FIT4MOM BLOG

She's Crafty  fun crafts with kids eastside

We have a new reader in our house! This is one of my favorite parenting milestones so far and it amazes me how quickly children can learn. As you can imagine there is a lot of practice involved in learning to read and sometimes it feels more like a chore then a fun pastime. To spice up reading time we decided to make some cute reading pointers. My daughter’s school stresses the importance of pointing to each word when reading to your child and when they are reading to you.

For this craft you need:

  • markers or pens
  • cardstock
  • popsicle sticks
  • stickers

Hint: be sure to click through the gallery at the end of this post for a step-by-step pictorial!

To start have your child pick their favorite stickers to put on card stock. The reading pointers will work better if the stickers that have some kind of a “point” to them; the top of a rocket ship, the point of a star or a cat’s tail for example.

Next, cut out each sticker from the card stock. You can leave a border around the sticker if you want to...

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Eastside Mom of the Month

We are so excited to feature our favorite fit sisters, Betsy and Christy! Not only do they inspire us with their dedication, they share a love of FIT4MOM and even got their own mother to join the fun!

Don't miss the fun photo slideshow at the end of this post!

Where are you originally from?

We were born on the central California coast, and moved to Washington in elementary school. We grew up in on the Sammamish Plateau and both graduated from Eastlake High School and UW. We are 2.5 years apart, and Betsy is the OLDER sister.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

Betsy: I joined in the fall of 2014 when the twins were 6 weeks old.

Christy: I was a member of FIT4MOM when my oldest son was little from 2007-2011, and was SO excited to return in summer 2015 when my daughter was born.

What classes do you attend?

Betsy: Stroller Strides and Body Back

Christy: Stroller...

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Fun at home crafts eastside moms

This month, get messy with a fun sensory craft - homemade snow! Flip through the image gallery at the bottom of this post for step by step visual instructions!

Full disclosure: this craft will end in a big soapy mess and lots of laughter! You can make mold-able snow with just three household items: baking soda, shaving cream and vinegar.

Start by pouring about 1 cup of baking soda in a bowl. Add shaving cream to the baking soda until it forms a wet powder and starts to stick together. Just these two ingredients make a fun mold-able snow! Build a snowman and get out some plastic animals to make tracks in the snow.

When you are ready to turn up the fun, get out the vinegar! This is where the real fun and mess begins!

Pour some distilled vinegar in a small bowl and watch what happens when you drip in a snowball or two! The snowballs will “melt” right before your eyes!

Have fun, get messy, and don’t worry it cleans up easily!

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momma fashion fit moms eastside

The New Year is under way and we are already smashing our resolutions and feeling in control of 2017, right? Well some of you probably are and good for you, but it’s cold outside, we could all use more sleep, our bank balances are depleted from Christmas and our waist bands are a little snug.

Be kind to yourself! If you, like many others, are having a slow start to 2017, remember there are 11 more months left in the year to keep chipping away at your goals. Don’t ever give up on what you want to achieve, but also don’t forget to celebrate yourself today, just as you are now. Here are a few of my favorite little things that you can do to feel good about yourself and help you beat the January blues.

Minimize

This time of year I like to donate a few things from my home and wardrobe. Things that are too small and from a life before kids - our bodies and tastes undoubtedly change after children and there’s no shame in that! Reducing clutter and bringing in a few new basics can help make you feel fresh and ready to take on today. I love a classic...

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Body Back diet fitness new year resolution tips

As the new year gets under way, many of us contemplate resolutions, goals and self-improvement opportunities. For many, these goals center on weight loss and healthy eating. After weeks (or months!) of making less than stellar food choices, it is refreshing to strive for a better overall dietary intake and a more active lifestyle.

All too often, the weight loss goal is front and center, while there is a limited action plan in place to achieve this objective. Without a strategy behind the intention, resolutions typically lose their luster.

When establishing your goals for this year, lay out strategic guidelines to make them a reality. Although lofty goals are typically most desirable, they can be challenging to accomplish without breaking them into smaller targets.

Successful goals are often SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timeable/trackable.

Be specific. It is all in the details. What do you really want? Be very precise. The more detailed you are, the easier it is to plan your intentional actions....

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FIT4MOM Eastside Mom of the Month

Allison recently joined FIT4MOM Eastside and dove right in to classes, playdates, and generally bringing lots of joy to our village! Read on to learn more about this CA transplant!

Where are you originally from?

Santa Rosa, CA

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I started considering it when I first moved to Seattle when Jack was two weeks old and joined classes once I was cleared end of September 2016!

What classes do you attend?

Stroller Strides!

Who is your workout buddy and their age?

Jack! He is 4 months old!

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

The amazing women I have met!

How has FIT4MOM changed your lifestyle choices?

It has helped get me back to my pre-baby self while being able to workout with baby!

...

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Canyon Park Physical Therapy, the new location for FIT4MOM Eastside's Bothell Body Back classes, offers us some helpful winter sports tips. Dynamic stretching is so important to preventing injuries while skiing, snowboarding, or participating in other winter activities, even our year-round outdoor Stroller Strides workouts! See the image for helpful instructions on key stretches, and to learn more about Canyon Park Physical Therapy, our new partners!

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She's Crafty FIT4MOM Eastside craft

This craft is really two crafts in one, and is just right for cold winter days when you want to keep warm indoors. Bonus: the ornaments make perfect gifts!

Flip through the photo gallery at the bottom of this post to see pictures of each step!

Part one: Making the dough ornaments

In a medium bowl mix:

2 cups of flour

1 cup of salt

1 cup of warm water

Let the kids get their hands messy and kneed the dough until it’s fully mixed.

