Thinking of making a New Year’s fitness resolution? Check out Belinda Jensen’s interview with co-author Laurie Kocanda on the last KARE 11 Saturday show of 2011!
Monthly Archives: December 2011
If you’re like most moms, it takes more than good intentions to stay committed a fitness routine. Don’t let that occasional cookie get you down. What’s really standing in your way is an overdose of something much more toxic: Mother Guilt.
Overcoming Mother Guilt—maybe just locking her in the closet for an hour at a time—is essential if you want to carve out time to get fit. First you need to free up a little mental space so you are strong enough to make the appropriate compromises.
Lose the Preconceptions and Misconceptions
Start by identifying your preconceptions of motherhood; you’ll probably realize what you thought were parenting no-no’s might actually have a place in your life. For example, maybe it’s not so bad to let your kids watch television if it means you can jump on the treadmill or tune into FitTV for an hour. Junk food might be okay if it gets your kids into the jogging stroller. Perhaps you can miss a soccer practice to go for a quick power walk or run. The point is to challenge what you’ve accepted as parenting truths and get realistic about what life is really like.
Take some time to write down what’s important to you, what values you want to impart on your children (hopefully health and fitness are near the top of the list). Then, take inventory of one or two typical days and see where you’re actually spending your time. Like it or not, top entries for your day translate into your top priorities. Work to make health and fitness an actual, not just perceived, priority. Then, remember who is watching because, like it or not, we lead by example.
Protect Your Priorities
Once you’ve established what your actual priorities are, it’s easier to fight to protect them. Allocating the right amount of time to each of your priorities leads to a certain type of contentment; the alternatives are resentment and (you guessed it) guilt. Saying “no” to something that isn’t a priority starts to feel good when you use the time freed to attend to something that is. You’ve likely fine-tuned your ability to say “no” walking the aisles of Target with your kids. It’s time to put those skills to good use and clear a little clutter from your life.
Remember it’s a Balancing Act
Learning to say “no” is important because sometimes we have to say it to something that is a priority—including fitness. When life throws you a curve ball, make a decision on how you will react. If fitness doesn’t fit in during a particularly hard week, let it go. In making that decision, you stay in control—there is no resentment, no anger, no feeling like the victim. Keep those priorities in check and realize it’s okay to experience temporary imbalances. Sooner or later, you’ll find equilibrium again and your fitness will return.
If you’ve had a hard time maintaining a regular fitness routine in the past, try focusing some attention on the mental components first. Physical fitness requires mental training; knock Mother Guilt out of the picture and the possibilities are endless.
We’ve had a great time traveling the blogosphere and loved spending time with so many fun fit blogging mamas! We’re home for the holidays and wish everyone a joyful holiday and grand 2012. Make it a hot (sweaty) one!
Today we’re stopping in at BeeWell for Life—a community created by the folks at Bumble Bee and home of the new BeeWell Miles program. It’s a site fully dedicated to your body, mind and spirit. You can log your workouts at BeeWell for Life and acquire more tools and resources to make the most of your healthy active lifestyle. Meet and stay connected to other women while participating in the Bee Active, Bee Delicious, Bee the Difference, and Bee Social sub-communities.
BeeWell for Life has lots of exciting contests, promotions and events throughout the year to help you to stay the course for a healthier tomorrow. If you haven’t seen our Training for Motherhood workout before, check it out here! We’re proud to share this great workout (and Kara’s inspiring video!) with the Bee Active community!
Nicole DeBoom is a standout female triathlete. When she was racing as a professional she graced the podium at many major events. The year she had a 12th place finish at the Hawaii Ironman World Championships is the first time I (Kara) remember watching Nicole race. I saw her the next night at an after-race party and the girl crush was on. Not only could she race with fierceness and intensity, but she also embraced her femininity and looked ripped from the style pages of a fashion magazine. She could own a race course or a runway. I loved that about her. So when in 2004 I had the pleasure of watching her race her way to a first place finish at Ironman Wisconsin… in a skirt, the prototype for what would launch Skirt Sports, I knew this combination of athletic intensity and femininity would resonate with active women. Well, it did with me, anyway, and nearly a decade later, it’s safe to say she’s succeeded with her company (why else would every other big sports manufacturers now offer a skirt line, too?)
She’s tough. She’s beautiful. She’s smart. She’s gutsy. What else? She’s a giver. Through Skirt Sports she launched the Skirt Chaser race series, the Kick Start program to help women get started with their fitness journey, and the Kick it Forward program to be a fitness mentor or find a mentor. As we write in Hot (Sweaty) Mamas, having a mentor and being a mentor is an integral part of the fit life. So, naturally, we love when a company like this recognizes that and facilitates it for us, too.
