Friday, December 18, 2009

End-of-Year Planning

Right now, is anyone focusing on the Fit & Healthy?  Those of you who are awesome beyond belief are.  Unfortunately, those of us with normal, crazy lives are still trying to figure out how to keep clean clothes on everyone's back amongst all the shopping, wrapping and *gulp* baking!

One thing you can find time for, tho....
Planning.  January is right around the corner.  That whole "New Year's Resolution" thing will be looming over you.  And the biggest reason that resolutions don't come to fruition is because of a lack of planning.

So think about these things....and come up with some answers?

What are you going to do for exercise?  Is it going to involve any new equipment or athletic wear?  Last minute Christmas ideas for your family!
When are you going to do it?  If this involves waking up earlier than you do now, it would be wise of you to start setting the alarm clock ahead a few minutes each day between now and the first of the year.
How are you going to change your diet?  Remember, these are lifestyle changes, not crash diets.  Start compiling some healthy recipes to start trying.
What is your daily diet going to look like?  Start putting it together now.  What are you going to eat for breakfast?  Snacks?  Lunch?  Dinner?  Desserts?  Write it down, and start putting together grocery lists.
Is your family going to support you?  A huge key to success is family involvement.  Get working on the above steps, and let your family know you are serious.

Moving forward on these questions now, mid-December, will greatly increase your chances of long-term success come January!  The hidden success key here is, of course, the fact that you'll start thinking about these plans NOW, rather than January 1st.  You'll be investing your thoughts in getting healthy, and as we all know, life is so often Mind over Matter!

I'd love to hear any ideas you have - as I will be working on my own plans!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Even a Little Bit

It has been my plan to get up with my husband at the buttcrack of dawn, take the dog for a good walk/jog, and be back by the time my hubby leaves for work (which is Six AM - very much buttcrack).  Of course, I rarely happens, but thanks to the return to standard time, the kiddos have been waking just after 6am, so this morning, I was actually awake before them.

Unfortunately, it wasn't as early as I wanted, but 5:40 is better than nothing.  Oh, I laid there thinking, "This isn't even worth the time to put on the clothes."  But I snapped that out of my brain after an ugle 30 seconds, got up, put on the clothes, grabbed the iPod, and walked past my confused husband for the shortest workout ever.

I spent 15 minutes walking up and down my street.  A small cul-de-sac with only 11 houses on it.  Total.  Both sides of the street.  But I walked, I sucked in that cold air, and felt my lungs burn like the depths of hell.  God, it was awesome!

As my hubby pulled away, and I had to head back into the house, I knew it - even a little bit counts.  It was totally worth putting on the layers of clothes and tennis shoes.  I can take on the day, and it's only 6am.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cast out the Halloween demons

Do you still have Halloween Candy sitting around? Then get it out of the house! If throwing it away is too wasteful for you, do what any self-respecting woman would do. Send it to work with your husband. Note I said "Your Husband." Not your work! Because you work there, and taking it with you would be bad, very, very bad!

Send it with hubby, he'll think you're being generous, and the women in his office will all hate you.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Well, I still haven't figured out how to blog regularly while raising this crazy family. We recently has another child join us full time - my 10yo stepdaughter came to live with us full time, and we're still in quite the adjustment period. I have great ideas of what to blog about, but haven't had the opportunity to sit down and write them out.

So, I'm taking a hiatus once again, hopefully will slowly start reblogging ASAP. In the meantime, when will this laundry ever get done? =)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Practicing what I preach

This morning, challenged everyone with a "So what are you doing today?" To show that I am trying to practice what I preach....

This was a Murphy's Law morning - whatever could go wrong, was going wrong. But I struggled through (to the point of tears welling up in my eyes) and got myself and the boys to the park for Stroller Aerobics with my FitMommas. I struggled through the workout, but in the back of my mind, I could tell ... my body was loving it. And now I feel Fantastic! I don't smell so good, but I feel great!

Eating? Well, I need to work on it. The dog ate my breakfast this morning when my 3yo had a "Mommy, I have to go peepee!" moment. So I've eaten half a piece of dry raisin bread today. Not too great.

Me time? HOping to make it to a free Piloga class that a local church offers tonight at 8pm. If that doesn't happen, then when the boys get to bed and my hubby and 10yo daughter are chillin' on the couch, I'll retreat to the bedroom for a few yoga breaths and stretches.

I can do it! can you!

Just so you see that I try to practice what I preach! LOL!.... this morning, despite the "what can go wrong, will go wrong" theme of the day, I managed to get myself and the boys to stroller aerobics with my FitMommas, and got in a good workout. It was a struggle, but of course, I FEEL GREAT! I need to work ou

Monday - as good a day as any.

So, what are you doing today? When are you going to move your body? What are you going to fuel your body with? How are you going to take time for yourself?

Every single day...Move Your Body. Nourish Your Body. Take Time to Relax.

It should be easy, but it's not. We're trained as moms to take care of everyone else. But how can you possibly take care of others if you're barely hanging on by a string.

So figure it out...wake up earlier. Take time during their naps. Take a family walk. Keep driving past the fast food, and bring healthy snacks with you. Ask the hubby to take the kids for 15 minutes while you do some deep breathing and stretches in the bedroom.

You can do this. So can I. Today is as good a day as any to change the priorities in your life!

Friday, September 25, 2009

How to Raise a Healthy Eater

Keep healthy, fresh foods within easy reach of your young ones, keep the not-so-great stuff either out of the house, or out of hands reach!

My 9 month old, sneaking an apple from the fridge while I put groceries away.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Funny

Sometimes the best medicine is laughter. Got this from my Momma this week....

Last night, my kids and I were sitting in the living room and I said to them,

'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and

fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.'

They got up, unplugged the Computer, and threw out my wine.

They’re such asses ...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday, Monday

Monday is always the day of beginnings. Who starts a diet/workout program/new job, etc. on a Saturday or Friday? No, Monday is the universal day to embark on new endeavors. So I began today like I do every Monday.

"This is it. I'm going to get up, work out, I'm going to eat healthy, here's my plan - OK, break!"

And, for the most part, the day has been going great. Until about an hour ago. I got up, had a piece of whole wheat toast, I worked out. After the chiropractor put my neck back on straight, I came home to another awesome multi-layered wrap that I am so in love with, drank lots of water, and some coffee to keep the caffeine demons at bay.

And then....a box of cheap-o mac-n-cheese was pulled out of the pantry, and I had three kids all begging me for some highly-processed cheesey pasta. And for reasons I cannot explain, I used all the butter the recipe called for, and then rather than using my skim milk, I used the baby's whole milk. Holy crap, that was the best mac-n-cheese I've ever had, but really - Why, Why, Why!?

I shall go drink a liter of water to cleanse my eating sins....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

FOOD! Why must you taunt me?

