Hey 2016, I win!

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Wow. That was a close one. Can we all agree that 2016 was a doozy? Here are my feels about this year…

 

2016 was by far the fastest/longest year of my life.  Has anyone else had everything they ever wanted but you were working so hard to get it you feel like you’re losing yourself in the process?  I think that’s what happened.  I’m not exactly sure, because I basically blacked out for the larger portion of the year.  Not literally people, the new baby(ies) at home kind of black out where you look back at old pics and remember but don’t remember because it all went so fast.
So here’s the scoop. I turned 35 in November which was just weird (because I’m actually 28. So weird). I was so introspective when it came to this birthday.  Sneak peak, I’m fine, but I was heading into December feeling grumpy. I spent the larger part of 2016 feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.  This sucks because in 2016 I had 2 babies that I’m literally obsessed with, a new work life, a new beautiful home, a husband I still love like crazy and co-ran a charity event that makes an impact on sick babies at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
We also doubled the size of our family and now have 4 kids 5 and under, moved with 4 kids, and I had my appendix out, but who’s counting. I have everything I’ve ever wanted but every day I was having those ‘put your head down and fight through this hard part’ moments. When I’d look up from those moments it felt like it was to see the universe watching me, wondering “Good god, how is this lady going to pull this off.”  Ha!  I could feel eyeballs watching me as I tote all 4 of them through Target. It doesn’t help when people say something god awful every time. I also felt like I had to prove my freelance business. I wanted to still be relevant in my field and I needed to feel like I still contributed to my family. And then there was my fitness.  I had to get that identity back. It was such a huge part of who I was.
None of these things were coming as easily as they used to.  I was working harder than ever so why wasn’t anything coming naturally?
FFWD to Coffee Please, a little gem spot by our new house.  I was having an oversized latte with a former coworker about some freelance work.  She is someone who I look up to. She was kick ass at her job when we worked together, had a huge family and made significant adjustments to her work and her life to accommodate it all. So when she spoke about her journey, trust me, I listened up.  She told me about her passion for yoga and her love for meditation.  Mediation fascinates me!! 100%ly because I cannot do it. I asked her how, like the zillions of others I’ve asked, and she told me she personally repeats “Peace and Love” amongst other things as part of her practice.  I immediately think it’s impossible and start day dreaming about  tag lines that have peace and love in them.  I see hallmark cards and Christmas cards.  I think about calligraphy. I think about everything except what that can mean.
FFWD again (obviously my favorite remote button) to hot yoga where I feel like I’m in my happy place of getting into a hot car in the middle of summer.  Anyone else?? No? I’m still alone on that one? Fine. Anywho, of course they ask you to quiet your mind which is an actual joke to me, but I give “Peace and Love” a try. I think about how in my studies of the mind and the body I’ve learned about how they are 2 completely separate entities, 2 different business functions if you will, but they are so connected in what makes you you.  And I started to think about all that I was struggling with 2016.  And I could go on for 764 hours about my speed of light thoughts (so much for the quiet mind) but I came up with what Peace and Love means to me, and it’s been a game changer.
Here goes…
Peace to me is Peace of Mind