Now Nicole is a first-time mom (technically, she’s still pregnant, but 5 days past her due date, but we’ll cut her some slack since she’s probably a little pissed off about that). She has embraced her pregnancy with the same combination of toughness and femininity that in my eyes is her signature style. I follow Nicole’s blog and love the conversation she’s started about balancing pregnancy with being an athlete. Today, she blogs about her anxiety about sleep deprivation and how Hot (Sweaty) Mamas is already a resource for her post-partum fitness plans. You can enter to win a free copy by leaving a comment with your advice on handling less sleep than you’d prefer (like 2 hours at a stretch, but let’s not scare her).
Want to know what it means to Nicole to be a pregnant athlete? Watch the video below and let Nicole rub off on you as she shares her thoughts on being a pregnant athlete and staying positive about the many profound changes an athlete’s body endures during pregnancy. You’ll want to reach through your computer to rub her belly.
Last week we had to pull over on our way to visit Jennifer Luitwieler, author of Run with Me: An Accidental Runner and the Power of Poo. But we’re happy to report that we’ve safely arrived at our destination in Tulsa, Oklahoma where Jennifer lives with her husband, three boys, and her faithful, four-legged running pal. Check out her website, blog and book for lots of great insight from this award-winning author and speaker. She’ll keep you moving in both mind and body.
“Jen’s book… is insightful, interesting, and deeply funny. In fact, her writing reminds me a lot of Anne Lamott, and from me, such a comparison is high praise. There were moments as I was reading this book that I laughed out loud, and then just a paragraph later, I found myself leaning in to really get what she was saying.” From Andi Cumbo
Today Kara shares our insight on the difference between reasons excuses on Jennifer’s blog. Dig in!
Today we’re off visiting author Cami Checketts at Cami Checketts Books. You may remember we rolled into Cami’s fitness site, Fitness for Mom, on Dec. 6. Well, as the author of three novels (The Sister Pact, The Fourth of July, and The Broken Path) Cami also maintains another blog dedicated to another passion: the written word. And we’re thrilled to visit her alter ego to see what she has to say about Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom (and see who wins the free copy of our book!).
Laurie caught Cami over the weekend to talk about her life as a mother, writer, and fitness advocate. Here’s a bit of that conversation:
LK: Does it feel like your roles as fitness trainer and writer are connected? Does being a mom add a new dimension to your work in those areas?
CC: Definitely. If you take care of yourself physically you’ll have more energy and drive to succeed in other areas of your life. I’ve also loved writing fitness articles for magazines, utilizing both my passions. Adding the cute boys to the picture makes it extremely busy so I don’t waste much time when I find a second to write, but it’s also made me want to succeed because they are so cute and proud of me and I like to hope someday they’ll follow the example and work hard at their own dreams.
LK: I read an interview in which you said you’d like readers who’ve read your book The Sister Pact to take away a message of self-love from the novel. That you can’t truly love others until you love yourself. How do you think that message carries over into self-care and fitness, particularly for moms?
CC: It’s hard as a mom to make time for yourself but when you feel good physically you’re going to be happier in other areas of your life. Our children deserve happy, loving moms and it’s hard to give them that if you’re feeling sluggish and gross. There’s also a balance, if we get too obsessed with ourselves we’ll be missing out on opportunities to enjoy and love our children.
LK: Along with many other moms, you and I share the experience of post-partum depression. You’ve said your writing helped you overcome depression. Was exercise another tool for you? Was it important for you to have both a physical and mental outlet?
CC: Definitely. Every day exercise helps me start off right. Love the endorphins my morning workout produces, I come home from the gym singing and kissing on everybody.
LK: As a pro bono fitness trainer, you’re obviously passionate about wellness. What’s the most rewarding part of working with others in this way?
CC: Seeing their lives changes. Plus it’s really fun to have workout buddies.
LK: Any plans to connect your love for writing and fitness in a novel?
CC: I actually have written a novel with a protagonist who is running a marathon. I think it’s hilarious. Hopefully someday an editor will agree with me!
Today we’re making a stop at 5 Minutes for Mom where identical twins, Janice and Susan, have developed an entertaining and informative resource for moms. Along with a team of writers, editors and guest contributors, Janice and Susan inspire, support, connect, encourage, empower, and entertain Moms. (They use the term “Mom” to include everyone who loves children and is interested in the types of things that generally interest moms.) But they won’t take credit for their site’s success; they attribute that to a fantastic group of people who make it their home. Check out today’s review of copy of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas and while you’re there, enter to win a free copy of the book!
If you have ever once said in front of your children, something to the effect of: “I look fat…” or “I hate my hips…” or “My stomach is huge…” or (enough already, you get the idea) then you really must check out the book by Dara Chadwick, You’d Be So Pretty If… Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies–Even When We Don’t Love Our Own. Dara also blogs at Psychology Today and her own site, You’d Be So Pretty If–where you’ll find Hot (Sweaty) Mamas today.
