2014 Goals

Many people made New Years resolutions on Jan 1st.  I have done that in the past.  I start off strong then by Valentine’s day I have given up or completely forgot about them.  That is not surprising since a resolution is usually too vague.  Something like “I am going to lose weight.”   That is a great idea but there is no plan and no deadline.  That for me leaves room for failure.  This year I am doing something different.  I am setting goals.   I have a specific direction with check points along the way to ensure I reach my goal.

I like to set new goal each quarter.  That way I am  making changes more than once a year.  This quarter I am concentrating on two areas, Fitness and Finance.  My fitness goal is to complete Les Mills Combat.  This program is 60 days of mixed martial arts inspired workouts.  I have three boys currently enrolled in karate so it comes as no surprise that I wanted to try this program.  I have completed my first week.  It is definitely taking me out of my comfort zone but I am loving it.  In addition to Combat I am also participating in a 10,000 push-up challenge.  100 push-ups a day for 100 days.  I have completed 1600 push-ups this month.  My arms are sore but I feel strong!  Last year, I got off track with my fitness.  I was working out occasionally but didn’t have a clear focus.  Now I have challenge groups set up which help motivate me to work harder.

My finance goal this quarter is to pay off two credit cards.  Last September, my husband and I attended a 9 week Financial Peace University course.  We took this class in 2001  when we were first married.  But after four kids, and 12 years of marriage our finances had changed.  I am so glad that we took the time to retake this course.  Although the  steps were exactly the same I learned more this time around.  Funny how that works.  Even though I had been using a budget the last 12 years my husband and I were not on the same page.  This class really helped us get back on track.  It really helped us see how we were wasting money.   We realized changes were necessary.   For instance, we paid off debt 12 years ago but started using credit cards again.  We were falling back into old habits.  It was time to break them.   We have already made progress and the goal is to have both cards paid off by the end of March.

These goals won’t be easy but I am committed to reaching the finish line.

Taking care of Mom

As a mother of four my days get busy.  Rarely do I have a free moment.  There are meals to prepare, a house to clean, laundry to fold, and homework to check.  Then we add in the time I spend driving them to school, karate, and other social events.  I don’t want to sound like I am complaining because honestly I am so thankful that I am able to stay at home with my children.  I know they will grow up too fast and that I will miss all these busy moments.  However, the last few months I have come to realize that in order to take good care of my family I also need to take care of me.

For the past few months I have been putting my exercise routine on the back burner.  I have been working out a few times a week when I had time but I wasn’t making it a priority.  Like most moms do, I felt it was more important to tend to my family’s needs and I would just work out whenever I had time.  Then I noticed that I was overly tired and gaining  weight which  made me cranky.  Let’s face it when Mom is cranky  the whole house suffers.

Its time for a change.  I need to remember its okay to take care of me!  The first item on my to-do list is now exercise.  After I drop my older kids at the bus stop of course.  I  immediately put on my workout clothes when I wake up so there are no excuses.  Once breakfast is done and the kids are off to school my younger kids know I am going to take 30 -60 minutes to exercise.  Right now I am doing a 30 day arm challenge and the Combat program by Les Mills.  Sometimes my kids join in other times they color quietly or play in their room.  But the result is I feel better and have more energy throughout the day.  The bonus is my kids are watching me create healthy habits.

If you are interesting in joining a 30 day challenge or looking for accountability let me know in the comments.   We would love for you to join our group.  It is nice to have a group to encourage one another and stay motivated.  It makes such a big difference. What are you waiting for?  Make health and fitness a priority. I promise you won’t regret it.

Commitment to good health…a child’s view

Two years ago I made the decision to become a Beachbody coach.  After having four children I had gotten out of shape.  Since I am now in my 30’s it is not so easy to just bounce back.  I knew I had to work for it.  In order to succeed with my fitness goals I had to get the whole family on board to help keep me accountable.  Obviously we changed our eating habits but more importantly we had to get the kids excited about fitness.   My children are still pretty young so I often wonder what they are thinking about Mom’s health and fitness goals.  Do they think it is important for them or just for grown-ups?

