How this Busy Mom and #LifeBoss Stays on Top of Her Health Using Digital Tools
Take us through a moment of your thoughts.
Every night these things are on my mind: Clean the kitchen, pack everybody’s lunch and bags for tomorrow, what am I wearing to work tomorrow, oh wait…let me check my calendar, I think I have a face-to-face meeting and should probably look halfway presentable, clean up the playroom (when will Que learn to put his own toys away, and why is Quinlan’s socks and shoes everywhere), what am I cooking for dinner tomorrow, my goodness, its already 10:30pm and I have not worked out yet!
Take us through your challenges.
I often find that I give so much of myself to everybody, work and family especially, but I leave little “me time”. Time for me to just be in myself, to read, to watch my favorite reality tv shows, to enjoy time with friends or to even just workout. That has been my story for the last 2 years. However, my pants got tighter, so tight that they left indentations in my stomach, my button down shirts got too small, so small that the buttons began to pop off or the shirt would rip all together at the seam and chairs I sat in before shrunk, ok, maybe they didn’t shrink, but those chairs left bruises on the sides of the legs. I was wearing my maternity pants and tops because that is all that would fit. It was not until I purchased a scale out of the blue and weighed myself to realize that I have gained back almost all of the 100+ pounds that I lost 2 years ago.
What motivated you to make changes?
My youngest son is now 16 months old, so I cannot use the excuse of “I just had a baby” anymore. It was time to get back on my fitness journey, lose the weight and dedicate time to me again. I want to enjoy sports with my boys and play with them at the park. I want to look awesome naked, I do not want my knees or my lower back to hurt. I surely do not want to bust out of anymore of my clothes because I am NOT the Incredible Hulk! Did I mention that I want to look awesome naked? Who needs any more motivation than that!
Walk us through a “day in the life” of a #LifeBoss
· 6:00 a.m. Wake up and get ready for the day. I actually wake my 10yr old son up to get in the bathroom and ready first as he is the grumpiest and most difficult to get ready in the morning! While he is getting ready, I am downstairs fixing breakfast and doing final bag checks/loading. I get dressed and then wake up the baby for a quick diaper and clothing change.
· 7:00 a.m. Breakfast for the 10yr old and fruit pouch for the baby as we get loaded in the car by 7:10 to get the oldest to school by 7:15 a.m. and baby to daycare (don’t worry, the baby eats a proper breakfast at daycare). I drink a protein shake in the car as I complete drop-offs.
· 8:00 a.m. Coffee Time!!
· 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Any given day of the week, I could have various meetings at work throughout the morning. Between monthly coaching sessions with each employee; team meetings; Journey Mapping sessions at our downtown offices; conference calls; or answering 1 of the 50+ emails a day; I’m pretty busy. I keep protein bars at my desk for on-the-go days when a proper meal may not be feasible. I also bring fresh fruit and veggies each day to ensure that I do not go purchase items from the café downstairs.
· 12:30 p.m. Walk it out!! I typically walk with co-workers/friends every day during lunch (I like to eat my lunch at my desk while working to maximize my time in order to walk. Weather permitting, we complete 3 miles in an hour.
· 1:00–5:00 p.m. More work. On a good day, I leave the office by 5:30 p.m.
· 5:00–7:00 p.m. Commute home. My first stop is picking up my oldest son from his grandfather’s house. He usually completes his homework with his grandfather by the time I arrive.
· 7:00 p.m. Dinner with the family in the dining room. It’s important to me that each night we sit down as a family at the dining room table and eat a home cooked meal. We use the time to talk about our day (kids included). After dinner, it’s play time with the boys in the play room.
· 8:15 p.m Bed time for the boys after baths/showers and repeated requests for water, juice and snacks.
· 8:30 p.m. Lights out for the boys. The baby sleeps in his own bed through the night, but still enjoys an awesome cuddle session from mommy first for a half hour or so (ok, maybe I am the one who needs the cuddles). Both boys are typically sleep by 9:30 p.m. which allows me time to go pack lunches and bags for the next day, clean the kitchen, clean the play room, get the boys clothes laid out for the next day, and workout! Even when I walk at work, I still dedicate 30 min of conscious movement a day to workout at home. A walk in the neighborhood if I miraculously had daylight left after work and dinner, do a workout video, cardio kickboxing, or line dancing. There are no rules other than to move for that 30 min. Sometimes, I include cleaning in that 30 min and will do squats while loading the dish washer or picking up items off of the floor. I don’t want to work harder, but smarter to reach my goals! That includes being creative with my workouts.
· 11:45 p.m Shower, social media updates and lights out for Mom.
How do you manage to keep on track of your health with this schedule?
I use an app Fat Secret by Calorie Counter to help manage my fitness journey. This app allows me to log my food, exercise, and sleep. It reminds me to do my weekly weigh-ins, and also has a social network portion in which you are able to both be supported and support others on their own journeys. To help with dinner, I use an app called Spark Recipes. I can search for a meat and vegetable that I have in the fridge and it will provide various recipe options. This helps keep dinner fresh and exciting. There is nothing more boring than eating the same foods over and over. For someone who loves to eat…good food…I need my food to still taste great, even when healthy. I also have an Apple Watch, so my steps, calories, and movement are all calculated without me having to do any extra work! I also have my Apple Watch synced to my Fat Secret app, so again, no extra work on my end in having to manually add a workout which would just be something else to add to my 119,578. I click a button when I begin to work out and everything is automatically sent to the app. How cool for a mom on the move?! I am also in a virtual fitness group with 4 other women in various parts of the country where we utilize a personal Facebook group and group messaging to motivate each other and keep each other accountable. We share recipes, advice and just uplift each other as setting out on a journey to lose 100+ pounds is not an easy one.
What would you want readers to take away from this?
As I am a busy mom of 2 rambunctious boys – one with special needs; a department manager of 20+ people at work; and a woman balancing significant home and life responsibilities, I use digital technology to help me keep my goals. My work, family, and personal calendars are all synched together and color coded on my Apple iPhone. I am able to confirm what is on my work calendar before scheduling doctors’ appointments and family events/outings. My partner and I also have a shared calendar so we know if there is a change in plans for pickups from school or daycare for the boys. I also set a reminder for everything! A reminder for the boys bedtime, a reminder to pay bills, a reminder for appointment’s, a reminder for me to work out, and a reminder for me to go to bed so I can get up bright and early the next morning to complete my 438,761 item to do list all over again.
It is difficult being a mom and a boss, figuring out the in betweens to ensure that no ball is being dropped. I try my best to use technology to my advantage as it brings simplicity to what is somewhat a hectic and busy life for me. Sometimes it is as easy as a click of a button (figuratively and mentally) to set the time aside to work out. Sometimes, I don’t want to press that button at all and catch up on more work, do laundry, watch TV, or actually get more than 5 hours of sleep. Despite the difficulties, the ups and the downs, I also celebrate the victories, no matter how big or small, when I choose to not eat the pizza at the work event or workout for 35 minutes instead of 30 because I was in a groove. I want to share my journey to show others that you can be a mom, you can be a boss, and you can also have time dedicated to your health!