Between Laurie and I, we have five daughters, so I wanted to ask Dara a few questions. Plus, our names rhyme and I thought the Q&A format would look stellar. Moms, buckle your seat belts, take notes and remember who you’re really talking to when you’re looking in the mirror (ie, look down at the reflection of the little faces staring up at you)!
Kara: I love what your book is about, the message is so important and goes hand in hand with our message about the need to feel good about your body for what it can do–be healthy and strong versus the disparaging thoughts about thighs or tummies. Sure we might workout for vanity’s sake too, but when it comes to our children what should we be highlighting about “why we workout.”
Dara: I always try to make it clear that I work out to feel good. In fact, I’m glad we’re having this conversation today because I’ve been super busy lately and haven’t had much time to work out – and I can definitely feel the difference. Working out always boosts my mood and helps me handle the stresses in my life in a more positive way. I have two teenagers who have plenty of stress of their own between school, activities and other commitments. I try to help them see that physical activity helps keep both our bodies and our minds healthy.
Kara: How do you and your children get fit as a family?
Dara: Walking or bike riding is usually our family fitness activity of choice, though I’ll confess we don’t do it nearly as often as I’d like. My kids don’t think of “fitness” as something they have to do; both are active in sports (my son plays football and runs cross country; my daughter is a fast-pitch softball player). I do everything I can to encourage their participation because I know that love for physical activity is something they’ll take with them into adulthood and will help build healthy habits for life.
Kara: Now let’s say we have a daughter who is heavier than she should be. NOW what? If we don’t want her to dislike exercise or associate it with weightloss only, how do we work around that?
Dara: Let’s face it: If your daughter is heavier than she should be, she already knows. Don’t make conversations about food or exercise only about losing weight – make it about feeling good and being healthy. I try to encourage moms to help their kids find a physical activity that is fun for them. It could be dance, skating, gymnastics, football, baseball, running, jumping rope…you get the point. There’s a huge difference between movement that you just have to “get through” (e.g., exercise simply for the sake of losing weight) and movement that you look forward to because it brings you joy, social interaction and a chance to do something fun. Don’t be afraid to let kids try different activities until they find one they love. And when they do, you can foster their involvement by paying for lessons if needed, getting them the right equipment, giving them a ride to practice and most important, cheering them on.
For kids who aren’t into sports, there are plenty of great video games out there now that encourage activity. We’ve got Zumba for our Playstation and it’s a lot of fun for the kids (and mom, too) – and a great workout. A walk with Mom or Dad is also a great way to get kids active and create time to re-connect. The bottom line is that one person in a family should never be singled out as the one who needs to exercise or cut back on treats. A family-wide approach helps keep everyone healthy and helps avoid hurt feelings.
Kara: I read your guest post about math and nodded. I felt (feel?) my own math skills are… how shall I put it… well, I’m a writer! But I don’t want my daughters to feel that way so I’ve been careful about what I say… and yet, I’ve heard one already say she doesn’t like math, the other say she’s not good at math (which is NOT true). Then there’s the daughter with curly red hair who wants it straight and blonde (although she gets nothing but praise for her hair) and then there’s my daughter who doesn’t have red hair, who has already asked if I’d let her dye it red. When our children start these negative digs how can we change the script? And, of course, not make it backfire into a worse situation!
Dara: Those things are hard to hear, aren’t they? Of course, we moms have to look at ourselves and see what kind of example we’re setting. If we’re quick to put ourselves down (or to put other women down), chances are good that our daughters will pick up those habits. Everyone gets down sometimes, but we can try to set a good example but speaking kindly about ourselves and others. Instead of saying things like “I’m not good at math,” we can re-frame it as “Math doesn’t always come easy to me, but when I work hard at it, I can do it.” What a powerful shift in the message!
The same thing is true about our bodies – instead of saying, “I look fat in these pants,” we can re-frame it as “These pants aren’t a flattering cut. I’m going to try on another pair that’s a better fit.” Now, it’s about the pants – not you.
It sounds simple, but how we frame our words has a big impact on how we feel about our bodies – and how our daughters feel about theirs.
And when someone is really putting herself down, sometimes a gentle “Please don’t talk about my (daughter, sister, mother, friend, etc.) that way” can really make them stop and think.
Kara: I love that suggestion. We should never let a woman (especially ourselves) get away with putting herself down. Thanks for all your wonderful insight Dara!
Today’s stop is Fat Fighter TV with Sahar El-Hodiri Aker – a veteran TV health reporter whose stories have aired on dozens of local television stations across the country. Sahar started FatFighterTV in 2008 as a way to continue her passion of using videos to help people live healthier lives, and to bring awareness to the obesity epidemic. In addition to original videos, FatFighterTV features healthy recipes, weight loss success stories, and the latest news on diet, fitness, and obesity. No doubt we need to reverse the obesity trend in this country. But whether you’re trying to shed some pounds or are just health conscious, Sahar wants you to have a little fun along the way. Check out her website and today’s Q&A with Laurie on how to let go of Mother Guilt.