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FitMom, Get It In. No Excuses!

Ok, so off the break let me say this upfront, I am no personal trainer, fitness buff, fitness expert, muscle head or exercise fanatic. I’m just a person who seeks to leave a legacy of health and generational blessing of total wellness, mind, body and spirit.

 

Like most people I know, exercise is not easy for me. Who wakes up thinking, “Yay, today I get to do squats until my legs are on FIRE and I can barely stand?” Who loves feeling the burn the day after those squats when all you’re trying to do is bend to pee? Well, I know there are some who like that feeling, I’m not particularly one of them.

 

But I am one who finds confidence in knowing that as I’m working those quads doing squats, I’m working the largest muscle group in my body thus giving me the biggest bang for my buck. I like knowing that I’m proactively reducing my risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease when I exercise. It’s reassuring to know I’m lowering my cholesterol, blood pressure and stress when I exercise. And it doesn’t hurt when I look at myself and see some of the fruit of my labor.

  

  

Leaving a generational legacy of health and wellness requires me to DO something about it today.

 

And what I can do TODAY is this:

 

~Choose to eat Whole Foods that add to not detract from my health. For more on eating clean, check out these posts.

I Can Eat Clean

Eat Right On The Go 

 

~Get adequate rest so my brain and body can function as designed. For more on Rest check out these posts.

For The REST Of My Life

How To Get Rest

 

~Of the 1440 minutes I’m given each day, I can dedicate a minimum of 30 back to myself in the form of exercise. As a busy mom of 5 young children, I can certain come up with PLENTY of legitimate reasons for not exercising regularly. But I will not let legitimate reasons (code name, uh-umm excuses) hamper my children’s ability to receive their blessing.

 

While my preferred method of exercise would be an intense African dance session to live drumming, my family schedule does not permit that. I’d also like to workout with others in a class setting, again that’s a tough one. I am able to squeeze in one day a week with a group. Other than that, I’ve had to devise a method that works well for me. When devising an exercise plan consider all factor that would contribute to making your plan a success such as: your schedule, family dynamic, finances, current health, exercise options available, personality, etc. All of these will directly impact your ability to sustain a workout regime. Once you find a formula that works for you, STICK TO IT! There can be lots of starts and stops in committing to exercise. Keep the goal before you always. And the goal for me is to LIVE FULLY by nurturing mind, body and spirit. To neglect one area is to neglect the others.

 

So here’s a glimpse at what works for me.

 

~Do It Early

My days start very early. I am up before my children so I can get a head start with my prayer and exercise. My agenda is WORD IN, WORK OUT, WORK THE DAILY PLAN. Thanks to Ann Voskamp for lending to that inspiration. I just wake up and put on my workout clothes. This helps get my mind focused on what needs to be accomplished. And if I don’t exercise early, I find that it falls at the mercy of other events of the day. And by evening I am absolutely worn out. And my husband comes home from work late so there’s no changing of the guard even if I wanted to workout in the evening so early morning it is. And since school has been out, some days I’ve even been able to add an early morning run to my routine. Those runs have been so refreshing in connecting with God in the outdoors, smelling the dew, listening to the birds and embracing the beauty in the now moment. Whoosah.

 

~Short but intense workouts

I’ve tried lots of exercise videos, video on demand, borrowing from friends, checking out of the library. If exercises are too repetitive or move too slowly, I get bored. Because time is also an issue for me, I want to get the biggest return on investment for my time. So I can’t do a 50-minute video or run the track for an hour. That simply doesn’t work for me so I know I wouldn’t commit to it. I’ve found Tabata workouts and H.I.I.T workouts to be effective for me. Two of my go to resources for those workouts are:

 

Sworkit App

BodyRock

I love, love, love these! With the Sworkit app you choose the type of workout (strength, cardio, yoga or stretching). Then you choose the number of minutes you want to workout. Then the real time workout begins and a person demonstrates it real time including a countdown clock. The lite version is free and is something I’d actually pay for I like it so much. But I have to say it doesn’t stretch me as much as the second, BodyRock. A friend introduced me to this YouTube channel and I’ve been HOOKED ever since. When I just think about the videos, I think POWER! The videos push me and when I’m done I feel strong and powerful.

 

Sworkit

 

~Playground Workout

Of my 5 children, 2 aren’t school age yet so since they are home with me everyday, all day I had to figure out a way to mesh their play and my workout thus the playground workout was born. In a coming post, I’ll detail what that looks like.