It seems that while I am doing good on getting back to the workout groove, my eating habits are still sucking. Big time. I seem to have lost all self-control. Last week, I ate a box of Snickers ice cream bars all by myself. In two days. I should issue the disclaimer that I was pre-menstrual, but I think that's a pretty big cop-out - especially since I didn't stop there. I ate half a container of Bryer's Chocolate Chip ice cream as well. Plus half a bag of chocolate chips (just plain ol' semi-sweet chocolate chips.)

What is up with me? What's my deal? Why can't I enjoy the goodness of healthy food, and chill out on the forever-on-the-hips snackies? Because, trust me, I appreciate the yummies of healthy foods. The only bright spot in my diet these past few weeks has been my new-found love of the wrap. Whole wheat wraps, seasoned hummus spreads, lean deli meats, lots of veggies - like carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados - topped with sunflower seeds and/or wheat germ. Incredibly good for you and yummy. And then I stuff my face on fat and sugar.

So this is my challenge right now. All the workouts in the world can't counter the high-calories I've been consuming. Will keep you all updated on this latest turn of events!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

So, whaddya waitin' for?

So I am officially back in the game, and it's kicking my ass. But let's be clear....I Feel Great!

Last week, I had a mini-mental-breakdown. I am a co-founder of FitMommas of St. Peters. I started this FitMommas blog. I have helped others overcome their obstacles and given them support on their journey to be fit & healthy on a daily basis.

And yet...I have struggled.

Confession Time: I have not worked out on a daily basis since before Piglet was conceived - and he's now 8 months old! Yes, I agree that some movement is better than no movement - I do lots of housework, gardening (for reasons that elude me, I kill everything!), laundry up and down the basement stairs, dancing with the kids, etc. But no doubt, if I want to get back to my fightin' weight, I need to do true cardio, strength training and stretching to get there.

So last week, it all hit me, and I decided to swallow my pride and confide in a couple FitMomma friends. It was hard. Repeat - This Was Hard! Admitting, to yourself and to others, that you're failing at something is hard to do. And when you're supposed to be a somewhat expert at that something, it's even harder to admit. First step is always the hardest, and my first step was enlisting outside help. If I couldn't be accountable to myself, I was going to have to make myself be accountable to others. And not just one person, I chose THREE people, all of whom are regular FitMommas, and I could count on each of them to be there for me.

That was just the first step, the next step was actually getting out! We leave on vacation tomorrow, and then we have a playdate at our house that week after, and the next thing I knew, I was putting off starting for another three weeks. And one of my Confidants said, "So what are you waiting for?" Wow, did that strike a nerve. What the hell was I waiting for? For everything to be perfect? For all the stars to be aligned? It's a variation on the Nike "Just Do It" slogan, but without a doubt FitMomma Melissa B's mantra "So whaddya waitin' for?" is my new mantra.

So how am I doing? Well, I have attended Stroller Aerobics Monday and Wednesday of this week. And it sucked! Wow, am I out of shape! As much pride as I had to swallow to call my three Confidants, the pride I am swallowing while working out amongst the FitMommas is even greater! I'm huffing and puffing. I can't do all the reps. I'm walking when everyone is still running. I'm coming in last.

But I am doing it! And I'm going to get up and do it again tomorrow! And I'll take my week's vacation, and I may workout, I may not, but sure as the giggle in my thighs, I will be back working out with the FitMommas when I get back.

Even better? Every single FitMomma has welcomed me back with open arms. No snide comments about "Where ya been?" Just "So glad you're back!" (Uh-oh, my eyes are filling up with tears!) I love these women, they are amazing. I'll talk more later about having support, but right now, let me state for the record that this group of FitMommas that has come together is with me through thick & thin, laughter & tears, muscles & flab. I could not ask for a better group of friends.

So, I ask you....Whaddya waitin' for?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Where do FitBabies come from?

First off, let's just get it out there that I'm STILL struggling. Very much, every single day. While I continue to drop a pound or two, I have not been this chubby-wubby since the summer after my first son was born. I only have about 12 pounds to go, but I am all flab. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

I do get lots of movement from gardening and cleaning, but my second son is now seven months old, so at this point, it's time for me to get my groove back. Seven months is when I hit the "I don't want to be fat anymore!" wall with my first son, a few of my Playgroup mommas got together and started walking the mall three days a week - hence the start of FitMommas of St. Peters. Granted, two is totally different than one, Piglet has a different nap schedule than Lil' Boo had - actually, Lil' Boo was just a bit more pliable! LOL! Piglet likes his routine.

However, while I struggle with getting back into my FitMomma glory, I am embracing Fitness where I can. So let's turn to my babies! Where to FitBabies come from? Why, FitMommas, of course. To help get my kiddos off to a good eating start, I make my own baby food. Let's be clear, I always have a stash of store-bought food, because life with two kids is crazy. But making your own baby food is not only easy, it's super-duper cheap, AND you can tailor your babies diet to his or her exact needs. This morning, I made some apples and pears - and then some Pear-Applesauce. No added sugars, no preservatives. Just peel & slice; steam (my preferred choice is in the microwave, puree with water, and you have tons of healthy food for baby.

And storage is easy-peasy, too. One reason I like to buy store-bought food is for the containers - I keep them, and them fill them up with my homemade goodies. Another great trick is to fill ice cube trays with your concoctions, freeze, and then you have ready-to-go, single servings of goodies at your disposal. And, if you're thinking that apples and pears can get old, check out my favorite site for making your own baby food - Wholesome Baby Food. It is The go-to site for all things healthy for baby.

Once you get a feel for this site, you'll realize that what you can make for your baby is limited only by your imagination. So get creative, and let's make some FitBabies!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Chew On This!

Happy Monday, everyone!  Hope you've had a few good weeks, been crazy as usual around here.

Let's get honest, I have not worked out.  The only movement I've been getting are my fake-out workouts, but right now....that seems to be all I got.  It seem that the crankiness that is my 6 month old can be attributed to a series of ear infections.  That does actually make me feel incredibly happy, because now I know there is a source to the nighttime wake-ups, difficulty to get to sleep, cranky playtimes.  Certainly better than the knowledge that your kid is just a first class crabass!

Given all that, sleep has been a bit on the low side lately, and my eating habits are in the toilet.  Carb central, little fruits or veggies, and these past two weeks we had my stepdaughter staying with us the whole time - Sugar Monster!  But one good health thing that came out of her visit was the reinstitution of...gum.

Yes, Gum!