Recently my son was required to complete 6 essay questions in order to test for his black belt.  One of the essay questions was about commitment to good health.  Below is his response:

What is your commitment to good health?

I will commit to good health, by exercising once a day and eating healthy foods.  Eating right is important because I will not be able to work my body as hard if I each a lot of junk food before I exercise.  Exercising is important so my body can do the things I need it to do when I am doing sports and martial arts.  Right now I am doing a push-up challenge with my family and I am trying to get up to 100 push-ups at one time.  Also, sleeping when you are tired not stay up late.  I am not able to run as far or do as many exercises when I have not gotten enough sleep the night before.   Also if we don’t get healthy we can’t do that many things and we will get fat.

I have a commitment to my health by staying in martial arts and playing as many sports as I can.  I am playing flag football right now and will try out for Pop Warner in September.  I do not want to get out of shape.

My son is only 8 years old but you are never too young to start good habits.  Eating right, daily exercise, and plenty of sleep is a great combination for a healthy lifestyle.  Nice to know he is on the right track.

Determination

Four years ago my oldest son started tae kwon do.  He joined the Little Dragon program and loved every minute of it.  After about a year he decided to join the black belt club.   Enrolling in the black belt club meant that he was making a  3 year committment to tae kwon do.  If he kept up with classes and worked hard he would be eligible to test for his black belt.  When he signed up he was only 5 years old.  Part of me was unsure if he really understand the committment he was making.  He attend class 3-4 times a week.  Once a month he participated in seminars.  He attended karate camps during the summer to help master skills in order to advance to the next belt.  He never seemed to get tired of karate.

Over the  years I noticed how much karate helped him grow.  It was amazing to me how focused he became.  He started setting goals and working hard.  He gained so much confidence.  He began assisting in the lower ranking belt classes.  He tried out for the school talent show.  He scored high on this oral book report at school. I truly believe that he was able to do all of these things because of the discipline he learned in karate.

At the end of March we found out that he was in fact eligible to test for black belt.  This is where the hard part really begins.  All black belt candidates are required to spend 6 weeks conditioning.  This is where they weed out the people who are not serious.  In addition to the black belt curriculum they are required to do running , sit-ups, and push-ups.  Each week the instructors are expecting to see improvements.  The first conditioning session my son actually threw up he worked so hard.   But my son politely asked to be excused, then got sick in the restroom.  He  came right back out and told the instructors he was good to go.  He picked up right where he left off.  Quitting was not an option for him.  At the end of class several parents came up to me and mentioned how impressed they were with my son.  He wasn’t the faster runner that day and he made a few mistakes on the forms but they were impressed with his determination.  I have to admit I was inspired by him too.  He earned my respect that morning and in the following weeks as we have found out that he passed his conditioning training and is invited to test this Saturday.

My son just turned 8.  He will be one of the youngest from our studio to test for black belt.  He is already encouraging his younger brothers.  I can only hope that they will be determined to follow in his footsteps.

A little family competition makes you stronger

A few days ago a friend posted on facebook,  “I don’t have time to work out” is the adult version of “The dog ate my homework”.  This made me laugh but hit home at the same time.  With 4 kids I could try to use that excuse every day.  In order to fit exercise into our busy schedule I just have to get creative.

I usually workout in the mornings but lately extra curricular activities with the kids have interrupted my schedule.  I found it so easy to just skip my exercise instead of making it up.  If I try to work out in the evenings then the kids are upset because we don’t have a family game night or watch a family movie.  I have come up with a solution that was  inspired by Ms. Marvel Project.

