Charity: I’ve never been much of an athlete. In High School, I was on my school dance team, but that was the only sport I was ever really involved in. In college, I managed to get my three PE credits with classes like, bowling, canoeing and First Aid and CPR. I’d say that I really began to pay more attention to the quality of the food I was eating after I was married. I also began going to a gym on a regular basis but was by no means athletic. I got into running about 3 years ago when I became friends with Nicole. I watched and listened to her running story and I decided I’d give it a try. Three years later, I feel that I am the healthiest I ever have been!
Charity: My typical work out usually consists of weight or strength training for approximately an hour, or 30-45 minutes of running, sometimes a little of both. I really enjoy Body Pump and Pilates classes as well. I generally workout in the morning, between 8-10 am. It really depends on the day, but my gym has a child care area, so that makes it really easy for me to go with the kids. I love taking the kids to the gym, not only because they have a good time playing, but they also see Mommy taking the time to be healthy and exercise. I know it’s important to make exercise a habit, and I like them to see me reaching for healthy habits in my own life.
Charity: In the last three years, I’ve taken up running, and I really love it! I’m not a distance runner. My average run is 3 miles, but when I finish a run, I feel amazing! There is such a great sense of accomplishment for me as three years ago, I couldn’t even run for three minutes. Now when I get on that treadmill, I feel like I belong. My legs start moving, I find my pace, and it just feels right. I also love to listen to music when I run. It really energizes me and gets me through the times when I feel like I can’t run another step! In addition, running has been a huge help in losing my pregnancy weight from my most recent pregnancy. I gained 40 lbs with my third daughter and as of this morning, I’m just 3 lbs away from my old weight!
Charity: We adopted our oldest daughter from China. Our first born is actually our middle daughter, Juliet. We adopted Liesel in July of 2012 when Juliet was 2 years old. Adoption is really close to our hearts, so when the opportunity came for me to run the Chosen Half Marathon back in October, I anxiously signed up. Until that point, I had only run a 5K, and my longest run ever was 4 miles. I was really nervous and terrified I wouldn’t be able to finish the race. I began training in early September, and two weeks before the race, I had a terrible stomach flu, and then an upper respiratory infection. As a result, I lost the last two weeks before the race to train. On race day, I was still coughing and congested, and worried! I wasn’t feeling my best, and I knew it would make the race harder.
Charity: We eat a lot of healthy meals over here. One of my daughters had some pretty severe dietary restrictions, so we eat lots of veggies and fruits. I love to make fresh chicken stock for home made soups. I also have to bake almost everything gluten, egg and dairy free, so that really makes our baked goods a lot healthier! My favorite healthy snacks include honey-crisp apples (YUM!!!), popcorn popped with a little coconut oil, and trail mix.
Charity: The person who inspires me most to be healthy and set goals for my fitness is actually Nicole, from MyFitFamily. I’ve known her for 4 years now, and she is the one who inspired me to take up running in the first place. I see her persistence, determination, and pure grit, and I know I can do just one more mile! I know if we hadn’t met, I never would have taken up running. She’s such an encouragement, and even runs with me on occasion, even though I’m much slower than her. She never complains about my speed or tries to get me to move faster, she just falls into pace with me and we chat about life, our kids, whatever… I’m thankful for a friend like her who encourages me to take care of myself, reach my potential and be a better mother! (MFF: I’m blushing! Thank you for your sweet words!)
Charity: Beginning an exercise program/changing your diet can be really hard in the beginning. When you first start exercising, you’ll experience pain which will make it hard to be consistent. I suggest finding an activity that you really enjoy, whether it be walking, running, dancing, aerobics, Yoga, Pilates, etc… and start with that. If you’re doing something you really enjoy doing, I think you’ll be more likely to stick with it. When I first began exercising again after my middle daughter was born, I began with a Pilates class. It was really low-impact, but good core work. The room was always dark and the instructor played relaxing music. It was a great time for me to relax and work at the same time, without feeling any pressure.
Thank you, Sweet Charity for sharing your story! If you’re interested in learning more about adoption, head over to Charity’s blog, True Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom.
Never Give Up,