Monday, March 21, 2011

Update #3 from Mamacat

We are following Mamacat on her journey to Becoming a Hot (Sweaty) Mama. Last week Mamacat got to her new gym, broke out the heart rate monitor she got for Christmas and signed up for Moms On The Run. The week had it’s challenges, most notably, and not surprisingly, juggling other roles (motherhood, work) as she tried to fit in fitness. I think Mamacat is starting to feel the endorphin high that comes from accomplishing a workout despite that frenzy. I know I always feel good after a workout, but those feelings of well-being are even greater if I’ve done it successfully despite everything else going on around me. What I’m saying is, the harder it is to squeeze in that workout, whether the challenge is mental or physical, the more of a bad-ass you’ll feel once it’s over.

Mamacat’s goal for now is to make fitness a HABIT. How does fitness become a habit? Here's a little tidbit from the book "Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom"... By finding activity that is:
  • Happy-inducing (you have to enjoy yourself)
  • Authentic (the workout is an expression of the true you; it fits like your favorite pair of jeans)
  • Better off than before (that feeling of empowerment you get when it’s over)
  • Integrates easily into life (slides right into your schedule, or at least into your chaotic world)
  • Time-valued (when the workout moves higher on your to-do list because you really want to get it done)
Here’s a run down of Mamacat’s activity last week. I’ll interject with my feedback in bold, because I can’t help getting a word in...

Went to the new gym and after 45 minutes on the elliptical, we took the kids swimming. I expected frolicking in the pool more than laps--but I got lucky. This was the first time I've done "true" laps in years. I don't know if it was the salt water pool or simply the joy of the water (perhaps both) but I just moved through the water like a ripple in the tide. Notice I don't say anything here about speed, but I did focus on form. I had no swim cap and no goggles but went as long as I could without burning my eyes (they burned later, oh boy did they!) I added another 23 minutes on the Polar Active. I'll up it to 30 next time.

Note that she used the word JOY to describe swimming. That’s HAPPY INDUCING! I’d venture to say that swimming is also an AUTHENTIC activity for her because she loves being in the water.

It took everything to drag my sorry, crabby arse to the gym. My neck hurt (the accident), my back hurt (the accident) and I was puffy. Tired. BUT, I told a friend I would meet her at spin class. The step to meet a friend makes a big difference, especially in the evening hours after a long day of work. Additionally, I knew I didn't have a reason to skip. I had an excuse but not a reason. So I went. Well, someone invited my inner Hot (Sweaty) Mama to the party because as soon as the 80's music starting blaring, I was taking names. I fleshed out every bad piece of mood in my bones and left on such an endorphin high--the party was rocking!
This is what it means to be “BETTER OFF THAN BEFORE!”
Today I did laps in the pool at the old gym while the kids had swimming lessons.

Are you following me folks--Mamacat swimming when the kids are swimming means this workout INTEGRATES EASILY INTO LIFE.

Today I had to make a major effort. First I deposited kids at various places then went to the old gym. Along came my computer and client files. I got there early to secure a bike, then disappeared to find a quiet spot for a client conference call, before the 9:30 start. Once on the client call (in the gym lobby) boss wanted to know which one of us on said call was making the noise. With five of us in different locations on the call, I might have gotten away with the mute button. But 1) the call was mine to lead and 2) one client suggested to the other client that the noise might be her kids and I could not let her take that rap. So I fessed up, finished the call and spun my guts out! ! It was worth it.

Not only is Mamacat applying her professional title of “Director of Radical Efficiency” to her personal life, she is getting a sense for the TIME VALUE of her workout and going to greater lengths to make sure she can squeeze in that workout!

I don’t know about you, but Mamacat seems to be on her way to making fitness a HABIT. From here on out, it’s all about repetition! This week Mamacat travels to Boston for business. “No kids to shuffle around but also no girlfriends to meet me at the gym,” she says. Can we give her some advice for being active on the road?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Update #2 from Mamacat

Who loses 5 lbs on vacation? Someone Becoming a Hot (Sweaty) Mama! Mamacat is back from Florida. Here's her report. She has a serious challenge ahead in moving to a new gym. Leaving your comfort zone is one thing, but your sweaty sisters? Any advice for helping her with that transition?

The trip to Flordia was great even if just to have my body in constant motion in fresh air. I walked, walked, and walked...power walked, leisure walked, errand walked. There were some days I had 4 1/2 hours of moderate activity on the Polar Activity Monitor. There were others, like the day I went (via car) from Miami to Benita Beach, when I gave my body a rest. Having the Polar Activity Monitor made me concsious of "movement" at all times. Even standing in line or cooling off in the pool, I shifted my mind to squats, lunges and laps. And it paid mood has been great, my stress level even, and my weight is down 5 pounds!