The Frank family is now participating in the 100 push up challenge.  At the end of 7 weeks we all should be able to do 100 consecutive push ups.  Right now that seems impossible but I am determined!  The program requires you to do push ups 3 days a week and it gives details for 6 different fitness levels.  During the initial test I could only completed 12 push ups.  Each workout consists of 5 sets, with the last set being as many consecutive push ups as you can manage.

Of course since we are doing this as a family there is some serious competition going on.  My 5 year old and 8 year old are always trying to one up each other which I totally expected.  My husband is determined to do more than both of them combined.  It is very funny to watch my 2 year old and 16 month old attempt push ups and they just smile when you cheer them on.

The challenge is great for several reasons.  The two oldest boys participate in karate.  They are required to do push ups in class so this is good practice for them.  My oldest actually begins conditioning for his black belt next month so this is motivation to work harder. Spring break is right around the corner and we are planning a family vacation.  I was wondering how I would fit in some workouts while traveling.  Looks  like that won’t be a problem since we can do the push up challenge wherever we go.

In case you were wondering we are not tracking the number of push ups for the two youngest family members.  Below is the number of consecutive push ups completed at the end of week 1 day 2.  Please don’t laugh when you see that my boys can do more push ups than me.

Hubby- 50

8 yr old-42

5 yr old-22

Me-19

We interrupt this blog

I have attempted many times this month to write a new post. Somehow here it is the last day of January and 3 weeks since my last post. At the beginning of the month I made a list of goals for the year. The good news is I have been working hard on those goals all month. However, that is also the reason I haven’t posted in 3 weeks. Some of you might remember that a big goal for my son, Owen, was to be potty trained. I am happy to announce that he is very close to reaching that milestone. But you can also imagine that about every ten minutes I must stop whatever I am doing to take him to the bathroom. I am definitely not complaining as it will be nice to only have one child in diapers.

Before I would do a lot of catching up on cleaning, laundry, or blogging on the weekends. But another goal I set for myself was to catch up on scrapbooking. My husband has been kind enough to let me have at least two hours every Saturday to lock myself in a room with my glue, scissors, paper, stickers, and hundreds of pictures. Since I am about 2 1/2 years behind this is going to be a long process. I have really enjoyed the two hours of quiet time. I find it so relaxing to organize the pictures and relive the memories. This weekend not only did I get quite a few pages completed but I also found some motivation for my fitness goals. Nothing like seeing a picture of yourself 30 lbs heavier to encourage you to work out. I have never been a fan of the scale since there are so many variables. But after scrapbooking the picture below I knew I wouldn’t have a problem completing my work outs this week! The first picture was taken the summer of 2009 a few months after my 3 child was born. I was heavier than I had even been and was just starting P90X. The second picture was taken last fall almost a year after my 4th child.  Now that I am on the right track towards my goals I just need to figure out how to add another 4 more hours to the day so I have time for everything.

 

Rockin’ Body

I love this time of year with all the christmas decorations, music and family traditions.    However, with all the christmas festivities,  I find it harder to keep up with my regular work out schedule.  So for the month of December I am going to change-up my routine and have a little fun.   All those homemade holiday goodies can be hard to resist so I am hoping these fun workouts from Shaun T’s Rockin’  Body program will help me burn some extra calories. 

 I have always wanted to learn how to dance.  But I have always been too embarrassed because  I have two left feet.    Well, Rockin’ Body feels more like a dance party than a work out.  I didn’t even realize that 45 minutes had passed.  The first few days were a little challenging as I tried to learn the choreography.  If anybody could see in my front window I am sure they would laugh at me.   But now 7 days into the program I am feeling more confident.   This morning I felt like I was doing awesome. I thought for sure the judges on Dancing with the Stars would give me at least an 8 for effort and musicality.  Then my 4-year-old walked into the room and says ” Mom, that’s not even close to what Shaun T is doing.”  Gotta love kids honesty.  They have a way of bringing you back to reality.  Oh well, at least I am having fun and burned some serious calories!

 

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