Hello busy mamas! Huddle Up Moms is so excited to feature one of our local fitness experts Diane Simmons owner of Simply Fitness. Keep reading to hear this incredible and motivational story of one mothers’ journey through fitness. If you are like many of us, you may be struggling to find time for yourself and you may be wondering how the heck to make your fitness a priority.
Read below to hear how Diane made fitness a priority in her life!
DISCLOSURE: This information is not meant to be ALL encompassing and should NOT replace seeking advice from your health care provider for specific questions, solutions, and concerns about your health! The purpose of this blog is to spark curiosity and gain some insight into your health.
How to Incorporate Fitness into your daily routine
Take the stairs
Park further away
Exercise/stretch while waiting inline
Choose the longer path
Take a fitness class
Walk at lunch and call a friend to distract yourself
Audit your schedule, where can you change it up?
Find your fitness friend
Turn your everyday housework into fitness
Have a Zoom-walk meeting!
Story by Diane Simmons
Adding a fitness program to a hectic schedule can seem like an impossible task. Let’s face it, you’re expected to be a nurturer, teacher, chef, work a 9 to 5, and look fabulous doing it all. You may want to become physically fit and healthy but figuring out how to take the time to get there is the real struggle. The last thing you want to hear from a fitness trainer is “If being fit is important to you, you’ll make the time instead of making excuses.” Many trainers shout that fitness is all or nothing; if you aren’t giving it your 100% effort then your time is wasted. As a trainer, I know these messages are well intended, but they imply that you’ve made bad choices and cause you to feel guilty for taking care of your family.
The truth is all of us, mothers included, aren’t always on top of our fitness game. We don’t always make fitness a priority because life is filled with twists and turns. I believe trainers and health coaches miss the mark when we shout these messages without really listening to our clients’ needs. I hear you loud and clear and I’m here to tell you I understand and it’s okay to take your time and set your own pace. Instead of guilting you into prioritizing fitness and shouting what you should be doing right now, I’d like to share my story.
About 8 years ago I found myself at the heaviest I’d ever been. I was tired, frustrated, angry, and confused. I did not understand why I couldn’t keep the weight off and why I had to be the size I was. I suffered frequent asthma attacks, acid reflux, high blood pressure, and aches. That was not the life I wanted to live at 31. I found myself in a vicious cycle. I was angry at myself for gaining weight, depressed that I wasn’t the smaller version of
myself that I used to be, then used food for comfort. I was the friend that would answer the phone at 3 am to help a friend through a bad break up or show up at the drop of a hat for others. The notion of placing my phone on do not disturb or saying no to a request made me feel guilty and selfish. I was stuck. Why should I feel guilty for trying to improve myself? Why should I feel guilty for letting the other person “figure it out” on their own for once? One night after spending hours on the phone helping a friend realize their potential and encourage them to aim higher, I realized that my words were ACTUALLY for ME. I should take this energy and funnel it to support my own growth. After a good, long cry I began to research, and I set a goal. My first goal was to focus on something I did daily, and that was to eat. I cleaned up my nutrition and decided to eat three vegetables at every meal. This was my starting point.
I received pushback from friends asking why I missed a phone call or my decision to say “No” but I focused on what was right for me at the time. I knew that I needed this shift toward me and my friends would be okay without access to me for an hour a day. I also stayed consistent with my one small goal because I knew that too much change too soon would just leave me feeling overwhelmed and throw me back into the old self-defeating cycle. Instead, once I mastered one goal, I created another. Slowly, I incorporated 10 minutes of physical activity, which was all I could handle. But I consistently showed up three times a week for my ten-minute solo workout date. After a while, I added 2 minutes, then 5 more, until I was completing 45-minute sessions, 5 days a week, and lifting weights. Those small changes at my personal pace ultimately led to my 80-pound weight loss and passion for health and fitness today. This is my personal story and everyone’s path to fitness is different. I do believe that lasting change happens little by little, over time, at your own pace. You shouldn’t carry guilt for taking time for your needs. There's no need to carry any shame for not being everything to everyone. It’s okay to take time for yourself and work towards a healthy lifestyle, on your time and at your pace.
Article Written by Diane Simmons
DIANE SIMMONS IS THE CEO AND OWNER OF SIMPLY FITNESS BY DIANE. SHE IS AN ACTION-CERTIFIED FITNESS TRAINER, ACE-CERTIFIED HEALTH COACH, CERTIFIED GROUP FITNESS INSTRUCTOR NUTRITION SPECIALIST AND RESPIRATORY THERAPIST LICENSED IN THE STATE OF VIRGINIA. DIANE ALSO HOLDS SPECIALTIES IN COPD EDUCATION AND METABOLIC SYNDROME. OTHER CERTIFICATIONS INCLUDE BASIC LIFE SUPPORT, ADVANCED CRITICAL LIFE SUPPORT, NEONATAL RESUSCITATION, AND PEDIATRIC LIFE SUPPORT, AN A.A.S. FROM RADFORD UNIVERSITY CARILION AND A B.A. FROM VIRGINIA TECH. DIANE WAS AWARDED "STAR IN THE STAR CITY" FROM MAYOR SHERMAN LEA AND BUSINESS AWARD FROM THE URBAN PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE OF ROANOKE, VA. SIMPLY FITNESS BY DIANE WAS VOTED #8 IN THE TOP 10 FITNESS CLUB/GYMS IN SOUTHWEST VA BY NEWS STATION WSLS 10. HER SERVICES INCLUDE FITCAMP PROGRAMS, HEALTH COACHING, NUTRITION COACHING, GROUP FIT SESSIONS, AND VIRTUAL FITNESS STREAMING. CATCH HER ON WFXR'S LIVING LOCAL LIFESTYLE SHOW FOR HER WELLNESS WEDNESDAY SEGMENT!
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Diane Simmons RRT, ACE-CHC, ACTION-CPT, COPD educator Simply Fitness by Diane, Owner SimplyFitnessbyDiane.com