Pauline used to live in my apartment complex and we attended the same church. She moved to South Carolina last year, but people here still talk about her because of the service she rendered. She really inspires me because she is always trying to become a stronger person, both emotionally and physically. I admire that she takes time to take care of her body by exercising and that she has her daughter, Capri, be her workout buddy.
>>> What motivates you to exercise? I am motivated to exercise for several reasons; the first reason is I like to exercise for myself. I enjoy getting sweaty and engaging in tough workouts. Second, I want my baby to see me active and have interest in living an active life. Lastly, it is great being involved in physical health as mom because it helps other moms to stay active.
After you had Capri, what made you decide to have her join you? I wanted Capri to join me in my workouts because I hate(d) being away from her. Especially, when I was working in a corporate office, I was nine hours away from Capri. Then if you add going to a gym, that is hour in a half; totaling almost 10 ½ hours away from your kid. Not to mention Capri goes to bed at 7; so I would have only spent 1 ½ hours with Capri that whole day. All in all, it doesn’t make sense to not include your child in your physical activities. When I became a stay at home mom I had/have no one to take Capri to. Even if I did, our budget is limited and a babysitter is not in our financial plans; another reason why Capri is part of my workouts.
What are the challenges of having Capri be with you when you go hiking, and what are some of the ways you make it easier? I rarely have any challenges with Capri during hikes. She is an excellent baby to go hiking with and most babies are; even still as a toddler. The only hard thing is just adapting to her weight. Capri is 2 years old and is weighing 34LBS. Capri does walk but prefers to be in the pack. I have to make sure I fuel myself with the proper foods to ensure I am strong enough to lift myself and her. Also, exercising with a kid you’ve got to come extra prepared with snacks, drinks, diapers, and toys. When we started off Capri normally slept throughout the whole hike. Now, she is awake and when the hikes go longer than an hour she often needs a little toy to keep her occupied.
What does your typical workout routine look like? My workouts are very diverse. When Capri was barely born, it was running with a stroller. Hiking is part of our weekly activity. I will normally choose a hike with a big incline that takes about an hour total. I coach a volleyball team and Capri will come to the 3 hour practices. She will help throw balls into the court for the girls to make a play. She will also collect volleyballs and put them in the ball carts. Also, she loves discovering the gym closet. And again, I have to come prepared with treats, books, coloring books, blankets, and toys. Lastly, I have created a home gym so when I am home lifting weights—I have “weights” for her to lift. She mimics all my moves and I make sure she uses all the types of equipment I use. I have pretend weights and resistant bands that are hers; and she loves it!
Do you have any tips/advice for other women who are struggling with making time for fitness?
1) Make your physical activity part of your daily routine. Just like you brush your teeth every day. Have your workouts part of that routine.
2) Be consistent with your physical activity. I wake up and have a green juice with Capri. We brush our teeth. We put our “sports bra” on, and we exercise. Afterwards, we clean and then the rest of the day belongs to Capri. Capri knows this happens and we never skip a day.
3) Do exercises that you love to do and can do every day. I have done everything and am constantly changing my exercises which keep me interested.
4) Eat healthy. Eating a better diet will help you stay consistent with your daily activity. It is hard to climb a mountain and eat cheese burgers. Eating a stable healthy diet ensures you that you can complete your workout successfully.
5) Surround yourself with Positivity. Be positive that you are making a better lifestyle for yourself and family. Keep your distance from mockers and nay sayers. Negative people will only keep you from accomplishing the desired life you long for.
What do you do if you miss a day? I rarely miss a day. But should I miss a day, I shake it off and start the next day. Don’t focus on what you didn’t do—focus on what you can do and do it. I don’t over work myself if I miss a day. I just do what I would have done in a day’s work out.
How do you help yourself keep going? I keep myself motivated by keeping it simple. I don’t compare myself to others. I compare myself to myself. I never rely on anything “to start” my fitness goals. If I have eaten wrong or didn’t work out—immediately, when I have notice I haven’t done a workout or eaten well; I stop and just tell myself to eat better now; to work out now. I don’t wait until “Monday” or starting “Next Month”. I begin immediately. Having the idea of not waiting for anything to start living a better life; is empowering and creates more positivity.
Besides working out, what are ways you take care of yourself? I take care of myself by utilizing my friends. I talk to my friends about my goals and any time I feel that I going to break my goals—I call them and ask them for motivation. They will normally say, “Pauline! You got this you can do this, You are disciplined and powerful.” I love having friends that will talk me through my doubt. I also, use social media to post my daily struggles and daily achievements. It feels good to get words of encouragement from my social media friends. Again, I eat healthy and strive to always have vegetables and fruits part of my diet for each meal. Vegetables and fruits are 80% of my diet. Lastly, I am always reading health articles and finding more information on how to take care of myself. It is important to always gain knowledge and learn ways from experts in caring for ourselves. <<<
I’m really grateful to Pauline for being willing to share her experiences. You can follow Pauline on her Instagram here.