I'm floored by moms who somehow manage to do EVERYTHING!
Like my mom. The only thing she doesn't do for me is my laundry...because she lives in another state. Let me be clear, moms like mine cater to their families but never forget to cater to themselves. They're called Fit Moms. And their unwavering motivation and commitment stack up higher than a series of post-natal fitness dvd's...which I'm pretty sure you'll never find them doing.
I don't have kids, but I do know that juggling everything in my life including a steady fitness routine is hard enough. Throw some kids in the mix and I'm bound to drop some balls. I'm sure I'd desperately need the Mama Wants Her Life Back DVD from the series above. That's why I'm relying on the following 5 moms to tell you what it takes to be a real-deal Fit Mom. And to all my friends out there reading this: I will not drop your baby(ies), I promise!
Y'know...the sexy host of Top Chef! Well, she's a boxing fanatic too.
When Padma lost her baby weight in 2 seconds, everyone wondered how she did it. But the truth was that she wasn't doing anything new. Padma revealed:
"I've been boxing for about seven years now. I love it. It's a very meditative practice. You have to really concentrate. When someone is swinging at you, you don't really think about anything else. I think it's a confidence booster and I think that no matter what mood you go into the boxing ring in, you come out feeling better." (source)
Boxing is a healthy and much needed distraction for new moms. Trainer Delon Nelson (who I've personally trained with and consider exceptional) of D&I Fitness in NYC says, "Boxing is the perfect mind-body workout to keep your muscles and patience in top shape. My female clients love it because it's empowering. They get lost in the workout. No kids, job, grocery list or husband to think about, just sweat and the loud clap of the gloves hitting the pads or bags. Stress release!”
Padma's had a lot of stress in her life in the past year: the recent loss of her beloved partner Ted Forstmann and an ongoing custody battle over her daughter with Adam Dell. It's no surprise she turns to boxing to alter her mood and reset:
“I think that sweating a lot and getting your circulation going influences your skin a lot, and helps everything rejuvenate itself." (source)
Check out Padma below in Danskin's Move for change campaign showing off the sexy results of all her boxing training in Danskin performance apparel.
She's a YouTube sensation (wellness vlogger) racking millions of views. And the full-time ring master of her very own family circus.
Rebekah Borucki goes by Bex on BexLife.com as well as on her extremely popular BexLife YouTube channel. She likes to talk. She's damn good at it, and she knows a thing or two about how to live a happy life even if it means traveling with a "6 ring circus", as she often says.
"I understand that I'm a priority in my life. Without me, how would the laundry get done or the lunch boxes get packed? My kids need me for everything, so I need to be at my best to give them the best. If I let myself go - emotionally, spiritiually, physically - then I'm shortchanging my kids. Be aware of how you talk about yourself. Self-esteem and body image is a legacy that you pass on, just like hair color. Teach your kids how to be confident by never criticizing your own body."
Bex is a mom of 4 and her youngest, Baby Summer, is still nursing. When I asked her how in the world she's able to make time for fitness, she said:
"There are fitness opportunities EVERYWHERE. I bound up the stairs instead of just walking, I carry the laundry basket in front of me instead of resting it on my hip. Playtime with baby can turn into a fantastic upper body workout. I don't know how moms manage to NOT stay in shape... there's so much work to do! My kids never stop moving. On a daily basis, I can join in a street-hockey game with my boys, go running with my teenage daughter, or do baby bench presses with my 11-month-old."
For Bex, sometimes balance starts with a prayer:
"I do have a little private prayer that I say everyday... I guess you can consider it my mantra. It's basically about giving up my ideas about having to get it all done at once, letting the Universe open up my path for me, and taking on the day one step at a time. And believe me, a little caffeine and a lot of sleep also goes a LONG way on bad days."
This prayer actually saved her:
"I was going through a terrible divorce with the father of my three older children and I literally stayed in my pajamas all day and was losing everything I had. My career and my emotional health was slipping through my fingers. My doctor prescribed anti-depressents, and I decided to join a gym instead. Working out gave me my life and my self-esteem back, and I haven't stopped since."
The most beautiful part of being a Fit Mom for Bex?
"I'm so glad that my kids are getting to see me build a business out of nothing and are witnessing my transformation from a defeated woman to a fit confident entrepreneur. You can tell your kids everyday that they can do anything, but if you're not going out there and grabbing what's yours, then they probably won't believe you. I'm showing my kids that they can do anything, be anything, and achieve anything. The world is theirs."
Take a glimpse into Bex's life below. She will change your perspective and make you laugh--that's for sure.
Heard of the Oscars? She was nominated for Best Actress. But she won for Coolest Single-Mom Yogi (here on MizzFIT).
Michelle Williams truly lives by example. I mean, I can barely carry my yoga mat and gym bag without plowing down people I walk past. But this woman manages to carry her kid too! For Michelle, motherhood and exercise go hand in hand (as you can see) but getting a little 'me-time' is crucial.
That's why she co-founded the Yoga for Single Moms Project with two friends in Boston. She explains the meaning behind this endeavor saying:
"Yoga gave me relief like nothing else; it made me a better person and a better mother. I could come back to my daughter anew. And then I started to think about how expensive it is to get a babysitter to take a yoga class, which makes it out of reach for so many women. The idea behind the program is that if you can clear the time, we do the rest. It provides childcare while the mom is in the yoga class, and it’s all free.” (source)
Michelle also conveys that true Fit Moms help other moms get fit and gain more control and peace in their lives. The Yoga for Single Mom Project is currently in effect in Boston but is expected to sow it's roots in Brooklyn, NY where Michelle lives with her daughter.
