"I don't have to be perfect to be fit."
- Amy Walker
Former Tu Sei Bella Instructor Amy Walker shared with us her thoughts about mom guilt, appreciating her changing body, and making "me" time happen.
What are the ages of your children?
14, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 10 weeks old.
Has fitness always been in your life?
I would say yes, I was a pretty energetic child and was always involved in sports and outdoor activities.
You were an Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader. When was that and what was your workout regimen like?
I was an Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader for the 2008-2009 season. My first experience with trying out I did not make the team. However, I decided to give it another try and dedicate most of the following year (till the next tryout) to developing my dance skills, nutritional discipline, and fitness. For nutrition and fitness, I followed a great program by Bill Phillips called Body for Life. The program was based on a 12-week program which incorporated weight training and cardio workouts. It required me to spend a lot of time in the gym. I usually arrived by 5 a.m. and left by 7 a.m.. Occasionally, I would head back to the gym after work for additional dance practice.
How has your body changed with the birth of your children?
I would have to say my stomach is one of the most noticeable changes. No matter how much I work out, it just is not as tight as it once was. Also, I've struggled with varicose veins that I can't seem to get rid of.
Many women look at old pictures of themselves with longing for that 20 something body. What would your advice be to someone who is having a challenging time accepting how the body ages.
Our bodies are not meant to stay the same. They change as life happens! Having children, slowing metabolism, medical conditions, and injuries are all examples of ways in which your body changes as you mature. You have to stop comparing yourself to others or even your younger self! Comparing yourself to others is just not a healthy habit. While your body may not be what it once was, you can definitely make the best of what you have at your current stage in life.
Where and when do you do your workouts?
Since I have several children and less time, I have embarked on home workouts- which I absolutely love! I am able to get my ME time in while everyone is sleeping, or just when they are up and running around me. I still do go to the gym when time allows and really enjoy getting into group exercise classes, running, or just sitting in a lounge!
What is your favorite type of workout right now?
I am really enjoying PiYo and Barre right now. They are both great for muscle strength, flexibility and fat-blasting. I find that I get a great sweat, my muscles feel amazing, and they both are low-impact on my joints and help heal my postpartum body.
Do you follow any type of eating plan?
I try to maintain a sustainable whole foods eating plan that is kid friendly. Like many moms, I do not have time to cook two meals for dinner so I prepare healthy meals that the entire family can enjoy. Additionally, my diet does include a few fast food stops as well as occasional stops for Tim Horton's donuts. These are my sneaky treats that help keep me going on those days when I'm struggling and remind me that I don't have to be perfect to be fit!
We see pictures of you working out with your kids a lot. What would you say to a mom who feels they can't exercise with their kids running around them?
In my experience, it is all about being flexible. I need regular breaks in my workout routine to break up arguments, get a cup of water for a kid, or rescue a toy from the toilet. Other times, I am able to get through an entire workout without anyone disturbing me. It all comes down to commitment. I make up my mind at the beginning of the workout that I will finish regardless of the circumstances. Furthermore, I remind myself that those same children who constantly interrupt me are depending on me to be healthy enough to watch them as they grow and mature. That is usually all the motivation that I need!
Mom guilt is so real! What would you say to a mom who might be having a hard time with balancing "me" time, and parenting?
First, I would let her know to show herself some grace! This mom gig is a tough one and not everyday is going to be perfect. You are still an individual and need time for yourself. Also, when you are able to tend to yourself and your needs you will be better served for those little people around you. Why do you think flight attendants tell you to help yourself first in an emergency situation? If you can't take care of yourself, you aren't able to care for anyone else.
How do you make time for yourself?
I usually try to just make it happen whether I have to wake up a little early or put the kiddos down to bed a little early, I just make it happen! I know that when I have that moment to myself (whether it is 30 minutes or an hour) I will be a better mother and wife to my family. When I am not spending time with my children, I enjoy hanging out with my husband who challenges me everyday to be the best version of myself and follow my dreams. Also, I enjoy crafting and creating budget friendly pieces for our home and spending as much time as possible outdoors hiking, swimming and discovering new parts of the country.
For more inspiration and a peak at Amy's busy and beautiful life, follow her on instagram @Fitblondiemommy