And Love, is the Love of my body. Stay tuned for that one, it’s not as weird as it sounds.
For me, I realized that the largest portion of this angst was from the pressure I was putting on myself.  Yes I have a full plate.  We all have our own versions of these very full plates. But the REDICULOUS pressure I was putting on myself was the stifling part.  For example, the number of things I can accomplish in a day while having 4 kids does not make me a good stay at home mom.  Or for example, the dollars billed in a month does not make me a good freelancer.  The ability to identify what’s important and to do those things incredibly well, and to enjoy the ride, is what brings me peace of mind.  So that is my new practice. On a daily basis, figure what’s important for the day, do it well and enjoy the rest. It all falls into place. Things still get done, and the quality is what matters. I still work every week and I still get tons done, but my peace of mind has improved so much.
Now for the love part.  I ask my body to do more than it’s physically capable of every day.  We all do this. I don’t give it rest, I don’t give it strength, and I don’t give it credit for what it’s been through (what a year!!) and for its ability to over perform every day despite that.  I realize I’m getting all hippy dippy over here but this realization made me feel strong again! Now I focus every day on giving my body what it needs for energy (good food) and to heal from the year it’s had (strength).
You put those 2 things together and you have one happy Betsy.  Seriously, I’ve absolutely loved the last part of 2016, despite work being crazy, the kids being home for 17 days (again who’s counting) and all the holiday shenanigans.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had dreams of an unlisted number in Mexico and putting my kids on Craig’s List like the rest of us, but I’m just really happy.  And not to mention, my health is the best it’s been in as long as I can remember.  I have more energy than ever. I have lost pounds and inches, just from treating myself right for once this year.
So here I am.  I have 4 kids and whoever thinks that sounds awful (you’d be surprised how many people tell me they think that way) can suck it.  I’m a work from home mom, who quit her job to do freelance so I could spend more time taking care of my family but still do what I love, just on a smaller scale.  I use fitness as a way to fuel my mental and physical health, every day.  I usually only spend anywhere from 10 mins to an hour but I make sure it’s fun for me, and I strongly believe it counts.  I cook everything I can on Sunday because I only have time to reheat in real life.  I work out at 5am bc it’s the only certain time in my day that I’m alone.   The alarm sucks but the regret of snooze sucks even more. And with this recalibration of how I make time for myself, I’m just pretty damn happy and heathy.
We all know how bumpy life is, but they say you never grow unless you’re challenged. And I feel like I’ve learned such a valuable introspective lesson on how to adapt in new challenges.  I hope I can use this process for the next portion of the bumpy ride called life.
So I know this post has been  extra warm and fuzzy for me. I usually like to express my feelings in sarcasm and internet memes. But I’m just so pumped to be this content and this healthy, that I had to share. I know there are so many of us who have scooped too full of a plate (and I don’t mean Christmas seconds) or drank too much from the firehose (although a wine filled firehose would be nice).  But in all seriousness, for those who are overwhelmed, exhausted, fighting for something, or whatever else…don’t forget to focus on yourself too, because you’re worth it!
2016 has been unreal.  I never imagined this chapter of my life and I wouldn’t change a single second.  I’m tired, but I’m beyond grateful.
 
