Mum of 8 finds new life and her passion in bodybuilding.
Sneaking peeks at the figure groups posing practise I was well impressed with her amazing figure.
Our posing instructor at LivFit Health mentioned she was a Mum, I was like, "oh yeah me too".... then she said "of EIGHT".
I'm over here thinking are you freaking kidding me?!! 8 kids and she looks like that!!!
So I had to know more!
Here's Fran's story for you to inspire your less than 8 kids booty into action too. ;)
My fitness journey began years ago when I joined the gym as a school leaver. My interest for health and fitness continued throughout many years but on and off as career seeking and motherhood took some priority. After having my third child I felt quite un-comfy with myself and decided to join back at the local gym where I completed and won a 12week challenge. It felt wonderful!
It was an amazing feeling to lose weight and get healthy and do something for myself and I continued on to compete in my first bodybuilding competition. I can’t recall placing anywhere or really taking it seriously at the time and afterwards I felt like I had cheated myself out of a great opportunity. Sadly I remember a lot of family and friends being quite opinionated about my commitment to the gym training and not my family at the time. This gave me some feelings of guilt about not doing the best for my children and I lost some motivation to go.
Our family moved houses away from the gym, and our family grew. I focused on my family and I kind of used motherhood as an excuse to not return to the gym for a few years. With the expressed opinions from friends and family about my commitment to my family I began to believe that if I had kids I could not EVER have or even deserve the time to myself to get fit and healthy as well. Years passed and I studied hard to complete a degree in health science and became a midwife as well as having few more kids, ending up with eight!!!
My interest and passion in health and fitness continued to grow through my years as a midwife but again I never prioritized time for me to pursue my own fitness goals. Last year after struggling with a few personal challenges with family and work life I found myself feeling un-comfy in my own self again. I felt old, frumpy and my self-esteem was low. I remembered the feeling of success and self-respect I had when training years ago and although I now had 8 children and my body had not had a good work out for about 15years I decided that This was the Time to get back to the gym.
With the help of good friends and my family being supportive I was able to start slowly and surely back at a friend’s gym. I started to set myself small goals with weekly fitness challenges and once I was back into regular training I joined a couple of online ‘transformation’ challenges to continue to gain motivation and support from others in the same mind set. Through regular gym visits and networking online I found a lot of my old gym buddies and found there were lots of other mummies just like me seeking the self-esteem and health and fitness from loosing a bit of weight and getting fitter.
I was definitely re- finding my passion with just a few small changes in my diet and succeeding ongoing fitness challenges. It was about now for the benefits of my children that I decided to finish full time work at the hospital and become a full time stay at home mum. Nutrition at home was changing for the whole family too and my shopping list was filled with a lot more healthy options.
One of my son’s started coming to the gym with me and has a newly found passion of health and fitness. He actually completed an introduction course in sports and fitness.
While studying he met a lovely couple Lynne & Tony, in the industry who own a community gym ‘Livfit health’. I later realised that many years ago I had met and trained with the couple (crazy how life works).
‘Livfit health‘ was now hosting an in-house gym bodybuilding competition and with the keen interest of my son I was asked to also take part. I was really keen to try and do another competition, not to win but just to better myself but tried to make all the excuses to not do it. I wouldn’t have time….or finances….and my kids would miss out on me since I would be wanting to go to the gym instead of being with them. I was encouraged by my son and my other children and also friends and gym buddies new and old I had made through starting this journey again. ‘The muscle never forgets’. they said ‘I did it before and I can do it again’. ‘The kids would benefit too having a healthier mummy to look up to’. I eventually figured I had nothing to lose and only strengths to gain if nothing else. I made some enquiries and propositioned a few good people to help and support me.
I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I was willing to give it a go and give it my %100. With determination I got the support I needed to get started and just went for it! It was the best decision I have made for myself. Through pure passion and determination to succeed which others had seen I gained the support from the right people to guide my nutrition and physical training. I made the time during the day while the kids were at school to make it to the gym and trained as often as I could. The nutritional changes were the biggest challenge having to still cook for others while also cooking for myself however I have now been able to just adapt meals to suit my nutrition needs while also providing healthy options for my family.
From that day I have not looked back once. I competed on stage after loosing 8.5kg and toned up to a bikini fit body. Something I never thought I could do after having eight children. I had tiger stripes and they weren’t hiding on the day either. I was a proud mummy and my kids were proud of me and I loved every moment of it. My self-esteem is way back up there as I enjoy getting up each day, setting and succeeding personal challenges and goals. I feel wonderful and happy! My whole lifestyle has changed for the better with a keen focus on health and fitness for myself and my family and I know we are better off for it with no more excuses. My children and family are definitely not missing out on anything as they too are benefiting from a healthy lifestyle and having a fit and energetic mummy. Throughout this journey I have met so many wonderful people and have made some special friends. I intend to compete again this year and continue to enjoy my journey to better myself. I am in no competition with anyone only myself so I know I’m already winning.
I have also decided to initiate some post-graduation studies in sports and nutrition and I hope this will lead to further opportunities in my future in the fitness industry. I love sharing my journey and hope I can inspire other Mummies and those alike to also start on their own journey’s. You are welcome to follow my story on IG @mizzqt Fitness Enthusiast. ‘Your life is what you make it’. ‘You don’t need to be great to start but you need to start to get great’. ‘Everyone looks good happy’. So ‘Just do it’ :)