Roll the dough out evenly to ½ inch thick.

Press your child’s hand into the dough with fingers slightly spread to form a handprint. Use a bowl or cup as a guide to cut a circle around the handprint. Cookie cutters are a great way to create fun shaped ornaments with any leftover dough.

Insert a straw into each ornament to create a hole from which to hang the ornament.

Place ornaments in 200 degree oven for 2-3 hours, flipping over every 30 minutes.

Let cool completely.

Part two: Painting the ornaments!

Bring out the paints and let the...

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FIT4MOM Eastside Mom of the Month

Meet Ramiza, a wonderful member of Our Village who has found a new set of mom friends while progressing through the Fit4Baby, Stroller Strides, and Body Back!

Where are you originally from?

I was in born in Fiji, raised in Auckland, New-Zealand and my husband was born and raised in California. We moved to Seattle in 2007 after falling in love with the beautiful landscapes and diverse communities. Aisha, our daughter, was born in Seattle.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined FIT4MOM in 2015.

What classes do you attend?

I attended Fit4Baby during pregnancy and tried Body Back when Aisha was about four months old. I joined Stroller Strides this past November.

...

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Hi Mommas, who’s ready for the party season? I think now more than ever we all deserve a little time to celebrate the highs and put behind us the struggles of the year to party with family and friends.

Sparkling lights are going up and your social calendar is probably filling up fast. It’s time to get those baby sitters booked and take a little time to unwind and enjoy ourselves. You deserve it!

I look forward to a night out when I have taken a little time to think about what to wear. There is nothing more crushing to your party spirit than a last-minute dash through the closet to find something that umm, ‘fits' from last year, makes you feel good, or can be reinvented for this year’s party season.

As moms, we usually think about everyone else in the house before ourselves; we are running behind schedule and we have a mountain of unfolded clothes on the bed that we desperately search through. Not a great start to a deserving night out.

Using my love on online shopping, I’ve pulled together a few ideas that might help with your pre-party outfit planning....

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FIT4MOM Thanksgiving Craft

Thanksgiving is just a few days away! We will be spending most of the day in the kitchen, basting the turkey and getting all the fixings ready for the big feast. Why not let the kids help in the kitchen? This month's craft is edible and the kids will LOVE it! It is gluten-free and vegan friendly too!

Flip through the images at the bottom of this post for visual instructions!

You will need an apple or pear for the turkey body, and blueberries, grapes, raspberries and mini marshmallows for the feathers. A baby carrot is perfect for the beak and raisins can be used for the eyes. You'll need toothpicks for the feathers and we chose peanut butter for our glue, but honey would work too!

First, put out all of the fruit. For every blueberry or grape used for the turkey , you'll need at least five more for immediate snacking.

Next, insert toothpicks into the apple/pear. Two toothpicks for the legs and 5-7 for the feathers..Then let the kiddos eat and assemble their turkeys. Both of my kids LOVED this craft! With the snacking and crafting it kept them busy for a...

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For the entire FIRST WEEK of January, all our FIT4MOM Eastside classes are FREE for you and a friend! You read that right - FREE! This will give you the chance to check us out for the first time, come back after some time away or try a different FIT4MOM program!

We invite you to all our Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre, Fit4Baby and Body Back classes... nothing is off limits! That is 34 CLASSES in one week and includes all our classes at our Bothell, Redmond and Woodinville locations!

To get set up, click here and create a FIT4MOM profile and that is all you have to do! How many classes can you make it to in one week?!

*use the toggle arrows on the photos below to scroll to the day you are looking for.

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Healthy Choices Thanksgiving meal FIT4MOM  Redmond

Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends come together to celebrate the good things in life. It also means lots of delicious foods and dishes, some which only make an appearance once a year. Overindulgence is not only possible, it is practically expected!

Here are some realistic tips and tricks to letting yourself enjoy the decadent dishes while remaining mindful. Overindulging (real or perceived) can lead to guilt, remorse, further overeating, and possibly some extra pounds.

The key to success is to try and find a balance. You don’t want to feel you have been denied your favorite holiday food, but you also don’t want to overeat and feel guilty (or sick).

Ideas for finding a balance include:

Choose foods you truly want and leave the rest. “Eat what you love, love what you eat!”

Eat dishes and desserts you enjoy. If you have fond memories of your grandmother’s pecan pie and there is a homemade dish available, allow yourself a small slice. Don’t waste the calories on a store-bought pie if you’re not excited about it. Choose...

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Recipe of the Week copy 2.png

Servings: 7

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 1.3 lb package 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, light
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tbsp poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 (15 oz) cans chick peas, drained
  • 2 cups low sodium, 99% fat free chicken broth*
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley or spearmint, chopped

Directions:

Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and over medium high heat cook ground turkey for 10-12 minutes. Break up the ground meat and mix so meat cooks evenly; place in the slow cooker.

To the skillet add the olive oil, onions, pepper, carrots, and celery and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Transfer...

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Recipe of the Week copy.png

4 servings

Ingredients:

For the Seasoning:

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

For the sheetpan:

  • cooking spray
  • 8 (4 oz each) boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 12 ounces zucchini, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • chopped parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Spray 2 large nonstick sheetpans with oil or use parchment or foil for easy cleanup. Arrange the center rack and lower third.
  2. Combine the Italian seasoning...
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Recipe of the Week.png

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • olive oil spray
  • 30 cauliflower florets (24 oz)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray the large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.
  2. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. In another shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Set half the breadcrumb mixture aside in a separate bowl.
  3. Designate one hand as your “wet hand” (for the eggs) and one as your “dry hand” (for the breadcrumbs). Using your wet hand, drop some cauliflower pieces into the egg mixture and coat them evenly. Shake off any excess egg, then drop the coated pieces into the breadcrumb mixture. Using your dry hand, sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top and roll them around until evenly coated. Transfer the coated pieces to the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the...
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Tostada Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup lettuce, shredded

¼ cup tomato, chopped

¼ cup black beans (heated)

¼ cup red pepper, chopped

¼ cup corn kernels (defrosted or canned is ok)

¼ avocado, sliced

Salsa

½ cup pre-cooked chicken breast, shredded

1 Tbs plain Greek yogurt

2 Tbs. favorite clean salsa

Directions:

Place lettuce in bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss.