Wishing you all your own version of peace and love in 2017.
Here’s to 2017!

Sometimes You Just Need A MINUTE

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Ok, let’s start from the beginning: admittedly, I’m super competitive, mostly with myself. Don’t get me wrong, I pride myself on being super supportive of the people in my life, which is easy because they’re all amazing, but lets call it like it is: When I set a goal, I better crush it or I’m pissed. So how do I (semi-concisely) tell readers that I just had to put my #100fitdays on hold for awhile?
Here goes the short version:
I willed change – working out, counting calories and killing myself to lose baby(ies) weight
Then I made a change – switch my career and change the entire rhythm of my life
Now I have to embrace change – Live in the moment. Take a deep breath. Give myself some space to take a deep breath. Get on a paddle board and (re)realize that everything I have is crazy fun and that having fun should be my current focus for fitness
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And now for the long version:
I was killing myself to lose this damn baby(ies) weight and #100fitdays was definitely helping. My weight loss plateau’d 9 days (hello, 9 days!) after Ethan and Alex were born.   30 days into my #100fitdays I had shed over 10lbs. I was kicking ass but the effort was kicking mine.
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You’d think the results would make me push even harder, but I just hit this point where I didn’t want to work out anymore.  I was over weight loss and all it’s time consuming mind consuming status.  Then I also made the decision to do a career change and go freelance – ehem, betsyleonidas.com.  So here I found myself swirling around a completely different rhythm of life.
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Change is hard, but I’m kind of obsessed with it. It’s the adrenalin rush of doing something new that always brings on something great.  But remember those days of a new job where you have your best outfit picked, you’re super read up and psyched up, just ready to crush it – and then for a week you cant find the bathroom and you get lost on the way back to your desk? That’s where I am.  It’s going to be fine. As a matter of fact, it’s going to be great, but right now I’ve metaphorically circled the same guy listening to headphones with 2 giant monitors and 6 cups of old coffee on his desk, and I just keep sticking my chin up and playin it cool.  Thats ok. I’ve been here before and each time I’ve tried to learn something.  This time I’ve learned that sometimes you just NEED A MINUTE.
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I just needed to give up on all this fitness pressure and live a free’er(ererer) life with one less goal for a hot minute.  This is new to me.  But here’s the deal. I found myself on a paddle board – aka my church – finding that giant sigh I’ve been looking for.  I had that moment where I could take a step back and realize how much fun I was having. I do my best thinking in the shower or on a paddle board and here’s my new thing:
Don’t forget what life is – an endless journey for balance. If something feels off balance, walk away and think about it. Take a minute. Take however long you need.  When you’re ready, come back to it. Pick up the pieces of the not so perfect situation and go from there. 
This was definitely new for me. I’m more of a bull in a china shop kinda gal.
Not every situation can be paddle board perfect, but I’ve just shifted all that weight loss pressure from my workouts to focusing on whatever brings me some fun. So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks: Paddle boarding, kayaking, running in the pouring rain, going on long sweaty baby wearing walks with great friends, doing yoga with my kids and more. I’ve stopped counting calories and the stepping on the scale for awhile to just breath and enjoy.
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Have I lost more baby weight in the past month? Nope. That’s ok.  I’m in that I can live with this zone where duh stretch pants are my favorite (always!) but FINE I can put on real clothes because they do button now. I know I’ll buckle down and shed those last pounds when I’m ready, but for now, I’m just doing my thing and finding fun in exercise again, so that I can continue to make it a priority.
As for the rest of the rhythm of life, I’m loving it.  It’s crazy (natch) but I Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I focus on the good stuff, grind through the rough stuff, find joy, build it, dream it, whatever sounds like a great self help book premise –  I JUST KEEP SWIMMING.  I’m finally ready to get back in the saddle of every day fitness, but this time with a major focus on fun.
Sorry this was kind of a swirly ride, but what can I say, besides, excuse me where’s the metaphorical bathroom? #highfive #amireallyendingthisonabathroommetaphor #yep

Hello…Plateau…It’s Me

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This post is pretty 😳😳😳 to post but I really want to be honest because I’m sure people can relate. Here goes. (#wineme 🍷) Here’s what’s doin…

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◀️With the picture on the left I was in the best shape of my life: fit, healthy and happy. My body was nowhere near perfect but it was something I was so proud of. It was a direct result of my dedication to using fitness to fuel my health and happiness. This is also the day I found out I was pregnant and I gladly kissed my first ever 6 pack goodbye, for now     (🙏🏻hopefully!!!🙏🏻)

▶️◀️The pic in the middle is the morning I had the twins. I was 37 weeks and 5 days, large and in charge, miz as all can be, but proud of myself and my body for working so hard to grow two healthy babies.

▶️The pic on the right. The hear and now. 8 weeks #postpartum #postcsection- swollen and squishy. 🙈😳  I can’t believe I’m putting this belly so clearly on the Internet.  I know this is ridiculous because I just had twins 8 weeks ago, but my belly makes me so self conscious! I’d whack any mom who said this to me, but I doubt I’m alone in feeling this way…so share I shall.  #doublestandard

Cue rant…💻🖨📞📠 …I HATE this time in between. You worry that you’ll never get back to your old self. Maybe this pregnancy is the one that will officially give me MOM BOD (whatever that is).  Maybe I have to cut out all food that tastes good. Or maybe just eat significantly less for awhile. I’d joke that I should consider cutting out wine, but that’s not even funny. Why have my total of 3 weeks of working out not made a difference?? When will the scale move again? Hopefully it’s broken! (Hello, plateau. It’s me. PS, I hate you. Regards, Betsy). #ughhhh

But then I was reading an Instagram post from @whatdreamsmaycome and although her life is seemingly unobtainable (no offense), she had this quote that totally moved me!

