I’ve always tried to stay active. I’m far from being a fitness fiend, but I know the importance of moving my body. Even more important than that was that I have two daughters looking to me – including how I treat my body and mind.

One day, I found that my black leggings were giving me way too much of a muffin top and no longer the greatest gift to women. I then stood on the scale and was devastated by what the scale told me. I weighed nearly as much as I did just hours before giving birth to my second born. That was the day I decided to take my fitness and health more seriously.

A New Way to Move

The next day I responded to a direct message from the newest rowing studio near my house. Months prior, I signed up to receive details on memberships, but I always failed to follow up with them. I blamed the pandemic, but that was only part of my “no” to them. After dropping my girls off at preschool and mom’s day out, I headed to the studio. I was apprehensive when I walked into the studio. It had been years since I visited a studio or a gym, but here I was walking up to the front desk.

During that class, I found myself comparing my technique (and body shape) to that of others. I tried my best to stay on swing with the petite and fierce coach. I kept taking swigs of my water and felt the sweat dripping down my back. After a few songs, I finally felt at ease. I let my body move to the beat and I forgot about everyone around me. That day, I found the perfect workout for my personality, body and mind. I started waking up almost every day at 4:40 to head to the studio and I stopped stepping on the scale.

Same Number, Different Mindset

For months, I would wait for the scale to creep down, but it rarely happened. I found myself discouraged that I felt stronger and looked more fit, but that the number wasn’t changing. My obsession with the scale was intensifying and I ignored the positives that were staring right at me. When I looked in the mirror, I noticed that my face was thinning out. When I lifted up both of my daughters for a kitchen dance party, I was no longer out of breath. Yet, I let that number on the scale determine my mood for the day.

I have always been consistent with my measurements, so I compared numbers and I was surprised. Within three months of consistent rowing, I lost over six inches and my clothes were fitting! My muscle tone came back to my legs and arms and I was ready for shorts season. I still had my flabby tummy (some of it from having two babies and some of it from too many cookies), but I’ll take it.

Lessons and Realizations

It’s been years since I stopped stepping on a scale regularly. I now find myself wanting to workout (even just a walk or stretch) and I even workout in front of my girls. My oldest walks into my office with my resistance band around her thighs and will exclaim, “Look, mommy, I’m like you!” My youngest joins me for yoga and her downward dog is leaps better than mine. In those moments, I am proud that I am teaching them to move their fierce little bodies with intention.

While there are dozens of conversations that I want to have with my daughter about their body images, I know that I am leading by example. I may not be the fittest mom or the strongest woman, but I’m loving my body the best I can.

That scale? It now sits in the corner of my bathroom collecting dust. I pull it out every now and then, but for the most part I spend more time admiring my body in the mirror. I know there are studies that state you’ll lose more if you weigh yourself daily and that’s great, but it’s not for me. I’ll lose more of my self-worth if I weigh myself daily and right now I’m loving who I am and what I can do with this body.