Fit2B Minimal: Week 1

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This is an very busy time of year and it’s easy to let exercise slide during times like this. But trying to avoid that is what the Fit2B Minimal is about.

If you do nothing else, try to do one or both of these workouts every day.

Daily Core: Core Wake Up
Daily Stretch: Face & Neck Yoga

Now if you are able here is a list of workouts, one for each day of the week to tackle when you are able. You don’t have to do everything at once either. Try doing Daily Core first thing in the morning and Daily Stretch before bed. Fit any other workouts in wherever you can.

 

Basic Aerobics II

Yes this is one of my favorite workouts, ever. Because when I only have 15 minutes, it makes me feel like I’m really putting in some effort to keep my body healthy.

 

Little Big Band Workout

This is a great upper body workout if you don’t have much time and don’t love using weights. I actually don’t mind weights, but my four year old gets into them constantly, so the band feels safer. (Though he did actually snap one of my older ones) Beth Learn also points out in this workout that it is very portable.

 

Basic Aerobics III

Yep, same as Basic Aerobics II. Love it. Fast and functional. Good stuff.

 

Ankles & Upper Body

I love this workout because it allows me to get some arm and leg work in quick. No sweat, no fuss. A few small pieces of equipment (stretchy band and dumbbells)but it works great even if you don’t have those. (A few cans of soup, bottles or jugs of water and a stretchy scarf or even a pair of pants, will work just fine).

 

Kelly Dean Wall Workout

So I was pretty sick this week, but I didn’t want to get too far off track. This workout is short, and while not super easy, it can be modified if you aren’t feeling great.
Scarf It Down

This is a fun little workout. I was tempted to use it as a Daily Minimum, but it works great as a stand alone on a busy day when you don’t have time for much more.

 

Pelvic Floor Connections

I do fast forward a lot of the teaching in this workout, but it still has some good exercises to remember. While Mula Bandha is my favorite pelvic floor workout, this one really breaks everything down for you if you’ve never done anything like this before. Especially great when recovering from pelvic floor rehab.
I was surprised how much doing my daily minimum felt a little silly, and yet I liked the feeling of consistency. As we approach the holidays with lots of busyness (and in our case travel and preparing to move house), the consistency of doing at least something small, the same something small most days, is very appealing.

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off of your annual membership. Check it out here.

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Why is Fit2B Worth it? The Reasons I Splurge Every Year on a Subscription to My Favorite Fitness Site

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Any of you who have been reading my blog for a while know how much I love this fitness site. I was promoting it even before they had an affiliate program. I tell people about it in the park and the grocery store. Because as a mom, it has made exercise fit into my life instead of my life having to revolve around finding time for fitness.

Why is Fit2B Different?

What makes Fit2B unique is the focus on Tummy safe fitness. Most women who have had a child (and even some who haven’t, and some men as well) can suffer from diastasis recti. Basically it’s a separation of the abdominal muscles (the rectus abdominis) and the thinning of the linea alba connective tissue. This is why sometimes women continue to look pregnant for years after having babies, and men seem to have perpetual beer guts, even if they are fit and muscular in other areas.

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Now when this happens, many traditional forms of exercise designed to whittle our middles (things like crunches and planks) can actually make diastsis recti worse! Beth Learn has been a fitness professional for years but didn’t learn about the value of Tummysafe fitness until she developed an abdominal separation herself and became educated as she went through abdominal rehabilitation. This inspired her to devote her fitness site to helping people rebuild their bodies, and to meet each member at whatever level he or she is at. There is no such thing as a one-size fit’s all approach for Fit2B.

Why is Fit2B Worth it to Me?

I’ve been a member for Fit2B for the last four years. Not by chance, but deliberately because of all the value it adds to my life.

It Makes Finding Time to Exercise Easier

For me, it’s all about the Roku channel. But I know some people prefer to use the site directly via their computers and others love the new Mobile app. I can get a workout up and running in seconds, before I have time to talk myself out of it or get interrupted by my kids. Sometimes I don’t have time to change into workout wear, or I have to run out the door and can’t get too sweaty. If it’s almost bedtime and I just want something gentle to unwind or I only have 15 minutes but I want something to get my heart pumping, Fit2B has all of that.

Fit2B Builds Us Up, Instead of  Tear Us Down

No matter how you use it, it’s refreshing to find a site that not only promotes good fitness but healthy attitudes about our bodies. Nothing about what Beth Learn does is about destruction, not your body or your will. She’s all about loving the body you’re in, even if it’s not as healthy, as fit, as skinny or as strong as you’d like. She reminds her members often to honor the journey each of our bodies has been through, even if that journey included some things that have damaged and traumatized us. She constantly redirects us back toward healing our hurts and loving our bodies. This is something I need so much. I haven’t bounced back as well as I expected after this third baby, and it’s been very discouraging. Being part of Fit2B has helped me to refocus my energy on being healthy and strong rather than obsessing about a particular number on the scale or size of clothing.