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Buffalo Brussels Sprouts with Crumbled Blue Cheese.png

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut 1/2-inch-dice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 medium low-carb whole wheat flour tortillas (I used La Tortilla Factory)
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallions, for garnish
  • reduced-fat sour cream, for serving (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno and cook 2-3 minutes until onions become...
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FIT4MOM Redmond Moms Fitness

Get to know Ariana, a Michigan transplant, mom of two boys, and fitness inspiration!

Where are you originally from?

I am originally from Flint Michigan. I moved to Seattle with my husband in 2014 and we moved our family to the east side last year.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined FIT4MOM in February of 2016.

What classes do you attend?

I started Stroller Strides in February and my first session of Body Back in April.

Who is your workout buddy and their age?

My workout buddies are Gabriel (5) and Elliott (17 months).

What is your favorite thing about FIT4MOM?

My favorite thing about FIT4MOM is the feeling of belonging. I was nervous about starting a new workout program with other women. I was honestly afraid of being...

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Servings: Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

9 large eggs

8 ounces ground Italian chicken sausage

1 red, green, or yellow pepper, I used a mix of colors because that is what I had

½ cup frozen kale, chopped

¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray a muffin tin with non-sticking cooking spray or use coconut oil. I used coconut oil. Set aside.

Brown the ground sausage in a medium-sized pan over medium-heat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and then add in the sausage, peppers, kale, and pepper. Pour the batter into the muffin tins, filling ¾ of the way. Bake for 20-25 minutes, my oven needed 23 minutes.

Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes, use a knife to loosen from the sides.

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Peek a Boo Ghost Craft

This spooky craft is easy to make and great for entertaining the little ones. With just a few household items you can make these little pop-up ghosts and get the kiddos excited for Halloween!

Check the slideshow at the bottom of this post for step by step pictures of the process.

All you need is a paper or Styrofoam cup, a plastic spoon, tissues, ribbon or string, scissors and a marker!

Start by decorating your cups! We decided to keep it simple and just write “BOO!” on ours. You can also add stickers or color Halloween designs. After decorating the cup, use your scissors or a knife to poke a slit through the bottom of the cup for the handle of the spoon to fit through.

To make your spooky ghosts, roll a tissue or two into a ball, place the ball on the spoon and center 2 tissues on top. Use a ribbon or string to tie the tissues to the spoon.

Using a marker add a face to your ghost and bring the Halloween spirit to life!

Stick the handle of the spoon through the slit in the bottom of the cup and your ghostly creation is complete! Pull the...

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Need help planning healthy meals for the week? Use our Meal Planner!

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Buffalo Brussels Sprouts with Crumbled Blue Cheese.png

4 Servings, Serving Size: 3/4 cup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4 cup Franks Hot Sauce
  • 2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese, for topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat an oven-safe nonstick 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil and brussels sprouts in one layer and let cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes until beginning to caramelize. Turn occasionally for an additional 2-3 minutes until golden all over.
  2. Transfer to the oven and roast for 8-10 minutes, until softened a bit but still slightly al dente. Drizzle with hot sauce, toss and top with crumbled blue cheese.
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Supporting a Loved One with Cancer.jpg

Growing up, my mom was my best friend and gave me love and support in every phase of my life. The person I am today is in large part thanks to her. My mom has never asked me for anything in return for everything she does for me and our entire family. She is the strength and the rock of our family and one of the strongest people I know. After having kids, my mom and I grew even closer as she was there to help me when I needed it and share in all the fun mommy moments!

I found out my mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer on my daughter Mya’s 1st birthday, and I was absolutely terrified. I knew nothing about cancer except that it was this horrible, unfair thing. After my initial complete breakdown, I had two thoughts.

1. I know my mom will be just fine, she is the strongest person I know and she will kick cancer's butt.

2. It's finally time for me to provide the same support for her that she has always provided to me.

Although there was nothing I could do to take the cancer away, I quickly learned that the best thing I could do is just be there for her....

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Mom of the Month FIT4MOM Redmond

Meet longtime client and dedicated class attendee Alaina, our October Mom of the Month!

Where are you originally from?

I'm from Enumclaw. If you've ever been to Mt. Rainier, you've probably driven through.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined FIT4MOM three years ago when my oldest son was 4 months old. I took a short break when I was pregnant with my second son and working full time, but had to come back!

What classes do you attend?

I attend Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre (Laci is trying to convert me to a Barre lover). I love joining Friday Night Fit Club and other drop in studio classes when I can.

Who is your workout buddy and their age?

My buddies are Elijah (3.5) and Elston (17 Months)

...

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FIT4MOM The nurse is in buckle up for safety

As moms, keeping our kids safe is a priority. Sometimes I joke and laugh with my friends that at the end of the day if everyone is in one piece I have succeeded as a mom. While that may be true, as an ER nurse I saw families on days where someone did get hurt. To me, the saddest cases were the injuries that were preventable. One simple safety tip from this mom and nurse: Buckle Up…and not just in the car.

