fit mom

Finding motivation as a parent

They say that you will never know the love of a parent until you become one yourself. 11 years into my motherhood career, I've come to embrace every bit of that truth!


Did you know that when I was a young naive lady, I said to myself "I'm not getting married till 30. I'm not having kids until I'm 35! I'm traveling the world, moving back to NYC, and becoming a national educator for Bumble and Bumble." None of that happened. And it wasn't because I couldn't make it happen, my life was redirected by becoming a parent. Funny enough when I found out I was pregnant a friend commented "you're the last person I thought would have a family." I responded with "So did I!" But there I was, about to become a mother at 21!

Becoming a parent has taught me so much about life: learning patience under circumstances that are out of your control,  understanding the value of time, and accepting that some moments won't always be perfect. These are just some of the few.

Lately, I've had a number of emails from women asking me how do I manage to stay motivated with fitness. Motivation just like ambition and drive is as personal as your choice of shoes, you gotta find something that suits you best. What pushes me is becoming like my parents and not becoming like them at the same time.

My parents didn't always put their health and fitness first, they put their kids first by working hard and showing me what it meant to pour hard work in. However I saw the stresses their life brought them and all the accomplishments. They didn't have much to give us, but they were both incredible examples to me of two people pushing hard to create a life they could share with their kids.

My two daughters and husband are the biggest motivations in my life especially in my fitness journey. I wanted to be able to grow old healthy and having the energy to run after my grandkids. (many many years from now) When Olivia was 2, right before I committed myself to healthier habits, I was out of breath, I felt heavy, and I had no energy to take her to the park.

It wasn't a life I wanted, never one I had imagined.  I want to travel and have outdoor adventures when my husband and I get old! But if my stamina wasn't there to run after a 2 year old at the park, what would it be like backpacking in Europe at 50.

Making goals like losing 15lbs, getting into a dress for a reunion, or looking hot in a bikini are amazing goals, to each their own! But most of these listed goals are time bound for an event. If you want to make lifestyle changes you have to dig a little past the surface level and ask yourself: What are you trying to change? How far are you willing to give?

Lifestyle changes to go from not working out to working out 5 days a week is a tremendous change and takes commitment, hard work, and determination! It's not impossible and it can and will happen if you pursue it. But your motivation has to be one that is strong enough to carry you through the process and its important to remind yourself that this is a journey and not a race. You're not doing it for anyone else, but your self. And if you're a mother, you're doing it for your family so that you can be a leading example of a woman who can.


LIFE // Dear 2013 Joanne

As time passes by I reflect back at the person I've become over the past two years. I think about the fears that I felt when I hired a fitness coach to help me reach my goal of getting control of my health and wellness. 

Experience and time has taught me so much about who I can be and if there were words of advice I can give myself two years ago this is what I would say:

Dear 2013 Joanne,

You're tired. It hurts so much I know. Your heart grieves in a way that no one else feels and you're so tired of carrying the pain. I see what no one else arounds you see: the anger, the frustration, the sheer disappointment you feel each time you've regained the courage to focus on health and fitness and fail. This time will be different you'll see.

I know you're scared. You're not sure what will happen, you won't know if you can stick to the commitment you made, and that's perfectly OKAY. But guess what you WILL! I know you feel entirely alone in making this lifestyle change. None of your friends are committing to a 12 week fitness plan, none of your friends are learning how to meal prep, and everything about lifting weights and cardio just sounds like a chore! Everything is new to you and I know you're not sure about your own abilities, but just keep going.

You're going to surpass the first goals you set and it's going to be incredible you'll see! After you make the first step, after running out of all the excuses you're going to make, just remember why you're doing this. Remember that you're tired of hating yourself, you're tired of being depressed, and you just want to be happy in your own skin. Your husband deserves a happy wife. Your daughters deserve a happy mother. Most importantly you deserve to be happy with yourself. Just hang on to ONE more week, one more month, and you'll see. The things you're worried about losing, you will gain 10 fold. I promise you that in a year things will be different and the year after that you'll still be keep moving forward. The road ahead of you will be rough at first. You will have moments you'll want to give up and that's okay. But in those moments that you want to give up, DON'T! KEEP GOING! YOU GOT THIS!

You're not alone. You're not the only one struggling with the same self image issues. You'll learn that sharing your story empowers so many women around you, you'll change your world. You'll gain friendships that go past any depths you've had in the past. They will help push you through when you need the motivation. 

You'll achieve greatness! You'll prove to yourself that nothing is impossible. I believe in you.


2015 Joanne