Bring it on, 40! How one woman plans to get fit by her big 4-0

40th birthday
turning 40Tennille Goff/flickr/getty images / Today

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By Ronnie Koenig

Let me start off by saying that I’m okay. As in, I am in generally good health and I can fit into (almost all) of my clothes from before I had my nearly two year-old twins. I eat a pretty well and exercise regularly. But next June, I’m going to be turning 40—and I’ve decided that “okay” is not good enough!

Instead of realizing two weeks before my 40th that I have all this work to do, I’ll dedicate nearly an entire year to the task of being healthy and being my best self—I’ll do things such as go to the doctor for a physical, join a bootcamp class with crazy, competitive women who don’t mind dragging themselves through the mud and dirt, spill the diet soda down the drain and actually enjoy snacking on bell peppers.

I’ve enlisted the help of a personal trainer Joanna Paterson, founder of Bodiesynergy, and nutritionist Frances Largeman-Roth of FLR Nutrition. And together I’m sure we’ll have me feeling like a rockstar come June. Here are the 10 things I vow to work on this year:

Ban the “mom body”

Apparently if you are pushing a stroller with twins and do not look like a cargo pants-wearing sloth, people will give you a pass. Soon after giving birth, a complete stranger grabbed me around my middle and yelled “you are so tiny!” for all of my neighborhood to hear. The truth is, I could lose a good 15-20 pounds and be well within the healthy range for my height. I don’t want to be “fit for a mommy.” I want to be fit for me.

Stop looking like a “tired hooker”

I’m a mom to toddler twins so it goes without saying that I’m always exhausted. With morning trips to the gym and a once a week morning bootcamp workout, I am hoping to have more energy. Even so, I have no plans to cut out my morning cup of coffee. Caffeine in moderation is this mom’s friend.

Sleep better

There is nothing sweeter than looking in on your soundly sleeping babies and husband. Well, except that it means you’re the one who’s awake, pondering the day’s activities and checking your email while half-listening to Chelsea Lately. Hopefully, my new healthy lifestyle will bring sounder, more refreshing sleep (even if my body is programmed for my Little Man’s 7:20 wake up time).

Feel good in my clothes

Clothes are a passion of mine and I have a lot of them. I want to be able to wear anything I like. No more shoving the smaller sizes to the back of the closet for ‘someday’! Oh, and I will rock a bikini on my 40th (and now I have you guys to hold me to it!).

Have an (even more) passionate sex life

They say that exercise and being in shape can help make your sex life more interesting. I know that if I felt hotter, sex would be hotter. So I’m all for it!

Be stronger

Lifting two 30-pounders onto the changing table can throw a girl’s back out quick. I want to feel stronger and more capable. I may never be Linda Hamilton in Terminator-strong, but I can be my version of this!

To be not dead (but not be undead, because that means you’re a vampire)

I have so many great reasons to stick around on this planet for as long as I can. It seems like eating right and exercising are the ticket. I’ll even go get a physical, even though I dread donning a gown and lying on that piece of deli paper.

Reduce stress

I’m a very chill person, but I ‘m also always operating at a constant level of high stress. Taking good care of myself puts me in a positive mood and that affects all areas of my life.

Be a role model

I recently stopped buying diet soda for the house because I couldn’t imagine giving it to my toddlers. I want my daughter to look up to me, not feel she has to diet or over-indulge.

Look younger

I am okay not looking like I’m in my 20’s, but I don’t want to look old before my time either. Since I’m not going for plastic surgery, I’ll have to make the most of what I’ve got by taking good care of my skin, teeth and hair.


So much that happens in life is out of our control, but the decision to get fit is not one of those things! To be honest, my efforts to improve my health have always been pretty half-assed. This time I’m really focused and goal-oriented.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.