I don’t remember how I came to know of Dustin Maher, but what struck me right away about this ambitious, success-oriented personal trainer was his radically different approach to exercise–and the fact that his niche is singularly focused on moms, and our desire to get back into shape after pregnancy and stay in shape throughout our busy lives. As with male gynecologists, I understand how they might “know a lot” about the subject matter, but how can they really know? (And does it matter?)
I took a chance and signed up for his e-newsletter, and was surprised that the very first one was a video of his appearance on a news program. He was explaining to an anchor/new mom how to deeply contract her stomach muscles, instead of doing crunches. I love this concept for a few reasons; 1. Crunches are one of the worst exercises for the post-partum woman. Unless you are holding your abs rock-tight toward your spine, you may very well be crunching them into a muffin shape! 2. Holding in your abs tightly can be accomplished while doing pretty much anything: driving in the car, brushing your teeth, holding and feeding your baby, standing, sitting, you name it. And they’re easier to remember to do than Kegels–you’re reminded about your tummy every time you do up your pants! and, 3. Holding your tummy tight makes both your stomach and your lower back stronger (what new mom couldn’t use a little help with her lower back?) When you have a strong core, you stand up straighter and taller–you look better, and you feel better when the body is in alignment.
Speaking of being in alignment, it seemed to me that Maher and I were. Then, just after a meaningful Sunday at church, where we were pointedly asked to consider our visions for our lives, to explore our dreams and what goals we might set to achieve them, Maher posted an article about just this idea.
“You hear me talk a lot on this blog about setting goals. I believe so much in goal setting as one of the most powerful tools to helping you go from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future. But this article I was reading talked about how we set goals in order to achieve our dreams. It is our dreams that should really get us excited and keep us motivated!” Maher said.
He challenged readers to offer three goals and resulting dreams, first allowing readers to hear his.
Goal: To eliminate my knee issues/pain.
Dream: To be able to play recreational basketball, football, and any other sport for many more decades. To be able to hike some of the highest mountains in the world, to be able to play with my teenage kids and be able to beat them!
Goal: Achieve 4% body fat
Dream: To place in the top 5 at the world fitness modeling championships in Vegas (unfortunately with my elbow this will have to wait a year)!
Goal: To help transform the lives of 1,000,000 moms.
Dream: The overwhelming satisfaction of knowing that I not only empowered them to be the best they could be, but also played a role in helping the kids of the moms live a much healthier and fitter life.
Now it is your turn! Also please consider the following question: If all your goals were achieved and became reality overnight, when you wake up tomorrow morning what would your life look like?
Goal: To finally lose those last 8 pounds that have held on since my last pregnancy (How can I be so close to my goal weight yet see no change when I’m constantly working on it?)
Dream: To feel honestly beautiful within my own body. To love and accept myself, and reflect that self-acceptance in my relationships with others.
Goal: To teach my children proper eating habits and a love of nutrition
Dream: To have them enjoy cooking with me, and exploring new recipes, tastes and culinary experiences as a family.
Goal: To write a book from the heart. To work fearlessly and joyfully–with gratitude.
Dream: To know success and enjoy success as a result of my decision to work diligently and share what I’m learning and care about most.
How about yours?