I had forgotten how glorious gum can be to cut out a nasty sweet tooth or chocolate craving.  In fact, gum should be your new best friend, I don't care how much you love your Bunco group. Every time the urge to binge hits, wait as long as you can, and if it's still there...pop in a stick o' gum!  Personally, I'm Big Red or Juicy Fruit kind of gal, which isn't the best for the teeth, but this is not a discussion on dental hygiene just yet!  Trident or Extra would be a GREAT choice, tons of flavors to choose from.  Gum does have calories, but not near the extent of an entire chocolate bar, bag of chips or pint of ice cream.  It's all about checks and balances here, ladies!

So my dear Izzy B has headed back to her mom's for a few weeks, and I can try to get my "good food" brain working again, but in the meantime, I am strategically placing packs of gum in the house and car!

And here's to a great week to everyone!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Made-Up Workout #63

So us busy moms really need to find movement wherever we can get it.  Make no mistake, the best way to maintain physical and mental health is regular high-intensity cardio and strength training.  But any FitMomma, especially those with infants in the house, knows that's not always easy to get during the day - especially when certain Piglets start fussing at 5am in the morning, and continue off and on until awake for good at 7am.  Bring on the coffee!

But I digress....So a friend reminded me today of yet another pseudo-workout in our midst!  Grocery shopping!  Have you ever taken two kids to a grocery store and not felt like you were training for a marathon?  So put a little more effort into it, and by all means log this as workout time.  

Tips for making a trip to the store into more:
  • Go armed with a well organized shopping list - you are multi-tasking!
  • Don't stroll the aisles, move it!  Just beware of the other zombie moms and avoid running over small children.  
  • See that bar in front of you, otherwise known as the cart handle?  Use it!  Calf raises, squats, lunges - all done easily with the support of the cart.  Fine with me if you opt to do this down that aisle with the random household items that no one ever visits.
  • Make hard to reach items count - lunge, stretch, tighten the abs and buns as you reach for the Dijon on the top shelf, or heave a pallet of water from the bottom shelf.  Just use your legs and keep the abs tight to avoid back injury.
  • Take advantage of bagging it yourself.  Don't rely on the zitty teen to do all the work; bag your own stuff, load your own cart and take your own groceries out to the MomMobile.  
  • Take the kids - right there, you've added wrestling, marathoning, and strength training to the mix.  Not to mention building your endurance because your shopping trip just became twice as long.
  • OR - leave the kids at home, and go all-out-freak exercise in the store.  Speed walk, full-on lunges and squats, plus you can slip on your iPod for musical inspiration.  Not to mention it'll take half the time!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Plague...Not so much Swine Flu

Ugh, apologies for the absenteeism.  The Plague has descended upon our house.  Translation: Spring colds, mixed with severe hayfever, suck!  

All four of us are sick in the house.  Only the dog has been spared.  Hacking cough, throbbing stuffy/runny head.  Good Times.  I have managed to get in a few squats here and there, but not sure it's counting for much.  

Know what the kicker is?  I managed to stay healthy All Winter long!  I should give a Shout Out to the makers of Zicam for that minor miracle!  I swear by it, but this time, I just thought it was the allergies kicking my butt, and by the time I realized it was something more, it was too late.  And too late for the family, too - poor babies!

Anyway, I'm working on a new routine/schedule.  I've decided to cancel my gym membership, because it's not getting used, Ryan's nap schedule really keeps me from being able to use it, and I've lost the weight TWICE without one, so I know I can do it again!  I just need to find a regular yoga thing to keep me going.  Thoughts?

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Angry Side of Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression.  Ok, so what's going through your head?  

A mom in her raggedy pajamas, hair's a mess, weepy, puffy eyes, can't get off the couch.  Pretty close?  That's what I always thought, too.

But let me give you another picture.  Happy mom.  Gettin' stuff done.  Then baby starts crying.  Toddler throws a fit.  The phone rings.  The dog needs out.  Hubby home in a few minutes.  Dinner's not started.  Doorbell rings.  The tension builds so fast and furious, and your body starts to feel the weight, your shoulders sink, a tingling anxiety flows across you and you Snap.  Scream, out loud, if someone was in your reach, you may very well strangle them.  You pound your fist into the air, wishing you could deck someone, and you hate your children, your husband, your house, the dog, the phone, the doorbell.  All within a few very scary seconds.  Then the guilt sinks in - you're a terrible mother, you can't do this job, you aren't able to handle it, no mother should ever feel this way, you want to run away, head hanging in shame.  Your family deserves better.

That is how I was feeling.

The problem was that I woke up each day, promising myself I would not snap.  Not today, today will be a good day.  I am a mind over matter kind of gal, a "no makes you feel anything you don't want to" proponent.  Be responsible for your feelings and actions, and it's all about the power of positive thinking!  So what the hell was wrong with me!

Turns out I had/have Postpartum Depression, and it is nothing to scoff at.  Two times in the week before my doctor's appointment, I actually felt the urge to hurt my baby.  Out of anger.  (At the time, he had a stomach virus, and it was a worse than usual week.)  I ripped my husband's head off out of nowhere.  I screamed at my 2 1/2 year old.  For being a 2 1/2 year old.

I thought maybe my hormones might be out of whack a bit, but honestly, I thought it was something I could overcome, that I would snap out of it.  And that's what I was thinking when I went to my doctor, for my annual exam, and casually mentioned how I was feeling at the end of the visit.  No one is as surprised as I am to realize what was really going on.  I can guarantee that I would not have called my doctor because I didn't think anything was medically wrong with me.

I have opted to go on Lexapro, an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication.  This is serious stuff.  My doctor also advocated lots of exercise, nutritious diet, and getting out for some sunshine.  I have follow up visit with her to make sure that I am doing OK, and hopefully this will be a three month or so treatment.

At first, this wasn't something I was sure I should share...with the entire world!  But the more I research, the more I confide in friends and family and playgroup members, the more I realize that this is not discussed.  No one likes to talk about the weepy side of depression, but when PPD is anger and rage, moms are incredibly ashamed to admit those feelings.  Moms are sweet, nurturing, do everything right, know it all, are the angels that watch over tomorrow's leaders.   What kind of mother yells at her kids; has feelings of hurting her loved ones; feels an unnatural rage over everyday occurrences?  From what I've learned in the past month - many moms.  Everyday moms.  Working moms.  Stay home moms.  Funny moms.  Loving moms.

So let's talk about this.  Let's be healthy.  Let's cut ourselves some slack.  Let's acknowledge the incredibly hard job we have as mothers in today's world. And if you are reading this and hear yourself saying "Oh, my, I feel that way, too," then you owe it to yourself to do something about it.  I'm not going to tell you to go on drugs!  BUT...I will tell you to call your doctor.  Call your OB.  Describe how you're feeling.  I don't care if your "baby" is two years old!  Find a friend, a neighbor, an aunt or mom.  Share your feelings.  You are not alone!