There was little temptation for Diet Coke while in Miami because we were at a "Pepsi establishment." That was good -- I drank more water. I do confess, though... as soon as I got to a Pepsi-free zone I overindulged in my beloved Diet Coke. In no time, I was back up the three or more. Now that I've returned to snow country, I am trying to manage back down to one or two a day.

We have joined a new gym, officially, but I'm having a hard time letting go of my membership to the YMCA. I know the classes so well and the camaraderie in the classes has been built up over a long period of time. I am in a comfort and motivated zone when I am there. I don't want to be the rookie at the new club. I fear I will look foolish trying to figure out the machines. This is stupid, I know, I must get over it.

We are mid way through March and I know April brings Mom's On the Run...the anticipation is growing and I'm excited. There is potential work travel ahead of me, and while I worry that will bring on challenges in becoming a Hot (Sweaty) Mama, I am trying not to get ahead of myself... as your book says and I learned early in my recovery program... one day at a time.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Update #1 from Mamacat

Mamacat checked in with me to let me know how she's fairing early in this journey to Becoming a Hot (Sweaty) Mama. I've inserted my own feedback in italics:

Mamacat says:

Friday the kids had no school so I planned for an active day for all of us. Skiing. It's been 15 years since I was last on downhill ski's and the equipment has changed. I also was very fit and skied in the West so it's a different experience altogether. (Awesome! Family fitness!)

I put the three kids in lessons and then put myself in a lesson. The instructor would not let me ski with poles! I knew my legs would get a decent workout so I wasn't thrilled at what the Polar Activity Monitor gave me for a reading. Several hours of leg work and concentration to get a close to nothing reading! Still, I had a blast, as did the kids and we are hoping for more snow so we can go again very soon. (These are the times when you have to be smarter than the Activity Monitor. Even though it says you weren't active, you know better. Had this experience today when I did an hour of yoga to to the tune of 1 minute of activity. When you've had a good workout you know it counts. On the flip side when you've been running around like a crazy woman just keeping up with kids and work and home, you get to see that your day was probably more active than you thought.)

Saturday morning I had pre-arranged to meet some mom friends at the gym. We have been known to power walk the Stillwater stairs, try new classes and just have fun hanging out. The class was an early morning spin class and if I had not vowed to meet them there (not to mention I instigated it) I may have slept in. But I took advise (from the book) and got my stuff ready the night before so the only thing I needed to do was haul my arse out of bed and brush my teeth. (This truly does make a difference when it comes to committing to early morning workouts. Some moms even sleep in their workout clothes. Why not? One less thing to do in the morning.)

I'm soooooo glad I went! (Really, has anyone ever gotten up early to workout and then regretted it? Nah! Remember that when you feel like hitting snooze!) Everyone showed up and the instructor played every '80's rock band you could think of...Styxx, Journey, Led Zepplin,Jethro Tull, Boston. One of the mom's knew the words to every song and could call it on the first three notes. Seems like all of us and our "first concert" on the list of what was played and it made for a lot of laughs. (Sweaty sisters! One of the best things you can do to stay committed is workout with friends!) It was an awesome workout with heart rate monitors reading about 700 calories. Yet my Activity Monitor gave me an solid 7 minutes of activity. I must put it on my shoe next time. (I TOLD you!!)

By last night, my luck and moxie were waning. I had gone from signing one child up for swimming lessons to signing all three up. I was planning to swim myself but at the last minute shifted gears to plan time on the treadmill. Once I got the youngest to class I quickly realized I couldn't leave the pool deck while she was in the water. To make matters worse, I didn't even pack my suit. AND EVEN WORSE, my husband had homemade caramel chocolate shortbread made when we got home. OH THE CHALLENGES! (Here's the thing... if you've had 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables, and eaten healthy meals all day, I say go for a little homemade caramel chocolate shortbread... oh my, my mouth is watering as I type... as for the swim debacle, you live and learn. Don't beat yourself up. Consider it a dry run -- haha, pun there. Next time you'll know how to make your plan work.)

I have the next five days in a hot sunny location and have packed my workout clothes. I will be without kids and know I'll find time to get some good readings on the Polar Activity Monitor. (What are you trying to do, torture me? I'd like to propose a little contest. The first of us to hit the 2-hour mark on our Polar Activity Monitor wins. The loser treats manicures.)

And for those of you who haven't heard Polar is letting Mama Sweat readers in on a deal for the Polar Active unit I love so much. Just email and let them know you want the Mama Sweat price of $89.95!