An Everyday Champion: On Becoming a Yummy Mummy
Transforming your life sounds daunting. Being sick and tired of being sick and tired is way worse.
That is how this all happened. I was sick and tired.
Sick and tired of being the fat girl.
Sick and tired of being told I had such a pretty face.
Sick and tired of cringing at every photo I saw of myself.
Sick and tired of feeling huge and trying to hide in my own skin.
Sick and tired of putting on the happy face, being a jolly chubby girl when I was so sad inside.
But I never made a conscious decision to change. More like one day I started to do more, and started to expect more. I started with just moving more. I took up running. Short distance, but regularly. I did some work out videos. Nothing happened. I saw no change what so ever.
After six weeks of working out, and trying to lose some weight, I was frustrated, fed up and discouraged. Then I met with my Naturopath, Sarah Wyer, and we started on a journey I never expected.
Sarah looked at all the things that were going on in my life. From my intense and long term lack of sleep to my disconnected relationship with my social activism/volunteering activities and finally my complete inability to give to myself. All of these things were part of my body’s refusal to let go of the extra weight that I was carrying.
Sarah gave me some remedies and herbs to help with my ridiculous cortisol levels. And she talked to me. We talked and we talked and we talked. We talked about how I feel about myself, my family, my life. She pointed out to me that I never give myself a break, never think I have done enough. And she told me that sometimes, less is enough. Sarah gave me the space to breathe.
But on the other hand, she told me it was time to go out and get my butt in gear, really commit to what I want, for myself. What did I really want? To be deep about it, I wanted to be healthy and happy, to live a long and fulfilled life. To be shallow (and honest), I wanted to be hot for the first time in my life.
I started to work out – hard. At least 5 days a week, getting a good sweat on every time and for at least an hour. Moving to my max, taxing my body. No excuses.
I started to eat less. Way less! And way better food. No more junk, no more chocolate. Only healthy, whole foods that would feed my body what it needs.
It was tough, but only for a while. I started to crave the exercise everyday and my family noticed I was a happier mommy when I worked out. I also looked for exercise I love to do. That included distance running (training for a half marathon), Zumba classes and weight training.
Unhealthy food became unappealing, partly because I would look at it and KNOW how long I would have to work out to get rid of that small temptation. Hardly anything is worth it.
But for me, the biggest change was the change in my focus. Sarah taught me to take time for myself, and my husband supported me through that by taking the kids. I started to look for moments of pure joy in my life. To savour what really mattered. Sarah was pushing me to live my true life. To do what resonated with me as important and loving and giving.
Looking back (it has been two years since I lost the weight and I continue to keep it off), this really has been a whole life transformation, not just losing some weight. I am generally happier, but less likely to settle for less than I expect. I am more successful, with a new focus and determination, and am definitely healthier. But most importantly, I hope I have become the yummy mummy I wanted to be!
So what was the secret (everyone wants to know)? Eat less, move more, and love yourself enough to do it!
Tova started her Yummy-Mummy-Journey the year we worked together at MacMillan Marketing. It started with running. Slowly, but surely, she began to spend more time on the tarmac – her distance and time clearly improving. I remember our chats about running. I remember her mentioning how much better she was feeling. I remember her dedication, willpower, and determination at getting the weight off and keeping it off.
Let me be clear, Tova is a beautiful woman – at any size. This blog, as I hope you know, is not one that focuses on weight loss, but on activity, eating well, and finding balance. I don’t want anyone reading this to think that weight loss is necessary in order to become a Yummy Mummy. While being a Yummy Mummy was part of it, being healthy, happy was also a major part of Tova’s motivation to begin her journey.
Through her journey, Tova began to take more time for herself – to accept that she cannot be everything to everyone. She started to take more time for herself, understanding that being a good mom, wife, friend, and coworker is not possible without spending some time on number one. From reading this post and talking to Tova, I think she began to love herself a little more. She began to see, feel, and believe that she could do and be more than she ever thought possible.
Knowing Tova, I know that she is an incredibly humble person. She won’t tell you that she’s run at least 2 half marathons. She won’t tell you that she is a belly dancer or Zumba lover. She won’t tell you that she has explored the CrossFit phenomenon or tried P90X. She won’t tell you how hard she works as a career woman, a mom, a volunteer, a friend, and a wife. But I will. I will tell you that the dedication, passion, and focus that Tova has developed over the course of the past four years is hard to rival. She regularly kicks my butt and everyone else’s butt, for that matter.
She is a fighter; a fighter that recently broke her back. Yes, she recently broke her back. A fighter that has had to lay off the running, weight-lifting, and Zumba (to an extent) in order to recover. Without complaint, self-pity, or negativity, Tova has handled and managed the news of her back incredibly; however, I know she is VERY excited to get back to running without worry and pain. I can only hope I would handle that news in the same way.
Many people try to lose weight. Many succeed, but sadly, many fail. In my opinion, it’s because the focus is wrong. Yes, I know weight loss is important and in some cases, necessary for one’s very survival if they have had heart complications, been diagnosed with Diabetes or have hypertension. But weight loss can never be the primary focus. If it is, you won’t win. The stress and anxiety of not losing weight quickly enough will constantly interfere with your progress. From a motivational perspective, weight loss is considered an extrinsic motivator. It’s akin to money or a trip. It is something outside our selves, our soul, our being. In order for most human beings to stick with something, for the long haul, we need to feel something. Yes, exercise can sometimes feel awful, but we may also begin to feel good. Tova started to feel better – she started to feel more healthy, more energized, more happy. The weight loss was great, but merely an added bonus.
Thank you, Tova, for sharing your story with us. You are, without a doubt, an everyday champion.