Posts Tagged ‘fitness woman’
Many people are aware that squats can give you great glutes, wonderful toned legs, and an overall more beautiful physique. What most people don’t know is that squatting with inappropriate form can compromise your knees and back, making you prone to injuries. In my famous “Hundreds Workout,” squats are one of the main components. However, I would also like to share with people that they are not only important, but that it’s important to use proper form and technique. In addition, did you know that proper form can also help you get more toned abs? Read on…
There are five rules for the movement before, during and in completion of a proper squat.
- The proper squat is done while pressing through the heels (“toes up” is a good rule of thumb for beginners to associate the feeling of pressing all their weight through the heels).
- “Core Tight” before you start, after you start, all through the movement, and when you complete the set movement and are replacing the weight on the bar. Tightening the core is the foundation for this movement’s safety, because it reinforces all the mechanics in the body, as the core itself is the foundation (or it should be, anyhow, but most people don’t use their core, which is why they have back problems).
- “Chest up/Shoulders back” as you move! The proper squat starts with the core tight, torso tall, chest up, and shoulders back for proper form PRIOR TO BEGINNING THE MOVEMENT, and continuously through the movement.
- Make sure that your knees are not bent and leaned forward so much that your knees are NOT extended beyond parallel to your toes. A 90-degree angle, a right angle in other words, should be your target for your leg movement, dropping your butt back as you drop into the squat, with a goal of keeping your chest as high as possible.
- Inhale through your nose as you drop down into the squat and exhale through your mouth as you “explode up” out of the lowest point (the seated position) of the squat, returning to the standing up tall position.
The best way to begin learning proper form on most standing leg exercises is on the smith machine, which is a weight training machine that imitates a squat rack and a barbell, with the support that is needed to keep us from falling or putting undue stress on the joints. Remember to keep the core tight, chest up, shoulders back, as this combination supports the back. The smith machine is a very effective way to learn proper form of squats for beginners. Once you have learned the proper squat technique, it’s best to start off with very light weight (or even no weight at all), as you move forward by performing your own proper squat on the squat bar, free-weight style. It’s always great to have an experienced trainer or workout partner with you when you perform these exercises, so that they can be available to check your form, and support through spotting if necessary.
I have always struggled with keeping my legs and glutes firm, so I hope this article will help anyone out there with the same issues. Great tips are also available at siouxcountry.com for these and other great exercises. Be on the lookout- Workout videos will be returning to nitasworld.com! Meantime, you will see that I’ve linked this article to two other sites that share exercise videos for men & women. Be aware that there is always support available through chat threads online. You are never alone on the journey of fitness.
Be well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
After the birth of my daughter, with the proper nutrition and a consistent weight training/cardio routine, I sucessfully lost 75 pounds (40 from pregnancy, plus an additional 35 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight) and 20% body fat. I am not only a fit mom, but I am also aspiring to become a licensed nutritionist, and I’m even helping transform my family’s fitness habits. We are a fit family!
I am in the best shape of my life at 37 years old. I’ve proven to myself that it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have had children, or if you don’t have model perfect genes. With hard work and clean eating you can absolutely attain the physique you have always dreamed of and bring your health and quality of life to a whole new level!
This journey hasn’t been easy for me with a baby and husband to take care of, a household to keep in order, and running my own skin care business. It has been difficult at times to keep a consistent workout schedule, as well as spending countless hours in the kitchen, planning and cooking meals for my family.
Our health is very important to me and, above all, I want to set a good example for my daughter. My fitness transformation has been a wonderful experience even with all the challenges, and I offer many thanks to the support from my husband for that. My husband is also an amazing father! He has always been there when mommy needed to squeeze in a workout, or stay late for clients at work. On top of all of this, he has gotten into the fitness lifestyle with me. He himself has also benefited from a cleaned up diet full of veggies, lean protein and complex carbs, losing 25 pounds in 5 months!
My incredible fitness trainer, Jamo Nezzar of Jamcore Training, has been the core of my fit physique success. He is a constant source of workout inspiration, exercise and nutrition guidance, fitness knowledge and overall fitness motivation. He has helped me in so many ways to become more powerful, not just in fitness, but also in other areas of my life. Through getting more fit, I gained more power in my life in all aspects. I have discovered a strength in myself that I never knew existed, and I attribute that to the habits and determination that I retained throughout my fitness journey. Because of the advancement I found in my fitness lifestyle, I feel strong and confident, and I look forward to each and every workout with my trainer as well as my solo workouts.
I want to continue the fitness lifestyle forever! Thank you Jamo, for changing my life in such a positive way. You are more than a fitness coach. I am thankful for your impact on my lifestyle choices for being more fit, setting goals, and learning to develop the habits and determination to reach them.
On December 3, 2011, I reached my ultimate fitness goal, competing in my first NPC Bikini competition! It was an unbelievable experience, sharing the stage with some incredibly fit women.
