To be blunt, a career as a fitness professional comes with an expiration date.
I LOVE my job. But it’s emotionally and physically draining. I throw my body (literally) into every workout I execute. I flip my hair to the drops. I run from one end of the room to the other. I talk with such animation a blood vessel on my neck protrudes (ew). While I won’t admit it, I hold back tears when I watch someone do something they didn’t think they could do.
I never take any moment for granted, mostly because I know that I won’t be doing it, in this volume, in this way forever.
The reality of being behind a microphone teaching 12 classes a week when I’m 50 isn’t all that realistic. Is that to say that there is no place for an aging or changing population in fitness? Fuck no. For ME, I see myself in the fitness industry until the very end, but I see how I contribute as an evolving one, one that will inevitably change.
Here’s a bit of reality, when you’re young and hot, everyone wants to workout with you. When you’re young, hot, and a man, you’ve got a line out the door on a silver platter. When you’re a chick, it’s a bit of a harder sell and an uphill battle.
When you’re older, you have your work cut out for you.
Some people make longevity look easy, but they are the exception. They’re not the rule. There is an expiration date.
I avoided conversations with my husband about starting our family because I wasn’t ready for my life to change. I didn’t want my job to change. And I wasn’t ready for my BODY to change. A body I worked so hard for, yet rarely brought me peace, but provided so much validation. And as shallow and insignificant as this sounds, I wasn’t ready to give up my “perfect” training schedule, running around in a sports bra and flat abs, or the persona I publish on Instagram. I loved my life exactly how it was and was very opposed to anything that may throw off its dynamic.
Is that a tad short sighted? Yes. Was it how I felt? Absolutely.
A New Chapter
My husband had wanted to start our family since before we were married. And actually, I don’t know if I’ve adequately expressed my appreciation to him for the patience he’s extended me. He’s never been overbearing or applied excessive pressure, and has been very understanding to my feelings.
I’ve blown through several grace periods. We agreed that June 2017 (or as I called it, D-day) felt like the right time to start trying. We weren’t going to obsessively track dates, follow an app or monitor my cycles, but rather have a ton of unprotected sex. NICE!
In my mind, I still had a few months to wrap my head around getting pregnant. Right?
Right away. We got pregnant right away. And if you’ve seen Matt Lemere since we’ve started announcing the news I’m sure you’ve witnessed one of his MANY sports analogies. Picture him miming slam dunks, touch downs, holes-in-one, arms up shouting, “goa-AAAA-aal.” I can’t even write it without laughing.
After the excitement of the test results, the first doctor appointment, and sharing the news with our closest friends and family life was a bit more hard hitting. Reality started to set in and the realization that life as I know it is all about to change. Ready or not. But it’s not about me.
I’m now responsible for keeping a little tiny being safe, healthy and happy. Everything I put in my body now has a bigger purpose. It’s not about flat abs, or high-fat diets, intermittent fasting or even satisfying a craving. Food has a different purpose: growth, life support, developing organs, limbs, and a central nervous system. It takes the practice of mindful behavior to another level.
Emotions. So Many Emotions.
The moment our pregnancy test (read: NINE pregnancy tests, I took nine over the course of three days JUST TO MAKE SURE) displayed “pregnant” I immediately felt a surge of love and protectiveness.
We both cried tears of joy when we saw the baby for the first time via ultrasound. And thinking about it, I’m choked up right now. It is so cute!!
I’m so nervous to bring a life into this world and be responsible for its happiness and quality of life. And I’m a bit bummed when I think about the inevitable loss of freedom and the sacrifices we’ll now need to make to ensure this baby is our number one priority – which it absolutely will be.
I’m dying to see what sex the baby is (yes, we’re finding out, I NEED TO KNOW), what he or she will look like and the type of person he or she will become. I’m in awe of the endless possibilities that are the impact he or she will have in the world.
I have so much love to be carrying something that Matt and I have created together. I feel so lucky to have gotten pregnant so quickly when I know so many people who have and continue to struggle.
I can’t wait to start our family traditions. But I’m unsure how one defines their parenting style and how one decides the type of mom they’ll become.
I’m worried I won’t be the mom my mom is.
Even though I tried to be patient, I’m frustrated by how hard morning sickness hit and how long it has knocked me on my ass. I’m amazed the female body knows what to do and does it on its own! Like, holy shit, it is crazy. And I’m scared for my postpartum mental health – I’ve never had to lose weight before, I’ve never had to bounce back. Maintaining a lean physique has always been easy for me. I’m worried that my aesthetic preoccupations will overshadow the joy of having a newborn.
I also feel like one bad bitch to be successful in an industry that is male driven and male-dominated while doing the single thing that defines womanhood. THAT is amazing.
This is all really hard to verbalize, by the way. But it’s honest. And it’s reflective of the roller-coaster I’ve been riding for the last three months. When I take a deep breath, and all of the above fades away, I mostly feel so blessed to have such an excellent partner, supportive circle of family and friends.
Most of all I have faith in myself, Matt, and us.
The Four Percent
Up until now, The Four Percent has never been about MY fitness journey; it’s not about ME. It has been a platform that I created to disseminate health and fitness information. A place to break down and digest scientific facts and make them relatable to all kinds, ability levels and walks of life.
Information on a healthy and fit pregnancy is SO. FUCKING. OUT. OF. DATE. It’s kind of mind blowing. It’s still taboo to talk about the emotional and negative valleys that are just as present as the peaks throughout this 9-month process.
The pre-baby, to pregnancy, to post-baby journey is something that so many women go through, different for everyone, but something we all go through together. They say, “it takes a village,” so let’s come together as one.
The core content of this site will not change…it’s still the same real talk on nutrition, fitness, and workouts. Just with a little extra (and honest) bump on the side. Thank you to those who have already shown so much support and love for bébé Lemere, and thank you for your continued support of The Four Percent!