Between the medication and talking with good friends and family, I am a new person today.  Life is still stressful, 15 things still hit me at one time.  But I don't feel like I'm going to scream.  A little voice inside tells me I can do this, that I will be OK.  I am calmer.  I am happier.  And I am a better mom for it.  And now that I see the clouds starting to lift, my next goal is not just to add in more movement in my day, but really step up my exercise.  Get those endorphins pumping, get some sunlight, and start to feel better, naturally!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sunny, Sunny Day

This has been one tough week, but I could not ask for anything better than the sunny, warm day we have here in The Lou today.  I know parts of the country are seeing thunderstorms and snow storms.  But if you are blessed enough to have a sunny day, get outside.  Take a walk at lunch.  Get up from the computer, shut off the TV and bask in the warm glow of a beautiful Spring in bloom!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Three Months in Hell

I follow MomLogic on Twitter - and I came across this article this morning.  

How many of you have been here?  

Isn't it nice to hear the truth every once in awhile?  

And how blessed you are if you have no idea what this article is talking about!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Operation Candy Removal

Hey, everyone!  Hope that you had a fabulous Easter weekend, and no doubt you are sitting in your house/office right now, reading this, in somewhat of a sugar coma.  Just how many peanut M&M's, chocolate eggs and rabbit ears did you eat this weekend?

Well, no worries, don't fret.  What happened, happened, and dwelling on it won't help.  Because it is certainly no reason to fall completely off the wagon and give up!  

So right now, collect all the remaining candy in your house.  Bag it up, and decide where it's going:  your husband's work (not your own, that defeats the purpose!); your Nana's nursing home; your child's school; your church's office; your doctor's office; your neighbor who couldn't visit with family this past weekend.  Heck, even your local shelter and food pantry would gladly accept your donation!  The point is to remove it from your surroundings, and use the opportunity to also share some Easter love with your community.

If you have kids who will be devastated if all the candy disappears today, pull a select few of their favorites our for them to enjoy throughout this week.  But by this weekend, really, Easter candy should be a distant memory!

And then go enjoy a nice salad today, be grateful for your health and enjoy your day!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Momma's Dirty Little Secret #57

Us Moms have a million little secrets - from the good, the bad and the ugly.  Secrets we'd gladly share, secrets we'd gladly kill to keep quiet!  Let me share one with you today.

I am a stay home mom.  No, that is not the secret.  The secret is the Power Mom I become between the hours of 3-4pm.  I'm like Jack Bauer on 24 - the following takes place between three and four p.m.  I become crazy woman.  I can complete more tasks in that one hour than I seem capable the entire rest of the day.

Why that hour?

Because my husband gets home around 4:15.  

Ah, is it becoming clearer?  

Here's the deal - a good FitMomma would rise before the sun, work out, and have accomplished half her to-do list before the children rise, thanks to all the energy she received from her workout and no-doubt low calorie, high energy breakfast she ate.

This mom, with her 4 month old, plus almost-three year old, still hasn't gotten back to that point, so I am still sleeping when the first one wakes up; I'm barely covering my body parts when I stumble into the bedroom, and frequently forget even to pee before I begin my day.  This does not create good momentum.  

By the time 3pm arrives, I realize that I haven't done half, or even most, of what I wanted to, so I begin the "I better earn my keep" mode of Mommyhood.  Power Mom.  I can pick up toys at neckbreak speed; I can fold four loads of laundry in less than five minutes; I can wipe down all the counters, put away all the papers, sweep the floor, etc. with the grace of a gazelle.  In fact, I'm moving so fast and furious, a little sweat will break out, the heart is racing, and talk about legs!  Lunging and squatting like a mad woman!  

And that's why at around 4pm, I stop, and clean myself up, and then hubby is in awe of all I accomplished in my day, and I look good, too!

Oh, one day, and hopefully one day soon, I'll be back to waking up before the kids, and getting in that early morning workout that fuels me for the day.  But for now, at least, I know that I have a workout coming to me, no matter what!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Getting Honest

Who saw Oprah's show on moms on Monday?  There was a ton of good stuff, but thing that struck the biggest chord with me moms need to get honest with each other!  Because we so are not!  At least, most of us aren't.  I have tried to be, and found that it's is often met with great resistance.  

Last year, on my personal blog, I spoke briefly about my marital problems with my husband.  While most of my friends and family reached out, there were a few that either kept their silence or even told me I should keep those things to myself.  And it amazes me how many conversations I have or blogs I read where life seems to be perfect for that person, but later on, through the grapevine or a small personal encounter, you find that things are not that way.  

WHY?  Why do we lie to ourselves and to each other?  This job sucks on many days.  I mean, it's the most rewarding job out there, because nothing matches the unconditional love of your children.  But the day in and day out of being a mom is harder than hell!  Throw in bills, mortgage, marriage, family, and it's a surprise we don't all have a future at the Betty Ford Clinic.  

So if you wanna be a FitMomma, I'd say first things first is to get honest.  Being a Momma is hard.  Being a FitMomma is harder yet!  It's a hell of a lot easier to buy cheap, crap food, and sit on the couch each day when you're exhausted already.  Of course, any FitMomma knows that the best way to get energy to deal with your Momma life is to eat right and move that body!

Now, let's clarify that I'm not condoning complaining all the time!  That can be an energy drain - you know those people who never have anything positive to say, their life is always full of woe.  Ugh.  This is more about being honest when you need help; reaching out to friends and family when you need a shoulder.  It's about learning to laugh about the struggles, rather than hide them.  Especially in this online world, there is someone close to you who understands what you're going through.  They've been there.  We are there!

So you ready to look in the mirror and get honest?  I'm standing right next to you!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Birthday to the Hubby!

It's a Birthday Day around these parts today, so we all know what that means.  Diet, schmiet!

Actually, there is so much to do to get ready for this evening!  Today's workout will be running up and down stairs getting through the laundry, power speed cleaning, running around like a chicken with my head cut off!  All so that when Hubby walks through the door, dinner is made, cake is ready, kids are happy and house is perfect.  Hey, I can do that One day a year, right?

So what's on the menu tonight?  Nothing healthy.  But definitely scrumdili-icious.  Hubby requested some chicken enchiladas.  Now, I'll use multigrain tortillas, and reduced fat cheese.  I'll add lots of veggies to the meat mix.  But overall, not the healthiest of dinners.  I will do some fat free refried beans, and I'm trying out a new recipe for Mexican Rice I found on

But dessert?  We're going with the traditional cake and ice cream.  This is Hubby's birthday, after all, and while he appreciates my continuing desire to live a fit and healthy life, to him, that does not mean denying those things that we love.  And in the end, that's what we're trying to accomplish - how to be fit and healthy, and still enjoy those pleasures that we love.  Finding the it comes....Balance!

So I'll let you know how I do tonight.  Let my pledge for the day not to Get Stupid around cake and ice cream!  And in the meantime, I have some serious house to tackle!  Have a great, active day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Workout Idea

I have a great new idea for all of you.....