My goals for 2012 are to continue to condition my physique and possible do another show in May. I would also love to earn a degree in nutrition and to help others change their body and their health through better food choices. Cooking and collecting recipes has become a hobby of mine! I love transforming unhealthy, fat-laden recipes into clean, delicious meals that fuel your energy and keep your metabolism running at it’s peak. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless! Here I will share quick & easy recipes to support a fit lifestyle, as well as training (based on my own experience) and motivational tips. Thanks
Please join me and Nita Marquez in the Fitness Empowerment Movement on the following links on Facebook:
The fitness of a woman who is trying to stay fit but live a normal life doesn’t change in one day of eating poorly. If you’re wondering why you gorged yourself on Christmas day, and how you can get that lean fit physique back, fit moms & fit chicks, and fit guys: There is a perfect combination that is simple and very doable to help you get that beautiful progressively fit contour back in your body lines. There are a lot of solutions out there, but this is by far the most optimal, practical, tried and true method of fitness execution that you can possibly reach your fitness results through. When you think about the way you feel normally, and then you think about a day after drinking a whole lot of alcohol, you think of a hangover. Yes, we can all relate to that word: hangover- the consequence of “too much.” With food, it’s no different. We are very naturally wired to be moderate, and thus, even with food or fitness, our body sounds off alarms when moderation is botched. Thus, the food hangover.
Fitness Buffs are familiar with this, as we’ve all experienced food hangovers in our quest for perfect dietary balances. We have eaten perfectly for weeks on end, training for our stage presentations in fitness competitions. Then, the second we come off stage, GORGE! We proceeded to eat like garbage disposals for the next 24 hours. It’s part of what people do to learn balance. ”The path of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” Thus, as a fitness personality myself, having gone through this in my first few fitness competitions (yes, it subsided with repeated episodes that taught me it feels like utter crap, so I quit doing it), I have learned what my colleagues in the fitness competition industry do. We have all, our entire fitness population of athletes, gone the gorge route, and felt like crap the day after. It’s a load up of sodium and sugars and fats and foreign things that our bodies are not used to on a daily basis that makes our fitness levels, mental acuity and energy feel completely extinguished. Fitness people know that it’s just a food hangover, and we know how to cure it, based on our own experience.
Hydration is key here. I normally drink about a gallon of water a day, so I stay hydrated. Yet, the day after an episode of gorging, I have learned that water will balance my body back to it’s normal fitness state within a day, when combined with even mild activity. When you drink a lot of water, you flush out the toxic buildup of those excessive properties you added in when eating too much.
So, whether you are fit, or whether you are somewhat out of shape, if you’re experiencing a food hangover, water and walking will fit your body back into it’s normal mold. Take a walk in the morning with some water in your system. Flush by drinking approximately 4 liters of water if you are not one to hydrate extremely on a daily basis. If you’re into fitness, chances are you drink a lot of water, so you will want to double your normal intake in that case. For me, I normally drink a gallon (because it’s normal for my fitness lifestyle, and athletes typically acquire that 1-gallon habit), so if I eat too much, I’ll take in 1.75 or 2 gallons of water for a day after eating in a way that was not only excessive, but also not fitness oriented in it’s ingredients. Everyone has cheat days, and they should. Those girls who walk around eating perfect all the time, well, they’re never happy. Being “perfect” isn’t the key, it’s “perfect balance” that impacts our fitness lifestyle in the most effective and empowering ways.
You are worth the work. Be Phenomenal.
-Nita Lee Marquez, Fitness Empowerment Author, IFBB Pro, Miss National Fitness, and Proud Mother of Three
More Fitness Empowerment. More Recipes. More tips for Family-First Fitness. More Reality.
Look, I know that there are women (and men) out there raising their kids who are so busy they cannot seem to muster up the time to devote to their fitness goals. The reality is, it’s not as hard as it seems. There are so many ways for fit moms to innovate and infuse their lives with fitness, not just for ourselves, but also for our children.
We can improve our fitness lifestyles in so many valuable ways, there are actually an unlimited amount of realistic options available to us for empowering our lives through fitness. Recipes, Ideas for time management, different workouts for many different women’s lifestyles, and all such tried and true options can be made available to us through our greatest resource for this information: EACH OTHER!
Joining the Group America’s Hottest Fit Moms on Facebook will help us to help each other, as well as ourselves. Hey, I’m only one person, but I would love to see how many great ideas you all have to contribute to this great movement for Fitness Empowerment for Everyone. America’s Hottest Fit Mom isn’t just a title, it’s a Brand, and it represents all the things that lead to Fitness Empowerment for Everyone, but like all things, it starts with a mom
Join the Group Now and let us celebrate your fitness successes while we learn to build momentum with our own fitness goals and fitness lifestyles! Thanks for stopping by to visit, and we’ll see ya in the Group and hopefully get to learn more from you!