 

~At Hand Artillery

I keep my resistance bands and jump rope close at hand. If I have idle time (which is rare) I just pull them out. Even when I’m standing around watching my little ones ride their bikes or skate up and down the driveway, I can get some skipping in. No excuses maximize on the time.

 

skipping

 

These are a few of the strategies I employ to ensure I am honoring my temple through exercise so that I leave a legacy of health and wellness.

 

What are you doing to honor your temple through exercise?

 

What’s working well? What challenges are you facing?

 

You are not alone. I am here friend, cheering you on as you glorify God through honoring your temple. So do your thang FitMom. Get it in. No excuses!

 

before and after 2

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with others sharing the good news Grace&Truth Dance With Jesus

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5 Tips for Raising Fit Kids

5-6 days a week. That’s how often I workout. I plan and prepare healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for myself. It takes more effort at my age and after having 5 children then throw in genetics and I’ve really got to work hard to keep my temple operating at peak performance.

 

But do I go through the same lengths to ensure that my children are living well mind, body and spirit? I consistently feed their spirit by modeling my relationship with God before them, raising them rooted in the word of God and placing them in environments that affirm what I’ve already presented to them. Their minds are nourished when I attentively listen to them, show them how to embrace the now moment, spend quality time with them, and create opportunities for them to express themselves and to shine. Finally, I nourish their bodies by bringing food into the home that adds to not detracts from their health. But in addition to that, I’ve got to ensure that they are physically active.

 

The typical American lifestyle today is sedentary. Children are attached to television, desktops, laptops, DS, Smartphones, tablets and the like. When I was a child, I was outside playing. Outside in torrential Boston snow in the late 70’s and early 80’s. And it was REAL accumulation not just a few inches. I was outside when it was HOT and our only means of cooling down was taking a dip in the forceful current flowing from the fire hydrant. I was outside playing tag, mother may I, hide and go seek, hop scotch, double Dutch, hot peas and butter and red light/green light (am I telling my age?). When I was a child, I played and played hard!

 

So let me ask you, “Are you creating an environment for your child that promotes physical activity”?

 

The behaviors that are established in our youth carry us into our adulthood. We want to raise children who value honoring the temple through proper nourishment, rest and exercise.

 

Here are my 5 Tips For Raising Fit Kids

 

  1. Model The Behavior

It starts with us. Do they see us actively engaging in some form of physical activity? Even my two-year old recognizes exercise. When he sees me in my leggings grabbing my sneakers he says, “Mommy, you do exercise?” Oh, it just warms my heart. Then he proceeds to join me, even if just for a brief moment in my daily routine.

hold plank

lift weights

 

  1. Proactively Create Opportunities

Have you created time in your children’s schedule for daily exercise? Our children’s day can be so jammed packed that it squeezes out time for physical activity. Even if it’s 15 minutes of outside time right after school, ensure you’ve given time for physical activity.

Health Expo

 

 

  1. Know What They Like

Know what type of physical activity your children enjoy then create opportunities for them to DO that activity. My 2nd born isn’t that interested in a great deal of physical activity. He’s much more content with a big pile of Legos. But he loves his scooter and somewhat likes bike riding. He likes to take his scooter with him to the park. Now that used to annoy me because he’d ask for it when I was already driving away from the house to head to the park or he’d be careless with it after riding it for 10 minutes. So I’ve had to be flexible and create room for him to bring it and coach him on being more responsible with his things.

Tennis

 

 

  1. Make It Fun

In order for me to want to get through my workout, it has to be somewhat enjoyable (I’m not one who naturally thinks exercise is FUN. I hear that those people do exist but I’m not one of them). So for ourselves and for our children we should engage in physical activity that gets us smiling and having a good time. I bought my daughter an ankle skip ball and I even enjoy that one. My 1st born is really into dancing these days so Zumba type workouts appeal to her. My 4th born LOVES sports so his idea of fun is to bring out 2 bikes, a soccer ball, tennis rackets, scooters, golf clubs and a basketball and of course he wants me to do all those activities with him.

Hoola Hoop

 

Skip Ball

 

 

 

  1. It’s A Family Affair

Invite them to join you during some of your exercise routines. Let them come up with an exercise of the week. Plan family bike rides, hikes, relay races, and more. I’ve even known some families to come up with Olympics style games. And if you can’t get around to planning a special outing, you can all just DANCE! Chances are you’ve got music on your smartphone. So play an upbeat song and get moving!

hold plank

Fit Kids

bike riding

By employing the above strategies you are well on your way to Raising Fit Kids. Your children will proactively participate in establishing good habits that will benefit them for a lifetime. They will #ChooseWell and honor their temples through proper nourishment, rest and exercise and will experience living fully. What a wonderful legacy you will impart to them that will benefit generations to come.

