“There are life virtues that my son Asher can learn from seeing me progress and stay committed to my fitness: perseverance, patience, determination, and the hunger to keep pushing myself to do better and get stronger,” says Hilary.

Hilary Isaac: Strong and fit mom
WELL-BEING - Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit (The Philippine Star) - May 15, 2017 - 4:00pm

A person’s very first source of strength is his/her mother. Where do mothers get all that strength? For fitness athlete and single mom Hilary Isaac, “Mom’s strength is being able to unapologetically prioritize her children and do the things that make them feel loved and protected with great joy and willingness.”

Mothers can gain so many benefits from investing in their fitness. Physical, mental, and emotional strength grow from dedication to training — plus you’ll have more energy to keep up with your kids. Hilary Isaac, the Bodycon 2016 Ms. Gold’s Gym, shares her insights on the subject.

THE PHILIPPINE STAR: How does fitness help you as a mother? 

HILARY ISAAC: Fitness helps keep me strong and energized throughout the day and for all the things that life requires of me as a mother. Because my nutrition is on point and I train regularly, I have mental clarity, I don’t suffer from mood swings, and I find it easier to stay positive even in difficult circumstances. Being mom to a soon-to-be six-year-old, patience and perseverance are necessary and those are both also key ingredients to a successful fitness journey.

How do you encourage other mothers to set aside time for fitness?

I have seen friends who, as children, lost their mother or father to a health or fitness-related disease that may have otherwise been prevented through good nutrition and regular exercise. Being able to live a long, healthy life with your family is a good enough reason for you to prioritize your fitness. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so take care of yourself first so you can serve and take care of your family better.

How do you create a balance in your life while staying dedicated to being fit?

It’s important to me that the system I use works to my advantage, which means my son isn’t neglected. My schedule can be very unpredictable (just like motherhood) so every day is a new day to come up with a formula that works. What worked yesterday may not work today. But if it does, you try it again tomorrow, hoping it’s still effective. Something’s gotta give though, for example, staying up late for useless things like social media white noise. I forego that in exchange of sleep so I can wake up early and get a workout in before my son Asher wakes up and my day gets crazy. In the middle of training clients, events, and other work, I try to find pockets of time where I can do maximum workout routines. And on weekends, as much as possible, I keep it free so I can be fully present for my son.

How do you manage the nutrition of your son? Does he also have any specific meal plan?

My son doesn’t have a strict meal plan. I make sure he gets lots of good protein, healthy fats, tons of veggies, and a healthy dose of stuff he likes (dark chocolate peanut butter is his top favorite thing). He sees the way I eat so he has an understanding of what’s good and healthy. The goal is to make sure the food is something he enjoys so he never needs to be prodded to eat. 

What fitness activities do you and your son do together?

We love to wrestle! We are absolute rough-and-tumble together. We have a trampoline at home where we do silly jumping contests or we go for a swim together. When it’s not too hot, we’ll kick a soccer ball around on the field or in the park. On days I train at home, he’ll pull out his yoga mat next to me and start copying my bodyweight exercises. 

How has fitness influenced your motherhood? Vise versa, how has motherhood affected your fitness?

Fitness has helped me get better at time management, strategy, and patience. Motherhood continues to remind me why I do what I do. There are life virtues that my son can learn from seeing me progress and stay committed to my fitness: perseverance, patience, determination, and the hunger to keep pushing myself to do better and get stronger. 

What tips do you have for other mothers getting into fitness?

Decide and commit to get your fitness on the right track. Love yourself enough to not give yourself any excuses to be lazy or intimidated. Plan your meals and prepare them so you know what you’re eating and can control what you consume. Commit a time each day for working out. Find an accountability partner who can remind you and motivate you to keep going especially on days you feel lazy and uninspired. And lastly, keep track of your progress! Even if you don’t post it, take photos of yourself each week so you can see the changes that take place in your body. When you start to progress, you’ll no doubt be motivated to push further and go for more.

* * *

Post me a note at mylene@goldsgym.com.ph or mylenedayrit@gmail.com.

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