While it’s commonplace to always buckle little ones in their car seats, injuries can still happen in the home and around town when we forget to buckle up. Even once out of the car remember to always keep those little ones buckled up in their infant seats. Nearly 10,000 infants are hurt each year in their infant seats outside of the car! This is almost equal to the number of kids injured in motor vehicle accidents. My nurse “story” here is about a family that came to the ER concerned their infant had an ear infection. While walking from the lobby to their room, dad was carrying the infant in the car seat when the infant wiggled out and fell onto the floor. It was...

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FIT4MOM Redmond  apple stamping  craft  preschool

Apple stamping is a favorite in our house and really marks the end of summer. Read the instructions below and click through the slideshow at the bottom of this entry to see pictures of the craft in progress!

Supplies

All you need are some bruised apples that you don’t really want to eat and don’t have time to turn into apple pie, as well as paper, paint and scissors. I love the simplicity of this craft. Hand the kids some paint and a new way to use it and they are happy!

Also, the pumpkin in the first photo is a cute little candy jar I wanted to show off; I found it in the infamous money-pit dollar section of my favorite store this week.

1. First, an adult needs to cut the apples in half. Depending on which way you slice the apple, you will either get a circle with an apple star in the center, or an apple-shaped stamp. I like to do both.

2. Next, insert one fork into each apple halve to create a handle for the stamp and help keep the craft a little less messy!

3. You can either give the kids the paper and have...

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Backpack use to avoid injury

Fall has arrived! As we get into the swing of the school year, it’s important to consider the best use of backpacks to prevent poor posture and ensure safety.

As handy as backpacks are, they can cause problems if they’re not sized properly or if they are of poor quality. An ill-fitting or overweight backpacks can lead to poor posture and result in neck, shoulder and/or back pain. A study of 1,122 adolescents using backpacks found that up to 74% experience back pain.

  • Adolescents with back pain were more likely to be female, to report poorer general health, and to have a larger body mass index than adolescents without back pain.
  • Adolescents with back pain were more likely to carry a heavier backpack and to use their backpack more during the school day than adolescents without back pain.
  • Adolescents without back pain were more likely to attend schools that had banned...
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Fit 4 Baby prenatal fitness

When I was only a couple weeks pregnant, I remember being in a tea store and frantically looking up ingredients of each tea. Could I have cinnamon? Is there too much caffeine in green tea? I have to admit it. I am definitely the type of person that swings to the more neurotic side of the pendulum while being pregnant, and heck, well most things in my life.

Before finding out I was pregnant, I ran at least three times a week. I wasn’t always much of an athlete, but when I found running in my 20s, it became a source of calm in those anxiety-producing moments. The first few weeks of pregnancy, I continued my run routine, but it wasn’t too soon before I was feeling tired and experiencing the first signs of morning sickness. Running did not seem appealing in the slightest! I knew I still wanted to exercise, but I felt a bit nervous about what I should or shouldn’t do.

I started doing some research and found Fit4Baby in my area. Once I started getting more...

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FIT4MOM Stroller Strides Mom of the Month

Meet Rachel Shults! Rachel is our Mom of the Month for September 2016. She is also our newest Baby Play Date Captain. That’s right, baby play dates are back (stay tuned for more information on this!) For now, enjoy getting to know Rachel, and be sure to say hi when you see her at class!

Where are you originally from?

I have lived in the greater Seattle area all my life! I currently live next door to the house where I grew up.

When did you join FIT4MOM?

I joined FIT4MOM over the summer of 2015 for the Fit4Baby classes, and I started Stroller Strides in May of this year.

What classes do you attend?

I currently attend Stroller Strides and Friday Night Fit Club.

Who is your workout buddy and their age?

My little man’s name is Westley and he...

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FIT4MOM Redmond Healthy School Lunches

A new school season is upon us! Classroom supplies have been purchased, backpacks are filled, and new clothes are laid out. We all desire for our kids to eat healthfully, especially during school days. As parents, we strive to provide them with the foods to do so. Packing healthy school lunches can feel demanding, challenging, and confusing – but it doesn’t have to be!

First, try and think about foods you will eliminate from your child’s lunch. I don’t like to term foods as “good” or “bad”, especially with kids. So, I call them “sometimes” foods. This doesn’t mean eliminating these foods from their life completely, but I do recommend not offering these items during the school week.

Sometimes Foods: Top Foods to Eliminate During the School Week

  • Soda
  • Juice
  • Potato chips
  • Fast foods (burgers, fries, pizza, tacos)
  • Candy
  • High sugar and fat foods such as ice cream, cookies and cake
  • High fat meats like hotdog and salami

Next, focus on the “always” foods. These are foods that provide...

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Back to school Pinterest

As we get ready to send our kiddos back to school, or off to preschool for the first time, many mommas turn to Pinterest for ideas and inspiration!

Take a look at the FIT4MOM Redmond/Kirkland/Woodinville curated Back to School Pinterest Board for quick, easy, and realistic ideas including:

- Cute and FREE printable signs for kiddos to hold for those must have 1st Day of School photos!

- Easy and healthy lunch ideas

- Simple but appreciated teacher ‘back to school’ gift ideas

- Books to prepare your kiddo for the first day of preschool, kindergarten, or just back to the classroom

Back to school should be a fun and enjoyable time for the whole family, so remember to keep it fun, simple, and lighthearted!

Also, make sure to check out our other boards for mom-centric fitness, at-home workout ideas, family fun on the...

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School drop off tips FIT4MOM

As we head into back to school season, I can't believe that I have a kindergartner!