Model turned Mid-west mom turned fitness trainer who coaches women to be what they want to see in the mirror. Transformation is her thing.
Kim Johnson was a model but that doesn't mean it was easy for her to get back on track after having 3 children within 4 years. She explains:
"For me, getting fit was a survival technique. I had 3 young children, I was a part-time book keeper for our restaurant, a maid, a chauffer and a babysitter. I needed to come up with a solid plan. I felt like my light went out. My passion was gone, my lust for excitement and thrills all disappeared. I felt like when I looked in the mirror I didn't recognize who was looking back at me. I knew I needed to make real changes. I needed to find a way to eat better, get more sleep and get my pre-baby body back."
How did she do it?
"I put my kids on my back and did push ups. I played leapfrog and tag with them. This was a great way for me to get in my squats and cardio."
Now Kim's career focuses on helping other women struggling with the same issues she once had. She calls her studio and coaching program Mirror Image Fitness. These are the types of tips her clients get:
• Find out why you want to embark on change. Write it on your bathroom mirror with lip liner if you have to so that you see it every morning when you wake up.
• Wear your workout clothes all day. That way you're always ready for a quick workout or walk. It's a reminder to get some kind of exercise in, no matter how short.
• When it comes to grocery shopping, if you can't pronounce what's in the package put it back on the shelf!
• Include your kids in your workout. Use papertowel rolls or toilet paper rolls so they can copy your exercises.
• Add some fun to outdoor chores and let the kids join in (i.e. fun competitions to see who can make the biggest pile of leaves).
Kim's motivation for embracing fitness is genuine. It's the simplest of mantras that more women need to say to themselves:
"I still want to stay sexy and have fun."
When I asked Kim how her 3 kids react to her fitness lifestyle she explained, "Compromise is key, but if I don't workout, I'm cranky and my kids have come to learn that they're better off if mom gets her workouts in. Kids don't want to be around a cranky mom.
Kim also stays active by picking excursions she knows her kids will enjoy, like biking or rock climbing. When she gets alone time at the gym, she's a fan of Piloxing (a combo of Pilates, boxing and dance).
From Kim, I learn that Fit Moms look to their children for affirmation, no matter how young they are.
"I love hearing them tell their friends that their mom works out and is really strong. I can't wait to hear my grandchildren tell their friends that their grandma works out."
Kids seem to value fitness in ways we may forget about as adults. But Kim isn't forgeting or giving up on the Miror Image dream anytime soon.
"I will never go back to that place where i felt my identity was gone. I'm strong, healthy, have lots of energy and find time to fit what I'm most passionate about in my daily life."
Barre-fitness superstar who trained Madonna and raises her kids without missing a beat or at least 10 minutes of daily exercise.
After having 2 children, Sadie Lincoln went ahead and had a 3rd baby--the barre3 studio franchise (read about it here on MizzFIT). She even trained Madonna but didn't stop there. Sadie recently launched mybarre3, the online subscription sister to barre3 (in case you don't live near a studio). Now that's a lot of work on top of being a mom...and she still manages to smile...ear to ear! I had to know how she does it. What does it take to be a Fit Mom in Sadie's world? Here's what she had to say:
• Get your workout in before the kids get up. It's like on the airplane when they tell you to first put your own oxygen mask on before helping your kids. My workout is my oxygen mask!
• Find exercise methods that work with kids in tow (especially for moms with kids 0-2 years). A home practice, hikes with a stroller, facilities with childcare. I have childcare at barre3 for this very reason!
• Surround yourself with other fit moms. This is key!
Sadie makes it clear to me that no mom can possibly get it ALL done. But something is always better than nothing:
"Most days I don't do it all and something gives. On busy days I do little spurts of 10 minute workouts throughout the day. I created mybarre3 with these 10 minute workouts because they work so well for me. I also have a standing desk which keeps me moving all day."
A standing desk, now that's an idea!! Sadie also hits me with these commitment-enforcing tips:
• Plan ahead and ink it into your calendar.
• Make a date with a friend or reserve a class you will get charged for if you don't show. (Sadie swears by this and so do I)
• Create an inspiring place at home for your home practice.
Sadie reveals confidence that her career and lifestyle will rub off on her kids the way it did for her:
"I really think fitness can be imprinted on our children by simply living an active life. One of my first fitness memories is of my Mom doing yoga in her room while I rolled around on the floor next to her. Obviously it had a big impact on me! Her lifestyle continues to inspire me. She's in her 60's and does barre3 right by my side. My children see and hear me talking about being active every day and I think it is one of the greatest gifts I can give them. I don't think they will think much about it until they are older. This is when it matters. When they are making their own life choices and reflecting on their parents choices."
It doesn't how much exercise you do or don't get while being a mom, you've got to find balance. This is why Sadie is so Zen!
"Meditation or simply self reflection combined with eating and sleeping well are the building blocks to finding balance. For me, finding exercise that doesn't disrupt these building blocks is important. For example, in my 20's I was a cardio junky. I loved to spin and run because of the of the endorphins and also because I felt like this kind of exercise was the answer to "burning fat". The problem was, I was already so turbo and "type A" in life and I needed something to slow me down and replenish my energy. I often felt depleted after exercise and would end up eating more to compensate or stay up later because I was wired. It wasn't until I discovered yoga that I became grounded and balanced."
The most beautiful part of being a Fit Mom for Sadie? "Infectious positive energy", she says. I couldn't pick 3 better words to describe her.
For more on Sadie and barre3, watch this interview I did with her!
What was your favorite piece of advice shared by the Fit Moms?
Leave a comment below to win a Stash fitness wrist pocket -- perfect for working out or going out! 2 winners will be picked on March 22, 2012.