🌟🌟 🌟Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it. 🌟🌟🌟

Riiiiiight!. 🙌🏻 I forgot about that! How quickly you can turn on yourself. #selfslap
So, my goal is to remind myself every time I look in the mirror to not panic, to love myself and my body for all its accomplished, and just focus on working out because it makes me a better person. This is exactly why I’ve started #100fitdays. I loved every day of it when I did it last year. It was the biggest source of energy, mental clarity and confidence – all of which I’m seriously lacking right now.

I’m happier, healthier, confidentier (#newword), stronger inside and and out and will eventually have the feeling of fitness that I miss so much. Until then, I’ll just do my best, genuinely enjoy my work outs, remind myself every 5 minutes that this is a journey and, most importantly, focus on the accomplishment I’m most proud of! #myfam.  How did I get so lucky?

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As my dad always says, “All you can do is all you can do.” And if I’ve learned anything from being a mom, have patience and be kind to yourself.

End rant. Resuming status #workinprogress #onedayatatime #fitmom #instafit #100fitdays

Follow me on Instagram if you’re interested in learning more about my #100fitdays.  It’s going to be awesome!

Ode To The Working Mom

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I’m not trying to complain, but I’ve found that if something is on my mind, then it’s probably on someone else’s too, so here goes. I’m just having one of those life phases where the balance is tough.   Things are so exciting and demanding at work, things are equally exciting and demanding at home, oh and I have massive attention deficit disorder and want to do everything that seems shiny and fun.  Then there is this passion for fitness and blogging that lurks in the back of my head every day.  Welcome to my brain.  Insert fried egg emoji here. Oh wait, I just did.

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Being a working mom is crazy hard. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change it (or could change it – it’s in my DNA) for the world, but it’s crazy hard.  From finishing presentations after midnight to getting up at 6:00 to shower before kids get up, to deadlines, to schedules, kid commitments and we can’t forget about the husbands we love…there is just so much to think about and do! But under that massive to do list and pressure is a passion that’s undeniable. I’m lucky enough to really love what I do, which of course comes with it’s own set of guilt, but I’m also lucky enough to be obsessed with my family.  How do working moms balance it all? And how the h.e.double.hockey.stick do we still have time to work out? Well here’s my latest ah-ha moment…

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In life, moms often put ourselves second because we don’t want to let anyone down. Why can’t we make the time to put ourselves first at some point in the day? We all know what it feels like to go on vacation (sans kids), where it’s essentially all about you, and you feel so rejuvenated. Fitness, although it’s no Key West, does that for me! The adrenalin brings clarity and calm that I am not born with.  It gives me confidence and strength.  It’s often social, as I work out with my hubby or my friends a lot. So no excuses! Nothing will change if you don’t do something about it. Live for yourself. You’re a good person. The better you are to yourself the better you will be to others.

And don’t forget, little tiny impressionable people are watching! Yes, being a mom is crazy busy, but no matter what kind of mom you are, kids are not an excuse.  They’re a reason to work out, to show the importance of fitness and to be the best version of yourself that you can be. This was one of my fav moments of the weekend, when Hayden asked to play “family tennis”.  The rules are very flexible and we had a blast!

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So whether you’re a SAH mom, working mom, single mom, grandma, new mom, old mom, type A mom, hands off mom, or whatever else mom…I bet you’re trying your hardest, wondering if you’re doing life right and wishing you had more time to not just do things, but to do at least 1 thing extra great.  If you figure that out, for real, please let me know.  Until then, chin up, chest out, squat till you drop and cheers to all of you who are beautiful, inside and out!

