Why Having a Child Made Fitness Matter to Me

Once my son was born, I knew my purpose in life had changed. I was now a role model. My son looks to me for guidance, strength, advice and an example of the person he should strive to be.

Videos From Tinybeans

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t always conscious of my fitness. My love of exercise did not stem directly from becoming a mother, but the meaning behind it did.

In high school I guess you could say I was part of the “popular group.” I won Homecoming Princess and was nominated for Prom Queen.

Was I fit? No. The complete opposite, actually.

I was skinny. Beyond skinny. And it wasn’t a result of hours spent in the gym or any special diet I was following.

No, I was sick.

My struggle with bulimia began at age 15. The cause? A desire to be desired. I wanted to me attractive, popular and accepted.

In the beginning, it started out as something I just did “sometimes.” I started losing weight and people started noticing. Boys were asking me out and girls were inviting me to parties. I felt like I was on top of the world.

But eating disorders are funny like that – you think you’re in control when the truth is, the disorder controls you.

By age 18, at my lowest weight and the lowest point in my life, I weighed 98 lbs.

My hair was thin and falling out. I used safety pins to keep pants on – size 0 pants. I completely bypassed looking “sexy” and went straight to looking sick. I was sick.

The price I paid for acceptance robbed me of my health. I was constantly dizzy, passing out multiple times in the shower and in public. It became embarrassing.

I knew people were talking about me. I heard the whispers. I couldn’t blame them. They tried to help, but I didn’t want it. I wasn’t ready.

I knew I had a problem but I was too deep and thought I’d never find the surface.

But, then, I did.

My eating disorder didn’t just impact my physical health, but my mental as well. I had bouts of hallucinations. I was constantly moody and emotional. When my fiance threatened to call off our engagement, I realized this disorder was ruining my life.

I started slow – baby steps.

I ate small meals, sometimes just a few bites. I had to take control of the uncomfortable full feeling that often caused me panic and anxiety.

I coached myself through the digestion process, until I realized that with time, that full feeling would subside.

I felt energized. I wasn’t dizzy anymore. I began eating more substantial meals with time and discovered the beauty of exercise.

I began taking walks. The walks turned to jogs, which turned to 5Ks and obstacle course challenges. I wanted to do more – I craved it.

I wanted to learn more about piyo, about kickboxing, about yoga and strength training. And I realized that with the right, balanced diet, I had the ability to accomplish all those things. And more.

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant.

I cried tears of joy, as most first time mothers probably do. But my tears were also tears of appreciation.

Appreciation for this body I had built. A body that could now grow another human being – a strong, healthy little person.

Once my son was born, I knew my purpose in life had changed. I was now a role model.

My son looks to me for guidance, strength, advice and an example of the person he should strive to be.

I place great importance on respect, manners and selflessness. He has learned those attributes from me.

He has also gained an appreciation for living a healthy lifest‌yle. He watches me workout at home, sees me come and go with my yoga mat and proudly wears the medals I bring home after each race I complete.

He tells me he’s proud of me. He stretches with me and joins me on my jogs. He recently completed his first 5K and is signed-up for his first Spartan Race next month.

I am now an example for my son.

Fitness is important to me, because I want my son to value his body and his health. I want him to experience those amazing moments of pride when he crosses the finish line and realizes that all his hard work has paid off.

I live for those moments when my son learns of my newest challenge and says, “Mommy, I know you can do it. I believe in you.”

Featured Photo Courtesy: Fotolia

I am a 32 year old mother of a son and wife to an officer. I am honest about both the love and struggle of parenting. I enjoy being active and writing is my passion, second only to my family.

Welcome to our Tinybeans family!
Be sure to check your email for new activities, recipes and parenting hacks – and to see if you’ve won!








Enter to Win a $250 Gift Card!

Enter your email and zip code below for a chance to win a Mastercard Gift Card. We’ll pick one winner per month through March 31, 2023 – 12 lucky winners in all!

I agree to the official rules and to receive email communications from Tinybeans. By providing my email address, I agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.