My Mother’s Mantra, Be Kind to Your Body

By: Caitlin McDonnell

I remember being a little girl and looking up to my Mom. She is also a Personal Trainer and has always been very active. She’d take my brother and I for walks and hikes and set up obstacle courses in the backyard for us to play with.

When I was 2, she’d bring me to the gym where she worked and instead of going in the nursery I’d sit at the front desk and hand out towels to the members as they checked in. In middle school, friends would come to my house and I’d teach them how to workout in our home gym.

Mom didn’t only instill how important fitness was, she educated us on nutrition too. “Junk food” wasn’t really a thing in our house. After school snacks consisted of whole wheat bread with a smiley face made of raisins and baby carrots, or apples with peanut butter. Sometimes a yummy shake with protein powder, banana and peanut butter, too. She made the healthy food fun for the most part so we didn’t mind it as much.

I was taught from a young age to have a positive mindset, to focus on the good things in life and to be grateful for what we had. Fitness, nutrition and mindset go hand in hand. A balance of all three creates a wholesome, healthy lifestyle.

In college, when I declared my major as Exercise Science, my Mom was so excited. I was following in her footsteps and practicing everything she had taught me. Maybe when I was 8 years old having carrots and celery as an afternoon snack didn’t excite me all too much; but now as I begin to think about having children of my own, I fully understand why she did this. Of course she wanted her children to be healthy, but she also wanted to educate us on the importance of living a healthy life. From workouts and walks to nutritious snacks and positive attitudes, there’s a lesson to be learned.

How we treat our bodies is who we become, we must take care of ourselves. From a very young age I watched and mimicked what my mother did which is natural for many children. If we show love and respect to our bodies we in turn are happier and more at peace. That feeling of love and wellness reaches the people we spend our time with, especially our family members.

Taking care of ourselves means we can better take care of our loved ones. I am so thankful my Mom set this example for us. This body is the only one I’ve got. So why not treat it with love, respect and kindness?

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