Blog

The Get Fit Mama

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This is the number one reason moms of toddlers won't try a class, even though our classes are filled with toddlers. And I get it! There was a period of about 6 months where my daughter didn't want to stay in the stroller either. She fussed, she whined. She took off her seat belt and would run around, so I would have to teach and try to catch her at the same time. It was frustrating and exhausting, but it didn't last. If there is one thing I've learned while raising my children, it's that I can be infinitely more patient than them and I will always win in the end. It's because I am their mom and eventually they will have to follow my rules. So to all the moms of toddlers struggling with the idea of coming to a Stroller Strides class, I'd love to share a little mommy-to-mommy advice.

1. Are you sure? Our classes are entertaining. There are jumping, singing mamas. We have puppets, bubbles, new toys and lots of kids. You might be surprised… and your first class is free so you have nothing to lose!

2....

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I love you with all my heart. I promise that I won't tell you how to live your life, but I will try to show you.

I will show you how a woman can love her body, no matter what her size. I will show you that a few extra pounds don't define you. I will show you that eating healthy can be delicious. I will show you that there is no comfort food, just comfort hugs. I will show you how exercise is a celebration of what your body can do and not a punishment for something you ate. I will show you that you can embrace your imperfections and love your lines because they tell a story - your story. I will show you that women deserve love, respect and equality and that we must stand up and demand it. I will show you that a strong body and a strong mind go hand in hand. I will show you the value of a strong community and show you how to nourish relationships in your life so they grow and thrive. I will show you that empowering and supporting women instead of judging them and tearing them down can change the world.

I will show you that no matter what path you choose in your life,...

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Most of us can agree that almost everything changes once you become a parent. Our relationships change, and the type of conversations we have with people change. You will notice that the same friend that you used to chat with about the “hottest club in Hollywood,” is now the person you call to talk to about your favorite non-leaky sippy cup. If you are the mother of twins then there are just some extra things that come with the territory. As the founder of twinmom.com I hear twin parents talk about the same few things all the time. I thought I would put a list together for your laughing pleasure.

YOU KNOW YOU'RE A TWIN MOM WHEN...

You hear these DAILY. “Two for the price of one.” “Double Trouble.” “Twinning.” “You must have your hands full.” “Do Twins run in your family?”

Your sex life is the topic of conversation. For some reason people feel compelled to ask how your kids were conceived. This question comes up within 5 minutes of meeting people sometimes. They will usually find a more...

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Please, people, let's do away with the expression "One and done".

Ever since my daughter was a year and a half, I've been asked (mostly by people I've just met) whether I'm planning on having another child. When I've answered in the negative, I've often been met with reproach, disbelief (of the "don't you know you're supposed to have two?" variety) and a firm admonishment that I'm bound to raise a lonely, selfish, entitled child.

In these cases, I've done everything from brushing it off to explaining my family's reasons for having one child: including benefits to the environment, our well-being, and our finances. I've gone so far as to cite research that has shown the opposite to be true--that single children are often MORE likely to share, to show compassion, and to behave in a way that is less "spoiled" than children with siblings, since they're not fighting for resources and their parents' attention.

The bottom line, however, is that we love our little family. We like to travel light in life, and have found that that's easier to do with our family of three....

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Yep. That's a description of yours truly on an average day. I'm on a mission to downsize, organize and prioritize. How's it going, you ask? Hmmm.... I guess that's where the stressed out and out of time part comes in.

The reality is that I can't do it all and I definitely can't do it all well. It's necessary to remind myself of my priorities so that an average day can become a good day. When I talk about priorities, I'm not referring to my handwritten and iPhone "to do" lists. I'm referring to REAL priorities. I only have three. In order, they are:

  • Family
  • Health
  • Work

If my "to do" list is stressing me out and the items on my list are not part of those 3 priorities, as a wise Disney princess once said, I "Let It Go." Here are a few of the things I will put off for the sake of my family, health and work: laundry, dishes, dry cleaning, cleaning my car, attending birthday parties, getting my hair & nails done... actually this list is pretty long!

However, there are a few things that are too important to postpone or brush off....

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I. Have. Too. Much. Stuff. It stresses me out. I think about organizing, downsizing and simplifying all the time. I'm always putting things away, and yet my house is always messier than I'd like. Sound familiar?

April in particular has been a whirlwind of little plastic things - stuffed eggs, party gift bags and presents for my son's birthday. It's also been an incredible adventure in living with less... at least where my son is concerned.

Jack had a lot of toys. Granted he had less than many American kids, but way more than he could handle. Although he had bins in his room to keep things tidy, all of these bins were stuffed to the max with distractions. He would start playing with one toy and move on to the next and the next until the floor of his room was littered with stuff. This is normal for kids, but it's basically the same as an adult who is constantly channel surfing. It's mindless and unsatisfying, and it was also creating real problems. Jack was distracted, defiant, horribly moody and becoming more and more aggressive. Things were getting out of...

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"The days are long, but the years are short." Gretchen Rubin.

That's one of my favorite quotes about motherhood. Even so, I've found that my days are very short indeed. They are so short that it's hard to squeeze carpooling, cooking, working, tantrum taming, clothing, feeding, teaching... and so much more into a measly 24 hours.

As a Stroller Strides instructor, my workouts generally don't happen during class. I have to make time outside of that awesome 9:30-10:30am time slot in order to stay fit. If my daughter naps and I don't have a ton on my plate (at least things I can't ignore - like dishes and laundry), I'll do the Stroller Strides workout at home or watch a YouTube video. Some days, it's just not that easy to find a free hour and I have to get creative. Today was one of those days.

My son has dance class every Saturday afternoon and since I missed Patty's Stroller Strides class this morning, I decided to use that free hour for a workout. It's not unusual for me to squeeze in a workout while my kids are at the playground, or to do a few lunges or calf...

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I'm a huge advocate of food prep because I would fail miserably at healthy eating if I didn't take an hour out of my weekend to fill storage containers with all the little things I need to make quick and healthy meals. Cooking has been difficult since the arrival of my 2nd child, Stella. That was 2 years ago and it hasn't gotten any easier for me to make fancy home-cooked meals. Now, meals are simple and nutritious and most importantly, fast to make!

Although I'm not a pro at food prep, even just preparing the basics is the difference between a week of healthy eating and a week of... well, let's not go there. Here's what I usually make in an hour on the weekend:

  • a dozen hard boiled eggs
  • prepare 2 cans of tuna with olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of mayo
  • rinse and tear apart 2 heads of lettuce
  • chop 1 red onion
  • wash, peel and slice celery and carrot sticks
  • roast beets and chop them
  • steam a couple stalks of broccoli
  • wash and prep radishes
  • prepare a giant pot of vegetable soup OR a roasted vegetable...
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I used to be a cardio queen. I spent an hour most days at the gym on the treadmill and never saw a change in my body. I went to burn off the donut I ate for breakfast. I exercised to burn off the cocktails I drank the night before. I worked out so I didn't feel guilty about my poor choices and I worked out so that I could continue to make poor choices and not gain weight. It wasn't fun and it wasn't rewarding, but there I was, every day working out on the Stairmaster.

After the birth of my daughter I wanted to finally lose the baby weight. My "why" hadn't changed much, but the way I worked out changed a lot. I took classes. I stopped using a treadmill. I trained with weights. I began using bodyweight exercises and combining them with strength. My body changed, my energy level soared and my "why" became much more profound. I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to be a role model for my kids and for the people who kept asking me how I was transforming my body. I wanted to make better choices, create better habits and I wanted to feel good. I also accepted that my body, my health,...

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