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My Cleaner Eating Challenge

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There is soooo much chitter chatter about the concept of clean eating.  This has been all up in my business since I’ve started to venture in the fitness community.  It’s primarily really inspiring but it also creates a layer of guilt and fear about what I’m feeding myself and my family.  Here’s my current situation: 70/30. I eat healthy and low fat 70% of the day and 30% of the time I eat whatever else.  It’s loose math but it has kept my weight at a stand still. Here’s essentially what it looks like:

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Then came the new year.  It was my goal to cook more home cooked meals (don’t judge – I’m not a cook) and I’m just starting to get the hang of that.  Yes, it’s soul crushing to see my kids turn their nose up at cauliflower mac and cheese that is barely different than any other mac and cheese and watching my husband cringe at spaghetti squash like a 5 year old is pretty hilarious (JUST EAT IT!), but I keep on trying! My goal is to get more healthy ingredients in all of our bodies.

As I hear more about more about clean eating, I realized I’m not as far off from that lifestyle as I thought.  I already plan my meals, cook at night, etc, so why don’t I take a closer look at the ingredients?

I decided to do some research!  What does Clean Eating mean anyway? There are 3 big takeaways from my reading:

1. As you can see from any quick Google search, there are 2 sides to this story.  There is the ultra purist like Food Babe and then there is the drastic other side most recently represented by an article on Gawker.  These are just two examples and both are worth reads.

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2. Everyone has a very strong opinion.  Like Wonder Woman strong.  People are quick to support and quick to shame. No one hides their opinion. I see this a lot on Instagram, which makes me a little nervous to even share my thoughts publicly.

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3. At the end of the day, it still feel like it’s a moving target to me.  The definition and the execution range for all people.  This is where I see opportunity! What’s my version?

I’ve set out on a new challenge! I’m so close to completing my journey to handstand challenge, so now what? I’m giving myself 20 days to clean up my eating! To be clear…THIS IS NOT A DIET! Like LITerally not a diet.  This might be a lifestyle change. I’m just taking it for a test drive.  My major goals are to have more energy and to put better quality ingredients in our bodies.

Here are some of my fears: Will my family hate the food? Will I have time to eat like this? So many ingredients! So much shopping! Will this blow my budget? Despite these fears, I’ve set some principles for my challenge.

10 Principles for the Mamas Daily Fit Cleaner Eating Challenge

1. Adjust my 70/30 rule. I want to shift the 70% of my focus from low fat to now focusing simple natural ingredients.  This doesn’t mean eating a 20 lbs of pine nuts in a salad is ok, but it does mean I will chose almonds for a snack instead of baked chips. As for my remaining 30%, I’m going to push to make better choices here too, with simple ingredients being the base.  This 30% is still my wiggle room for going out to dinner, eating pizza (now homemade) or enjoying a glass of wine or 2 or 3.

2. Buy only organic meat, produce & dairy. If it’s around the perimeter of a grocery store, I’m going for organic. Fingers crossed we can still pay our mortgage.  Just kidding – I don’t think it will be that bad.

4. Stay away from packaged meat. The butcher should have whatever I need. If I want it ground, they can do that for me. This way the meat should hopefully be from 1 animal.  The packaging of ground meat blows my mind.

5. Focus on plants! Fruits, Veggies, Legumes (note to self, Google Legumes), beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains. The world is my oyster – but not literally bc that’s not a plant. I can still serve Hayden whole grain pasta with carrots and I can serve Adeline whole grain rice and beans and a banana.  The goal is to expand all of our plant based repertoire.

6. If I want something sweet, bake it myself. If it’s worth the effort and the calories then put good ingredients in it.

7. If something comes from a box, shoot for 5 ingredients or less.  This broadly applies to anything that’s on the shelf in the middle of the grocery store.  The number 5 is completely arbitrary and this one might be super tricky but it feels like an interesting experiment.

