Get To Know The Amazing Duo Behind 'Fit Moms Project'
Think moms should skip out on working out? Think again! This passion project encourages moms to take care of their bodies, so they can take care of everyone else!
Gone are the days when moms are expected to slave around in the kitchen all day, to attend to everyone else's needs first, and forget all about herself. These days, women are empowered to take charge of their lives, most especially after child birth. Being a mother in itself is already a selfless thing to be, and we know this from the special women we have in our lives.
This thankless job of being a mother is also a gift, and one that not everyone has the chance to have. But it does not mean that being a mom is equal to being last. We live in the day and age where mothers are the stars of their lives too—they take care of themselves first, so they can take care of everyone else in their lives. One cannot give from an empty cup, can they?
While taking some me time, unwinding by online shopping, or watching Netflix all count as much-needed self-care, moms are also encouraged to take time out in their day for working out, to break a sweat, to be able to strengthen their bodies that require so much from them.
That's why we talked to Marie Field Faith and Tina de Guzman of @fitmomsprojectph, the duo behind the passion project that aims to encourage mothers to pursue a fit life! Read up on our conversation with them, especially perfect for today's occasion, Mother's Day!
Metro.Style: Please tell us about yourselves, Tina and Marie!
Marie (MF): I am a mom of 3 kids, aged 10, 8 and 4 years old. I work as a small business owner of a kids decor brand, Pottly N Tubby, and also do various modeling and digital content creation for brands. In my past life, I worked as an engineer for oil and gas production, following my BS Chemical Engineering and MBA degree. We returned from Australia last 2013 to raise our kids, and the plan was to be a stay-at-home mom, but after a year, I started Pottly N Tubby, and it kind of just evolved from there. I met Tina from our mompreneur circle as we were both into kid's lines.
Tina (TDG): I’m Tina. I am a mom of 2 young kids. I am a lawyer and a mompreneur. I lead a tribe of mostly women business owners who pursue a life of wellness, purpose, and abundance. I am the founder of The Oil Natural Project and Marie’s co-founder of Fit Moms Project PH. I was into international development and policy work, but now I am on a break from that life and I am enjoying this part of my life where I am learning a lot on essential oils, natural and toxin-free lifestyle, and learning and sharing more about mental and emotional health for women.
MS: How did the Fit Moms Project come about? What is your vision for this project?
MF: Fit Moms Project started when Tina and I were discussing some plans for a collaboration work together, and to be able to bring our message across to a wider audience, we recognized that our individual paths meet at that particular point in time where we were both trying to get fit. We are both in separate journeys and with very different objectives for our personal improvement, but we were in that same place where we wanted to take it seriously, put some commitment into our well being and also be able to encourage other moms to do the same.
We were both feeling that sometimes it can get intimidating to attend the workout classes out there because people look already fit or they are young and hip and we felt out of place being moms and unsure of what the workout is all about. By creating a community for us moms (although non moms are welcome and we have a number of non moms attending our events), we were able to reach women going thru the same struggles, similar journey and going thru the same challenges.
Being a mom means your time is devoted and divided towards your family - your husband, your kids, your career, your own life challenges, and to make moms understand that taking time for our health and wellness, by making a commitment to put time and effort in getting and staying fit is not something you do for yourself because you are selfish. You do this so you can be a better healthier person, to be able to be happier without the aches and pains of not taking care of your body, and in the long run, being able to stay with your family longer with a better quality of life. You essentially become a better version of you.
And that's our vision for FMP. To be able to get that message across to other women, and to moms in particular. But without being preachy. Because we won't want to sound like we are telling you off for having a mom bod, but we want you to discover that there are so many fun ways to get fit, to find the workout classes that bring about a sense of friendship and community, and that working out can truly be fun and an activity you can look forward to.
We recognize that we are all different yet all seeking the same sense of belonging, so we welcome you here. You can sit with us. And you can be into hard core weight lifting or be into yoga or pole dancing, and we can all learn have fun trying it out. Some workouts you will stick with, some you don't wanna do again. But we encourage you to try and we will be there to make sure you feel safe and comfortable to enjoy the experience.
