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Encouragement for Toned, Sexy, Healthy and Driven Moms!

My son and I

Mommas, I KNOW how difficult it can be to stay in shape especially after having children, and lots of them, and breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, a messy house, laundry, and homeschooling! It can be downright discouraging! But that’s what separates sluggish women from DRIVEN women. I’m a seriously DRIVEN woman. Chances are very high that you are too…you just need to determine within yourself you're not going to be sluggish anymore!

From time to time I will pick up a bodybuilding magazine or watch a few videos on Youtube of women with amazing physiques to encourage myself. Your best motivation will come from taking pictures of your body every month or so as you see the transformation! WOW! It’s AWESOME! Hang those pictures in the bathroom, maybe cut out some pictures of Jillian Michaels and put her next to you. Get naked and ask your partner to FEEL your body! Point out the growing muscles and curves and definition…chances are your partner is going to be excited, too! You’re going to look better. When we look better, we feel better, and then we act better. Think how true those statements are.

It’s not all about looks. I know. I totally believe you can be out of shape and sexy. But being over weight and eating crappy causes health problems. So if we want to feel good, live long, have deep relationships, and live a mindful life, we would do well to care for our bodies!

All my motherhood years of staying in shape (to various degrees, I’ve been fat…) I’ve pushed a stroller or walked on a treadmill in the garage. The point is, I never gave up. I’ve slowed down after a baby, but I'VE NEVER STOPPED. I’ve pushed 2 babies in a stroller while carrying one on my back and doing lunges and high knees while walking the riverbed. YOU CAN DO IT MOMS!!!!! You can be toned, sexy, and feel GREAT!!! Why not? Someone has to look sexy, someone has to feel great…WHY NOT YOU??!! Your children and partner will reap the benefits of a kinder, gentler, (because you feel so much better), healthier, and sexier momma.

In 1988, I was 18 and desperately wanted to work at the YMCA. I went in, asked for an application, and was given one, but was told there were no openings. That didn't phase me because I wanted a job there at that Y and I was going to get it. I filled out the application and gave it to a lady by the name of Shawna. I went back 2 days later looking for my job, but there was nothing yet! The next day I went back for the 3rd time and I'll never forget it was Shawna who said to me, "Shannon Halverson, we have a job for you!"

In 1980 my first job was at the age of 10. My dad walked me to Bellflower Veterinary Hospital and said, "My daughter wants a job here. She will clean poop and wash animals for free, if you think she’s worth it you can pay her, if not, so be it.” Needless to say, I was there for 5 years.

I just figured, if put my mind to something and work better than anyone else, how could anyone say no. I wasn’t cocky about getting a job at the Y, I was just confident.

27 years and 7 children later, I am back at the YMCA. My children are all physically fit and we do our best to eat well. I’ve taken care of myself since I was a young lady and I’m proud to say my children all follow in my footsteps.

I just joined the YMCA a few months ago. We all go in the evenings and I put the 2 little girls in Kids Camp for an hour. I workout upstairs, then pick up little girls, and we swim, jacuzzi, and sauna. Afterwards, we shower and brush teeth right there, so when we get home we can all go straight to bed! I work out 5-6 days a week because I LOVE to! I love to see my body getting stronger! I LOVE TO PARTAKE IN DEEP CONVERSATIONS, especially in the sauna! Going to the Y for me, is the BEST therapy I could receive! I am abundantly blessed to LISTEN to others share their life with me. Seeing grandpas and grandmas swim with their grandchildren, moms and dads cheering on their kids in the basketball court, the amazing front desk staff always with beautiful smiles and warm hellos, the Kids Club staff who laughs and plays with my kids (BTW…for members, babysitting is FREE the first 2 hours), the trainers always ready to give advice or a helpful word, and the other members of the Y who make me feel like I am the MOST PRIVILEGED woman in the world for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful community.

If you're looking for a family centered gym (and it’s really so MUCH MORE than a gym), I’d highly recommend your local YMCA.