Take your family out for the day.  Go to a park, museum, attraction - say, for example, The Zoo.
Bring the baby stroller.
Load it.  Water, snacks, jackets, blankets, hats, books, kitchen sink.
Push said stroller for four hours around the park, museum, attraction.
Make sure you use your legs and not your back!
Watch out for steps!

I dare you not to be sore.  I dare you not to feel muscles you had forgotten you had!
Plus, you'll save a ton of money, because you brought your own eats and drinks with you.  

Just an idea.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

From the Kitchen: Shrimp & Basil Pasta

Here is one of my favorite recipes - it is not only quick and easy, it's also healthy and yummy in the tummy!  You really can't ask for anything better, can you?  I got the original recipe from, which is one of my favorite sources for recipes.  I cannot recommend them enough!

So here's what the fam had for dinner at our place tonight!

Shrimp & Basil Pasta

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time:  20 min
Yield: 4 servings

1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 (8oz) package whole wheat angel hair or thin spaghetti
1 large clove garlic
1lb large peeled & deveined shrimp (I buy a bag of frozen shrimp & then thaw - perfect!)
2 (14.5oz) cans Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Bring large pot of water to boil, adding 1 T olive oil.  Cook pasta according to package, until al dente.  
2. Heat remaining oil in 10 inch skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring constantly, until garlic is tender, about 1 minute.  Do not let garlic burn! Add shrimp, and cook 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove shrimp from skillet, and set aside.
3. Stir tomatoes, wine, parsley and basil into skillet.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by half, about 8 to 12 minutes.  Add shrimp, and continue cooking until the shrimp are heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Serve shrimp mixture over pasta, sprinkling with Parmesan cheese.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How Many Things At Once?

I've been doing really well with the eating/tasking issue!  It does frighten me a bit, tho, how much I have to concentrate on enjoying my food through the day, and resist that urge to get up to do something else while eating.  As if I was wasting valuable time by savoring the food!  What a commentary on our society!  Dinner is not a problem - we all sit down at the table and enjoy our meal together.  It's all the eating I do before dinner, which is the most important eating all day!

What I hadn't anticipated this week (because this is life, and there's always something) is that a stomach virus from hell would hit my little one.  My not-quite 4 month old has been vomiting and had diarrhea for a week.  As in this is Day 7.  This was preceded by an ear infection.  Now while he has had reflux issues, my little Piglet managed to stay healthy all winter, so these last two weeks - the beginning of Spring! - have blindsided me!  Who gets sick Now?!

So between comforting him and the mountains (and I do mean Everest-sized loads) of laundry, my head is spinning.  Of course, what I need is a good exercise routine to help with the stress level.  But I'm still trying to establish that new routine with a new baby.  

I'm feeling...oh....frustrated?  Overwhelmed? Helpless, even?

Of course, I know I am none of these things if I don't want to be.  Every Single Day will bring its challenges.  And our life is not to live without challenges, but how to embrace them and work with them, rather than around them or avoiding them altogether.'s supposed to be mid-60s today.  I commit to getting the boys in the double jogger and going for a walk.  And if I have to turn around after one block due to pukies or poopies, so be it!  At least I got out for a block, right?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Multi-Task This!

I am apparently known for my ability to do multiple things at the same time.  Others seem to think this is a positive thing.  I know better.

Throughout the day, I'll stop and realize that I'm starving.  I am waiting too long to eat between meals, starving by the time I get around to eating, and then stuffing my face way past the point of full.  I know this is not good.  I don't need anyone to tell me this.  I am well aware that the best way to lose weight and maintain weight is to eat consistently throughout the day, five to six meals.  This keeps your metabolism cranking, your blood sugar levels even.  I know this!

So what's my problem?  My main problem is...multitasking!  When you're always doing more than one thing, no one thing is getting my full attention.  And that includes eating.  

Oh, I'll start getting breakfast together first thing in the morning, but it may be a few hours before the entire meal makes it in my tummy.  The baby wakes up, the dog needs let out.  The next thing I know, I forgot that I was fixing breakfast, I start folding laundry, then I have to feed a kid, then I remember the bill I forgot to pay online, then I remember the blog I wanted to post a week ago, and so on.

The French don't have this problem, in fact, a woman wrote a book about it.  Us Americans try to cram too much stuff into one day, and even eating becomes a task to accomplish.  We don't sit and savor our food.  We eat standing up, on the run, in the car, or, if you're like me, while surfing the net looking for ideas, answering emails, reading about how to be fit and health.  Oh, the friggin' irony!

OK.  So here's my self-imposed goal for the next week - sit down and eat.  Don't read, don't surf, don't clean the kitchen.  Fix my meal, sit down at the dining room table and enjoy my food.  I may even find I get more done with a fully nourished body!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Tongue is Burning!

We deviated from the normal menu this evening, and ate a ham steak that my MIL brought to us this weekend.  I LOVE ham, though rarely eat it, given it's high fat, sodium, processed-ness.  But I made a veggie medley to go with it, and thought "Yeah, treat time!"  I also stupidly opted to cook an Uncle Ben's Country Inn Broccoli Rice Au Gratin rice mix.  I apparently had a lobotomy for an afternoon snack.  

So I proceeded to devour half the ham steak, plus a serving of the rice.  My tongue is actually burning a bit right now.  That can't be good.  I have naturally low blood pressure, but I'm starting to think I probably shouldn't have gone willy nilly on an overly-salted slab o' pig.  

Just out of curiosity, I decided to check out the Nutrition Facts label (it's your best friend, ya know!).  Holy Crap in handbasket.  A 3oz serving has 950mg of salt.  That's 40% of your total daily value.  In three ounces.  I would say I easily had 8oz, so two and a half times that.  Is A Lot Of Sodium.

The Rice?  One serving (which is about what I had) has 850mg of Sodium.  

I easily just consumed well over 3000mg of salt.  In about 20 minutes or so.  No wonder my tongue is burning.  I better go drink about a gallon of water to try to thin my blood of its sodium content.  

Oh, and in worse news?  There was 14 grams of fat (4.5 grams of Saturated Fat!), per 3 oz serving, in that ham steak.  That's just the ham steak.  So not only is my blood screaming, my ass ain't far behind it.  I hang my head in shame!

Who needs two guys and a truck?

Thanks to having kids and a dog, our carpet is awful.  Really, any health buff knows that the best way to do flooring in your home is to go bare - hardwood, laminate, tile, anything but carpet!  Carpet harbors the dirt, dust, mites, bacteria, etc. that can bring on a multitude of sickies for the family.  However, we're in the midst of a basement finishing project, so redoing our upstairs flooring will just have to wait.  Next year maybe?

