By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury
POTTSTOWN >> A group of local moms showed just how confident they are with their bodies when they posed for a worldwide calendar for fit parents.
A Pottstown area women’s exercise group are included in the 2017 Fit Mom (and Dad) Calendar which is through the international nonprofit program No Excuse Mom. The program gives online wellness support to thousands of members in more than 25 countries around the world.
When those who purchase the calendar flip to the month of March, they will see fit Pottstown moms and their children posing in retro pinup-swimsuits and hairstyles. Erica Hansen O’Meara, one of the leaders for the local group, said this was the first time Pottstown submitted a photo and that it was great to be selected. Sales of the calendar benefit the nonprofit No Excuse Mom which is a volunteered-based program.
O’Meara started the Pottstown chapter of the international program about two years ago. The group now has an online Facebook page that’s very active.
“We have over 200 moms on our Facebook group,” she said.
O’Meara said despite the name, No Excuse Mom is open to women in general and not just moms. She said the program was started by a mom which is how it got its name. Maria Kang created the program and wrote the book that launched the movement which is called “The No More Excuses Diet.”
O’Meara said the international fitness movement has expanded since its start and is about helping people with their fitness journey. The month of January is less than two weeks away which means people will soon be making their New Year’s resolutions list. Many resolutions usually have to do something with weight loss or health.
“Don’t wait until the New Year. Start now,” is O’Meara’s advice to women in the area. She encourages them to join and participate in the free women’s fitness group.
While many women have joined the group since it began, O’Meara still remembers those who have been part of the Pottstown chapter since it started. She said Desiree Heath, owner of Beyond Fun Fitness studio at Coventry Mall, is an original mom member and an inspiration to others. O’Meara said Heath joined the group as someone who wasn’t feeling good about herself and is now a Zumba dance fitness instructor.
“She’s a huge success story,” O’Meara said.
Heath said she really appreciated the free workouts, the health tips from other moms and the camaraderie of the local No Excuse Mom group.
“Everyone’s very supportive. It’s all about building each other up,” she said.
Heath said being a mom and finding time for fitness can be challenging but that the fitness group makes it easy. They have online exercise videos as well as group workouts in the early mornings and the evenings.
“It’s very convenient so there really is no excuse,” she said. “I love it. I love the group.”
Mom Angie Yergey joined the group this past summer and said she’s enjoying it. She wanted to get healthier and thought free workouts designed with moms in mind would help her accomplish her goals.
“They’re very encouraging. They’re very open. You feel supported. You feel like a part of the family kind of,” she said.
When Yergey first started participating in the group, she did an eight-week transformation challenge where she lost several inches and weight. Since that challenge, Yergey has lost even more weight as part of No Excuse Mom.
“Since joining them until now, I’ve lost about 20 pounds. I’m very close to my goal weight,” she said.
O’Meara said the weekly group workouts are usually done outside at local parks and playgrounds. They exercise at kid-friendly places because children are always welcomed to attend, she said. For those that don’t want to be outside during the cold months, the group has regular Facebook Live exercise videos and also uses the Pottstown Athletic Center. Owner Rob Matthews opens the space for free to the nonprofit group on certain days.
A lot of the workouts include body-weight exercises such as squats, pushups and pull-ups. At times, the groups will also use equipment such as hand weights.
“We modify for all different fitness levels. I think that’s what our group is about, bringing a whole group of women together,” O’Meara said.
Yergey said she loves working out with the other members and they help her not to feel likes she’s failed at her health goals. She said if people want to be healthier and meet new people then the Pottstown No Excuse Mom group is for them.
“I think people should give them a try,” she said.
For more information about the local women’s fitness group, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/noexcusemompottstown. For more about the worldwide No Excuse Mom program, visit the website at www.noexcusemom.com.