Some of you know that my soon-to-be kindergartner was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder when he was two. He has been through many hours of physical therapy, feeding therapy, and speech therapy. Because he was diagnosed young, he qualified to attend our school district’s special education program starting at age three. I was so excited for him to be in a program that offered therapy in a highly social school environment.

He recently graduated from his program and advanced out of most of his therapies, and he is thrilled to start mainstream kindergarten!

I have many friends that are sending their sweet babies off to school for the first time this fall. Being that this is our "fourth" year of school, I thought I would offer some tidbits that I have learned about back to school:

1. Trust your child’s teacher. You have worked so hard to nurture and grow this little person and now they are going to be under someone else's care. Trust your child's...

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Not gonna lie, the highlight of class this week was when it ended. A group of us pregnant mommas headed a few doors down to Cold Stone Creamery Redmond for a post-workout snack! I mean, we just worked out, right? We’re all eating for two. I’m 8 months pregnant. I have many, many justifications for this outing, and I hope we repeat it again soon! It was especially nice to get to know some of my cohorts better, since we will all be having babies around the same time.

The energy in the recent Fit4Baby classes has been amazing. Class attendance is at an all-time high, which must mean there’s an Eastside baby boom! There are so many women determined to have fit and healthy pregnancies, and make sure they’re physically prepared for the birth experience. Have you ever seen a group of pregnant women jogging? Doing set after set of push-ups? It’s very inspirational, and...

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Ahhh… summer time. A time for running, jumping, and playing outdoors all day.

When I was working in the ER I would look towards Mt. Rainier while driving to work, and if I could see the mountain, I knew there would be a lot of patients with scrapes to clean out, cuts to suture, sprains to immobilize, and broken bones to fix. Now that I am also a mom, these nice clear days can cause stress. If something happens to our children, when do we need to get care or help? How do you tell the difference between a sprain and a fracture? How do you know if a scrape will heal or if stitches are needed?

My biggest advice is to trust your internal Momma Instinct – she is ALWAYS right!!!

Scrapes vs. Deeper Cuts: Does it Need Stitches? Will it Scar?

One general rule is that if the cut is on a moving part (think a knuckle or chin) it will most likely need stitches. Another rule about the lip is if it crosses from the pink part of the lip onto the face it will need stitches. If a tooth hits only the inside of the mouth or gums and does NOT go through, it...

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Prenatal-exercise

Well, at 28 weeks I’ve turned the corner to the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. While my first pregnancy seemed to slog on forever, this one has flown by. I am not sure I’m ready to have a baby with just 11 weekends to get things done! Does anyone else’s pre-baby checklist include starting a baby book for your first born, who is now two? Re-organize the laundry room? Finally hanging up those professional family photos?

Regardless of my expanding mental to-do list, one thing I feel confident about is my physical activity in the past two weeks. With Fit4Baby, along with other FIT4MOM programs like Stroller Strides, Redmond’s Friday Night Fit Club and Body Back Boost classes, and my usual walks with my toddler and dog, I feel like I am...

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I know all moms are tired, but there’s a special kind of tiredness reserved for pregnant mothers of toddlers. My son had been awake multiple times throughout the night (unusual) and then up for the day at 5am (unfortunately not unusual). I participated in Stroller Strides in the morning, then took my son to a play date at a park. I was exhausted. In addition, I’d been experiencing more Braxton-Hicks contractions than normal. Needless to say, I was glad I had pre-enrolled in Fit4Baby online to hold myself accountable.

Prior to class, I made the mistake of eating a heavy meal for dinner. Combined with my overtiredness and pesky contractions, I chose to take it easy. The class theme was “30s” where we did 30 of each exercise for two rounds. I modified the jumping moves and some of the running, and I used a green band instead of my usual red. The new...

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The FIT4MOM Redmond/Kirkland/Woodinville Fit4Baby class is held at the Redmond Town Center studio at 7pm. The time presented a challenge in getting my child and myself fed, and getting out the door on time for class. Knowing I couldn’t make until after class to eat dinner, I ate the early bird special with my son at 5:30. My husband walked in the door at 6:30, I said hi, and took off. I loved meeting the other pregnant moms, most of whom live in my area, and the fast-paced class. I was surprised that I was one of the farthest along in my pregnancy; I guess I should have started this earlier!

The workout was similar to Stroller Strides, with fast-moving cardio and strength intervals, but I wasn’t constantly interrupted by crying about a shoe/demands for snacks/other toddler emergencies. The format changes each class, and the instructor rotates as well. Tonight we had an outdoor traveling class so we could enjoy the gorgeous weather. I loved seeing all the...

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Simple firework craft for kids

4th of July Firework Craft!

All you need for this patriotic craft is a little paint and some things you have laying around the house. It is easy to set up and your kids will be busy painting away giving you a few minutes to finish your coffee or get something prepped for your 4th of July BBQ!

Supplies:

  • Paint – red, white & blue (we used yellow too)
  • Paper – we used white card stock, and darker paper to show the night sky
  • Toilet paper rolls - you will need one for each color paint
  • Paper plates for the paint
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  • Cut strips in each toilet paper roll – the strips should be 1-3” in length, the longer the cut, the bigger the firework.

  • Pour each paint color on its own plate and place one roll on each plate.

  • That’s it! Let the kids paint away dipping the tubes into the paint and stamping them onto their paper to create their very own firework display!

  • Don’t forget to hand them a pack of wipes and have them clean up the mess! That...
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Hi, I’m Natalie. I’ve been attending Stroller Strides with my nearly two-year old son since he was about seven months old. I’m currently 26 weeks (aka 6.5 months) pregnant with my second child, a little girl, and I’ve added Fit4Baby prenatal exercise classes to my routine. I’m looking forward to sharing my experience!

Why Fit4Baby?

