My name is Sandi, and for those who don’t know me - I have a pretty full life. As a mother of three, trainer at Drench and a full-time nurse, people on the outside tend to think I’m a little bit nuts.
One question I get asked all the time is, “how do you do it?” Well, this is my first blog ever, and when I sat down and mapped out how I would answer this question, I ended up writing five pages of my answer. Five pages!
Truth be told, there really is no simple answer to this question. So, I am going to break it up into five separate blogs with the end goal of completing one a week. Admittedly, the only thing that keeps me going is setting goals. This brings me to my first blog topic:
Lesson 1: Setting a goal and sticking to it
First, I wanted to start with a little background on my motherhood, and how I came to be a part of the Drench Fit team, teaching semi privates two times per week at the studio.
In 2007, I welcomed my first child not knowing the struggle that would come with becoming a mother. Lior arrived at 35 weeks, 5 days, a little earlier than I expected or actually thought would happen. You really do come to expect during pregnancy that your baby will arrive on its due date, but no. No one told me that after my final night shift as a registered nurse in the burns unit my water would break, and I would become a mom 16 hours later. Don’t worry, this isn’t my labour story. I am telling you all of this to help you understand that plans change, often without warning.
After Lior was born I struggled with postpartum depression, but I didn’t fully realize it at the time. Then, 15 months later, I delivered my second child Nadav. Whoa nelly! Now I had two boys, 15 months apart. I was exhausted, eating garbage, had severe lack of energy and was depressed. I went on medication, sought therapy and spent hours crying. Nothing seemed to help.
One day, someone suggested that I start working out. After looking into it, I was given medical advice to try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, three times per week. Working out? Two kids?! I couldn’t even fathom how I was going to do that. I had such a feeling of guilt thinking of leaving the kids home with dad while I went out to the gym. Not only was the gym intimidating, but I had no clue how to use any of the machines and, unsurprisingly, using YouTube to find a workout was extraordinarily overwhelming.
So, what did I do?
I set a goal of trying to exercise at least two times per week. I got a double stroller and lots of warm clothing for the kids, and joined a mom group that worked out while the kids were in their strollers. Genius right? Yes! This is where it began. In this group, I met women just like me in the same boat with the same problems. At that point, the cycle started to change. Being in the fresh air helped my kids sleep better (and consequently, helped me sleep better) and working out left me feeling a new sense of energy. We also all benefited from no longer being prisoners in our own home.
From then on, goal setting and committing to making it happen became the very core of getting through my day. As I continued to get into better shape, I set even more physical improvement goals. I wanted to shed all the baby weight I had put put on. I started before my first pregnancy at 147 pounds, and topped the scale at 184 pounds postpartum. After having two kids so close together, I had stretch marks (good bye bikini body!) and a large flap of new skin as part of me now. I needed to like what I saw in the mirror again. Over the next several months, I worked on my very flabby abs and tried to get my pelvic floor back. While I was slim before, I had no muscle mass, so my journey focused on losing fat and gaining strength.
Ultimately, becoming a mom not only changed how I balance my life, but it taught me that making time for my physical self only benefits my mental and emotional self.
I found my way out of postpartum depression and medication, all with the help of some physical activity. My body started to change and I started to like what I saw again - I made it happen. Endorphins people, endorphins!
Yes, that’s right I have three kids, but I have learned a very valuable lesson over the years - make time for yourself and make fitness part of your plan. At the end of the day, my biggest piece of advice to people is to “make it happen.” Fitness will not only help yourself, but it will have a big impact on those around you.
Stay tuned for my next blog, where I will talk about balancing being a mom, working night shifts full-time as a registered nurse in Labour and Delivery, and incorporating fitness into all of it!