However, we still have that dog and three kids.  So today, the carpet is getting cleaned!  I'm getting ready to put my favorite "Don't F*** With Mr. Zero" shirt on, and get moving on some furniture (anyone get that pop culture reference?  Anyone??).  So this is my workout of the day.  Hauling crap in and out of rooms.  Should be a good time.  I can hear my dad - Life with your legs!

To get ready, I'm now sitting down to my favorite breakfast - 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, 5-6 sliced strawberries, and a ginormous cup of coffee.  Them's good stuff!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two kids = Time suck

I'm slowly realizing that the addition of one more person in the house has an exponential affect on my time.  I find myself doing ten things at one time, never having the focus to finish any one item.  Lil Boo needs me, Piglet's crying, BoxerGirl needs outside, the laundry's buzzing, my stomach is growling.  All at the same time.

So the greater question is, then, what can I do about.  Well, nothing, right?  I mean, this is what I signed up for when I became a mom.  And it's intensified by my choice to stay home, as this is my life 24/7.  It's presumed that if you stay home, you have all the time in the world to clean, organize, grocery shop.  Instead, it feels like there's less time, because I'm constantly just behind the tornado, and I never get a solid break.  And I mean *break*!  A few hours block of time!  15 minutes here, 45 minutes there is not enough to truly accomplish some of the larger tasks.

So it goes without saying that I am still struggling to find dedicated blocks of time to work out.  I started back with STroller Aerobics, then the time change hit, and my kids are all over the place in the morning!  If Lil Boo doesn't wake up at 6am, it's 9am instead!  One day last week, it was 10:30!  Tough to make that 9am class when your little ones are still asleep - and it is not an option to wake them!  

And my blog is getting neglected, but I think that's because of my perfectionism.  I feel like if my posts aren't meaningful and thought out, they have no use being here.  That's something I need to get over.  

So here I am.  Monday.  Mid-March.  Still struggling to figure out our new routine with baby #2.  At least I am standing while typing this - doing squats along the way!  

Thursday, February 26, 2009

25 Tips for a Better Life - 2009

I got this in my email from my good friend, Jane, today.  Love It!  May you find some inspiration for today!

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'

4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, salmon, broccoli and almonds.

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

9 Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

11. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

12. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

13. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

14. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

17. Forgive everyone for everything.

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. GOD heals everything.

20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

21. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

 23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

25. Forward this to the ones you care about the most. I did.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Responsibility & Accountability

So who else is a fan of The Biggest Loser?  I know it's not just me, the show is pretty amazing.  For all the reality crap out there, here is a show to actually find inspiration!  Not to mention useful tips and helpful information.  And last night, I found profound insight in a contestant named Joelle.

If you've been watching, you already know where I'm going.  Joelle was/is a terrible contestant.  She always had an excuse, didn't give it her all, and definitely hung her partner out to dry.  But she also demonstrates key factors in being fit and healthy - Responsibility and Accountability.  

It goes without saying that the people who are going to succeed in achieving their goals are the ones who are going to give it 110%.   But I also think it's important to note that the people who will have the greatest overall success - short term and long term - are those who take responsibility for their actions, and hold themselves accountable for their results.  

If you aren't reaching the small goals you're setting for yourself, look inward first.  Be honest with yourself.  

Where are you faltering?  

Are you claiming to be working out two hours a day, but aren't really giving it your all?

Are you advocating a strict diet plan, but find yourself sneaking a handful of chips or sips of soda on the side?

Then be up front with yourself.  And others.  Take accountability.  Fall off the wagon, admit what happened and then get back on again.  When you face the truth and face reality, you will get exactly where you want to be.  When you lie to yourself or fudge the results, you'll feel shame and disappointment (consciously or subconsciously) - and that can never turn out good in the end.  

In the meantime, who else is dying to see the finale now?  Should we start taking bets as to who - Joelle or Carla - will kick ass and take names?

Monday, February 2, 2009

How to Become a Yoga Momma

Over the course of this blog, you'll all find out that I truly believe Yoga to be the single best thing anyone can do for their bodies.  You can burn calories, increase flexibility, strengthen muscles and find restorative relaxation - all in one exercise routine!

Really, there are so many benefits of yoga, it's tough to know where to start.  I found this nursing blog in which Alisa Miller gives us 77 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga. I'll discuss my personal reasons for loving yoga in subsequent posts, but for right now, if you've ever wonder what the hullaballoo was around yoga, Ms. Miller's list is a good place to start. (Sorry, I have had to remove the link to this story. Feel free to Google it for yourself. Thanks!)

And this weekend, I was turned on to this website from my awesome FitMomma friend, Tracy.  It's Yoga Journal's Poses section - where you an browse various yoga poses.  Selecting one pose, it will give you step-by-step instructions on how to do the pose; what body parts are being worked; the overall benefits; beginner's tips and advanced steps; as well as related poses, so you can put a series together.  I also love that they include the "real" name of the poses, so those Yogi wanna-bes like myself can learn the language of yoga!

So find a pose or two that inspires you, and start a yoga practice today.  You can't go wrong with a Mountain Post into a Downward-Facing Dog into a Child's Pose, if you're looking for a place to start.  And your kids will enjoy it, too!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Keep On Rockin' Me, Baby

No, this is not an homage to my favorite Space Cowboy.  Or Gangster of Love.  Or Maurice.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you are obviously much younger than I am!)  This post is about yet another way you can incorporate moving your body while taking care of your kids.  As the Momma of a 7 week old baby, I frequently find myself rocking or swaying in some manner to soothe him.  And in the process, I have found a killer ab workout!  

Long story short, Piglet is sleeping in our room, in the bassinet, where we have a chaise lounge - as opposed to the nursery, with the crib, and rocking chair.  And it is not easy to rock in a straight-backed chaise lounge!  So I have taken to sitting on the edge of my bed, with feet up resting on the lounge, and rocking my body back and forth while holding Piglet.  Keeping my back straight and abs firm, I can knock out a pretty decent ab workout, while soothing my little one!  And this works on any flat surface, really.  I sat on the edge of the coffee table and accomplished the same thing.  

Also, there's the swaying (if you are familiar with Happiest Baby on the Block, you know what I'm talking about!).  With baby swaddled and nestled in my arms, I can sway back and forth, easing his fussiness.  If I tighten my legs and buns, along with firm abs, I turn this Momma and Baby time into another mini workout.  

And while I can't be sure, I swear that the more I hold my growing bundle of joy, the firmer my arms will be!  Is it me, or do your biceps and forearms start to burn after awhile?  Let's go with the positive thinking on this, and say "Yes!"

Anyone else have any other Rockin' Baby moves? 

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inauguration...and Your Health?