I have been very lucky with both of my pregnancies, feeling relatively energetic and healthy throughout. I had a very simple labor, delivery, and recovery with my first, and was back to my regular fitness routine as soon as I was cleared by my doctor. I attribute this luck to taking care of my body through regular exercise and a (mostly!) healthy diet. However, having a toddler and facing the daily challenges of pregnancy once again have proven challenging, and I can feel the physical toll it is taking on my body. Admittedly, I’m not keeping up with my normal level of exertion,...

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Week 5! Mid-way through the program! Some people might think this is the dull moment, the deepest valley in the peaks and valleys of the journey, the time when you need more motivation to keep going, the week to slack off a little bit before stepping back up for the end…. Not me!! This week has been AMAZING!

First off, after my “injured reserved” week last week, I treated myself to a little retail therapy to get back in the game. I bought myself a couple of new workout tank tops…. 1) because I’m starting to see physical results and my old wardrobe is starting to get too big (yay!!), and 2) because some of these tanks are just too hilarious to pass up.

This one says “Everything Hurts and I’m Dying”. I could not stop laughing when I saw this. How funny is this tank top, when you’re finishing a tough workout, or when you’re crossing the finish line after a run that you’ve been training for… Everything Hurts and I’m Dying.

I had to have this tank top as soon as I saw it. Not because it’s true --- but the exact opposite. I have jumped full on back into my Body Back...

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I’m not going to lie... This week was a tough week. I really did not want to slow down my physical momentum. I was doing two workouts a day on some days, I had so much energy all the time, I was looking forward to my next workout; everything just felt great. But unfortunately, the universe had other plans.

Last weekend, I injured my neck. Pretty badly. There wasn’t an exact moment where something happened, but at some point on Saturday night, my neck just started HURTING. And it hasn’t been the same since. All of a sudden, it hurt to turn my head. It hurt to pick up my babies. It hurt to do anything, really. (I went to see the doctor, and I’m going to be just fine, but that is a different story for another time.)

So I took it easy on Sunday. And then Monday came around, and I had to skip Body Back. And then I had to skip Tuesday Stroller Strides, and the run I had planned, and then Wednesday Body Back... Ugh!! I DO NOT like missing workouts. I felt like all of the physical momentum I had gained was now slipping away…

But I also understand that we need to let...

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I love the feeling of sore muscles. That “hurt” feels SO GOOD to me! And after weeks 2 and 3 of Body Back, let me just say….. I feel GREAT!!

First off, it was a last minute decision to combine my week 2 and week 3 blog posts. I love writing, and I love blogging, and in order to do so, I need to make time to actually sit down at my computer. But the last two weeks, I have had so much energy that during any of my “free time”, I have been inspired to keep moving instead of sitting down and writing. And that is because of Body Back.

When I first started Body Back, I thought these workouts were going to knock me out. I usually prefer to work out in the mornings, but with our family schedule, the night session was the only one that would work for us. But instead of dreading that night workout all day… I wake up every morning pumped and ready to go, and I’ve been getting in extra workouts with Stroller Strides classes in the mornings, as well as logging more miles on the trail. I have so much energy with my kids all day, and then I go to Body Back two evenings a week. On...

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I am in Las Vegas for a little R&R...much needed and much deserved (according to my hubby). He had to travel here for a work conference, and my mom is graciously staying with our little men.

I bought a People magazine at the airport, mostly to save my pool chair when I'm swimming. In the May 2nd edition, they have a piece entitled Say Something Beautiful. They asked celebrities, "What's the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said to you?"

They interviewed twelve celebrities. Eight of those commented that the most beautiful thing they had ever been told was one of two things: that they were a good mother or that their kids were well-behaved in a specific situation.

This made me think. Pre-motherhood, I was worried about me. How was my day going to go, what would benefit me, how can I do better/be better, etc. Motherhood shifts that focus. After you have kids, your life is no longer your own, your body is no longer your own, your schedule is no longer your own. Many women get lost in motherhood and spend time and money later "finding"...

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Yep. It’s time to get my body back. It’s one thing to think it. It’s one thing to say it. But it’s another thing to actually sign up for the program, re­arrange the family schedule with the husband, and then commit to going for it and sticking with it. And it is now time. It is time to get my body back.

My body has been through a lot in the last three years. I’ve been pregnant for a total of 83 weeks and I’ve nursed for a total of 23 months (and counting). In non­mom talk, that equates to two long pregnancies and two healthy babies. With both pregnancies, the extra baby weight came off pretty easily, but I am left with a softness to my midsection that needs to be toned back up. And I need to build my endurance back up as well. I’ve got two babies to keep up with, and I’ve signed up for my longest running relay race this summer, which I feel so unprepared for. So those are my two main goals – strengthen and tone up my core and build up my endurance.

The very first day of Body Back is...

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As I am sure that you saw, I stole my FIT4MOM team away for the weekend. I rented a cabin in Suncadia and we left our kids and husbands behind and drove over the hills and into the snow! This is our first of many staff getaways. I truly believe that investing in your team is the BEST thing you can do for your business!

Anyways, I planned and coordinated the whole weekend away. We carpooled over, planned meals and a dinner out, went sledding and hung out together all weekend. 13 women in one cabin. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge kitchen table, so many couches and one hot tub.

Some of us were friends before finding FIT4MOM. Some of us found FIT4MOM together as clients. Some of us didn't know what to do after having kids and FIT4MOM became the answer! So as much as it was like a girlfriends weekend away, it really wasn't. It was the gathering of 13 different woman, all coming together for one purpose. FIT4MOM Redmond/Kirkland/Woodinville. To share ideas on how to make it better, fun and more of a one-stop shop for all family fun.