TDG: Just to add to Marie’s account of how FMP started, I was a bit apprehensive about starting a group with the name Fit Moms on it, because I have not worked out in more than a decade. I knew I neglected my body because you know, life happened. I had no time for exercise. I was working or driving home, or breastfeeding and being a mom. However, I did see that I can represent the “Project” part of our group. And that’s one of our key messages. We are all works in progress, and everyone is welcome. There are no judgments. We all know how it is to be set back; the important thing is the will to come back on the wellness train.
MS: What workouts do you both do? What are the most exciting ones you've tried?
MF: Tina and I do different kinds of workouts. But we have hosted various workouts already, that were all super fun! Some are hardcore and we died but still fun!
1. Pound through Pretty Huge Obstacles (PHO), Mara Pasco, La Cass
2. Sexy Chair Dance through Pole Cats Manila
3. Indoor Rowing through Saddle Row
4. Indoor Cycling through Perigon, Electric Studio, Ride Revolution
5. Yoga through PHO
6. Animal Flow through Lester Guevarra
7. Circuit through Athlete Edge Performance
8. Obstacle Sports through PHO
9. Steel Mace through Kerry Sports
10. Barre through Physique 57 and Barre3
11. Reformer Pilates through Onelife Studio
12. Bootcamp through Sasja Mulder
13. HIIT through Unbounded
14. Workout Dance through 808 Studio
15. Zumba through Fitness First, Hype Gym
16. Circuit Strength through F45 Training
17. Core Strength through Fitness First
18. Pop Dance through Jason Zamora
19. Aerial Yoga through Yoga Plus Manila
20. Meditation through Sara Black
For me, one of the most fun ones is definitely anything with great music, so Pound and Indoor Cycling tops my list. I don't dance well but Tina loves the dance classes. Haha! The most unique is Steel Mace and Aerial Yoga, while the most challenging was the Sexy Chair Dance. Haha!
TDG: In addition to the list, we have also done Circuit with Athlete’s Edge Performance, Zumba/Retro Pop Dance Classes at Fitness First Eastwood, Aqua Firma and Stand up paddleboard yoga with Aquanimous Yoga at Makati Shangri-La.
MS: In terms of diet, what do you both follow? Are you strict or do you allow yourselves treats/cheat meals?
MF: This is where I am way behind. Haha! Because I have an ectomorph body type that can eat and eat without gaining weight, I find it hardest to make myself eat clean. I have made some adjustments, but I am definitely way way far from a good diet.I still eat a lot of chips and drink. But it is something I am working on and Tina and I are working with Sakro Space to map out how we can do this sustainably and matching our lifestyle as well.
TDG: I don’t follow a strict diet. Personally, one of the reasons I workout is so I won’t feel so much guilt when I want to indulge in eating what I like. I do have my weaknesses, like loving coffee and rice, too much, but yes, as what Marie said, we are looking into improving many aspects of our lives, including healthier eating.
MS: How does being a mom challenge you? What motivates you to stay fit despite all of life's challenges?
MF: For me personally, I guess it was after I gave birth to my youngest and had complications that almost took my life. I had a chance to recognize my own mortality and the fact that tomorrow is indeed not a guarantee and not a given. So I made a conscious choice to do better and make healthier choices so I can be here as my kids are growing up and continue to live a good quality of life and not be a burden to my family. I have always tried to workout because of my line of work but it was not something I took seriously.
Coming into the realization that I have only this body for this lifetime, and that this body is not going to remain strong and able if I do not sustain it with good practices and habits and that it is not only I who will suffer for it. My family will feel the burden and the heartache of me getting sick, of me becoming immobile, and their lives will be affected by my actions now. And because I want us to have a better quality of life even and when we age and become senior members of our family, I make a commitment now to put in the work.
I think getting out of the headspace that getting fit and staying fit is for bikinis and beaches, I was able to focus more on really making myself stronger with higher endurance that I was capable of doing before. And the progress further encourages me to keep pushing and trying to achieve the next thing that I want to.
One of the many highlights of this as well is that fact that the kids witness what I do and they themselves become more appreciative of what it means to stay active and be aware of how we take care of our bodies. So it is not just me who is becoming healthier and fitter, but it rubs off on the whole family too.