 

Exercise must be coupled with proper nutrition. CLICK HERE to read more on getting them to eat right.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with A Little R & R

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Pre-Workout Pick Me Up

I was exercising one day and I was just dragging.  I felt like I couldn’t get my wind.  I never got pumped.  Argh, I barely made it through my workout.  And why was that?  I hadn’t properly fueled my tank before the workout.  To ensure that doesn’t happen again, here is something I can make ahead of time and take to ensure I am running on high octane fuel. Let’s burn baby!

 

Rich in natural Nitrates, Betaine, Vitamin C, Potassium, Manganese, Beta-Carotene, Vitamins A & B, Iron, Calcium and more, this juice has been proven to increase your ability to exercise longer. In studies (click here for study details), beetroot juice enhanced athletes’ endurance. So drink up and get ready to go the distance!

 

Pre-Workout Pick Me Up

Beet Carrot Apple Ginger

 ½ beet scrubbed

3 large carrots scrubbed

1 green apple

½ in nob of ginger scrubbed

(If using organic produce here no need to peel anything)

 

Juice the vegetable by placing in your juicer. Drink 30 minutes to an hour before your workout.

 

pre-workout pick me up

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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Stronger: What Doesn’t Kill You

Stronger: What Doesn’t Kill You

 

“Get into that muscle.” “Get there! Get there”, admonishes Nevie, personal trainer and owner of FLMD Fitness Studio.

 

Indeed, what doesn’t kill you…makes you stronger, so they say. While I’m still trying to figure out exactly who ‘they’ are, and my muscles still feel the effects of that workout, I do know that I feel stronger both mentally and physically.

 

Mental Strength

 

Wellness is not isolated to the mind or to the body. We are created mind, body and spirit and the three are inextricably linked. What we do to one area impacts the others. If we neglect one area, we neglect the others as well.

 

“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”  

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

 

And research is catching up with what the scriptures have already shown. We know that as a man thinketh, so is he. There is research suggesting that even thinking about exercise will make you stronger. We’ve heard the old adage, mind over matter. Well, your mind directly affects matter. To read more on that click here.

 

Right now I’m visualizing myself doing crunches. Yes, summer abs here I come (insert smile).

 

Physical Strength

 

A few years ago I got P90X. It was a very popular exercise routine of many DVD’s including: yoga, cardio, kempo, plyometrics and more. When I first started doing those DVD’s they were a killer. I couldn’t get through most of them without stopping. Fast forward several years. This week I put on one of the DVD’s. I was doing this thing for 30 minutes and thought to myself, “Did I just waste 30 minutes here?” My heart rate wasn’t up. That workout didn’t even scratch the surface on the warm up that I do in my exercise class. And in between going to workout classes I exercise at home doing H.I.I.T. or Tabata workouts that challenge me but those DVD’s…well.

 

This type of conditioning is definitely making my body stronger. I have pushed myself beyond what I ever imagined I’m capable of doing. When the trainer says “Get There”, she’s pushing us to GO BEYOND what we think in our heads we are capable of. It is then that we are digging into the muscles and affecting change. Now in my mind, that’s the point at which I truly want to give up. But if I give up then, I’d be cutting myself short of reaching my full potential. That is not isolated to exercise alone.

 

Have you cut yourself off from achieving the next level of performance when you were standing right at the brink of your breakthrough?

 

Spiritual Strength

 

…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

 

In order for us to be able to ‘set aside weight’ we have to be strong enough to do so. In order to run with endurance we have to be conditioned to go the distance. We gain spiritual strength, stamina and endurance by exercising spiritual muscle.   And just how do we strengthen spiritually?

 

~Word Workout

Feast daily on the Word. And it doesn’t have to be lengthy passages of scripture. Sometimes when I’m reading the Word, a single word can stand out and that will be my meditation throughout the day. I have to hide the word in my heart because something is certain to arise and I will need to have a ready word.

 

~Faith

Faith is a muscle. What happens when our muscles aren’t used? We can get atrophy. While the working of our faith doesn’t always feel good, I urge you like the trainer urged me, “Get There”. Your faith may be worked, stretched, and torn. This is how muscle it built. Feel the burn baby and praise Him!