Be well, Be You,BE PHENOMENAL!!
To all of America’s Hottest Fit Moms: What a delight I find today in celebrating our culture’s fashion industry magazine Glamour for it’s PHENOMENAL layout of the beautiful Lizzie Miller, a 20-year-old healthy, beautiful, real and believe it or not, FIT woman. See all fit moms realize that fitness is a lifestyle, not a dress size, and Hot Fit Moms are Hot because they actually like themselves! The Fittest Moms in the world are the ones who work to stay active to produce for their family and set good examples, not necessarily working to fit into that size 6 dress for the high school reunion. Fitness is a set of choices that yields an energy produced by nothing else in this world. The fit mom energy is beautiful and hot because it is Vivacious and confident. The hot fit mom reads, and she reads to her kids, and she loves her family more than she loves the mirror, and yea, she’s pretty easy on the eyes too!
There is nothing in the world more beautiful and radiant and powerful than a woman who works out and stays active AND she’s a fit mom who cares for family first and above everything. As a fit mom, you have the physical capacity to keep up with your kids and live a long life that assures you will run around after those grand-babies with vigor yourself! Fit Moms are women with confidence, not just cardio endurance
There is a lot to be said for Glamour for being so authentic and for featuring this astonishing reality of what beauty stands for. I believe honestly that fitness in general is an industry that tends to push the envelope of vanity just as much as the fashion industry does. No doubt, you get what you sign up for, but being mothers who love fitness doesn’t mean we have to be consumed by what a panel of judges would think of us at all times. Sure, when I compete, I compete to win, so I want to hit that stage looking my best. That was for a competition, and I always felt like it would be lame to get that caught up in the illusion all year round. The reality is that the stages of competitions are meant for us to present the best illusion of our own best physique. You hold that perfection for about two hours though. The rest of the year, I wanted to be fit still, but I didn’t want to spend every ounce of my good energy struggling to fit into that mold that people put me into because of how I looked on stage. I wanted to live fit but I wanted to put my family first. After all, that was why I got into the sport of fitness to begin with.
It’s still important to work out even when we are not training for fitness competitions, but at the same time, the sacrifice of fitness does not have to be at my children’s expense. As well, th fitness lifestyle of today’s fit moms do not have to entail sacrificing time away from our family. Sure, it’s nice to make my time at the gym a time to pay attention to myself, but I can also spend my fitness-devoted time with my kiddos if I want to!
It’s important to us as mothers to keep our children integrated into the routine of our fitness lifestyle. They learn by what we do in their presence, not just what we say to teach them. Why not make some of our fitness time For instance, instead of cardio at the gym all the time, I would go to the track and the children would run around and play while I did my run. When their father and I were still married, we all went to the gym and the track together, and made family time out of my workouts when I was training for a competition.
My trainer would let the kids work out at his gym too, and we always had a blast with that. It’s great because the children are absolutely inundated with fitness lifestyle choices that our family has lived out over the years.
America's Hottest Fit Mom Fit Kids
Another great option is hiking. Fit Moms have Fit Kids, right? My kids and I love hiking almost every weekend. When we lived in Arizona, we hiked Squaw Peak, and here in California, it’s Runyon Canyon or Fryman Canyon. I love doing Fit Moms Phenomenal Fitness Boot Camps at Fryman. It’s no joke out there, it’s still a challenge in the way I train the fit moms, but at the same time, we can take the kids with us.
The point is that fitness is EMPOWERING! It does not have to be a habit formed for pressure of society’s view of what you should look like. I mean, just look at Lizzie Miller’s smile in the picture above. That glow, that laughter, THAT IS THE ESSENCE OF FITNESS. That’s what we are really striving for. Fitness is the delight of energy and loving yourself, and yes, that makes you a bad-ass in my opinion It’s just about loving your body! If you love your body, care for it in the most fitness-oriented ways, but if you love yourself, maintain balance. You are WORTH THE WORK!!
I would love to hear from women, whether you’re a fit mom or a not a mom at all, please comment and share your thoughts on this blog, on the Glamour photo shoot of the Lovely Lizzie Miller! Remember to sign up for your free newsletter!
Nitasworld.com is the official website of America’s Hottest Fit Mom, the brand that means FITNESS EMPOWERMENT FOR EVERYONE!
Even if you’re not a fitness enthusiast, a fit mom, or even fitness curious, this article is a must read, as it will change your life forever should you heed it’s advice, and your life will be longer as well if you follow this one rule. This article will give you power in all aspects of your health and wellness. Read on to hear not only facts, research, and fitness tips, but you must read this because it could literally save your life, or someone close to you. While this is a blog specific to America’s Hottest Fit Moms(tm), fitness enthusiasts and the fitness curious, I do not limit the material to diet and exercise. There are sometimes life or death matters that will affect how you live forever as well as how long that life is. Today’s topic could have literally saved someone’s life at an event I attended yesterday.