8. Always have Oreo’s in my house.   It’s the key to my family’s happiness.

9. Always have wine in the house.  It’s the key to my happiness.

10. Don’t beat myself up. All I can do is all I can do. I’m just trying to make a healthier lifestyle for my family, but if these changes don’t work at this stage of the game in life, then so be it.  Life and health are moving targets!

Follow along on Instagram and Pinterest to see how this new challenge goes!

How Do I Find The Time?

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I’ve had a lot of people ask me how do you find the time to do this every day??  It’s true. I have a lot going on in life. Who doesn’t???? It’s how we’re coded as a society. MUST. FILL. PLATE.  We are all short on time and feel like working out is the last thing we have time for.  Whatever is on your plate, it’s totally legitimate that it feels so full and I can ensure you that you’re not alone.  That said, it’s up to you and only you to find the time to do something positive.

There are 5 things that keep me finding the time every single day..

1. I only work out for 10-30 minutes! 5 out of 7 days are definitely short work outs. Like 10 minutes. Sometimes 2 minutes. Sometimes 30 minutes. My only long days are runs and that’s totally by choice. If you look at Mamas Daily Fit on Pinterest, you’ll see that each work out I do is geared to be short! I secretly feel like I’m cheating every day because I’m not at the gym for an hour. Baha I win, I only worked out for 20 minutes today.  Again, welcome to my head. In all seriousness, at this stage of my life I really don’t have the time to go to the gym for an hour 5 days a week, but I do have time to squeak something in every day. There’s a lot of flexibility in this approach. My motto is, whatever it is, it’s for you and IT COUNTS!

2. For me, exercise is more than just psychical, it’s therapeutic. As a result, my goals are around feeling better first, looking better second. I personally think anything outside of mental and physical strength are tough goals to have. That doesn’t mean they are not important or achievable, it’s just nice for me personally to not have a number to measure myself against or a dress to fit in or whatever. Regardless of our goals, shouldn’t we all be able to measure fitness success by A) does my mind feel clearer? B) Do I have more energy? and C) Did I do something today that I didn’t think I could? Those are pretty awesome measures, if you ask me!

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3. I have seen the results and that’s pretty addicting.  I really don’t have any before or after pics, but my arms and my back actually have muscle definition, my legs are stronger, I can run farther, I’m so close to a handstand which I never thought I could do…the list goes on, but my point is seeing results is really inspiring.  It definitely keeps me going back for more.

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4. My energy has 2 speeds: Full throttle and crash mode.  I am hard wired with an exponential amount of energy – like it’s hard to harness most days. My head usually is in a semi spinning state. I can start 7 tasks and finish none of them like a champ. Working out gives me the focus that’s often hard to achieve. On the flip side, ADD comes with energy crashes. I too suffer  from sever couch syndrome where I’m literally stuck to the microfiber (I have small kids. Ok and I spill a lot. Don’t judge).  BUT if I slither off the couch, land on the work out mat and do just 10 minutes – I get my second wind for the night. I’ve seen this work EVERY SINGLE TIME.  After just 10 minutes I feel great! I can hang out, hold a conversation, reflect on the day, watch our favorite show, finish something I started. That 2nd wind makes my day feel so much more valuable.

5. I know someone is watching. It’s my babes. It’s my husband. It’s my mom. It’s all of you. I think most humans thrive on accountability, myself included. That’s why #100fitdays really worked for me.  I had to be accountable because it felt like people were watching, but eventually everyday fitness became a lifestyle. Now I see my kids want to be active for fun, my husband rides his bike around our (double black diamond) neighborhood, my mom does wall handstands and my friend just sent me a pic of her planking with her dog.  I LOVE IT!

So maybe pick one of these 5 things that’s relevant to you and focus on that.  Use that as your reason to make time for YOU every day. You deserve it!!! Cause you’re fab! It’s all about finding time to maximize the fabulousness!

Plank Challenge!

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Who doesn’t want a stronger core? But who hates plank even more than they want a stronger core? ME!!! If I’m planking by myself at home, I usually break between 30 seconds and a minute.  Never in my life would I think that I could make it longer than a minute.

