I did not have the best year last year, which I've been pretty open about!  I ended up getting a hysterectomy and in the process gained approximately 25 pounds before and after the surgery.  I am pretty lucky, and I thank those before me, that I don't gain much weight, and I can lose it quickly.  This time, I couldn't.  I am 41 years old and have three kids.  It's not just about the weight.  I didn't have any energy, and I felt so badly about myself that I just couldn't get motivated.  It seemed like it was an uphill battle, and my ass was weighing me down!

Before kids, I worked out every day.  I ran about 4 miles/day and lifted weights regularly.  I was in great shape and could eat anything I wanted.  You know how it is, Moms.  You have kids, you work, you're exhausted, and the last thing you want to do with your free time, if you even have any, is work out.   Then I see the Moms....the perfect Moms who seem to be able to do it all.  FYI, they don't.  There's no such thing as having it all.  Something has to give.

I never make resolutions.  I don't think they work.  This year, however, I made one.  I think it's a good one, and easy to attain.  I pledged to put myself first.  This is not an easy task for me, or for most Mother's out there.  I go to work at 5, come home and take care of a 3 year old, cook, clean, do laundry, run errands, etc., etc., etc.  I got into some bad habits.   Snacking during the day, drinking wine every night, and eating lots of bread...beautiful, wonderful, carbohydrate filled bread.  Top that with the fact that I had just had major surgery, and then the flu (didn't lose a pound), and I felt awful.  I preach moderation to my kids, however I had forgotten about it for myself.

So, enter the new me.  I started eating right, making sure I got to bed at a decent hour (even if the house is a disaster, and I feel like I have a million things to do), cutting way back on the wine, processed sugar, and bread.  If I am exhausted, I don't push myself to clean or run errands.  I have asked Mike to step up around the house.  He doesn't do everything like I do it (right), but it gets done!

I have come as far as I can by myself...so now, enter The Ridge.  I took a tour today and was amazed!  I was a member there before Matthew was born, but it's like a whole new place, and it was VERY well thought out.  As I walked in, I already felt support and at ease.  I saw every age and body type as I walked in.  It's not all perfect gym bodies, judging you as you walk in.  There are Moms, Grandma's, men, and of course, the gorgeous young women who probably don't appreciate their bodies as they should!   There are lots of places and rooms to work out so that not everyone can see you sweat and struggle.  There are at least 15 highly qualified trainers who get you started on a program as part of your membership.  There is a pool, kids programs, a yoga and pilates room, basketball courts, handball courts, weights, spinning room, daycare...I could go on and on.

Why is it that we are so willing to spend money on our kids and husbands, but not on ourselves?  I have decided to invest in myself.  The first step was the most difficult...and easy to put off...joining the athletic club.  I am trying to find people who will make me accountable.  I have an appointment with a trainer tomorrow, and while in the locker room, I found a work-out friend.  We are going to make sure that we keep our "gym dates."  I am investing in my future.  A healthy future, where I feel good about myself, and one where my girls see how important it is to take time for yourself.  I don't ever want my girls to feel like I did last year.  Not because of the weight, but because I was so unhealthy, and because I didn't feel good about myself.  And like it or not, if I am honest with myself, weight was part of it.  My sweet husband always makes me feel beautiful, but I didn't like myself.

So, here we go!  I am going to be a role model for my kids.  I am going to show them that I am important enough to take care of.  I am going to be a role model for my friends, the ones who think they don't have the time to hit the gym.  I am also going to be a role model for people like me...people with nerd tendencies who don't really feel comfortable walking through those doors...the people who, without a trainer, would probably sit backwards on the equipment and injure themselves...and the people who have let themselves go a bit, and are finally willing to do the work and reap the rewards.  Whose with me?  I will happily meet you there, and make sure you are going to the classes, and taking advantage of all the wonderful things The Ridge has to offer.

I will be posting pictures, and will be very honest about my progress, my cheat days, and my experiences at The Ridge.  I am excited!  Of course, that's today, before the trainer, who got her training at Nike, kicks my butt.  My big, gushy but, as my kids call it!