I will….be better

Several challenges ago, I encouraged the moms to decorate a motivational jar. Some of us even got together and had a craft day!

What’s the jar for? This is how I used mine: If I worked out, I put in a dollar. If I lost a pound, I put in a dollar. If I lost an inch, I put in a dollar. Aanndd, if I gained a pound or inch, I took OUT a dollar.

There are TONS of ideas on Pinterest. (Pinterest tip- set a timer!!!! Pinterest is like crack! I’ve never done crack but I hear it’s highly addictive…like Pinterest. You WILL get sucked in and be late starting dinner, miss your workout, forget to pick up a kid or hold up the car loop line).

These are both super cute. Some people like the marble thing- I like money.

My jar used to say, “I can, I will!” but all that’s left is the “I will” part. It’s actually a very important part and I’m glad it’s stuck around. I will…not give up. I will… workout today. I will….be a better roll model for my fitness challenge moms. I will….fill in the blank every day. This can be fun!

My jar filled up pretty full. Then the people living in my house needed cash for various things like lunch money or McDonald’s and my dollar bills started disappearing like Dennis Rodman’s $1’s in a strip club. So I switched to pennies which I convinced my husband to turn into dollars when I reached my goal….which I’ve yet to meet.

Somehow, in a rare cleaning quest, I moved the jar into a corner cabinet and forgot about it. During another rare cleaning quest  (several months later) I found my jar and pulled it out of the dark depths of the cabinet.  This morning I emptied out the dusty pennies to start over.

The jar is now back on my counter next to the borrowed fat percentage checker tool thingy which was placed back in the creepy corner of my roll top desk (yeah, it’s old) and I recently ventured there to retrieve it. I’ve replaced my scale obsession with a body fat percentage obsession which is better than my food obsession. 

The jar works for me. I like money and I like shopping. Try a jar and see if it works for you. Or search Pinterest for other fitness motivational ideas like a dream board. But seriously, set a timer. I will honk and wave my arms (or fingers) at you if you hold up the car line.

I am not you. You are not him.

In the fitness world, we are like snowflakes.  No two people trying to lose weight, build muscle, eat healthy are exactly alike.  We have different bodies, different goals, different loves (and hatred) for various forms of exercise and eating.

I love taking walks. I love fun 5k runs (except I walk them).  I’m learning to love lifting.  I love dance fitness DVDs, some of the P90x videos and I now tolerate Brazil Butt Lift about twice a year….for a few days.

I have friends who absolutely do NOT want to weight lift.  For some, they fall under the “I don’t want to look like Arnold” misconception but for many, they just don’t wanna.  I have friends who have to go to the gym and they LOVE to go to the gym.  Some of them can run on the treadmill for an hour.  Some love the different classes.  Some love the weights.

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I have friends who hate any form of cardio.  Some of them love to lift weights, some just don’t exercise at all- in any form.

We are all different and I respect each of my friends, their goals, likes, dislikes and opinions.  I even respect the ones who choose to lead unhealthy lifestyles.  They know how I feel.  If they want to jump on the bandwagon, I’ll pull them along myself.

Our fitness movement is growing every day.  Let’s not allow social media to start a war within ourselves- “they” love to do that.  Look what they’ve done to moms and politics.  Let’s band together, learn to love each other, learn from each other, support each other no matter how we choose to get fit and healthy.

Don’t break down others because they don’t share your opinion.  Share your love, share your passion, share your tips and share your advice.  You might just change someone’s perception.

Cupcakes make you huge, not weights

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There is such a misconception about lifting weights.  Yes, you CAN get big and bulky by lifting but it takes a LOT of work that you have to do on purpose.  Many women lift and stay slender.  I know some women who have lost all of their weight JUST by lifting, avoiding cardio.  Of course food always has a lot to do with losing weight but lifting should be a big part of it, too.  Lifting can speed up weight loss which is a huge win if you ask me.  If you don’t want to look like a female version of The Rock, focus on using smaller weights with higher reps.  If you want to bulk up, use heavier weights with smaller reps.

Women need to stop being afraid of lifting weights.  I hope this short blurb changes your perception.

I don’t have time

“I don’t have time.”

This is the biggest excuse I hear.  I even tell myself this same thing sometimes.  Most of us are legitimately busy.  I get it.  But it’s an excuse.

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Even though my 22 year old is at college, I still have to take time for her.  She called me last night needing to talk and instead of sitting in my room, I walked around outside.  My 2nd one is also at college- I’m going with her.  We take the stairs instead of the elevator every day- 3 flights.  Then I walk down 3 flights outside then back up 2 for my second class.  When we are studying, we’ll take 5 minute breaks to go on a quick walk or I’ll do some little strength training exercises.

My youngest is a dancer.  When she was little I was right there with all of the other preschool parents with my face pressed against the glass.  But now that she’s older, I’ll either go home and go on a walk or walk around the building at the studio with some of the other moms.  There’s no reason for me to sit on my ass for hours watching her (although I do every once in a while).  I know she’s safe.  She’s not going anywhere.  Might as well make good use of my time for me.