When thinking about fitness, most women (and men) think of the way they look, or they think fitness is all about working out and dieting. Yes, certainly there is merit to all ideas of fitness that women and men concede to. What many fitness enthusiasts do not realize is that there is one necessary component to fitness that matters in women’s health and wellness that is neither diet or exercise. Hydration is the heart of any fitness program. Water detoxes, replenishes, cleans our insides making them efficient for digestion and continued energy for working out, even if you’re just walking. There is no substitute for the importance of water. Water is fundamental to your life, at all times. Today, I had two conversations with fitness clients about the importance of hydration for ALL of life’s functionality, from our physical to even our psychological efficiency. In making such a statement about dehydration, I have noted some cases below that are real scenarios that I have actually been witness to that prove the statement to be inpenetrably true. Yes, while water is an absolute necessity in your fitness goals, I also wanted to address the absolute need for complete hydration as it pertains to your other bodily functions, longevity, digestion, energy levels, and so on.
Cases in point:
1. Injured Muscles: For me, as an IFBB Pro Fitness Athlete I have had only one injury and it was a few years into my athletic career. When preparing to go on stage to perform my fitness routine, I was severely dehydrated, as many athletes tend to be, which is normal for the day of the event. You see, we athletes in the competitive physique world often have to dyhydrate in an effort to get our cuts in our bodies to show up on the stage. The lighting tends to smooth out your look, and back then, well, the more cut you were, the higher you were scored in your physique round. The overall judgement on our presentation for the fitness shows was contingent to your body round combined with the fitness routine’s athleticism (flexibility, explosiveness, endurance, entertainment).
I always came in really lean, but at one particular show I had gotten so dehydrated and because I wanted to come on stage looking exceptionally ripped. I dehydrated to look more ripped than usual to a physical point of appearance that we call “dry” in the competitive fitness world, I actually ripped my calve muscle on my right leg, and when I collapsed (just twenty minutes before the fitness show was set to raise curtain), I was then attended to by paramedics. The diagnosis was that severe dehydration had impacted my muscles to the point that my calve literally just ripped during a step. Had I not been so dehydrated, I would have succeeded in my career without any injuries, as this was my only time of ever getting hurt in all these years of being a competitive fitness athlete.
2. Digestion and Gastrointestinal Health Dangers: Another extreme case comes to mind from my industry (bodybuilding and fitness), but I want to share that one with you last, as I wrote this blog today knowing that someone literally died from dehydration, but first, let me give you a normal scenario regarding someone I know who is not in the fitness industry.
My aunt went to the doctor recently, as she was having extreme conditions of pain due to gastrointestinal issues. The cause: dehydration. She drinks nothing but coffee and diet soda all day. She could not recount the last time that she had more than one or two cups of water (if any) throughout the day. The doctors said that her conditions were “extreme” because she had likely been dehydrated for months. Thus, it’s fair to conclude that you are having an extremely negative impact on your body’s ability to digest. Other results of dehydration and insufficient digestion are lowered metabolism, toxic buildup (which to more issues in other areas of the body), and sleeplessness.
3. Muscle-cramps: There are a lot of people who I know that don’t work out like a “fit mom” or like an extreme athlete. Some people just don’t exercise much. In such cases, even dehydration with minimal activity have caused major issues like back and muscle spasms, and extreme foot cramps.
4. Halitosis: EEW! Bad breath’s number one cause is ongoing dehydration. If you don’t mind offending everyone with bad breath, be my guest. If you’re not drinking enough water, it causes the worst odor inside your mouth, and the longer you go, the farther your bad breath will travel. Yes, dehydration causes stinky breath. If you don’t want to drink water, if bad breath doesn’t offend you, well, then go ahead and pass gas in a crowded room and fog it up. When you have a conversation with bad breath, that’s basically what you’re doing.
5. Energy Levels: My neighbor recently started getting into drinking more water. He went out and bought four stainless steel BPA-free water bottles to refill every day, and at the tender age of only 28, he said that he has never had more energy in his life, than since he started drinking four liters of water every day. He goes to a place that sells reverse osmosis water, alkaline water, and mineralized structured water. Water has literally given him a better quality of life. He now has more energy to go for bike rides occasionally (on a bike that’s really expensive and used to just sit on his patio and collect dust!). His work ethic has revved up, according to him, too, and he feels more creative with his art as well. That’s a great testimonial.
I have another male client that said the same thing when he started training with me recently. He said that not only did he feel weight coming off, but he also felt very energetic. He said he literally crapped the toxins out for about two weeks after increasing his water intake and starting to work out. After that, he noticed a major rush to his energy throughout the days and especially at work. Again, water cannot be disputed as increasing energy and quality of life.