The Users Provide a Loving and Supportive Online Community

The Fit2B Member Facebook forum is a wonderful place to get encouragement and support. Beth does her best to keep this as much of a drama free zone as possible. But it is still a safe space to share your discouragements and ask questions, even difficult and personal ones. (There is no such thing as TMI when it comes to women’s health issues on the forum). I’ve seen total strangers rally around each other to support and encourage after difficult births, miscarriages, surgeries, medical diagnosis and the desperation that comes with chronic pain. I think it is one of the wonderful unsung benefits of a Fit2B membership.

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What is Premium Membership?

I want to highlight what I think is one of the best deals on Fit2B: The Premium Membership. This is a new product that has just started being offered. You get an annual membership to Fit2B and lock in the rate at $99 for future years (and your membership automatically renews so don’t have to remember to do it). That’s a big deal because while Beth and her business partners try to keep the prices low, the more they improve and add to the site (it’s already at over a 100 workouts) the more it costs to maintain. So yes, every couple of years, the price has bumped up a bit. So purchasing a Premium Membership allows you to keep renewing each year at a fixed rate (The budget friendly part of me loves this because I know how much to set aside each year to pay my membership). But it doesn’t stop there. The Premium Membership also includes access to the four most popular of the Fit2B e-courses. (Plus, once you are the member you can purchase future e-courses at a discount).

Fit2B has become a wonderful part of my life and a huge asset to my health. I hope you’ll give it a chance. There are so many more wonderful things than I could ever cover in one blog post.

 

Remember, you can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off of your annual membership. Check it out here.

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Out of My Control, But Not His Power: Five Minute Friday

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We are a month from a full house move. In the meantime, we need to keep our current house showing ready as potential tenants filter through, hoping that one of them will be the one to make this their new home. Of course the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a terrible time for this kind of thing. (As is the idea of closing on the new house and moving during New Year’s). These are not the times I would have chosen for this kind of upheaval in our lives.

(Did mention that the whole family is sick, and we have an open house tomorrow?) As I weigh the consequences (being totally out of it) with the advantages (release of severe sinus pressure) of taking cold medication, the to do list keeps piling up and all I really want to do is crawl under a blanket with a cup of something hot and a good book. But the continual calls of the small ones in my life rise above it all, needs for meals, noses wiped, diapers changed and conflicts resolved.

I realize that this is now within my power to solve. There is truly more to do than we have time for. I cannot will myself and my children healthy again. (Why does it seem that the kids are never as sick as the parents at a time like this?). After some whining about the unfairness of it all and having a mini-pity party, I must get back to work. Starting with talking myself through the basics. Get dressed, pray. Wash my face, brush my teeth, pray. For the last two months I have lifted up every aspect of this seemingly impossible journey we are on, and so far, we are still continuing, putting one metaphorical (though sometimes literal) foot in front of the other.

I have never been in control of the outcome, only how I handle the process. I haven’t always handled it well. But more often than not, I’ve been forced to recognize how much I like things to go my way, and that I must learn to make peace with the unknown and the unknowable. Because it is all known by the All Knowing One. The One who has determined my going out and my lying down. So I will lift my worries up to him, say a prayer of thanks and carry on.

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Fit2B Minimal: Building Consistent Exercise Into a High Stress Time

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The last month has been really rough at my house, especially the last two weeks. I’ve spent most of my time trying to get our house ready to show to tenants, which with three small children is no small task. Exercise has taken a complete back seat. I’ve been patching, sanding, painting, and cleaning. But with the holidays coming up I didn’t want to let this become a long term habit. So I came up with a way to keep myself on track.

Every week, I will pick a short core and short relaxing workout. If I do nothing else, each day, I will do those; my daily minimum. Whenever possible I will pair them with other short workouts. (You’ll see a lot of familiar choices from my Fit2B Quick series). While there will definitely be a lot of old favorites featured (Yes, Basic Aerobics II and III I’m talking to you), but I’m also looking forward to trying some new workouts.

Even as our family is going through a period of incredibly high stress, I want to encourage anyone else going through something similar that it’s OK to do the minimum for a while. As Kelly Dean and Beth Learn like to say, consistency beats intensity. If you only manage a few minutes of a workout before being interrupted, that’s more than you would have done otherwise. Even if all you do is a few belly breathes or neck rolls during moments of tension, it all adds up.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 2.5

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off of your annual membership. Check it out here.

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All You Need to Do is Sit

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One morning in the midst of a frenzied attempt to get out the door God spoke to me, even as I uttered the angry words “All I need you to do is sit down, now!”

