The Word On Fitness

Finding Your Momentum for Mother’s Day with Your Chosen Family

By Angeli Ryan-Lim

This initially started as an article for the moms out there for Mother’s Day, but then I was immediately reminded how strained my own relationship is with my mother and thought about all my chosen family members within the 2SLGBTQ+ community instead. I’m infiltrating the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day season as an opportunity to target all our caretaking figures: mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or any gender non-conforming parental figures! Chosen family or family by blood! This is for you all that feel trapped in a cycle of, “one day… One day, I am going to really take care of myself.”

This is your sign, it’s time to get your momentum back:

I know it is hard to find time to focus on you. When you finally do take some time for yourself, you probably have a twinge of guilt that there are other people or things more worthy of your attention, effort, or sacrifice. That’s part of being a mom, dad, caretaker, family member, or chosen family member. You put others first.

But consider this, neglecting yourself is not good for you or those people who depend on you. The only way you can be present and keep attending your many responsibilities and joys of life is if your health is optimum.

Once your health starts declining, you will have no choice but to focus on yourself.

Wouldn’t you rather do it now and know what it feels like to be healthy, full of energy, and still be there for all those individuals that depend on you?

It’s hard to gain momentum with movement:

Yes, starting is hard, especially from a dead stop. In fact, it is probably the hardest part. It may be hard because you’ve “started” before and failed. As drag queen Yvie Oddly once said (RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, Season 7, Episode 5 for those of you that are superfans like me): failure is a gift and “success is the fruit of failure.” “I want you to try hard. I want you to swing big and I want you to fail because it’s through these trials and errors that we really learn to become the people we are meant to be.” 

Here’s the kicker though, this time you are not doing it alone. Lean into your family and chosen family! We are here to walk with you every step of the way. We’re keeping our momentum moving forward, not backward. 

Did you try a large-group dance fitness class and not like it? Try out a smaller spin class. Did you try out a cross-training style work out and get hurt? Don’t fret, try reaching out to the coaches for personal training, perhaps there was something you weren’t getting quite right that only a personal touch could find and fix. Do you have a personal trainer now, and want to expand your social circle to include other fitness inclined friends? Try out a HIIT or boot camp style workout. Heck, or even get involved with the many local gay team sports that rotate seasonally. 

All these seemingly “failed” attempts at your fitness journey were simply you trying to learn about the person you are meant to be within the fitness world. When you do it with your loved ones in your chosen family or blood family, it’s even more rewarding! Let’s be real, sometimes brutal honesty comes out with family, perhaps doing it with them will encourage you to be honest with yourself. “I really hated that at the moment because it was incredibly hard, but neither of us died. Okay, maybe we had a little bit of fun. Let’s try it again!”

It’s hard to gain momentum with diet:

Sometimes our current diet is the cause of life-long patterns that have been learned and turned into daily habits. Trying to change that seems completely undesirable or maybe impossible right now. Lean into your family and chosen family!Eating at the dinner table together is the highlight of the day for many families. It gives the opportunity to bond and talk about everyone’s day as a unit. Why does it just have to be limited to dinner time? Try and expand this togetherness with meal prep at the beginning of the week. Take the opportunity during family and/or chosen family meal prep time to go over goals for the week, or review goals of your previous week and see where you can help each other reach those goals. Try going grocery shopping together. See what your loved one is buying, ask questions, maybe swap recipe ideas! Food and diet can be a very vulnerable discussion to have. Seek safety within your trusted family and chosen circle and use the opportunity to have open dialogue without judgment. You never know, maybe your willingness to talk will inspire others in your family to reflect on their own personal health and fitness goals. There’s no better way to gain momentum than with another person you care about!

Waiting is dangerous:

The longer you wait to take your health seriously, the more damage you are doing to your body.

There is only one way to slow down, stop, and reverse many of the effects of aging (whether you are 20 or 80 years old): sensible eating and consistent exercise. (Well, that’s two, but they go hand in hand together.)

  • Do you want to avoid the ravages of heart disease (the number one killer of women)?
  • Would you like to never experience the pain of a fractured, osteoporotic bone?
  • Does lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your knees and reducing aches and pains sound attractive to you?
  • Would you like to walk with your loved ones through Balboa Park or Mission Beach Boardwalk without getting short of breath?
  • Would you like to run a marathon? (Even if you’re 60!)

It’s yours:

You’ve dreamed about it long enough. 

Make this Mother’s Day and Father’s Day season the beginning of a new chapter in your life. Thousands of people just like you are doing it. And we want to help you do it, together as a family.

Be strong, vibrant, and full of energy.

It’s time to start. Together we’ll get your momentum going and feeling better than you ever have!