Before I became a mom, I always assumed that once I had kids, I’d get fat. Like there was some switch that would be flipped, and it would be impossible to switch it back.
I’ve always been a realist. So, since this was something I assumed was inevitable (especially given my genes and history of weight problems), I basically started training myself to accept it early.
Until I realized I didn’t have to. I’m proud—and very surprised—to be able to say that I look and feel better today, as a new mom, than I have since…I don’t know, ever.
Now, when my realist side tries to pipe up with something like, “well, wait until you have a few MORE kids…” I don’t feel even remotely threatened by it. I know I’ll never give up this lifestyle, now that I’ve found it, whether I end up with one kid or 20.
In other words, you could say that motherhood and fitness are two things I’m pretty interested in.
So when I was offered a press pass to attend the premiere of a documentary called Fit Moms for Life, it was a no brainer.
Like a responsible journalist, I did my research before the event (i.e. Googled it for a few minutes). I read that the documentary followed the stories of 7 women whose lives had been transformed by their participation in bootcamp fitness classes, which were designed specifically for moms and taught by local “mom trainer”/boy-next-door Dustin Maher.
I was familiar with the bootcamps, and had seen Dustin on morning TV, talking about fitness and guiding newscasters through mini workouts. But I had no idea that he’d written a book, released workout DVDs, and was well on his way to launching an entire movement.
The premiere was held on Sunday afternoon at our more alternative (aka awesome) local movie theater (they show lots of non-mainstream movies and allow drinking in the theater—!).
Let’s start by getting the crappy phone pictures I took of the pre-showing festivities out of the way. (Bear with me.)
I met Dustin’s entire family (that’s his sister and brother above)—seriously, friendliest people ever. They were all SO nice to talk to.
Crappy phone pic #2 (sorry, Dustin…):
Last one: waiting in line for our shots on the red carpet (notice the
throngs of star-struck onlookers two lost people in the background)…
I’ll spare you any more of my photography skills. On to the film.
First of all, this documentary was incredibly, incredibly well done. As the women told their stories, I felt such a huge connection to them—so much so that, by the end of their short clips, I felt like I knew them personally. They talked about personal tragedy, including the deaths of a husband and a son, and about how their unhealthy physical bodies were essentially reflections of internal brokenness and discontent.
What struck me the most was that the physical transformations these women experienced were almost secondary to the emotional ones. Each of them talked about how their fitness journeys ultimately rejuvenated their attitudes and spirits, strengthened their personal relationships, and made them better moms.
If I had to sum up the film’s message in three points, it would be these:
1. Moms are the heart of families, and families are the heart of communities. No one has a bigger impact on the next generation than moms. Changing the world starts with moms.
2. Like any truly successful fitness program, Fit Moms for Life isn’t about reaching a number on the scale. It has to be a lifestyle change.
3. Community is critical—learning how to thrive in a group, share positive energy, and build each other up. In Dustin’s classes, moms are encouraged to make friends and work together. One woman in the film mentioned that her fellow bootcampers—some she’d never even talked to directly—probably didn’t even realize that they were her support structure.
Other things that stood out to me:
–The women made sure their kids knew they were working out and understood why. They also started a dialogue with their kids about healthy living and nutrition.
–In one scene, one of the women’s young daughters was washing and eating red peppers straight, right over the sink. (!!) I don’t even do that…
–One of the participants admitted that she hated bootcamp when she started, and still did, but she loved the community and the friendships she’d made, and she kept coming back to reap the emotional benefits. She found she was a much happier, more positive person with fitness in her life.
–Almost all of the women talked about how there was nothing special about them. They were just regular moms with the same demanding lives and burdensome, lifelong weight problems as so many other women out there. And despite the cliché, they were confident that if they could do it, anyone could.
The brave women from the film, being recognized after the showing
–One of the participants talked about how, if there had been a shortcut, she would have done it. She looked, she tried, and there wasn’t one. Hard work was truly the only way.
–A couple of the women mentioned changing the people they spent time with to make sure they were surrounding themselves with the most positive, uplifting influences.
–From what I could tell of the workouts themselves from the film, they looked like a good mix of solo work (at the participants’ own paces) and teamwork (back-to-back wall sits, for example). Dustin talked about interval and burst training as the key fat-burning methods he used in class.
Fit Moms for Life: The Movement
Like I said, Fit Moms for Life isn’t just a documentary or fitness DVD. Dustin’s launching a movement to build “communities” of fit moms for life across the country. And he’ll need women to lead these communities—not necessarily trainers, just women who are passionate about fitness and moms, and who want to help other women reach their goals.
The woman second to the right in the picture above is one of those leaders. The film talked about how she lives in a small town, where bootcamps like Dustin’s aren’t readily available. So, without any certification or professional training, she started leading free classes in a local gym based on Dustin’s program, just to share her newfound passion and help lift up others in the same way she’d been lifted up. And that’s exactly what Dustin wants to see happen across the country.
Dustin’s goal is to reach 1 million moms by 2015, and to build 14,000 Fit Moms for Life communities (one for every McDonalds in America).
So he’s gonna need some help.
Interested in becoming a FM4L trainer and joining the movement?? Get in touch with Dustin. (Or comment here/contact me and I can help you connect.)
I have two copies of the Fit Moms for Life documentary to share.
If you’re a mom looking for a physical transformation, or you’re interested in launching an FM4L community yourself, please email me at healthynestkim at gmail dot com and I’d love to send you one.
Of course, I only have two, so the first two responses will get my copies. But don’t let that deter you from emailing! If there’s enough interest, who knows, maybe Dustin will be able to scrape up some extra copies…
One more way you can help: If you know anyone else who might be interested in this movement, in one way or another, please share this post! This is how these things start. Dustin needs people like you to help the fire spread. :)
Have you ever participated in a bootcamp? What did you think?
Have you ever thought about becoming a personal trainer?