I work with some pretty awesome people. We are all different ages and at different stages in our lives, but we all want to be stronger and healthier.  Can we hit pause for a second and just talk about how awesome it is to see a cultural shift of “I want to be rail thin” to “I want to be strong and lean” – I hope this is still the case when Adeline and Hayden get older.  Skinny feels so good but only in the short term.  There is so much more you can do with strength! Like be a badass and what have you.

So a couple of us girls and our awesome dude deskmate decided to declare a plank challenge. We blocked 15 minutes on our calendar every day to go to the gym and plank it out. Who doesn’t need a break from their desk or endless meetings?? It’s a good adrenalin rush to restart your brain.  We even do it in our work clothes!

So here we are. Just your average work day. Standard stuff happening over here.  Some of us made it 3 minutes!! What?? Who can plank for 3 minutes??? Apparently we can! Doing this with peers is super fun and definitely gives you extra strength.  We sang, we failed at taking video, we talked about Katy Parry (ahem, someone is not a fan), we laughed, I think I heard someone cry (jk) and we pushed each other to make it our best!

So if you work at dh and you want to meet us every day at 2:00, come on down!! If you don’t work at my awesome company that has a gym, a massage room, walking stations and a fitness instructor (yes I’m bragging) then grab your friends and find a conference room or a living room or whatever room and do a plank challenge together!

Today will be day 2 of our challenge.  We have some new goals…1 get the rest of these peeps on Instagram (OMG) and 2. to make it to 5 minutes by May.

Check us out on Mamas Daily Fit on Instagram to follow us along the way.

 

Workout Gear – How Do I Love Thee?

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One of my very favorite things about working out is the GEAR! Even though I do a lot of workouts at home, there is something about work out clothes that are so fun that really gets ya moving.  Not in the mood to work out today? How about putting on your new printed tank or some those magical compression pants? Can I get an AMEN? I asked one of my fav fashion bloggers/friends/charity co-board members (in case you haven’t guessed it yet, she’s awesome) to share her take on workout clothes.  Thanks Polka Dots & Pleats for contributing!


 

Hey Mamas! Ready to get fit but letting your wardrobe hold you back from your workout? Shopping for new workout clothes is a great way to motivate you to GET STARTED.

Here are a few quick tips from fashion blogger Polka Dots & Pleats:

Find the Look for Less

Don’t get your gym shorts in a knot over the price of activewear!

  • Head to Target (you were going there anyway) to buy pants and bright sports bras. They always have a fun collection and most of their shorts or yoga pants are thick enough to cover your bootie.
  • Bargain shop at T.J. Maxx & Marshalls. Both have a great selection of athletic socks, hooded jackets, and workout tops. Look for fun prints & colors.

Treat Yourself to a Few Special Pieces

Go ahead, order your $5 Coconut Milk Skinny Latte and spend the big bucks on items you LOVE!

  • Lululemon is perfect for fashionable tops (like my pleated fuchsia pleated peplum one), athletic jackets and headbands. I must admit, I gave in to the trend and am hooked on the quality, fit and style of their clothes. It’s worth buying a few “treat yoself” items to mix into your workout wardrobe. Save them for the days when someone is going to see you!

Give a Girl the Right Shoes, & She can Conquer the World

I’d suggest adding a few fun colors and functionalities to your shoe collection. Find bargains at the Nike Outlet in Rookwood. J.Crew, Nordstrom, and Anthropologie offer athletic kicks that you can wear all weekend. If you can’t find the perfect pair, you can always create your own custom NikeIds but you’ll pay a premium.

 

Striped Top: Lululemon Print Pants: Target  Black Nikes: J.Crew

Striped Top: Lululemon
Print Pants: Target
Black Nikes: J.Crew

Peplum Top & Mint Headband: Lulu Pants: Target  Mint Sneakers: NikeID

Peplum Top & Mint Headband: Lulu
Pants: Target
Mint Sneakers: NikeID

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Is This Even Working? – YEP!