I found myself throughout...

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With all of the oodles of dietary theories out there and their confliction with one another, it is a wonder that we are able to remain sane. However, accomplishing a weight loss goal, achieving optimal health and vitality should not be reserved to the select few who seem to have it all figured out. These are gifts that we all deserve to reap the benefits from without having to follow an arbitrary strict set of dietary guidelines. Below are eight tips that will fit into any diet and lifestyle while setting one up for success in weight loss, greater health and overall wellness. Implement these tips and get your 2016 weight loss goals off to thriving start.

  • Keep it simple. Stop stressing about what diet to follow. What to eat should not be so complicated. Although, there are intolerance and allergies that call for the elimination of certain foods, after that, it really should boil down to Michael Pollan’s manifesto: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
  • Ditch the guilt. I know this is easier said than done, but guilt...
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Introducing Kelli Preston! She recently dove into Body Back and started her first session with us and is also going to be a FIT4MOM guest blogger! Welcome Kelli!

First – Meet Me:

"Well, Hi! I’m Kelli. These days I am a mama to a 2 year-old-fella and a wife to my college boyfriend’s best friend. True story. When I’m not doing motherhood, cleaning the counters, loitering through Whole Foods or scrolling through instagram, I write copy and design websites and logos for entrepreneurs in the world of wellness over at Gingermint Creative (my latest business baby). As a former food blogger, health coach, aesthetician and weight watchers success story/survivor, I have a strong affection for the world of wellness. My heart still beats for kale, cookies, treadmills, and the latest skin care trend, so I still write about such things to stroke my soul."

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I saw a quote this morning that made me think: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." I love this for so many reasons. Sure, living life is great as you move along through the tunnels and the streets of life, but it gets exciting when you get uncomfortable and just go for it. I have had a few of those moments in my life.

Some of you may not know, I started college what I was 15 years old. This gave me the opportunity to starting working at a young age. Because of the work ethic that was built early on, I have always been a "doer." If something needs to get done, I just do it. It really doesn't get any simpler then that.

If you had told me in 2015 that I would open my own fitness studio, I would have laughed at you! Loudly. Not because I didn't believe you but because it wasn't on my radar AT ALL. At the time I owned two FIT4MOM franchises, both consisted of hundreds of clients from all over the eastside of the Seattle area. Every year with the changing of the seasons, I had to find indoor locations to house all my classes. In Redmond, available locations...

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As a first time mom, so much of pregnancy was overwhelming. I was growing out of clothes, growing a person and growing more anxious about becoming a mom! Even though my pregnancy started on the East Coast and away from family, around the five month mark, we packed up and moved from Washington, DC back to Seattle, WA.

Back in Seattle I had the greatest resource I could have ever been given... My sister. My sister is six years older then me and about six inches shorter than me. I grew up looking up to her for everything and eventually towered over her still needing her wisdom. When I was pregnant with Roman (now 4.5) she had already had two little ladies (love you Hayden and Stella!). Some pregnant moms buy books or read blogs to prepare themselves for motherhood. I kept my sister on speed dial. Anything and everything I needed, she had the answer for.

She told me what to register for, what was a complete gimmick and what I couldn't live without. What I bought to the hospital for Roman's arrival was no exception. My midwives sent me home with a "what to pack list". SO...

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Written by Erin Houg, owner of FIT4MOM Bellevue and FIT4MOM Redmond.

“I am running a 200+ mile, 32-hour relay race.” Next comes the blank stare. The looks alone from people when they hear that I am training to run Ragnar… Priceless.

To the non-runner world it sounds ludicrous, crazy even, and they always ask, “why would you do something like that?” I don’t have a definitive answer for why, but I always asked, “why not?” It is one of the top 10 experiences of my life… And I have done some pretty rad things - mostly while I was living in DC and working for congress, but if I told you about those, I would have to kill you. ☺

What is Ragnar?

Ragnar is a relay race that you run with a team of 11 other people. You cover about 200 miles between the 12 of you, in roughly 36 hours. You train, you know about what time you will be running, what gear you need, and you set out. You pass a “baton” (or in our case, a 1980s fluorescent...

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Welcome to guest blog poster, Britt Heath. Britt is a long time Stroller Strides client who lives in Bellevue with her husband Stuart and her two daughters Tamryn and Morgan. She is also a full-time real estate agent in the area, working with her husband at Bellmark Real Estate doing an amazing job balancing motherhood and her career. Thank you for contributing Britt, you are wise and helpful!New Moms and

New Houses -How do they go together?

Looking for a new home for your family can be an exciting adventure for some people and an excruciating ordeal for others. Wherever you fall on this spectrum make sure you keep in mind how your family will actually live in this space. Don’t be distracted by the great staging or put-off by the peeling paint. Your own stuff will go in this home and more importantly your kids will be in this home. New mom or not, does the house work for YOUR family? Does it work right now or will it in the next few years as your children’s needs and abilities change?

Here are six...

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Beth is brand new to FIT4MOM's Body Back program. Join her as she documents her Body Back journey for the next eight weeks. Body Back is about empowering, finding balance and making lifestyle changes... All in a supportive, all-female setting. Welcome to Beth's journey.

From Beth:

I don’t think there will ever be an “off day” that doesn’t have to be followed by an “on” one. Or a carb-heavy meal that doesn’t result in a garden salad (hold the dressing please) follow up. And that sucks. Those splashy headlines of stars who lose the baby weight before their first obligatory Starbucks run…that must be nice. Those women who credit breastfeeding for the baby weight just “falling off”… super.

