The post baby experience for many mamas is similar. You’ve watched your body change dramatically from having a baby and there can often be concern about if you will ever get back in shape. How hard is that going to be? Meet Hike it Baby Kendall Killingsworth, a new branch lead for Hike it Baby Bonham in Texas. She can’t believe how her body and health have changed since starting with Hike it Baby just 4 months ago. This above picture is her 10 months ago and now today! Join Kendall and a bunch of other Hike it Baby mamas for the next 6 -weeks in the Adventure Baby Boost program.
When did you start with Hike it Baby?
About 4 months ago. I heard about it in a mommy group and I thought it sounded fun. There was a group in a nearby town called Paris, so I got on the Facebook page and PM with the lead and learned about it and decided to go. I was really nervous about that first hike because I didn’t feel very strong.
How did it go?
That first day was hard. I went about a mile but the group was so patient and they waited when I had a diaper change. I loved the “no mama left behind” rule. I fell in love with everything that was Hike it Baby right away. I was like this is exactly what we wanted to do. I was so glad we took the chance at met with the lead and that group for the first hike.
Did you get out a lot before Hike it Baby?
Not at all! Before if I even thought about going out with the two kids it was scary. I have a one year old and three year old. This is a group that’s made up of great moms who are there for you. They are going through the same things. It made me feel safer to get out with them right away. I am more motivated than I have ever been and it’s the group that gives me that strength. Or at least it started that way. Now I am addicted to getting out!
Has anything else changed since you started hiking with the group?
I started eating better for sure. I am more conscious of my health. The big thing for me was after we started Hike it Baby the Hike it Baby 30 Challenge came up. I was so excited abotu this and it motivated me. I told my husband “I am going to do this challenge,” and he was like “ok” but I don’t think he really thought I would do it. So we started really doing it and I could tell my body was getting stronger. I was losing so much weight right away. Probably because I was wearing one kid and pushing another. But what was great was we were all having fun. I just want to get them outside into the sun and beautiful weather.
How did you get motivated to get out there everyday in March?
It was Alaska. Seeing their pictures like the mom who was skiing while pulling her little one! When I would meet up with people and we would say even if there is bad weather we are going out. For us it was like at least it’s just drizzling and not snowing. So we would bundle up and go out. In the past I was like, “oh I don’t want to get the babies sick.” Now that I have done it I know it’s no big deal. If it was raining we went anyway. We just waited for a break. My kids loved it and they wanted to play in the rain. We still got in all of our walks in regardless of weather and that was so different for me. By watching people around the country I was so inspired.
Have you made new friends?
Totally! I think with Hike it baby you know you have interests that are the same because you are both there to walk and get active. I met one mama who I never would have because she lives in a neighboring town and now we have play dates outside all the time even when hikes aren’t going on.
Does your whole family hike?
Yes! My husband and my mom and dad come a lot when they are off of work. With my mom I don’t give her a choice. I’ll just call and say ok time to walk. Coming to get you there is a Hike it Baby hike today. She’s gotten stronger too and lost weight!
Is this the first time in your life you have been this active?
Honestly yes. I can’t remember when I was last this active. I am 28 years old and I am more inspired to get out with the kids than I ever have been. I don’t just go to the gym and leave them at home, we go together and I love that. I want them to be active. Now we go out and they look for footprints and my 3 year old things he can track animals. It makes me laugh. And they love to look for trees and nature wherever we go.
Tell me about the weight you lost. How did that happen?
I don’t even recognize myself in my first picture. I have lost close to 50 pounds now. I think I was like 225 pounds and now I am like 170. The picture here is of me 10 months apart. I didn’t even begin to get on this journey until about 4 months ago and this change happened then. When we started Hike it baby the pounds just started dropping off.
Has it been hard to lose the weight?
Not at all. It has been really easy. I didn’t see it as me putting any effort into it because we were just having fun. We weren’t focusing on losing weight. I just wanted to have fun and get out there. Then suddenly I found I kept buying new clothes. The last time I weighed this I was in my teens! And I am not done yet!
What are you seeing around you? Are other Mamas losing weight? Other families getting fitter?
Really they are, but more so I am seeing them become more motivated to get outside together. For those friends who aren’t in Hike it Baby they look at me and they say how did you do this? And I say “we get outside and we walk.” It’s easy to think how can I have this much fun and get results. That just doesn’t happen. But I am living proof that it does!
What has been the biggest factor in the weight loss?
For sure the challenge was the big turning point. We couldn’t do much when we started. Like maybe a mile. Now 4 miles is a normal walk for me. Having that goal of the Challenge made it happen. I have more energy, so much more energy now. Before if we would walk down the road I was lucky and I was usually like we have to turn around. Now I am “let’s go we can go futher!” I can chase the kids around the house and it doesn’t bother me anymore. I am so thankful because that’s a big deal to me. I want to be healthy for my children.
So now that you have lost so much weight do you have other hiking goals?
There’s a trail at Beavers Bend in Oklahoma and I have hiked there before. We just did a little loop, no elevation. I want to go back now are really hike the hills. So that’s my goal. In July we are going to do it and it has tons of elevation. I am strong now and I am going to do it. I want to go up, up, up. I would have never said that in my past. I want to go to the top now.
Is there anything intimidating about Hike it Baby?
Not at all! There are beginners on hikes who can barely make it a mile and more experienced people who can go 10 miles and not bat an eye.I love the we are all in it together mentality.
Did you make it through 30 miles for the Challenge?
Yes. I did the challenge because it was a challenge and I wanted something to focus on. I was like, “I can do that.” I told my husband all you have to do is get out 30 minutes 3 times a week. Every day he didn’t work he went with us too so that was great. I downloaded my miles on an app and tracked them and wrote them down. And we could see ourselves going further every time we went out.
How many miles did you end up with?
I want to say it was like 75 or 80 miles. I was totally blown away. I told my husband my goal was 25 and he was like “ok let’s see.” We completely blew my estimate out of the water. It was just because we got outside no matter what. it was very challenging and I enjoyed it so much and so did the kids. It was great having a group to support me in that too.
So it was the support group online that pushed you?
Absolutely. That and the combination of Hike it Baby Paris with a group saying “hey are you coming today?” and then watching the pictures going up.
Were other people doing the challenge around you?
I don’t think anyone else did it. The group leader did. That didn’t matter though. I did it for me and the online group was enough to keep me going.
So weight loss is one thing, family connection another, but what else do you get out of Hike it Baby?
Hike it baby this is how I lost so much weight, but that’s just a piece of it. I want everyone to come out with us that I meet. It’s so much fun for the kids. I want my kids more than anything to be active and get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine and the weather. This is the perfect way to make sure that happens!
Hike it Baby may be an amazing way to get you together and motivated, but if you really want to bump up your experience, try the Hike it Baby 30 in June (an all family challenge) or Adventure Baby Boost (Mama self love program and Challenge created by Shanti Hodges) that starts April 27th! Remember all Hike it Baby hikes are FREE! These two Challenges have fees if you are interested in joining in.