Health & Fitness for Busy Moms
By Kate Horney
The fitness industry is not where it should be when it comes to resources for moms.
Mainstream media and fitness experts don’t understand how to communicate with new moms about fat-loss, nutrition and fitness. That’s why we love the Beyond Baby 12 week Postpartum Fat-loss System. Beyond Baby is based on the single most important thing to moms like you and me: postpartum fat-loss that’s easy and sustainable!
For more fit moms tips, check out my interview below with super fit and inspirational mom, Jill from Simply Lean Consulting.
Kate: For those reading the blog who might not know you, or your background, can you give us a little background on yourself—how did you get into the fitness industry, where did you begin?
Jill: I have enjoyed an active lifestyle my entire life. I grew up a “tomboy” outside playing in the dirt, and I have always enjoyed the outdoors (i.e. hiking, camping, etc.). After getting married, my activity level declined. At the time, I was still in college and working a part-time job. Once I graduated from college, I piddled with different styles of working out for many years but nothing ever “stuck.” After my 2nd son was about a year old, I decided I was tired of feeling frumpy and gaining a little bit of weight each year. I began my fitness journey at age 36 by running. Later, I added weights and did P90X with my hubby. Eventually I was ready to take my fitness to the next level, so I began to work out with a trainer using Russian kettlebells. I loved it so much that I got certified to teach myself.
During this time, I discovered there was one HUGE missing link in my journey and the fitness industry in general: NUTRITION. So many women that I came in contact with were trying to lose weight but were not getting the results they desired. I personally felt the exact same way and started reading, researching, and implementing new nutritional concepts. Results came slowly, but I was learning. I eventually sought out my own nutrition coach and learned so much about myself and how to take my fat loss results to the next level. After achieving some great fat loss results, I decided to throw my own hat into the ring and get my Hormonal Fat Loss Nutrition Certification through Metabolic Effect. I’m continuing to further my education with the ME Personal Trainer certification which I recently passed and have my sights on other certifications as well. Currently, I own Simply Lean Consulting and find great joy in helping other women in their health and fitness journey. I’m loving every minute of it and can’t wait to see what comes next for me in my personal journey!
Kate: Where do your priorities lie now? Family? Training? Both? Other? Etc. How has your focused changed over time?
Jill: Faith and family are always first in our home! I homeschool my 2 boys and hold my relationship with my husband and my children as the top priority after our spiritual needs. Of course, training is super HIGH on the list of priorities as well. I have found that an active Jill is a better Jill (i.e. better mom and wife!). If I feel good about where I’m headed on a personal level, it creates a positive aura about me. I used to never make time for myself and resented it greatly. Now, I try to find balance. I recognize that having something in my life that is rewarding for me personally (i.e. achieving fitness goals, helping other women by coaching them on how to be fit, etc.) offers me an outlet for my passion and energy. I certainly find the ultimate reward in raising my children to love God, love others, love family, and be good citizens, but I also find it rewarding to have an outlet for my personal passions.
Kate: You have obviously made fitness a priority even in your busy schedule. Was there a moment of definition where you consciously decided to go for it or was it more of a passive thing? In other words, did you make a concerted effort or did you just get lucky?
Jill: I definitely made a conscious effort! The moment of definition came at a time when I was searching for some type of exercise program to start. A local mom in the same homeschooling group started a running club. When I got the email, I decided to commit to the program. The goal was to train to run a couple of local 5ks. The group aspect offered me accountability which I’ve learned is SUPER important especially when starting out making changes. Having a goal was the initial motivation for me to keep going. From there, my husband became my workout partner. If I say so myself, we make a pretty great team! I love that we are in this together. Nothing worth having is usually easy. It took me months to form positive habits and I continue to learn and grow through concerted effort!
Kate: You have had a lot of success in staying fit while being a busy mom, especially in terms of doing what not many moms have been able to do: create your life so that health and fitness is sustainable and can fit into your limited time schedule. How would you advise the busy mom who wants to leverage their time better? What’s the first step?
Jill: I would suggest for a busy mom to write down a typical day or two and look for time slots that she could use differently or more efficiently. This could be the first step to leveraging her time better.
For me, working out when the kids are still asleep is a great strategy. This allows me to get in my workout and yet not neglect time with my two boys. Also, having some fitness equipment and weights at home allows me to workout whenever I have a few extra minutes. Those minutes could be used for 1 minute burst or blitz training or even doing 20-30 minute workouts. I have found that the early morning or even at nap time is a great time for a busy mom to fit in a short workout.
Kate: What about moms who say they cannot achieve their goals because they don’t have time?
Jill: Life is certainly busy for most people, BUT we all have the same 24 hours in a day. We do what we value and make a priority. If health and fitness is to be a priority, you have to carve out time for it. We all find ways to do what we find important. If it’s a top priority, it will happen.
Kate: For moms who are frequently exhausted and worn-out by the end of the day, how would you advise they manage their schedules/energy/time so that they have the energy/motivation to start on the path towards reaching their goals?
Jill: I would suggest prioritizing fat-loss nutrition, adequate sleep, and START the day with a short workout routine (i.e. utilize one minute burst or blitz training a few times a day. Maybe even trying to do one minute of jump squats, 1 minute of burpees, and 1 minute of squat presses on a particularly busy day.) I’ve had several clients start with this method until they could get into a nice workout schedule. They found that they quickly increased the amount of time they are able to workout. I know for me, if I wait until the end of a long day to workout, it most likely won’t happen. We are all low on energy and motivation at that point.