6. Cellulite: Taking in more water can help release toxins and clean out garbage that is stored in the fat cells that comprise your cellulite. More water equals less cellulite.
7. Skin: You can literally anti-age because water increases the retention of youth through maintaining certain functionality in your body that shows up on your skin.
More water = Less wrinkles
8. Fatloss: Your body is will be less likely to hold toxins, slow metabolism, and store fat with increased water intake.
9. Headaches: There have only been two times in my life that I have ever had a headache. Once was during a case I suffered of Viral Meningitis. The second time was when I was dehydrated because I had gotten sick from a flu. Even for a week after I overcame the flu bug and was able to go back to the office (I worked at a marketing firm), I had a horrible headache because my body had gotten so dehydrated during the spell of illness.
10. The extreme case- Death: A man who was competing in a bodybuilding show here in Los Angeles yesterday died of a heart attack, and doctors attributed his heart failure to severe dehydration. Sadly, I would agree that there are a lot of things that could have contributed to this man’s heart failure, but the reality was that the dehydration was the hair that pulled the trigger.
Dehydration can kill you, literally. While there is no doubt you can get away with drinking only sodas and juices for many years, eventually, the lack of water wears on your system. Or, if you are not in perfect health already, then not drinking enough water can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so to speak. Your health, wellness, vibrance, fitness, metabolism, appearance, and your life literally depends on consistent water intake.
I recommend at least 1/2 gallon a day for women to start, but eventually, 1 gallon should be your regular intake ladies. Women’s fitness has come so far, and we can look so much more intensely fit than we used to be able to because of technologies and updated information about fitness and exercise and diet (especially on a higher protein diet, a woman’s body looks so much better).
For men, I recommend 1-2 gallons daily, depending on your size and your fitness goals. At minimum though, any man should be taking in a gallon of water daily.
As for how to take it in, many people do what I do, which is to always have a BPA-free gallon jug of water filled and on my person at all times. Other suggestions for maintaining a healthy water intake for overall life fitness and wellness are that you can carry around a 1-liter BPA-free container filled with water and continue to refill it with alkaline or reverse osmosis water throughout the day, at least 3 times. That’s what I do when I cannot carry my big jug, but either way, water is a life source, and not having it can be death. Please fit moms, know that this is a heartfelt push for life from America’s Hottest Fit Mom products and services. All the products and services and fitness knowledge in the world helps nothing when you are not taking in enough water. Mothers, impact yourself, your children and your whole life by hydrating highly. Be well, Be you, BE PHENOMENAL!
There is one obvious fact I have found over the past 21 years of learning to live fit, and that is that no matter what, cellulite is part of nature. Can you filter the appearance of cellulite off of your body though? Yes, you can literally get rid of cellulite. The thing that causes cellulite to bunch up and give that ugly cottage-cheese pocketed look to our skin is that there is subcutaneous water and toxins stored up in that pocket which give it that gross puckered look that we all loathe to see in that overhead light in the mirror.
Cellulite is the dimpled orange-peel-like appearance of skin that has weakened connective tissue that stores toxic/fat/subcutaneous water in pockets just under the skin. Unfortunately, yes, cellulite is genetic, but fortunately, it can be dispelled. There are four different solutions that, when combined, have helped me to avoid the appearance of cellulite even after having children.
When you don’t hydrate enough, your body holds onto that much more water to be sure that it maintains proper hydration storage in the event that you don’t take in enough water again for an extended length of time. So, the answer to that is to drink more water. If you’re only drinking a couple of glasses per day, then increase it to 3/4 gallon. I’m 4’10 and I take in one to two gallons daily. I don’t hold excess water when I’m doing this, and no one thinks I have cellulite. Well, when I’m not drinking enough water, I notice it creeping back up on my upper outer thighs. Since my mother has it really badly, I’m a prime candidate. In other words, the way your connective tissue aligns with your muscle with your skin and overall elasticity wherein the toxins and water and fat can be stored, well, that’s just genetic. So drinking enough water can help you evolve your body, but note that once it’s gone, you still have to hydrate, because your appearance of cellulite may go, but your body’s propensity toward holding it will still be there. So hydrate consistently and ongoingly to eliminate cellulite from appearance.
Couple dehydration with excessive salt intake, such as that taken in from soups, canned foods, frozen processed foods, fast food, and all sauces & dressings. Well, salt will cause water retention to. Excessive sodium occurs in just about everyone’s diet in America. We love our processed junk, the stuff with salt added, and we just can’t leave the dressing and sauce alone! Sodium can be avoided, though. There are a lot of dry rub seasonings, as well as Himalayan salt, which can help you bring down and minimize your sodium intake & lessen your water retention, which will reduce cellulite buildup in those cellulite-concentrated areas of your body.