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I’ve had a lot of people ask if I have “before and after” photos from my #100fitdays challenge, but I don’t.  I did this totally for stress relief, me time and for fun.  I know I look different. People are kind enough to tell me that (kiss kiss! love you!) and I know for sure that I FEEL different! I feel more in control of my health and my happiness. My clothes definitely fit better. I’m more confident BUT I didn’t see anything change on the scale.  My number has been the same for a long time.  That’s totally fine with me (it’s not like I cut back on the pizza and beer), but I realized that I do have this underlying wonder of IS THIS EVEN WORKING??  Some days I only work out for 10 minutes.  Is that really making a difference?

News Flash! YEP! IT IS! I went for a run outside on Sunday for the first time in a long time.  The first 5 minutes of every run are kind of miserable if you ask me.  My legs are like “do what?” I can’t pick which song to listen to. I’m already wondering how much longer till I’m done.  I think my left shoe is tied tighter than my right shoe. Welcome to my head…

But as 5 minutes turned to 6 minutes and 6 minutes turned to 20 minutes, I realized that I felt awesome! Every hill that used to make pause for a quick walk was totally doable.  There was a bounce in my step. I ran farther than I have in a long time.  I felt like I could breath so much easier.  I realized that these small workouts every day had really made me stronger! (happy dance happy dance dance dance dance!) So here I am on this glorious sunny day with my guns out:

Also, let’s not lie.  There was definitely still walking involved.  I took a nice 10 minute intermission from my run to walk though the double black diamond part of my neighborhood. Talk about booty burn! It was nice to take a break and mix it up a little.  PS – there is this old dude (no offense buddy) who totally lapped me up this hill.  He’s my hero. Then it was back to running for the last 10 minutes home! I even sprinted the last 50 yards and I forgot how fun that was! It feels like flying!

The moral of this story is my fitness journey is about EFFORT.  I have to make a conscious effort every day to work out, to feel better as a person, to keep it up.  In turn, I’m a better mom, a better wife, a better friend…a better person.  We have a choice every day to make it a great one.  So high five (where’s my word press high five emoticon???) to everyone who’s making today great, who’s focused on being a good person, inside and out!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see what workouts I’m doing on the daily or check out my Pinterest page to find some quick fitness routines to fit in your day!

Journey To Handstand

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So yesterday I did my first handstand and it was majorly addicting.  I’ve seen a lot of other fit mom’s on Instagram doing handstands and I quickly realized that I was missing out on some SERIOUS FUN.  So here I am, first handstand ever, feeling like a supa-sta!

I’ve now set the goal of being about do a real, free standing handstand in 2 months! I got this (erm, I think).  So I did a little research last night on how to even come close to doing this.  In my two months of training I’ll be focusing on arms, core, balance, fun and trying not to break my neck.

So far, my training consists of this POPSUGAR guide that I love, following Beach Yoga Girl’s moves on Instagram and intermittently checking #journeytohandstand to see if there is any other training I’m missing out on.

By no means am I certified to recommend this, but here’s my humble approach that should build strength and be a fun challenge…

1. Get my muscles on. Hold a handstand against the wall for a minute at a time.  This should get my shoulders and my wrists like whaaat.

standing

2. Get used to being upside down, build arm strength and flexibility. I can picture Hayden and Adeline thinking this is the funnest tunnel game ever.

3. Work on Balance. Transition from a headstand to a forearm headstand.  I can do a headstand right now thanks to my gymnastics class I did in the 80’s.

4. Practice Kick Ups and work on Leg Splits.  AGAINST A WALL. Baby steps, folks!

5. Practice falling.  That’s the scary part. Beach Yoga Girl recommends setting up a ton of pillows and doing kick ups and cart wheels to fall out to get used to the idea of *oh crap I’m falling* – Ok I added that last part.

falling

So, that’s it! Follow me on Instragram to see my daily attempts to come closer to my goal and to witness me making a fool of myself!