Where it all started…
I grew up in Kingston, Jamaica. I was a track and field athlete in high school who hated to train but was good enough to roll out of bed and win. Sanya wasn’t the only track star in our family.
After high school, I didn’t do too much working out to maintain my skinny frame (5 feet 5 inches and 120 lbs). I became a first-time Mommi at the age of 21 and gained 20 pounds, mainly in my belly.
For me, 20 pounds felt like a lot despite the fact that it was all baby, so at six weeks, as soon as I got my clearance from the doctor, I signed up at the gym to start working out.
As you might expect, it didn’t take a lot of work to get my skinny frame back. I had youth on my side. Well, 15 months later I was knocked up again and just like with my first child, I kept the same routine and six weeks after baby, I was back in the gym.
People thought I was insane but I didn’t care. What I cared about was what I would look like post babies.
It was only one hour out of my 24 hour day and my babies were too young to know their Mommi wasn’t home. On top of that my husband was great support and we had an awesome nanny.
Fast forward to my kids going to school. I would drop them off and go straight to work out. Working out became a way of life, not only for me but for my family.
We would go to the beach almost every weekend and have a family race. We were super competitive and there was no handicapping. It was every man/child for themselves and God for us all!!
Eventually, I decided that the next level was to get certified as a fitness instructor. I taught step aerobics for a couple of years and loved it!
I went on to open my own fitness studio in Jamaica and I did that until I migrated to the United States in 1996.
I continued working out when I moved to Florida and even ramped it up and started training like a bodybuilder.
At that time muscles on women weren’t always viewed as attractive to everyone, but I was at my best!
My personal fitness journey aligned perfectly with my daughter’s budding career. Just when my husband and I thought she should be introduced to the weight room I was equipped to teach her many of the fundamentals of weight training.
Before graduating high school and heading off to Texas, Sanya had become so verse in the weight room she was squatting more than me! She maxed out her squats at 220 lbs almost retiring me from the gym.
Then we all moved to Texas
I took a year off while I got acquainted with my new city. I visited a few gyms but couldn’t make up my mind where I wanted to work out but still maintained my healthy eating habits. For me, that meant no red meat, no pork, no fried foods, no refined sugars and lots of fruits and veggies!
By this time, Sanya was competing professionally and I was her full-time manager. I was traveling the world alongside world-class athletes but was too intimidated to take out my workout gear and workout.
My true wake-up call
No longer could I rely on just a clean diet and genetics.
My body was changing and almost out of nowhere I started packing on the pounds.
I had to stop making excuses.
Now it was time to get serious again.
I refused to give into it! I was going to fight the weight gain and body changes that were coming my way, and I was no stranger to hard work in the gym!
By the time I hit 50 I was back on track working out at least three times a week, and back on a relatively healthy diet. But still, my body was changing. I was obsessed with announcing every cellulite pocket, every side roll and every varicose vein that would show up.
My husband was over it! He would tell me I was fabulous and somewhat ungrateful for complaining.
Gravity was attacking my body!!!
Panic set in 🚨
I was running out of time. I had to stop these changes in their tracks.
It was a struggle.
As soon as I would get consistent, I would have to travel for business. I felt like I was constantly starting over!
Now that I’m 55 I think more about the health benefits of a fit lifestyle. As much as I embrace the fact that it doesn’t guarantee anything, I’m convinced it gives me a fighting chance.
Nevermind the fact that I enjoy waking up every day and getting all dressed up in my Nike outfits with my matching shoes, shopping in Forever 21 😂😂 and keeping in great shape for my man who is in great shape himself!
I won’t pretend it’s easy or I get it right all the time. I struggle with those irresistible vanilla Oreo cookies (the one in the yellow bag, yes, those I know you know them) but I’m also very lucky to have a great supporting crew. My son-in-law Tyrell is a beast and pushing me like no other! He’s so patient and doesn’t mind the long cardio exercises that my body really needs. I’ve also met some incredible women at my local Gold’s gym that inspire me daily and now that my daughter is finally serious about her fitness again and has issued the #FitMommiChallenge I couldn’t be more motivated. Truth is a love being back in the gym with San but this time I’m determined to leave the squat max champ!
I hope you’ll join us for the #FitMommiChallenge. I know the benefits of working out and struggle at times to stay motivated so let’s do it together!
If you haven’t already check out my first blog Moterhood: Is It A Life Sentence?