What the heck does today's inauguration have to do with your personal health?  Well, stop and listen for a second.  Do you hear that?  The buzz?  It's the buzz of hope and inspiration, the buzz of what is possible in the new world today.  Whether you voted for the guy or not, the election of the first black man in our nation's history is a monumental moment (and really, he's only considered black because he's not 100% white!).  We are still a segregated people, though now it's by choice and not law - how many times do I have to hear from my fellow suburban moms that they don't like going a certain place because it's so "dark?"  

What today shows us is that anything is, in fact, possible.  People who have never cared about the political process are feeling the call to action, reaching out in their communities, to their friends, their families and asking - how can I help you?  We are in this together.  No one man can do much to change - it's the inspiration he gives others to make their own changes.  

And inspiration and hope and feelings of the general good are without a doubt essential to your overall health.  You can be fit as a fiddle, eat perfectly 100% of the time, but if you are filled with hatred or despair, you have a long way to go before you can consider yourself fit and healthy.  Your health is the sum of your body and your mind - so feed your mind today and feel the hope and inspiration buzzing around this country.  

Figure out what inspires you - what can You do to make yourself, your family, your community a better place.  It can be as simple as putting on a smile and being respectful and kind to your neighbors at the grocery store.  Write a letter to one of our troops serving overseas.  Clean out a bedroom or a closet and donate those items to your local church or Goodwill.  Find your favorite charity, give them a call, and find out how you can volunteer - in time or money or both!  There are any number of things that you can do, and all of them will feed your mental health.

This is a new day, indeed.  Get out and make your mark Today!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Working Out However You Can

The past week has shown me that working out as a new mom is next to impossible.  So I've been redefining what a workout is!

Let's see....
I took extra time to walk up and down the steps to the laundry room, squeezing buns and abs one trip, running up the next time.
I did jumping jacks in the kitchen as I was making dinner.
I got the soccer ball out with my 2 year old and kicked it around the yard for about 30 minutes while it was semi-warm over the weekend.  
I lifted my newborn up and down over my head.

No actual workouts - between sleepless nights, feedings every 3 hours, running after (and trying to control) a two year old, those don't really seem to fit in right now!  But every little bit helps, right?!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More is Not Always Better

Every blue moon, I catch The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, and this week, I caught a segment on dieting.  Mike and Juliet reported that on Monday, the National Center for Health released new numbers on the health of Americans, and the numbers are not good!

There are now more obese people in this country than there are just plain overweight people!  Yikes!!  34% of the population is obese - that's 72 million obese people in this country!  Overweight people make up 33% of Americans, and 33% are of average/normal body mass.  Isn't it amazing how a society as obsessed with looking good can be so freakin' fat?  

So what makes you obese versus overweight?  Your Body Mass Index - take your weight, divide by your height and square it.  25-30 means you're simply overweight, while 30 and above means you're obese.  Very simply, it's all about how much fat you have.  Do keep in mind that it is only one number to look at - it's possible that body builders and other muscular athletes might be labeled overweight by their BMI (muscle does weight more than fat).  And BMI does not factor in is where your fat is - belly fat is much more dangerous than the awesome butt/hip/thigh fat I have going on.  Tis better to be a pear than an apple!

All kidding aside, keep in mind the higher your number, the higher your risk for health problems, such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.  Because it's not just about lookin' cute in a bikini this summer.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Do the GOOP with Gwyneth

I recently came across a pretty cool, informational website and newsletter called GOOP, the brainchild of Gwyneth Paltrow, she of Shakespeare in Love and Brad Pitt fame.  (Yes, that was Snarky.)  Granted, she has access to things not available to the Average Suburban Mom like myself, and I have no idea what her tagline, "Nourish the Inner Aspect," is supposed to mean, but I find her site inspiring and she provides little nuggets of interest, such as this month's DO Newsletter.  

This little butt move from her trainer, Tracy Anderson, may very well kill you.  However, no doubt once I can muster a full round on each leg, my a$$ will be looking killer!   And isn't it nice of Gwyneth to share workout tips from a trainer-to-the-stars like Tracy, who is currently on tour with Madge (aka Esther, aka The Material Girl, aka Madonna)?

Not everything Gwyneth discusses is helpful to me, such as next week's newsletter, which promises a list of the best places to eat and stay in NYC.  Maybe we can get her to do a segment on the Lou soon.  In the meantime, I'll share newsletter segments from her that I find helpful - and I hope you enjoy the GOOP!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Post-Partum Reality: Where'd My Abs Go?

We all know that pregnancy does real doozy to women's bodies, but I learned something yesterday at the doctor's office that not only did I not know, it shocked and somewhat freaked me out!  It was my six week post-partum follow up visit, and my doc did a neat little trick to see how my stomach muscles were doing.  She had me lay down flat on the table, and she placed her fingers over the center of my abs.  She then had me lift just my head (chin to chest.)  From this, she was able to measure the space between my abs.  Because, apparently, your abs don't stretch over your belly, as I had assumed, but actually separate and go to the sides of your belly.  (Ewwww!)

So your abs have to come back together and then rebuild their strength.  And I still have three solid fingers worth of space between my ab muscles.  That translates into:  Get movin' on those sit-ups, sister!  

That does, of course, make me feel slightly better about the ginormous muffin-top I'm sporting over the top of my jeans.  And what us moms all need to remember is that the post-partum period is technically an entire year - so let's give ourselves a break all around, let our hormones get back to normal and let our bodies heal.

In the meantime...I'm all clear to begin working out again, so no excuses!  The gym will have to wait, as I'm not ready to expose my newborn to the nursery at the gym (can you say RSV, people?).  But crunches and pushups will be my new wake-up routine!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cesar Millan Whispers Subtle Truths

As I perused the Parade magazine in the Sunday paper, I came across an article written by Cesar Millan, the famed Dog Whisperer called "What Your Pet Can Teach Yo." I laughed when I read that out loud, and my 9 1/2 year old stepdaughter replied "Uh, Nothing!"  She's obviously too young to get the subtle lessons to be learned by a non-speaking four-legged, hairy being, but hopefully you all with find some insight in these lessons from your pooch.  The last one, Celebrate Every Day, is definitely my favorite!

And here is the text copied below:

The Dog Whisperer:

What Your Pet Can Teach You

By Cesar Millan
Publication Date: 01/11/2009
I am honored that so many people look to me to help them enjoy more fulfilling relationships with their dogs, but the truth is that the dogs themselves have been my teachers. The most valuable lessons I’ve received have come from animals. Here are some of the ways dogs have helped me become a better, happier, and more-balanced human being. 
Live in the moment. 
People often wonder how I get such quick results with the dogs I rehabilitate. The answer is simple: Dogs live in the moment. They don’t regret the past or worry about the future. If we can learn to appreciate and focus on what’s happening in the here and now, we’ll experience a richness of living that other members of the animal kingdom enjoy. 

