This week, a friend of mine agreed to write a guest post about what motivates her to eat well and exercise daily. Meet Samantha Trenerry! Sam lives in Australia, with her son Cadel and husband Phil. She’s super fit (CrossFit will do that for you!), a fabulous mama, and a knitter too (I met her first on Ravelry and we bonded over exercise and yarn!).
Hello fellow fitknitchick fans!
I am an Aussie stay at home mama to 4-year-old Cadel and am married to Phil who is a shift worker. Cadel’s story is a blog post in itself, so I am going to do my best to sum him up in a paragraph. Cadel is a sweet, loving, cheeky little boy, he is the light of my life and I am incredibly lucky to be his mama. Cadel lives with Spastic Quadriplegia, a form of Cerebral Palsy so debilitating that he needs help with all aspects of daily living, he is also severely impaired intellectually. Cadel is in a wheelchair and unlike the average 4 year old Cadel cannot take himself to the toilet, fix himself a snack, feed himself, sit himself up or move from one activity to the next without our help. We build therapeutic activities into each day and he visits regularly with a team of therapists at our local disability service. Medically he has a lot going on too, but the main condition he has that affects his daily life is an acute form of Epilepsy, despite being on 4 different medications he has dozens of visible seizures each day and has many more we cannot see. Our days are busy, and although they are filed with fun and laughter they can be draining both physically and emotionally for all 3 of us.
Tamara asked me to talk about what motivates me to lead a healthy lifestyle, and the first big motivator for me is the most obvious, my family! Phil works outside the home as a Police Officer and I care of the little guy, when Phil is home we share the role taking care of Cadel. This gives us both time to work out and a little time to chill out too. The three us make a great team! Knowing that Cadel and Phil are relying on me is all the motivation I need. I want to eat right so I have the energy to power through my day and still have a bit left in the tank for a workout. I want to workout so I can get the 45kg wheelchair in and out of the car on my own and so I can lift Cadel up and down all day without a second thought. Let’s face it, strong, healthy people are far more useful, and I want to know that I will be strong enough to take care of Cadel for a long time to come. Having a child who is disabled also motivates me because it makes me realize how lucky I am to have a fully functioning body, it would be a shame to waste it sitting on the couch all day with a big bag of chips, I want to make the most of it!
The second big motivator for me is that I have found a sport I LOVE. If there is one piece of advice I can give you it is to keep trying different activities until you find something you really want to do. If you want to make a lifelong commitment to exercising you need to be enthusiastic about what you are doing or it will become a chore, and soon after it will become just another failed exercise program. I do CrossFit, it makes sense for me because it challenges me physically and mentally, I am able to set goals for myself and I leave every session knowing I have nothing left to give. I have also made some wonderful friends at the gym, they inspire me, push me to reach my goals and they make working out fun.
Other than my family and the sport I love, I find motivation the same way everyone else does, I want to look in the mirror and feel good about what I see, I want to set a good example for Cadel and for the other children in my life, I want my husband to think I am still as hot as I was the day he married me and I don’t want to see the number on the scales go up unless I know it is because I am getting stronger!
Having said all that I have to confess that I have a downfall, and I am sure it is one many of you share, FOOD! I bet a lot of you fail in that area at times for exactly the same reason I do, I forget about myself! I manage to eat a healthy breakfast every day and dinner is usually something wholesome too, but I can be hopeless during the day unless I really plan for it. This is something I am working really hard on, but on really busy days, especially when we have a lot of appointments to get to, I find myself hungry at 3pm and suddenly realize the last thing I ate was my oats for breakfast. I am getting better, and I have Tamara to thank for introducing me to clean eating and some wonderful websites that inspire me with tasty recipes. I have a lot of work to do though, and if there is one thing I want to achieve in 2012 it is to make planning my own meals a habit every single day. Let’s make that something we work on together okay? I am getting back on track after the holiday madness with a sugar free February, with the exception of one (portion controlled!) treat on a Saturday, if you care to join me let me know via Tamara’s comments!
So that’s a bit about me, my life has a little extra drama, but I am still able to make my own health a priority. I hope you have found something in my story that helps inspire you to do the same. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!