her but we’ve adjusted and it’s only a few hours a week in the grand scheme of things. I try to make up for it in other ways like involving her in cooking our meals for the week. That gives us bonding time together plus it teaches her how to cook and also how to put together healthier meal choices. We’ve had some fun times recreating recipes that fit my macros and work with her food allergies.
She knows how to read food labels at the grocery store and likes going through cookbooks with me to pick out new recipes to try. Fitness has also made me more adventurous in my entertainment choices, and The Kid is always my Groupon partner for things like stand up paddleboarding, warrior dashes, and stuff like that. Without fitness, I can pretty much guarantee that we never would have considered those activities before.
Eating sometimes poses a challenge. Being at that age, she is embarrassed when I whip out my stinky broccoli and chicken in the middle of a movie theater or at the amusement park. Occasionally she’ll ask for a bite of what I’m eating. I sometimes ponder for a moment (ie, during contest prep) if I really want to share my carefully weighed and measured calories. She always wins me over. What mom in her right mind wouldn’t give her last bite of food to her kid? 😉
Interestingly enough, I began my fitness journey for my daughter more than myself at first. Since I was never encouraged (I wasn’t discouraged either!) from participating in sports or fitness, I wanted to make sure that The Kid didn’t make the same mistake and end up skinny fat for 40 years. I also wanted to show her that you can do anything you put your mind to, fitness or otherwise. Ignore what others say and put your heart and soul into something if you want it.
I wondered a few times if anything was sinking in. Was I actually teaching her to follow your dreams and never give up? She sat in the audience and watched me walk across that stage. I don’t know whose smile was bigger, hers or mine. She cheered me on and even caught it on video for posterity’s sake.
As you know, there was no trophy that day but tons of excitement nonetheless. After my contest, she posted on my FB wall. “Great job, Mom! We’ll get them next time!” She automatically assumed there would be a next time. No questions asked. Not to mention that it would be “we” not “me.” We’re in this together and I can’t imagine it any other way.
I must be doing something right. Big smoochies to The Kid! Muah!