Mom Bod: Loving the Shape You’re In…


Why won’t the pounds fly off? Yes, after each baby (I’ve birthed 4) I had 50 pounds to shed with each child. “I’m so hungry!” I shared with my husband as my mouth salivated over cartoon pizza. He smiled at me and understood. Hunger is part of the struggle. Simple, but not easy. It all points back to the why in life.

Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made. As a fitness coach of over 28 years, I’ve encouraged many people. Even some men have asked how to get their gut gone. The first explanation I give to each and every person is “I’m never going to be tall.” Standing as straight as I can I’m about 5 foot 3 (and a quarter inch.) Now, what does that have to do with anything about weight? It has everything to do with body shape. There’re some things I will never be! I’m a short girl. Embrace the you…you are.

Our expectations of how our shape should be are often unrealistic. Mom’s bodies are stretched beyond what we think that belly can become. I even measured my belly and topping out at 48 inches my 9-pound 9-ounce son filled every inch of my tummy. And then there’s baby number 3 who was transverse (sideways in my womb) and 2 weeks early C-section. The pain to carry her was the worst and she was the tiny one at 7lb 13 oz. Our bodies, like our wisdom, change with age.

Remember looking at your tummy and thinking “how could my best friend live there?” 


Suddenly that bundle of joy is challenging your every move and it’s not much fun. Standing there gazing at this new figure, you might figure how could someone do this twice? And then that “mom moment” of love pours out when they say “I love you.” Yes, it’s worth every stretch mark, every extra pound, and even the smile scar on my belly from the incision.

What’s a mom to do?

  1. Be real about who you are and what you want in your new shape. Are you sabotaging yourself with the spin factor? (I go to spin class burn 1200 calories and immediately grab a Grande latte with extra whip cream because I earned it.)
  2. Be thankful for who you are and what you’ve done. YOU birthed a baby! What a gift from God. We’re raising the next generation of world leaders. You’re a mom, some long to be where you’re at in life.
  3. Be grateful for having a body that works and what you can do with it! You’re able to grab groceries, a toddler with one hand while another baby in a sling, and still get to the door without tripping. WOOT you’re one agile mommy.
  4. Be understanding about receiving compliments and what beauty you beam as a mom. Our spouses love us and when we see that changed body in the mirror, he still sees that beautiful smile.

It’s a process. My son of 3 years old snuggled up next to me. He didn’t care if I was overweight and out of shape. “Mommy,” he laid his head on my shoulder, “you’re not so smelly.” I burst out in laughter! At least I smelled good!

We’re our worst critics. Our kids see us as our puppy sees us. You know, the dog runs up to the door all excited to have us home and who’s right behind them, our kids. They don’t worry about the “body” we have; they’re concerned about the snuggles we give. Consider yourself healthier and smarter instead of fatter and dumber. 

Practically speaking each of us understands how to get in shape. Exercise more. Eat less. You’ll be hungry. Change your lifestyle. Give yourself a solid year of working at the transformation. Most give up in 2 months because quite frankly IT’S HARD! I’m not body shaming you if you’re 20 pounds extra or even 40 pounds extra. It’s your body and your health. I am saying being healthy for the long haul is a serious consideration.

I’m a granny. 

I want to be able to keep up with the many grandchildren. With four children, I’m sure to have many grandkids someday. Right now, it’s just one, but I’m told this Arlowe Jane is that kid who’s ready to tackle the world at one.

My “why” is that I want to be that active granny at 90. And honestly, I like being in great shape physically. Yes, it’s work…a lot of work. Once again, I’m a short girl and some things I will never achieve. But the goals I’ve set are attainable. As I age, my goals alter. I teach more yoga and fewer boot camps. My push up count is drastically lower, but so is my cholesterol count too. I just look at how my mom never gave up after 4 kids with her figure intact.


Growing old with my husband means lots of changes. However; it doesn’t mean giving up on fitness goals. Slow and steady does win the race. My granny goal is to race in the 100-year-old 100-yard dash. I’d better keep training! Maybe my grandkids will help me fly across the finish line.

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Coach Deena has been teaching fitness since 1991 and currently is also a dance instructor at Starlight Theater Company. As a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she and her husband of thirty-two years are those extreme football fans you hear about. Boomer Sooner! Deena’s a brand-new grandmother and wait till you hear how this granny is taking life by the “horns down.” She’s a stay at home mom, who has homeschooled all four of their children. She’s excited to share her granny knowledge and teenage drama secrets to help you get through life. Deena McDaniel is the creator founder of Christmas Near The Beach, a premier Christmas show in Hollywood, Florida (Est. 2007). In 1996, Deena began writing her weekly column Positively Beautiful, which is published in a local Missouri paper and more recently in a blog form on Facebook. Her background includes TV commercial production, Evening News promotion and hosting her own radio request show, “Sunday Drive.” She has a passion for fitness. It has been a life long adventure, from bodybuilding to mime ministry you’ll see this mom of four teaching fitness of almost any style. She and her family are active members at Palm Vista Community Church in Miami Lakes, Florida. “Remember you’re never able to quit the job of motherhood, rather the dynamics keep changing and your employment is for life.”- Coach Deena


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