For Mother's Day this year, LIFEAID launched their Mothers of Fitness community to celebrate the strong women in our midst. Part of the intention of this group was to allow mothers to share their experiences, offer advice to other women in their shoes, and just have a place to gush over something they all have in common--the love of motherhood and health and fitness.
You can join the party here.
We want you to meet Molly Tilove, one of our awesome group 'Momerators' whose path to fitness and maintaining consistency now with twins in tow was filled with challenges, but totally worth it.
How did you become interested in fitness?
Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I was NEVER interested in fitness or working out (in fact, I avoided PE at all costs!). Once I went off to college, I realized all of my friends had gym memberships and maybe I should actively work on avoiding the dreaded “Freshman 15”. I started running, and soon that became a big part of my life!
What inspired you to start posting on Instagram and sharing your journey?
It just sort of evolved naturally. While I was in college, I developed anorexia and spent several years severely underweight. I was obsessed with running and doing body weight exercises, and had a twisted goal of eating less and less each day. After admitting I had a serious problem, got help, and received treatment, I gained weight, but still really struggled with body image issues. While I physically was “healthy” again, I still was struggling horribly on the inside. After years of being a “runner”, a friend invited me to check out a new CrossFit gym opening in the area. I was immediately hooked!
That first year or two, I had shared a few before/after photos from my college days, and now my much stronger, CrossFit days. I was finally starting to see a transformation on the inside - I was no longer focused on what I looked like, but was really proud of my body and what it was capable of doing. The photos I had shared were reposted on a lot of “viral” sites, including Reddit. My Instagram quickly started growing and I started sharing more about my journey, my workouts, etc! It’s been about five years now since that all happened so it’s been really fun connecting with so many more people, growing new friendships and relationships, etc!
What has been the most challenging part of juggling work, fitness, and motherhood?
Life definitely takes a lot more planning now! When the twins were newborns, they slept SO much, so it was easy to keep them in their bassinet or swings and bring them out with me while I worked out, or while I worked in our home office. Now that they’re over one and totally mobile… they have my whole attention while they’re awake! It makes it tricky managing a business with two littles and a husband who has a very full work schedule himself, but I just really focus on making nap times as productive as possible.
Workouts are definitely much less consistent than they used to be, but I still make it a priority to fit them in - whether its including the babies, or waiting until they go down for the night and fitting a workout in before bed. We built out our home gym before the babies were born and it has been SUCH a blessing this year, especially with COVID!
What is your favorite part about being a mom?
It is truly a love like NO OTHER. I never felt more purpose, more passion, or more fire than I have since these babies were born. They give me a whole new reason to be my best. We waited years before finally getting pregnant and they were worth every second of that wait, a million times over. It has been the greatest blessing watching them learn and grow this last year, and I can’t wait for all of the incredible adventures we have in our future.
Do you have any advice for other moms that are thinking about starting or need help continuing their fitness journey?
IT IS POSSIBLE to make fitness and wellness a priority with kids, no matter how much you have on your plate. Even if it’s 10 minutes during nap time, something is always better than nothing! There are some weeks where I can fit in six workouts, and some weeks where I only get two - but staying as consistent as you can and coming and showing up when it is possible pays off. Keeping my health and fitness a priority keeps me feeling good, energized, and truly helps me be a better mom. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so be sure to include things in your life that make YOU a better person so you can be better for the people you love!
How do you take time for yourself? Any favorite self care activities?
A workout is always a favorite activity! Some days though, a hot bath or shower and a glass of wine is all I need after a long day!
How have you been coping with this crazy year in regards to COVID and having young kids?
Honestly, having newborn twins before this all started - I was already basically living the “quarantine life”! It was difficult to get out too often with two tiny babes, especially during the winter after their NICU stays. COVID hit when they were about 4 months old, and life just sort of continued on the way it had been! It’s definitely been challenging at times, feeling like it’s groundhog day for the last year. The little things I did for “me” to recharge really aren’t options at the moment (getting my nails done, meeting a friend for coffee, etc), and I miss the social interactions we used to have!
Being a new mom can feel isolating anyways, but having this never ending lockdown in place makes it feel extra difficult some days. It also makes me sad that the kids have had so much less interaction in their lives than a typical child would have their first year! At the same time though - this bizarre year has allowed both me and my husband to be at home SO MUCH more than we may have otherwise been. I try and look at the positives as much as I can about this entire situation! We’ve had more time together, Erik has been able to be home for more of their milestone moments, we’ve saved more money, and we find joy in the simplest things! With that being said… I am definitely looking forward to a life no longer controlled by COVID restrictions! :)
Are you watching any good TV shows or movies now that you want to share?
Oh man! I wish!! I’m hoping once the holiday season is over and business slows down, I’ll be able to start doing a little more reading / TV watching! The few things I always stay up-to-date on, no matter how busy I am, are “This Is Us” and “A Million Little Things”! I’m here for everyone else’s suggestions for good TV shows though!
What are some goals you have going into 2021?
Carrying less stress with me. I am a stresser. We surprisingly had our best year with Belle & Bell yet, but it has made me CRAZY stressed this entire Q4. I get overwhelmed and feel like I have a difficult time being completely present with work OR with my kids. Learning to balance and give myself more grace is definitely a goal. Aside from that - I hope to grow B&B even BIGGER this year, create some amazing memories with the kids, and hopefully get my ring muscle ups back ;) we just installed a rig in our backyard, so I have no excuse now!
Do you have any products or services (for you or your kids) that you can't live without or are essential to your everyday routine?
I *LOVE* that we use a meal prep delivery service. We order a la carte meats and carbs from Trifecta and it makes it so convenient for weekday lunches for both me AND the kiddos. Other random stuff we love : our Lovevery subscription for educational toys, our Lillebaby baby carriers, our big playpen that the kids love to hang in while we workout, and probably a billion other things I cant think of right now! For me personally - I rely on RP Strength for my nutrition guidance, and I’m pretty sure protein coffee is what now runs through my veins ;) (if you follow me on IG, you know I am obsessed with cold brew and then Bowmar Nutrition Pumpkin Spice coffee!)
What are your hobbies/interests outside of fitness?
I have had a ton of fun getting into photography the last few years! I also really like hiking, traveling...and eating good food! lol!