On top of that, once your body is in a really toxic state, if you give it more toxins, those will target the cellulite-prone areas of a woman’s body. For women, cellulite buildup is generally in the thighs, the backs of the legs and butt, and sometimes, in the stomach. So, hydrate, take in less sodium, and do your best to clean up the food intake. I’m not saying you have to be perfect, but take baby steps in eliminating daily intakes of crap like processed boxed or frozen foods. Stay away from canned foods and fast foods, and if you’re going to cheat, just do it once a week. The less toxic intake, the less your body has a chance to store.
Finally, the fourth step to avoiding cellulite on your legs, butt, thighs and stomach is to work out! Circulation causes the bloodflow needed to cause the toxins and excess water to dissipate and eventually, with consistency, those toxins, fats, and water excesses, will filter their way out of your body. As your fat pockets can not go, the garbage that’s in them can be forced out of the body to eliminate the nasty gauged look of cellulite. Love yourself, You are Worth the Work! BE PHENOMENAL!!
Listen, moms, I’ll be the first mom to agree that fitness for mothers does not come easily, as our whole lives, every second of the day is dedicated to someone else: kids, bosses, employees (if you’re a manager or business owner), and general life requests of others. We mothers take not only big bites, but we practically inhale those bites (no pun intended)! We are busy! There is no doubt that children are the priority, and they always will remain so to their mommies, but as their mothers, it IS OUR DUE DILIGENCE to teach them about balance. Thus, we have to make time for ourselves. Me, personally, I get up at 4-4:30 daily and I either hike or workout at the gym at 5-6am. I like the quiet time, the personal space, and the freedom and ability to focus on just ourselves. The early morning workouts are generally very peaceful and focused, as I have no one requesting that I go into mommie-mode, or that I return a phone call, text or email, or go to any meetings. It’s my time for me, Mom-time. I personally love getting up before the rest of the world. The reality is that not all moms are like me.
The reality of fitness for me has not always looked this way. I wasn’t always crazy about getting up that early, as some other fit moms or fit-moms-in-training may also not enjoy the early mornings. What can we do to stay fit that we don’t have to wake up at 4-6am for? What can we do that adds to our schedule and also adds to our time with our kids? There are so many great workouts I did over the years that my children enjoyed with me, and things that my children did for my workouts to help me train for my competitions!
There are realistic solutions for fitness for busy moms. Today’s blog is all about those solutions.
1) You don’t have to sit down for dinner EVERY night, on summer and spring evenings you can take a walk to your local park and have a light meal from a picnic basket.
2) When you have dinner together, play carb counting to make it fun to learn about healthy eating.
3) Start talking at dinner with your family about protein and why it’s important
4) Workout together! Go to a rec center or a community gym and do a circuit training workout together
5) Go to the track together, time each other’s sprints, or even have races!
6) Do walking lunge contests with each other to see who can do the most without giving up!
7) Exercise together by playing together! They don’t have to be the only ones playing on the monkey bars! Have fun being fit mommy!
My favorite game is “can’t” -When the kids say that they “can’t” do something, I make them do push-ups, and I do them too, so that no one feels ridiculed, but they get the point that “can’t” is a bad word in our house
9) Learn some fun plyometric workouts you can do together in your back yard or on your front sidewalk!
10) If you have a two or three-story home, do a tag-team step-run in sets of 10!
These are quick, easy, cheap and accessible workouts that put the family first, while they build the fitness level of the whole family as everyone spends time bonding and hopefully laughing a lot even if you’re breathing heavy!
I have always held firmly to the belief that everything in life has a purpose. Challenges as they occur in our lives certainly do not deviate from that truth. In the case of my weight challenges, there has become a parallel to my life’s flow.
I never felt good about myself growing up, and it was not easy getting fit. However, it is so clear to me now that there was a strong purpose in my having learned so much about my body and what has been necessary to become and stay physically fit. There is nothing in the world that can drive a person like purpose. Purpose is a word that has become the driving force of every choice I make, and the reality is that I never could have become this way had it not been for conquering my fitness challenges.
Because of my weight issues, I have learned tremendous amounts of coping which have helped me in all other areas of my life. I learned to accept the reality of not fitting in, realized the pain of it, cited wherein that pain I had control, and learned through persistence how to gain and assert that control over my weight.
Having conquered so much in the events of my weight issues, I was becoming more and more convicted within myself. Pushing out all the drudgery and just powering through these challenges, it was becoming more apparent to me that I was not meant to just understand this new-learned conviction. The point in learning is to share what we learn through our actions and conversations with others. How that was going to take place I did not know, but to me, getting fit was more than just a weight matter. It was about overall health— the mind, body and soul balance. Everything started from recognizing my strengths, as it will begin to form for you as well.
It is never just about getting thin, it’s about gaining control. That comes from acceptance of what hurts, accepting that it hurts badly, and finding where you can control the pain, learning how to control the compulsions, and then asserting that control. Once this process is complete, you will have conviction, and with conviction, there is a sense of purpose for one’s self. Therein, we can own our strengths, and that is where the big picture finally starts to become clear.