TDG: Not only being a mom, but being moms managing business as well, both Marie and I struggle with not having enough time for everything we need and want to do. But we are on the same mindset that if we neglect our physical and emotional well-being now, it will hurt us in the long run. We won’t be in optimal shape to do our duties as moms and as businesswomen if we break down or if our bodies fail us.
MS: How has the quarantine been treating you in terms of your fitness life? Any new lessons you've learned?
MF: When we started quarantine, we had a 30 Day Home Workout Challenge at FMP to encourage our moms to keep working. We posted workouts everyday that we can do at home and also shared the workouts that other moms were doing to encourage other moms to do the same. We also hosted online workouts and Zoom classes in partnership with various workout studios.
One of the main lessons I learned is you can workout at home pala! Haha! Coz I never did that before. I was always attending classes. This really forced me to workout by myself and commit to going thru a routine. Which takes a harder will as I was prone to not wanting to do it. I was always making excuses in my head. But having that 30 Day Challenge forced me to keep working and also being accountable to the other moms in our community. You also get encouraged when you see the other moms you know who are still at it and not giving up.
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DAY 6 😎 . Posted @withregram • @mariefieldfaith DAY 06 of our @fitmomsprojectph #FMP30DayWorkoutAtHomeChallenge 💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼 . The aim of this challenge is to encourage our fellow mommas who are currently at home to stay put at home and use some of the time they have right now to start their fitness journey with us at @fitmomsprojectph 💕 . Working out will help your body release some endorphins (feel good hormones) which will hopefully help you guys in coping with the current situation right now. Plus, exercising will help strengthen your body, keeping you healthy and with stronger immune system 💚 . There are so many FREE training available and one of my current favourites is the @niketrainingg App that you can download for free. . It contains a wide variety of FREE WORKOUT videos there with timer already and form reminders, with beginner, intermediate and athlete level workouts too to suit your current fitness level. . This afternoon I did the Quick Butt Toner which is basically composed of a lot of leg work and tons of squats! 😵 . Squat Side Kicks . Split Squats . Lateral Leg Lifts . Lateral Knee Drives . Speed Squats (just in case the usual squat doesn’t do it for you anymore 🤪) . Squat Front Kicks . Squat Hold . The app has a timer so it helps with the reps. But if you wanna do this and you don’t wanna use the app, try 10-15 reps and repeat for 3 rounds. If you can’t to 3 rounds yet, just do 1 round until you build strength. Listen to your body 🤗 . As you can see, I am not muscular or strong yet, and I am an ectomorph so trying to build muscle in a body that eats muscle is a b*tch! But I am just like you trying to work on my fitness and hopefully this will help me keep up the good spirits so I can also interact with my family positively throughout this lockdown.
TDG: We’ve finished our FMP 30-day workout at home challenge, but most of us have stayed in it, almost everyday. Personally my only challenge at home is that with the kids out of school, and with work still ongoing, we are needed more than ever. However, FMP and our partner clubs and program providers have given us enough options to stay fit. We’ve been joining and hosting a variety of workouts for the community all throughout the ECQ.
MS: What is your best advice for moms who are struggling to stay fit?
MF: One round is always better than none. Start small and build up from there because your body will crave for it. Don't try to do the hard workouts you see that people post online, because you will just get frustrated. Find one that you can do as a beginner and one that you enjoy doing. It does not need to be HIIT, does not need to be about burpees. There are many workouts that can suit your lifestyle and your preference. Just be open to trying new things so you can find it.
That's why we always encourage variety at FMP because we noticed how different people really prefer different types of activities. Some are more hard core and want to sweat, sweat, sweat, while some just wanted to dance. And that's all okay. The important thing is that you are moving!
TDG: Just start. Just do it. Every little thing counts. Even if you don’t feel like doing it for the day, once you start, you’ll get through it; and once you’re done, your mind and body will thank you for it. Don’t feel pressured to get abs or to look good in active wear. Those are bonuses. The main goal is to get moving, get our heart rate up, get stronger than yesterday, and feel all the goodness that endorphins can bring.