Archives for December 27, 2011

Wanna be a Hot (Sweaty) Mama? Check out this book review

Last month, Kara Thom and Laurie Kocanda, the dynamic duo behind the book Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom, visited fitknitchick to talk about balancing motherhood and the time demands of raising a family with exercise and healthy living.

They generously gave me two copies of their book, which I passed on to giveaway winners Jennifer and Melanie to help them in their fitness journeys. Jennifer was gracious enough to agree to help me out with a review of the book (as long as I don’t reveal her last name :)).

In my opinion, Jennifer is already a ‘hot sweaty mama’. She’s in her late 40’s with an active 11-year old daughter. She left her downtown career a few years ago to spend more time with home, family and volunteer projects. Exercise has always been part of her life. She ran her first marathon at 18 and continued with different forms of exercise over the years. Currently, she weight trains 3x a week (following the programs she gets from her (‘great’; her words) personal trainer; full disclosure here, Jennifer is one of my clients and a faithful reader of this blog from day one!), runs 3x a week and tries to get into an indoor cycling class when she can. Currently, she’s training for a half marathon and her main fitness goals are to lose weight (she’s recently given up a long-term relationship with Nutella) and to be fit and healthy.

fitknitchick: Do you already practice any of the five secrets to life as a fit mom? Which ones? How have they helped you become a hot sweaty mama?

Jennifer: I definitely practice some of the 5 secrets, in particular I have learned that there are no good excuses. I often hear people say I don’t have time to exercise and I have to say that most days I could say the same, we all could, but I always put it in my calendar and if I have to change it for some family reason or other commitment, I look for another time to re-schedule it, i.e. on those days when my daughter has had to stay home sick, I do it early before my husband goes to work or once he comes home. If I didn’t schedule it in and as much as possible make sure I do it earlier in the day, then I wouldn’t be hot and sweaty half as much.

fitknitchick: Were any of the secrets new to you? Which of Laurie and Kara’s tips or suggestions did you find most useful?

Jennifer:  I found the food and sleep tips and suggestions really helpful. I know those are the two areas I need to work on more – getting more sleep and being more mindful as I eat.

fitknitchick: Do you have any tips that were not mentioned in the book?

Jennifer:  I can’t recall if this was mentioned in the book or not but what helps me most is to do my workout as early in the day as I can – the later I go, the more likely I won’t get to the gym because I get into other ‘priorities’.

fitknitchick: Would you recommend this book? Who would you recommend it to?

Jennifer: This book would be gread for someone trying to get back to exercise after becoming a Mom or someone who has given up trying to find ways to fit exercise into their life since being a Mom – it could help you to realize, you can do it, others have before you and it is okay to do it [spend time on yourself]

Thanks so much for your comments Jennifer!

I have a few of my own to add, not from the perspective of a ‘hot sweaty mama’ (although I certainly hope my husband thinks I’m one!), but from the perspective of a personal trainer of ‘hot sweaty mama-wanna-bees’.

My favorite of Laurie and Kara’s secret was #1; You have to train your brain before you train your body. I’m a huge believer in the effect of psychological preparation on success.

  • Be realistic in your expectations of exercise (by itself, it won’t lead to you losing the 40 pounds you gained during your pregnancy) and more importantly, of yourself (start slow, start small).
  • Focus on non-weight loss reasons for exercising (oh the energy you’ll have!).
  • Figure out what you like to do; you’ll be much more likely to do it!
  • Think about what activities you can easily integrate into your life (if the pool’s an hour long drive away, don’t create an exercise plan based solely on swimming!).
  • Schedule exercise the way you schedule you’re annual mammogram (if it’s on the calendar, you’re less likely to skip it).

Have you read Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom?

What did you think?