I chose to share Rene’s story because she is a working mom of 3. She manages to balance a hectic work schedule and raise a family. Almost every day, Rene post pictures of her yourself before or after a gym session. Such dedication to maintaining a healthy lifestyle! I had to share her inspiring story.
I am a 36 year old mother of 3, a ten year old daughter and pigeon twins which are 2 years old. We reside in the northern suburbs, Brackenfell. I am a counsellor by training but I am involved in wellness and I am a qualified Intrinsic Coach. This year I am undertaking part time studies at Masters level in the field of Women and Gender Studies at the University of the Western Cape.
What motivates you to stay fit?
I think the most important reason for me to stay fit, is that I am healthy and happy for my kids. It is especially crucial for me to set a good example for my daughters. I have to work hard to take care of my body and to keep it healthy. It also teaches my kids that self-care is important and cannot be compromised no matter how busy life gets. Exercise makes me feel good about myself and helps to manage stress! So in essence, exercise has become a tool in my ‘wellness toolbox’ to manage stress and to maintain good health.
How do you balance work and family life and still find time to work out?
Needless to say, my life is hectic! But I love my life and there is nothing that I would let go or trade off. So I made the decision to take it one day or one week at a time and plan. I work out at 5am or 5:30 am when the kids are still sleeping. This is usually my cardio session which is 30 minutes minimum in duration. Most days I will fit in a weight training session at the work’s gym during lunch time. When I return home, I am home and fully available for my kids until they go to bed. At this time, I will do work or study or simply relax until it’s my bedtime which is generally early. I found this to work great for our family.
Why is exercising important to you?
Exercise releases endorphin’s which counteracts the hormones that trigger depression and anxiety. Without exercise I am prone to experiencing anxiety and down periods which indicates depressive symptoms. As a result exercise becomes part and parcel of my daily routine. When I travel for work, I will take workout DVD with me to do in the hotel room. Having a healthy body also builds a healthy mind and increases your self-esteem and confidence. To be honest, I simply do not understand one cannot commit to some form of exercise. People differ in that some will prefer to cycle or play soccer; I prefer the gym and the solitary part of it. During my workout, on a mental level I will engage myself completely in the work out or perhaps I will be thinking of a specific problem and a possible solution. It serves a positive mental space for me as well. Very often I pray while working out, because I allow minimal distractions during this time…it’s my me time!
Tell us about your exercise routine?
We all know that a combination of cardio and weight training is most beneficial to the body. I make use of the elliptical machine and the treadmill for my cardio sessions. I love using the super circuit at the gym when time is limited, as this combines cardio and weight training into one session. When I am ‘lazy’ I will join a step class which usually include light barbells into the routine. I am planning to start cross fit, which is an exercise technique which incorporates the principle of working smarter instead of harder. This technique cleverly combines cardio and strength training into shorter more intense workouts under the guidance of a qualified instructor. My fitness goal this year is to trim down and build strength.
Tell us a little bit about your eating habits?
It is simple really; I avoid bad carbs mostly, like white rice, bread and pasta. I enjoy lots of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. I drink 2 litres of water a day with green tea in between. Every two weeks I allow myself a cheat meal, only one cheat meal, not a whole day!
How do you reward yourself?
With books!!! I’m a closet nerd! I love books! I also reward myself with earrings and clothing. Did I say books?
What advice would you give to working moms who are struggling to make time to exercise?
A healthy and happy mom equals happy and healthy kids. Make yourself a priority, get up early to exercise or invest in an elliptical machine for the home. Find out what will work for you and your family and keep at it!
You are so worth it!!!!