Every morning I say the same thing to my kids, just sit down your breakfast is coming. Each and every morning my son opens the refrigerator, cabinets and hovers directly behind me attempting to do things himself. I reassure him, the food is coming, all I need you to do is sit down and then I promise I will make sure you have what you need.
Two weeks ago a guest speaker at our church referred to Psalm 23. He said we like the part about the green pastures, and still waters, but then you get to the part about the valley of the shadow of death. Yet, it isn’t the valley of death, it is the valley of the shadow of death, a place of fear and difficulty but not destruction or desolation. How do we know this? Because later in the same Psalm it says “He has prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
So often in my own times of difficulty I’m the small child rushing around the kitchen, making messes, trying to help myself; when I know exactly what God has told me to do. Sit down. He will prepare the table before me. He is my vengeance and my redeemer in times of injustice. He will make all things new. But I need to stop getting in my own way.
Just as I remind my children, God will remind me when to go and when to wait. But I think that sometimes we don’t like being told to sit still because we feel like we need to DO something. (Or worse, we feel like we want to appear to be busy, otherwise others might accuse us of being irresponsible or passive). But there are definitely times when the best thing we can do stop our vain rushing around and let God do his work.
He will prepare the table, we just need to sit and be ready.

Our Way of Escape from The Common: Five Minute Friday

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We hate being disappointed. It makes us feel angry, bitter, and fearful. Because met expectations give us a sense of security. We think that if we get what we want in life, it will some how protect us from bad things happening.  But this is an illusion. Firstly because we are dealing with people. People are unpredictable. We may think we know what we are getting, but rarely is this the case. Because leaders are more than the sum of their campaign promises.

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt was Common. (I’ll say right now that I’m already blowing the 5 minutes out of the water, but please bear with me anyway).

1 Corinthians 10:13 came to mind.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

(If you can find the time, I really recommend you read the whole chapter. There is much there that is encouraging in light of much that has gone on in the last week.)

No temptation will befall you except what is common to man. Meaning, what you are feeling is real, and painful but also common. It has happened before and will happen again. The temptation to despair is equally as damaging as the temptation to put our security in the wrong things. Leaders are just people. Flawed people, who will fail us. I don’t care how much you love or hate our current (or future) political leaders, they will at times disappoint and surprise you. The mistake is believing that getting what we want will make things OK. Because it won’t. There was only ever one Messiah, and his name is Jesus. But since then people of all political persuasions, especially in the United States, have made the mistake of putting our faith in systems of government.

I happen to think our system is a pretty good one, with many flaws for sure. I am grateful that I live in a nation where the transition of power can occur peacefully and safely. But the hidden danger is that I can begin to put my faith the governments process and procedures instead of God. At the same time, if my preferred political leaders don’t rise to power as I’d hoped, or do gain power and don’t do what they promised, it is easy to let my disappointment embitter me. Peace is replaced with indignation. Kindness with bitter entitlement. The reverse is also true, optimism can become arrogance, confidence turns to superiority.

I imagine that this problem is likely unique to those of us living under governments where we do have a say and influence. Those who have no security in their governments, do not put faith in a system that they have seen fail them time and time again. While I don’t desire to be in  that situation, I desire their faith and perspective.

If I claim to be a person who puts my faith in God, I cannot put my hope in political machinations. I can be involved in the process, assess the choices and make the best one I can. As a citizen of the United States I am lucky enough to be allowed a say in this process. But to say that if I don’t get my way, all hope is lost, is to say that God’s love and power can be thwarted by the choices of flawed human beings. That is not faith.

If you are still grieving what you see as a defeat, I’m sorry. Not because I owe you an apology for disagreeing with you or because I agree with the words (or actions) you are using to express your grief. But because I know what you are feeling is common to man. I have felt it too at many times in my life.

If you feel positive and optimistic, I encourage you, in the same way, to make sure you don’t put your faith in the wrong thing. We elected a president, not a king. Extend grace to the people who disagree with you. (Whether you have received the same grace in the past or not).

Because kindness, grace and love will win the day, only if we extend them to all, regardless if we agree. It is our way of escape, because God is faithful.

 

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Created for Cooperation

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I am only one person. But I get to be mom, wife, housekeeping, cook, scheduler, personal assistant and now handyman, professional packer and mover. Fortunately I am not the only one. I have a husband who puts in as much time as he can when he comes home from the office. I have wonderfully supportive parents and family who are giving me childcare and practical help. (God bless my dad for agreeing to help my husband with a last minute tiling job). I’m also lucky enough to be surrounded by friends, the kind of are willing to take my kids, even if only for a few hours, so that I can try to do some sprint packing without the constant interruptions.

We all go through periods of struggle in our lives and parenting. But we weren’t ever meant to take it on alone. We are designed for community and created for cooperation.

This 31 Day challenge didn’t not turn out like I expected, but I’m glad that I decided to attempt it anyway. It’s been a helpful way for me to work through the complicated phase of life we are in. I look forward to what next year’s challenge will hold!

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