 

Continue to go the distance. Right when you think you can’t do another rep, handle another setback, deal with another issue, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling and get there! Stronger…Yes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

 

If you live in the DMV and need some encouragement in helping you get there, check out Certified Personal Trainer Nevina Gray owner of FLMD Fitness.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

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I Don’t Have Time

I don’t have time.

 

I don’t have time to exercise. I don’t have time to prepare healthy meals. I don’t have time to get adequate rest.

 

I get it. Believe me, I really do. If anyone is short on time, it’s me. I have a tribe of five over here ages 11-2, a husband that works a gazillion hours a week, I work in ministry and my spiritual gift is exhortation so I just HAVE to make time to share a word of encouragement. Most of our family activity: school, work, church, recreation is 30 minutes one-way from our home. I get it. If anyone doesn’t have time it’s me.

 

But let me pull out one of my old hats for a minute. I used to be a certified facilitator for Franklin Covey’s What Matters Most. In this workshop participants acquire skills for effective time management, improved relationships and peace of mind. And what I learned from applying these principles is this: we are all given the SAME amount of time; we CHOOSE how we’ll use it.

 

Well the Word says something about utilizing our time:

 

Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,

Arise from the dead,

And Christ will give you light.”

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,

redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:14-17 NKJV

 

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep,

Climb out of your coffins;

Christ will show you the light!

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants. Ephesians 5:11-17 The Message

 

So I venture to say we don’t have a time issue but a time management issue. I will go on to say as the scripture says, walk as WISE and redeem the time because the days are evil.  The time robbers are all around us: electronics, busyness, lack of focus, and the like.  You know them because they’ve crept up on you a time or two.  They tried to rob me too, but I resolve to redeem the time.

 

Time for devotions

Time for building relationships

Time for love and laughter

Time for exercise

Time for rest

Time for preparing healthy meals

 

I dare you, the next time you are watching TV, are on social media, watching a movie or talking on the phone, set a timer. If you do, you’ll find that you DO in fact have some time. Yes preparing healthy meals will take more time than microwaving a hot pocket or toaster strudel, but the investment in yourself is worth the time. Do I have hours to spend working out? No. But at a minimum I try to get in at least 30 minutes a day (except Sundays).

 

And if we don’t take the time now to foster those things that matter most, they’ll be at the mercy of that which matters least. If we don’t take the time now, relationships will wither. If we don’t take the time now to eat right and exercise we can put ourselves in a position of spending more time in the Dr.’s office and pharmacy line.

 

Time invested on the front end will yield huge dividends in the long run. Your relationships will be the better for it as well as your health. Your overall mind, body and spirit will be properly nourished with your investment of time.

 

My plea friends is to encourage not to discourage, to inspire not condemn.

 

In what areas do you need to redeem the time?

 

Next Wednesday I’ll be sharing some ways you can redeem the time in your kitchen so stay tuned. If you aren’t currently receiving these posts in your email inbox, please subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss a thing.

 

Here’s an extra little nugget on redeeming the time.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Happy today to be connecting with friends @

Missional Women

Equipping Godly Women

 

Photo Credit

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Who Else Wants To Get Fit?

A sucker punch in the face. That’s what happened as I read the words on the screen. For years I had believed I was doing my body good by being “active” until I came face to face with this starling truth, active and fit are not created equal.

 

I used to say that running around, playing with my children and running errands with my children was my health club membership. I believed I was getting enough exercise. Besides, I did workout from time to time albeit a brisk stroll on my treadmill and lifting 10 lb. weights every now and again.

 

Then a friend invited me to a fitness studio called Fit Like Me Divas. I had watched her metamorphosis, both internal and external as she committed to this new way of life. She invited me and when I could finally get childcare I decided to go.

 

Well initially, I thought, “These ladies are crazy”. “They are working way too hard and it doesn’t take all that.”  Though I had a great workout and pushed my body to perform things I never imagined possible, I was a bit annoyed that my hair was ruined because of all the sweating. Really?! Did it take all that?

 

Nonetheless, the next week, I was right back in there with trainer, Nevie Gray who it turns out isn’t crazy but determined to see women living up to their full potential. Not only was she guiding these ladies in how to get fit, she was guiding internal transformation as well.

 

After a few weeks of attending the Saturday bootycamp class, I received the blog post from Nevie Gray that collided with my foundational truth. My previously held belief that being active was enough was…well…not enough.

