Simply Fit Mama is about real-life fitness. It’s about cooking wholesome, delicious food. It’s about being an engaged and active woman, parent, wife and friend. On my blog, you’ll also find tidbits here and there about other projects like decorating, sewing and crafting.
I’d like to introduce you to my family: My husband, David, and I have been married for almost 13 years now. And we have two amazing, silly and goofy kiddos - Weston, age 7, and Natalie, age 5.
When I first started blogging in 2007, it was really just a blog about the kids. My son was 20 months old and I was pregnant with my daughter. I blogged about how the kids were doing and what was going on in their lives for the benefit of our far-flung family members. As it will, life got busy with two kids 20 months apart. The bottom line: I stopped blogging for a long while.
Life was such a blur in those early months with Baby #2. Looking back now, during that time I seemed to lose hold of who I really was. My pregnancy with my daughter was difficult, emotionally speaking. We’d just moved to a new house, were trying to find a church, I was big and pregnant and chasing a toddler around all day. I was exhausted--in every sense of the word.
After my daughter was born I was still struggling, and I kept my baby weight longer than after my first pregnancy. I was tired all the time and felt bad about myself. My one creative outlet in those days was “chasing savings;” I was a coupon queen for a while and had been stocking our pantry with all types of processed, preservative-laden foods.
What happened next launched me onto a very different path.
My son started breaking out in hives and developed eczema. Allergy testing revealed that he wasn’t allergic to anything, and so I did a little research on my own. I started “connecting the dots,” making notes about what foods he’d been eating prior to an episode of hives. And I hopped online and read all I could about his conditions.
And I realized what I already knew: That the food I was feeding him was not good for him. And not good for any of us! So I started to change the foods our family ate. I knew that as the mother of my children, as the primary grocery shopper and sole meal provider, it was up to me to change our family’s diet.
No, I didn't go through my pantry and throw everything away. We couldn't afford that. And it just seemed overwhelming.
I just began replacing anything that had MSG (monosodium glutamate) or HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) in my fridge and pantry. I swapped organic alternatives for anything that contained either of these two offending ingredients. That was it.
My husband and I both dropped weighed from this one small change. That change led to other small changes, which led to other small changes…
The results: My son stopped breaking out in hives. His skin cleared. I started feeling better. I wasn’t as fatigued. Hubby and I both kept losing weight, which felt great. I was encouraged by the positive changes and kept cutting out the refined and processed foods. The more whole and healthy foods we ate, the better we all felt.
I realized that if I wanted to see more positive changes in the way I felt, I’d need to start exercising.
For me, this didn’t sound like fun. I didn’t have a ton of motivation because I still felt so tired! But I kept telling myself that I was the only person holding myself back from who I wanted to be.
I signed up to meet with a physical trainer for one session. I promised myself I’d be 100% honest with her--and with myself. In the past--like most Americans!--I'd paid for gym memberships, bought workout equipment and DVDs, hyped myself up … and then fizzled out quickly.
I told the trainer that I wasn't going to be able to make it to the gym, that it was unrealistic for me. By the time I got everyone ready, loaded in the car and over to the gym, my workout could have already been done! I told her I wasn't going to buy any more equipment than I already had. What I had: A treadmill, 3- and 8-pound dumb bells and a balance ball. I asked her to build a program around what I had. And she did.
This was the first time I had ever been honest with myself about a realistic fitness plan/goal. The next day, I started out with my basic exercise plan. Interval work on the treadmill tracking my heart rate and a basic lower body and upper weight routine on non-cardio days.
And then I met my goals. Amazing!
Next I started running outside to give myself a new challenge.
And then I signed up for my first 5K race. And finished!
What’s next for me? We’ll see. All I know is that I am ready to challenge myself to tackle new and different adventures. I love who I am becoming more and more every day.
Four years ago, I set out to lose the baby weight. Instead, I gained a completely new relationship with food and fitness. I also gained a better understanding of who “Brandy” is.
I’m not an expert chef. I’m not a personal trainer. I don't believe in fad diets or "get fit quick" schemes. I believe that foods in their purest form are the best fuel for our bodies. I'm not afraid of good fat and good carbs. I believe in consistency and dedication. I believe our bodies are amazing and that if we feed them right and get them moving we can conquer any challenge!