Having meals planned and prepped will make it easier to stay tight with fat loss goals. Having a non-negotiable bedtime (say 10:00 p.m.) will aid in exhaustion allowing a mom to get up a couple of minutes early to fit in a quick workout routine.
Kate: What is ONE THING these moms can start on today that will not overwhelm them?
Jill: Taking leisure walks. Walking is great for lowering the stress hormone cortisol. It doesn’t take much physical exertion so nearly anyone can do it. It certainly doesn’t take away from family time and can actually serve as quality family time out in nature! My kids love to go on walks with me. I get some quality time with my hubby and my kids love to ride their bikes or scooters a little ahead of us on the park trail. It’s a WIN-WIN situation.
Kate: Take us through a typical day for you. How have you “created your life?”
6:30 am – wake up, have my green tea while my husband has his coffee
6:50 am – head to the basement to workout
7:30 or 8:00 am – eat breakfast (sometimes I eat later to extend my nightly fast)
9:00 am – 2:00 pm – homeschool my boys until lunch and then a little while after lunch. By then, they are ready for some play time!
2:00 – 5:30 pm – work on chores around the house or my online business, Simply Lean Consulting, run errands, etc.
5:30 pm or so – my husband comes home and we prepare and eat dinner
6:30-8:00 pm – do our nightly chores (I fill my gallon jug full of filtered water for the next day so that it’s ready for me, clean the kitchen, pick up, put away laundry, etc.), maybe watch a little TV (rare for me), kids play and do chores
8:00 -9:00 pm – read with the kids and get them in bed at a decent time so that we ALL get our sleep in! I read some myself during this time as well.
9:45 – 10:00 pm – My hubby and I try to go to bed BY 10 pm at the latest.
Kate: How do you personally channel your energy and get focused on your goals? In other words, how do you manage “everyday stuff” getting in the way? Any hard & fast rules?
Jill: I have a mental list of rules/habits that are non-negotiable.
- I workout 5 times a weeks no matter what (unless my body is screaming at me to take an extra rest day. In that case, I listen to my body.)
- I drink a minimum of a gallon of water each day.
- I center each meal and snack around protein.
- I keep lean chicken, lean turkey, “baked” eggs (like boiled eggs), Plant Fusion protein powder, and ready to eat veggies around at all times.
Kate: Personally, what is most important to your wellbeing?
Jill: Certainly my faith in God and my relationship with Him is ultimately the most important to my wellbeing. Without that as THE top priority, I’m lost and without hope.
I also value my quiet time whether it’s in a hammock in my backyard, in a hot bath, or reading a book. I lean toward introversion and definitely enjoy recharging by having alone time. This gives me moments of reflection, goal setting, thinking, and meditation. This is SUPER important for me!
Kate: How do you maintain a positive outlook, or do you? Are there times of doubt, insecurity, fear, etc? How do you deal with them?
Jill: We ALL have doubts, insecurities, and fears at times, but this aspect of my life has been a priority for at least the last year. I’m learning to be present in each moment that life brings me, appreciate and love it (find the bright spot even in bad situations), and how to recognize negative feelings when they arise and turn them around much more quickly than I used to. I’ve had to work through several situations in my life that have made me a stronger woman and more confident (i.e. my husband came close to death early in our marriage – he’s fine now!!, my natural childbirth experiences, meeting strength goals, working through mindset issues, etc.).
I will use childbirth as an example. There is a lot of fear around birthing in our society. I decided to look fear in the face and do all I could to fully educate myself on all things childbirth. With education, the fear melted away. When the time came, I was ready to give birth without fear. I went through two very different experiences (both positive) and was so empowered by each experience. The mental aspect of childbirth was so powerful in what I was able to accomplish physically! The lesson I took away from birthing was that I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to!
I think that women who learn to empower themselves in mind, body, and/or spirit can ultimately find a way through any times of doubt. Positive and negative life experiences allow us to become stronger and stronger, and we can feed off of the growth that can happen through those experiences. I look back to my times of extreme weakness and the times that I’ve felt extremely empowered and realize that I have a whole lot of triumph in my life that I garner energy from.
Kate: What one piece of advice would you give to moms who want to take their fitness to the next level?
Jill: If you do not know what to do, hire a coach who does! There is no shame in having a coach. As a matter of fact, many awesome coaches have coaches themselves! I’ve benefited from every coach and trainer I’ve hired and every course I’ve taken. At this point, I plan to always utilize coaches and mentors in any aspects of life I find to be important! There is always more to learn and always ways to get better.
Kate: What are your top 3 daily practices to stay focused, perform at a high level and get stuff done?
1. Time management – a schedule with built in flexibility, prioritize 1-2 things that HAVE to get done each day above the normal routine, create lists, etc.
2. Daily Habits – fill my gallon jug each day, clean my kitchen each night before bed, etc. These things help my brain relax and focus.
3. Educate myself – read books and articles, take courses, utilize the expertise of a coach, etc.
Kate: Anything else you would like to add? Anything you would like to promote?
Jill: Sure, thanks.
First, your readers are welcome to check out my website, Simply Lean Consulting, for several services I offer:
- A free e-newsletter when you sign up on my website, you will receive my top NINE protein shake recipes for FREE!
- Blog posts that offer free tips for living the fat loss lifestyle, recipes, and other helpful information
- Group and Individual Coaching Services
Also, I’d love for your readers to come join me on my Simply Lean facebook page, my Pinterest page, and on Instagram!
Lastly, I’m coming on board with the Beyond Baby Team and am SUPER EXCITED about that. Any new mom who would like to learn more about Kate’s 12 week Postpartum Transformation program, check it out HERE! You will learn how to make lifestyle changes that will last Beyond Baby.