 

Being ACTIVE is engaging my body in physical activity i.e. playing with my children, standing while cooking, standing while helping children with their homework. Sure all that standing and movement could help me reach my fitbit goals but would that translate to being fit? And while my weight, stress test and cholesterol numbers may all be good by being active, I don’t want to feel my arms burning from carrying a few bags of groceries or get winded chasing my 2 year-old son or struggle to support the weight of my elderly grandmother.

 

Being FIT is pushing my body to achieve what it’s capable of performing in terms of strength, endurance, flexibility, speed and agility. As we can see, Active & Fit, the two are indeed NOT created equal.

 

I want my body to be able to perform at its peak ability. I can only get there by pushing myself, testing my limits and moving from the active zone to the fit zone. I was able to get into that zone with the PUSH from Nevie. She would say, “Get out of your head”. The head is the active zone. Then I’d be thrust into the fit zone where I felt strong, courageous, healthy and capable. When I operate in the fit zone, I almost feel lighter than air, like I’m walking on water. There is an extra bounce in my step.

 

Now let me back this train up just a bit here to address one more thing. I am no fitness buff. In fact, half the time, I’d rather write, read or clean than exercise. And my favorite forms of working out: African Dance class and Zumba aren’t a possibility with my family dynamic. Despite my schedule, childcare challenges or any other reason I can conjure up, I have a mandate to honor my temple.

 

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

The way that I honor God with my body is by honoring my temple through proper nourishment, rest and exercise.

 

So who else wants to get fit?  If you want to move from the active zone to the fit zone here are a few things you can do:

 

~Get support by joining a fitness community. If you’re in the Metro Washington DC area please check out Fit Like Me Divas

 

~Schedule your exercise just like any other appointment

 

~Make your exercise count i.e. 30 minute treadmill run {active} vs. 30 minute high intensity internal training {fit}

 

~Properly fuel your body. Like any piece of fine machinery you have to properly fuel your body by eating food that is alive and unprocessed

 

~Carry weights, bands, kettle ball, or other equipment in your car and use them

 

What do you do to maintain a fit lifestyle? Please share your comments below.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired to Live Fully!

 

Photo Credit

Bulking Up

Why do they call it getting ripped?

When you are working to increase muscle mass, you literally have to go through the process of TEARING the flesh.  Muscle building does not occur without first tearing down muscle fibers, the main element of muscle tissue. The increase in muscle mass then occurs when the body repairs the torn muscle fibers. Resistance training and weight training are two ways to initiate the tearing down and building up cycle.

When bulking, up you eat more of the right food at the right time such as protein and carbs before workout.
When bulking up you also want to lift heavier weight.

The same can be said for bulking up spiritually. When I bulk up spiritually I need to feast on more of God’s word; the right word at the right time.  I know I need to sacrifice and wake up earlier to give Him the 1st of my day.  I may need to even turn off Christian radio and tv programming so that I allow Him to speak to me directly from His word.

For my spiritual bulking up I also need to lift heavier weight.  I need to feast not only on the word that is familiar or comfortable but dare myself to dig into scriptures that have challenged me.  When lifting heavier weight I may also need a spotter.  Who is your spiritual spotter?  Who is there to hold you accountable? Who is there to challenge you to do just.one.more.rep; to believe God just one more time? And when you get weary and can long longer hold that weight, who is there to help you lift it?  Moses had Aaron and Hur.  Where are your Aaron and Hur?

So what will grow bigger; your fear or your faith? Whichever you feed and use will grow.  I have purposed in my heart to exercise my faith muscle. I won’t suffer from analysis paralysis. I will start before I’m ready, because truthfully I’ll never be ready. The Lord told Abram go to a place I will show you. And Abram swiftly, obediently went.

I will move from comfort zone to STRETCH zone.

Will you join me today in living in the STRETCH zone?

Your reading of this blog post is evidence of me exercising my faith muscle.  I had lots of fears in bring this blog to fruition. It has actually been 3+ years in the making.  How many lives could I have impacted if fear hadn’t gotten the best of me?  Since I embrace the now moment, I won’t dwell on that but will press ahead in faith.

I made a decision.

Do it afraid.

And guess what?  Even though it is unnerving not knowing what’s coming next, I know whatever “it” is, it will be good because I’m moving in obedience. I am spiritually bulking up.  I’m hitting those weight.  I feel stronger each day.

Singer Stephen Hurd says in his song Through the Eyes of Faith, “You’ve gotta activate your faith”.

What will you do today to activate and exercise your faith muscle?