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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Fit mama

This post was supposed to be published just in time for Mothers' Day...

Unfortunately (or fortunately), life got busy. Something got in the way, namely, work. My latest assignment is actually pretty interesting: I have to proofread and edit (for spelling, grammar, good flow of the text) a PhD thesis on Chinese philosophy. According to the opening sentence of the introduction, when I'm done reading and correcting it, I might be well equipped to find the path to illumination and truth. Never a bad thing!

This assignment is made even more interesting by the fact that this thesis on Chinese philosophy was written in French by a Canadian girl born in Quebec, who now lives in Singapore with a German husband... and whom I met in Western Africa (Senegal) when we were both about 7 years old! Talk about multi-cultural.

Another thing that got in the way of writing on the blog is the fact that I hired a personal trainer... whom I see twice a week, and who gives me lots of homework! (Or should I say "gym work"?) The results are there, so I suck it up and keep pumping iron. (I encourage you to read about the benefits of strength training - they are numerous and too often unrecognized.)

Which brings me to the main topic of this post... Fit Mamas. I recently occurred to me that the vast majority of my friends are runners... and of those who are not, the majority stay fit by doing various types of exercises ranging from Pilates to Zumba. The trick is to find something you enjoy, start gradually, and make your way into doing a lot of it. To each their own activity! Then you can have a group of friends who spend a significant amount of time and energy each week for the sake of their fitness, and who constantly try to reach new physical goals (lose those last 10 pounds, achieve that tricky yoga pose, improve a race time, etc.)

In these times of sedentarity, I find it very encouraging. I also find it truly impressive, given the fact that so many of my friends are also working mothers of 2 or 3 kids. Yet they manage to fit in regular exercise. Some of them have accomplished the incredible: whether it's regaining their pre-pregnancy weight (don't overlook this - it IS a major feat) or running marathons (or any intermediate distance), those women are living proof that you're never too busy to stay in shape. Plus, they are setting a wonderful example for their kids.

Some of you might wonder "But how do they do it?" My first answer would be: "a good husband". A husband  who knows it's in his best interest to let his wife work out while he looks after the kids and the house. My second answer would be "How would they NOT do it?" Being fit and active has so many  benefits - and I'm talking from experience - including higher levels of energy, better mood, better self-esteem, generally feeling younger (there's some 50 year-olds out there with whom I can't even keep up!)... not to forget a better sex drive! One would be a fool to not exercise!

Bottom line is, I am very proud and admirative of all the fit mamas around me! Good job ladies!