My problem? I can’t blame my beautiful babies for the weight. Well, not all of it. Instead, I just look to a lifetime of learning the hard way. I have never really not been on a diet. And I mean that. A lifetime of diets—twenty-some-odd years or so. In high school, it was skipping lunch, snacking with friends and being just barely comfortable in my skin. In...

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Beth is brand new to FIT4MOM's Body Back program. Join her as she documents her Body Back journey for the next eight weeks. Body Back is about empowering, finding balance and making lifestyle changes... All in a supportive, all-female setting. Welcome to Beth's journey.

From Beth:

Before I had kids, I had opinions. And lots of them. I was NEVER going to co-sleep. The whole “shhhhhh-ing” thing made my skin crawl. Embroidered talking animals on clothing? I would be returning those, thank you very much.

But then I had my son. And he only slept when touching me. We co-slept for sixteen months and then he went into his present-day Ikea bunk bed. It also turns out that “shhhhh-ing” works. I don’t know why, but it does and when you want that baby to JUST STOP CRYING-well, you shhhhhh away.

Parenting, it would appear, is never black and white. The “rules” (whose rules are they anyway?!?) are meant to be bent to the point of shattering and you find yourself doing things you would have never dreamed of even considering pre-children. That, my...

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Beth is brand new to FIT4MOM's Body Back program. Join her as she documents her Body Back journey for the next eight weeks. Body Back is about empowering, finding balance and making lifestyle changes... All in a supportive, all-female setting. Welcome to Beth's journey.

From Beth:

I buy greeting cards like I am single handedly responsible for the survival of the industry. I write them, address them, and stamp them. Sadly, I never seem to mail them. Birthday cards, thank you notes, Christmas photo cards-lovingly glittered and designed, I find them all, stacked in boxes, tucked in old mail, and my favorite-in the car, tucked next to the driver’s console.

People judge you by your actions, not your intentions. My intentions are always good, over the top even, while my actions fall short of the success I plan for. Thankfully, my personal bar is set so high that I can generally take on too much, promise the world, and when I deliver, deliver to the delight of others, while disappointing myself.

Unfortunately, the promises that I make to myself are the ones...

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Beth is brand new to FIT4MOM's Body Back program. Join her as she documents her Body Back journey for the next eight weeks. Body Back is about empowering, finding balance and making lifestyle changes... All in a supportive, all-female setting. Welcome to Beth's journey.

From Beth:

I listen to music when I work out. Angry hip hop is my preference for running, current pop for spin classes, a mix of both for boot camp style classes. No music? Well, that generally means no workout.

So, when the little jawbone speaker died during our workout the other day and the sound of silence began to creep in, I felt my mind start to drift and my form start to falter. So what does one do when the silence is too much of a distraction? Well, in a class full of women, we talk.

We start small, we gain steam. We groan, we vent and laugh. Sometimes it’s light, sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s just us ganging up on Erin. But sometimes it starts small, gains steam, and begins to matter. And last class, somewhere between weird monkey push-ups and standing mountain climbers,...

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Beth is brand new to FIT4MOM's Body Back program. Join her as she documents her Body Back journey for the next eight weeks. Body Back is about empowering, finding balance and making lifestyle changes... All in a supportive, all-female setting. Welcome to Beth's journey.

From Beth:

“Have fun getting pretty, Mommy”.

Hmmmm. That stopped me in my tracks. This was from a three year old who could appreciate a great pair of heels or a sparkly statement necklace and for him to reference getting pretty wasn’t the showstopper-it was the context. I was headed out the door for a workout and he knew it.

Pre-kids, working out to get pretty was the goal. When I worked out, it was to burn off the previous night’s pizza, or to fit into my skinny jeans. Pretty was the whole point.

Post-kids, working out has taken on a whole new meaning. I work out to be strong, to calm my mind, and to keep my body healthy.

Those “teachable moments” always seem to come when I’m already late, dinner is burning, the baby needs a new diaper and the phone is ringing....

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Beth is brand new to FIT4MOM's Body Back program. Join her as she documents her Body Back journey for the next eight weeks. Body Back is about empowering, finding balance and making lifestyle changes... All in a supportive, all-female setting. Welcome to Beth's journey.

From Beth:

My phone screen is cracked. It has been for months. Every time I think about getting it replaced (again), I think about how I will just inevitably crack it again.

My eating habits are kind of like my phone.

Every morning I wake up with the best intentions. Drink a smoothie for breakfast, log my food for Body Back, eat a high protein, low carb lunch and track my food intake…

Somewhere, however, life catches up and the baby and the toddler melt down at the exact same moment that I remember I made brownies four days prior and then, somehow, I’m standing in my kitchen, intentions out the window, mouth full of brownie.

And the brownie only tastes good for the first two bites, because after that, the shame of going off track and blowing the plan for the day catches...

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Beth is brand new to FIT4MOM's Body Back program. Join her as she documents her Body Back journey for the next eight weeks. Body Back is about empowering, finding balance and making lifestyle changes... All in a supportive, all-female setting. Welcome to Beth's journey.

From Beth:

It’s dark out. Like, middle-of-the-night dark. The kind of dark you get used to seeing only out of necessity as you nurse your newborn, barely awake and alone in a quiet house.

And I’m awake. But this time, he’s asleep. Somehow, through grace and good luck, he rests, with his tummy full, happily snuggled and dreaming. I slide slowly out of bed, inch by inch, gently lowering one foot at a time to the ground, body wound tightly with nervous energy, anticipating being needed at any moment.

My sports bra is a little too snug. But really, so is everything I’m wearing and that’s the point. Clothes are on, keys in hand and the drive is quick. There’s a swipe of mascara when I park and then I’m out of the car, squinting again in the dark.

My first Body Back class is...

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