In Book 1, I have laid it all out there for you to understand my approach in hopes that I could support you learning your own self-development through fitness. You accepted the pain that fitness was not present in your life, whatever your case was. Upon the completion of the first two steps of the process of weight management (acceptance of what hurts and accepting that it hurts badly), you moved onto step 3, which was learning where you could control the pain, and thus, you looked toward health-filled mind/body/soul books and other forms of learning for help in your quest. Step 4 was your upon finding your sources for learning, you actually gained the knowledge and then you finally, in step 5, asserted that control. We go this process repeatedly with any situation, and I am so both hopeful & thankful to see that you will make/have made it through so many times and now you (will) have gained conviction from it all.
Today, You own Yourself. You own the mistakes, the pains, the learning, the hard work, and best of all, you own the rewards. So what’s next for you? Where will you re-apply some of those steps? Where will you parallel those experiences? Where and through what area of your life can you acknowledge and empower yourself with the lessons and work ethic you learned in getting fit? From where you were to where you are, you have had some basic strengths and talents, and you know you can do well with those somewhere. Once you have become fit, it’s time to make new goals. Keep yourself charged by re-igniting the fire of these processes that helped you succeed in this area of your life. Use those processes and their lessons to keep growing in love and respect for yourself. Empower yourself, and it will help you empower others. Your family will benefit, your work can benefit, and your soul will be the ultimate beneficiary, because you are now living with purpose as your driving force.
Where will you go from here? Have goals that are specific to working up your strengths, and I guarantee that as a result, no matter how happy you think you are, you are going to be happier. Let that happiness invigorate those around you! As misery loves company, your Company Loves Happiness! Happiness is infectious. That’s a great deal to be a part of. It’s ongoingly reciprocal and ever-expanding. Thus is the law of attraction. Put something out and you will find it reciprocated to you from vast and sometimes unpredictable sources, and it will be amplified as the cycle continues. In other words, you get out what you put in, and you will get more and more of it as you continue putting it out there. This law was in effect for me and I didn’t even realize it, but that is why I am writing this book. I learned that the lessons of my path to fitness were attracting more good toward greater goals just because I was working so hard. I knew that stopping just with weight maintenance would be stifling, so my goals, my visualizations of competing in shows remained vivid.
I went on from learning to get fit to hoping to compete at some point, and eventually, that was exactly what I did. With the disciplines that I accumulated in losing weight and balancing my health, there was no reason that I could not get on that stage. I didn’t feel like I would necessarily kill the competition, but I knew that I could do the show. Despite the nerve-wrecking effects of being subjected to the scrutinies of a panel of judges and an audience of hundreds of people, there was a definite reward on the other side of that. There was a goal there though, just like there had once been with my weight, and for me, doing a contest was going to balance the healthy trinity: mind, body, and spirit. Absolutely everything inside me was telling me that my spirit would benefit tremendously if I just got on that stage. Remember when I said in Book 1 of this series, that you have to learn to speak your body’s language? Well, the same goes for your spirit, if you don’t learn to speak with it, how can it communicate to you what will help you flourish? Whatever your beliefs are, if you speak you communicate, when you listen, you learn.
Goal Setting is a spiritual and mental thing. Leading up to the goal is spiritual, and powering through it is both mental and spiritual. The goal of being fit took the spiritual sense to feel the misery of my lack of health, and the expedience required to reach that goal was a combination of holding onto the faith that I could get fit while I mentally acclimated myself with the knowledge and tools of getting fit. I had no interest in going small. If you are going to do something good for yourself, there is no sense in doing it half-assed. I knew that going balls-to-the-wall was going to be the only way to live this out, and so I got fit by learning and applying and maintaining. Once I got on auto-pilot with the weight stuff and I decided to compete, the vigorous attitude has spanned beyond getting fit into the area of my competitive career.
The day I decided to compete in a show, I was completely unfamiliar with the schedule of events in the competitive world of bodybuilding and fitness. Of course, finding a show was the first step. I looked around to find out about what shows were coming up. You can find out about shows in your area by checking the internet, looking for posters at your gym, as well as simply asking people around who you know to be a part of that world. Some of my favorite sites to learn show schedules are npcnewsonline.com and bodybuilding.com.
Once I had decided which sport, for me it was Fitness, I wanted to compete in, and then decided on a show, it was a matter of getting the right team. I was pretty much my team at that point, and I knew that there would be a lot of expense. I sized up the expenses: suits, shoes, grooming, tanning, etc. That being the case, I knew that I would need to work and find a sponsor. How does one find a sponsor?