Most of us have to cook dinner, right?  While you’re waiting for the pot to boil, do some push ups against the counter, walking lunges down the hall or squats in front of the stove.  Jog in place.  I step in place when I wash dishes, wait for the tub to fill or the shower to get hot.  You know kids are never ready when we want them to be.  While you’re standing at the door loaded down with their backpacks while they find a missing shoe or book, do some calf raises or squats.  Got a little one at home?  Strap them on and do squats and lunges.  Use them for bicep curls or shoulder lifts.  Stick them in a stroller or in a bike seat and go for a walk or ride.  At a theme park?  Use your time in line doing push ups or tricep dips against the railing.  Do squats with a kid, lunges or slightly inconspicuous calf raises.  Who cares if other people look at you funny.  You’re not getting fit and healthy for them.  You’re doing it for you.  Plus, you’re never going to see them again anyway.  And if they happen to take a video of you to post on their Facebook?  Jokes on them.  YOU are doing something positive to make your life better.  Standing in line at the store?  Same thing.  Use your time wisely.

No time?  Too busy?

Bullshit.

I’m a full time mom of 4, part-time college student, lead admin for Tampa Bay Moms Group, I run fitness challenges, blog, drive my kids all over town, am a semi-crazy dance mom, former baseball/soccer/volleyball/track mom, full time wife of a work-at-home husband who travels, and a whole bunch of other crap I’ve forgotten.

You CAN find the time.  You just have to want it bad enough.

Making a fitness goal…while eating a taco

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  But it was a chicken taco, homemade.  Ok, Old El Paso homemade but at least it wasn’t Taco Hell which I’m proud to say I haven’t eaten in over a year.  Yuck.

And I only ate one even though I wanted three.  Fortunately my son went back for seconds and ate them all.

I should also confess that I had a slice of pizza for lunch.  Again, I only had one slice where I used to eat two or three.  Everything in moderation!  About an hour later, I really wished I’d had tuna, though.  :/

I started out great this morning.  But that’s pretty much how every day begins.  I had a protein shake, probably not the best one but it beats Coco Puffs and whole milk.  Hey, I’m making changes.  I use Publix vanilla protein powder, Quaker Oats oatmeal and reduced fat Peter Pan crunchy peanut butter (which I bought to make pb&j sandwiches but decided to cut out bread).

Back to my goal.  It’s the same goal I had last year but didn’t come close.  I want to compete in the WBFF (World Beauty Fitness and Fashion show).  My friend, Gina, competed a couple of years ago and won her pro card.  Yes, it would be awesome to win, but my goal is to walk on the stage and not fall on my ass or look stupid.  That’s all I want.

full.jpg  That’s Gina on the right.  Talk about motivation!!!

I know what I have to do.  I know the workouts needed, the coaching I’ll have to get and the foods I will need to eat.  I think I can do it.  There are 113 days until the WBFF comes to Tampa.  Time is running out so I need to put the pizza and tacos down and get busy.

Gina posted a promotional picture for the WBFF a couple of days ago and I liked it.  Today, I went back and commented on it.  I admitted out there for everyone to see that I wanted to do it this year.  About the same time, my friend, Connell, posted a picture of himself at a gym stating that he’s committed to better health.  Having someone who has their pro card believe in me and seeing Connell make his commitment is motivating.  Earlier today, I had a discussion in a group about restless leg syndrome.  A mom told me that once she started exercising regularly, it went away.  That’s motivating. (If you don’t have RLS, consider yourself lucky.  It sucks and is one of the reasons I was induced 2 weeks early with Maggerina Ballerina– shameless plug).

12924393_10209373992805964_753306302817983983_n.jpg   Love this guy!!

Getting rid of my “fat” jeans and pants was motivating.  I don’t want to ever need those again.  I’m not fat but I have fat I don’t want anymore. I have a lot of muscle to build.  Like, a LOT a lot. That’s motivating.  I run fitness challenges and need to be a positive roll model for my fitness moms.  That’s motivating.  So here’s my public announcement (again) that I want to compete in the WBFF on July 23rd, 2016 in Tampa.  Feel free to hound me on my Real Fit Mom Facebook page (like and follow!).  I check it throughout the day so I’ll see your comments and messages.  Are you ready?  Let’s go!!

Now go away so I can get my P90x done for today.  🙂

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What are your fitness goal?  What’s your motivation?  

Find your fire

Our journeys to become fit and healthy are often full of ups and downs- stops and starts.  The New Year is a huge one.  It’s a new year and millions of people are excited to make their New Year resolutions come true.  But as time goes on, we lose our focus.  We go to the gym less and less.  McDonald’s calls.  Facebook is more fun than working out.

Sometimes we need a pick me up.  We need to light a fire under our butts to get going again.  It could be an upcoming wedding, school reunion, break up or family get-together.  Yes, we should always be on this journey for us.  It should be to make ourselves healthier and happier.  But if you find something that will give you a burst of energy to get back on the bus, hop on and ride it until it stops.  Find your fire.

What’s your current fire?

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Whacky Jacks….a mom’s best friend

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I’ve given birth to 5 babies (no c-sections).  Five vaginal births can make doing exercises like jumping jacks, running, sneezing a little challenging.  It doesn’t matter how many times I go to the bathroom before I workout, or how many times I stop the DVD to go in the middle.  Some of these exercises are just not bladder friendly for millions of moms.

God bless whoever created Whacky Jacks.  I saw them on Tim Horton’s P90x several years ago and was so happy to finally have an alternative to jumping jacks.  I was even more grateful when I started working out again after being rear ended since I’m banned from jarring exercises.  Do you look stupid doing them?  Yup.  But it beats peeing in your pants!

These aren’t just a great cardio exercise but it trims up your obliques as well.  Any time I’m doing a workout that calls for jumping jacks, I replace them with Whacky Jacks.

Thank you Whacky Jacks creator!!!

Another exercise that can help, Kegel exercises!  More on those later.