Nurture a balanced life. 
I tell my clients to follow this simple rule with their dogs: Offer exercise, discipline, and affection every day. Do the same for yourself. We humans are happier if our routines include physical activity, a sense of structure, and the opportunity to give and receive love on a daily basis. 

Trust your instincts.
Animals don’t care about words. They recognize that what’s really going on in any interaction is beneath the surface. Many of us have lost touch with this all-important instinctual part of our natures. By paying attention to nonverbal cues such as body language and energy, we can learn more about our friends, our loved ones, and ourselves. 

Be direct and consistent in your communication.
Many of my clients only intermittently enforce rules, leaving their pets confused about what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. Great relationships, no matter the species, begin with clear and consistent communication. This is a lesson we should carry into other areas of our lives—with our family, our friends, and at work. Remember: We teach people how to treat us. 

Learn to listen.
Make the time to lend an ear to those you love or those who want to transform their lives. But don’t try to fix their problems, and don’t take their problems personally, either. A great leader is also a great follower and knows that everybody counts. 

Don’t hold grudges.
There’s a remarkable lack of conflict in dog packs.  That’s because members resolve the situation when disagreements arise, then move on. Imagine what our world would be like if we dealt with our conflicts before they escalated out of control. Holding onto negative feelings tends to make them multiply and prevent us from moving forward. 

Live with purpose.
When dogs are bored, they develop issues ranging from anxiety to aggression. But when given a job and a way to contribute to the pack’s well-being, they turn around almost immediately. All animals—including humans—have an inborn need to work for food and water. Ask yourself how you can contribute more to your job, your family, and the world around you. You’ll feel much better about yourself if you earn your food and water, too. 

Celebrate every day. 
For a dog, every morning is Christmas morning. Every walk is the best walk, every meal is the best meal, every game is the best game. We can learn so much by observing the way our pets rejoice in life’s simplest moments. Take time every day to celebrate the many gifts that are hidden in the ordinary events of your own life. 

Cesar Millan is the author of “A Member of the Family” and star of the National Geographic Channel’s “Dog Whisperer.”

Friday, January 9, 2009

Oprah and I are *Like This*

Who knew I had so much in common with the world's richest woman?  Much less the world's richest woman who is also a 200lb black woman from Mississippi?  I mean, on the surface, I'm just a semi-skinny, curvy, big-butted white girl from California.

But if you've been watching Oprah's Best Life Week like I have (and I suspect millions upon millions of others) this week, you've been learning what Oprah thinks we all need to live our Best Life.  And what has struck me most this week is something she said in the very first installment.  Oprah's life needs to be about Balance.

Say what?  Cuz if I'm not mistaken, that has been the ongoing theme of my personal blog for the last six months.  Family, God, personal time, kids, money, eating, weight, working out - I've been discussing the need to find the balance of all these things in my life so that I can feel content, happy, purposeful.  

And there was Oprah, the world's most famous talk show host and more, saying the same dang thing this week (something tells me I won't be getting her pay check anytime this week, tho!).  

So I plan on making Balance a main theme of this blog, and I hope it doesn't appear that I've taken that theme straight from my TV screen.  

In the meantime, think about those things that are out of balance in your life right now.  Look at it two different ways - the balance amongst the roles you play each day (mom, wife, daughter, employee, friend, for example) and the activities you spend your time doing (cleaning, writing, exercising, working, for example).  Identify at least five of YOUR roles and activities, I've just given examples.  
What do you pour most of your energy into?  
What would you like to invest more energy in?
(I got this activity from my MOPS group earlier in the fall - great idea!!)

Right now, let's just identify where our energy is, let's not worry about balancing today.  Once you see those things in your life that are sucking all your energy, then you can start to make small changes to give other areas what they need.  So let's identify first....

Anywho, I'll be back at ya in a few.  Right now, I'm typing as I eat scrambled eggs and wheat toast, with coffee (with some Nesquick and milk added.)  Pretty good, decent meal.  Even better, my 2 1/2 year old is eating it as well (well, without the coffee!), so that makes me feel good.  But I should make one confession:  A MOPS mom brought us a meal last night of a very heavy (read: fattening) broccoli, cheese, and potato soup with brownies.  Guess what my appetizer was this morning before breakfast?  Yep....brownies...  
But the soup and brownies were absolutely DeLish!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Welcome Back!

The FitMommas Blog has reopened for business!  I have been on what turned out to be a five month hiatus - not necessarily my intention, but I have good reasons...

1.  I was pregnant and have since given birth!
My second child was born December 4th, and I am just now attempting a return to normal life.  I'm not quite to the six week recovery mark, but I'm feeling good and know that it's time to ease back into my former workout/healthy eating life!

2.  2009 had more than life's usual stress.
I've had some major disappointments this past year, and one that I dealt with for a large chunk of the year just made it incredibly difficult to discuss living healthy - when I struggled from day to day to even get out of bed.  Life deals you blows, and this was one of my first.  But time to move on...

3.  Daily blogging is hard!
OK, if I was paid to sit here full time and wax poetic about living a fit and healthy life, I'd be all over it.  But my full time job is not to sit in front of the TV.  It's to raise my kids and run my house.  Coming up with thoughtful discussion on health and fitness issues when also dealing with teething toddlers, bills, laundry, etc is not nearly as easy as I expected it to be!  Surprisingly, my 2 1/2 year old son can clearly say "Mommy, off the computer!" - and since he is my boss during this time of my life, I do listen to him sometimes!

All this being said, I'm hoping to figure out how to blog somewhat regularly, as was my original intention.  I am now the stay home mom of two boys - 2 1/2 and one month old.  I'm not exactly sleeping.  Eating takes a back burner to changing diapers and wiping tears.  But...this is my life, and I can't put everything on hold "until this time passes."  Because it will always be something!

So...let's start over again.  OK, last March when I got pregnant, I was 135.5 pounds.  This morning, I weighed in at 153.  Not to sound like I'm copping out, but a week, week and a half ago, I weighed 149.5.  So I either packed on some Holiday weight, or I've got some water weight going on.  But for the same of argument, let's say my weight is what it is - 153.  Hey, all the more weight I can claim to have lost in a few months, right?

As of this morning - I have nothing.  No workout plans, no meal plan.  But I am going to slowly reintroduce daily workouts and meal planning - putting it all together here on the blog.  I have found in the past that I wait to start my plan until it's perfect, stick to it, and then let it go.  I'm going to try a different approach.  I'll work on the plan, but start today to do the little things to make that daily change.  Like the banana I'm eating right now.  ;-)

Also, along with blogging about my daily attempts at living fit and healthy, I'd love to find some other bloggers, sites, etc that I can tap into and reciprocate some postings.  I'd love to bring fresh content on a daily basis, but realized that developing fresh contact on a daily basis is an altogether different beast.  So if you find sites that you love, let me know!