The best thing you can do is type your expense list up on a spreadsheet, and then you can decide who to go to for sponsorship. You can ask friends who own businesses, which is what I did,or you can go to fresh sponsors. It’s very challenging to find new companies to sponsor your cause, so that’s why it is very important to look polished in your approach. They need to hear and see, if possible, why they should give you money. If you are thinking of looking for sponsorship, get a great package together, and offer them incentives to sponsor you. Can you be a poster child for their products? Can you be a model for them once or twice monthly at some kind of product booth? Is it possible that you have already accumulated some publicity that would show them that you are notable? The point is you want to find every reason for them to work with you and you want to show it, share it, sell it, and let them take advantage of whatever it is that is special about you in order to bring their products some sales. There has to be a trade-off. What I did was get a spreadsheet of my expenses, a letter sharing with them how they could recoup their monies by writing their sponsorship off as an advertising expense, and any newspaper clippings or news appearances I had made were listed for them to see for themselves. Some people said yes, and some said no, but I got through to my first show nonetheless. I had one child at the time, and a husband, but we did not have much money, so I sought out sponsorship dollars. I went to places that had to do with my industry and restaurants that I favored. After telling them what I was doing, I shared my package with them, asking that they cover one or more expenses on the the list, and eventually, I got them all covered. When you want something badly enough and you never give up until you get it, oddly enough, you get it. I was never pushy or psycho, but I was definitely persistent. That was absolutely necessary. Like all things, it never got any easier, but I just got better at it as I went along. There was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to get what I needed to, but there were always obstacles.
I was fortunate that the juice bar at my gym was run by a gentleman that I could approach about sponsorship. The Power Station Juice Bar was run by Tim DuPriest, who was also a photographer. He was starting a photography business, and I was starting my competitive career. I was really happy that he was so helpful, but it never would have come from him without my continued effort. Sometimes, people just see your heart, and even if it’s a crunch for them, they will try to help you because people like supporting each other. Where there is a dream, there must be a person with heart, and the people who have a heart for others will show up to assist, even in the smallest ways. We agreed that I would model for him for free in trade of him being able to write off advertising expenses. There is a lot to be said for intention. Someone once said though, “No one ever built a reputation on what they were going to do.” So, even if I felt like a dork, I just went for it, because, as i said, it doesn’t get any easier, you just get better as you go. My sponsorships were available through the law of attraction, but the law of attraction only works after you have put forth the efforts necessary to communicate your intentions. Looking even deeper into it, there is nothing that can happen if you don’t persist until it manifests. Another one of my favorite phrases: “Everyone gets what they want in this world, when they don’t give up until they get it.” Pretty elementary stuff, but no one seems to realize that this is the stuff I lived by (and obviously still do) when I was seeing a fit woman instead of a fat girl when I looked into the mirror. Remember, acknowledge it hurts, acknowledge the pain, acknowledge you can manage it, figure out how to manage it, and then manage it. I say the same thing a million different ways, but the process remains the same. It will also always remain that YOU ARE WORTH THE WORK!
I was speaking with a woman at the gym today who is an attorney (obviously a very sedentary job), she genuinely loves to take care of herself, and I found it interesting that she was a very avid workout enthusiast. I mean, where does an attorney find the time!? It’s just like being a mom, THE RESPONSIBILITIES NEVER SLOW DOWN The point is, she was someone so busy, I thought it would be a very impressive blog because she had a wonderful energy and she looked great, and in working out, isn’t that what we’re all after?
Being a mother, we have to manage our time effectively as well as our choices as to how we spend that time, because we have other lives which are completely reliant on our efficiency with our time. What I thought was interesting about Sandy, the attorney, was that, like I said, she is BUSY! Yet, she still makes time to work out and feel and look great. How does she do it?
At one time she was a runner. At another time she got into kickboxing and MMA training. The reality: NONE OF THESE METHODS OF FITNESS WORKED WELL FOR HER and they took up a lot of time. “When I started weight training, I immediately noticed my arms were getting tone, and MY BUTT! Wow!” I loved hearing that because women are always saying “I don’t want to use weights because I just don’t want to look bulky.” The reality: there is nothing more effective on your body’s toning ability than weight training. If done correctly, with the right form and technique, weight training is SAFER, MORE TONING, AND MORE FATBURNING IN THE LONG RUN THAN CARDIO. (see more at nitasfitnessdirectives.com)
Even more beneficial, you don’t have to weight train for 2 hours a day to get results. 30 minutes three times a week is a good start, and for mothers, this a manageable time structure and a good ongoing method of training. We spend 30 minutes three times a week watching tv or doing something else that’s mindless and unfulfilling and ineffective for ourselves. If motherhood is about time management, weight training is the perfect answer to create a fitness regimen through.
Reality: Weight training tones more than anything else, it helps strengthen our bone density (osteoporosis occurs in many women with age- weight training can help!), it is a great way to burn fat, you can do it and see results in just 1.5 hours weekly.