Tiffany, Week 18: 3 Ways Moms Set Themselves Up For Fitness Failure


While working on this challenge, I’ve started to reflect on some of the ways that we all hold ourselves back from success. And I plan on being a winner in the weight loss game, so I wanted to share them with you.

1. We talk about going on a “diet.”
First things first: You need to throw the word “diet” out the window. When you make a plan to lose weight or eat more healthfully, don’t think of it as a diet. It is a way of life. Not a short-term, restrictive plan. Changing the way you eat can be difficult in the beginning. But with some planning and a little preparation you can be successful. Remember this isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. You didn’t wake up 10, 15, 20+ pounds heavier overnight. So know that the weight won’t come off overnight either. It just happens as a slow progression over a period of time.

2. We don’t really commit.
Just like the rest of you, Andy and I lead busy lives. Two full time jobs, two kids, keeping a happy marriage and a house to manage. Throw in planning and preparing healthy foods, food journaling and working out and it can be mind boggling. But you have to be willing to commit at any cost to succeed at being healthy. That doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your family, but know in your mind that being unhealthy is no longer an option.

3. We let life get in the way.
“Life” is going to happen and, as I’ve said in past blogs, if you wait for the perfect moment to take hold of your health it will never occur. You have to make it happen. I know a lot of women feel guilty for taking an hour out of their day three to four times a week to work out because it’s taking them away from their kids. But kids learn from watching what their parents do. Don’t you want to teach them to take good care of themselves? Getting yourself healthy and fit is not a selfish thing it’s a selfless thing and you’re paving the way for your legacy.

How do you think moms sabotage their get-healthy dreams? Post a comment and tell me!

Andy, Week 18: The #1 Workout Lesson I Learned


You don’t need an hour-long cardio session to get fit.

That’s the biggest lesson Wes, my trainer at Gold’s Gym, has taught me. Twenty minutes of intense cardio bursts is just as good if not better since I’m shocking my body and forcing it to respond. On days I don’t do the cardio conditioning, I do weight training.

Wes has taught me four basic, strength-training exercises and twenty variations on them. Those basic movements are: the squat, bench press, overhead press and dead lift. If you can’t remember the last time you did any of those moves, it’s time to rethink your workout.

Worried that weight work will take longer than watching the counter tick down on the treadmill or elliptical trainer? Surprise: Weight training doesn’t require hours in the gym. An intense, half-hour is all that is needed. But you have to be fully present during your workout—no zoning out while watching TV on the stationary bike. The main focus is on correct form and intensity. It’s not how much you do, it’s what you do that matters.

Tiffany and I love our new, fit life and will not go back to our old ways. Sure, we’ll slip up now and then. We’re only human. But we are so aware of what our bodies need in order to thrive at peak performance and loving how good we feel, there’s not turning back.

Could you trade your straight cardio workout for conditioning? Post a comment and tell me!

Tiffany, Week 17: The #1 Workout Lesson I’ve Learned


You don’t need to kill yourself with cardio to lose fat and weight.

That’s the biggest message Lass, my trainer at Gold’s Gym, has taught me. I am lifting more weight today than I ever though I would. I’m amazed at each work out how much I can do. If you would have told me I’d be lifting heavy weights, flipping 100+ pound tractor tires and doing treadmill pushes (where I make the treadmill belt move vs. me programming it to move) I would have said your crazy!

With Lass, every workout involves strength and conditioning (Lass’ word for cardio). I leave the gym drenched in sweat and hardly able to walk due to muscle fatigue. And I love it! I went from all cardio—thinking I was really pushing myself—to really realizing what it meant to push myself and be pushed by using weights!

I’ve seen huge changes in my body (thanks to the workouts and a proper diet). There’s no way I’m going back to my all-cardio-all-the-time ways now!

Are you hesitant to try strength training? Post a comment and tell me why!

Tiffany, Week 17: How I Learned To Listen (And Talk) To My Body


In October 2010 I made a decision that changed my body, mind and spirit. I decided I was going to run the Des Moines Half Marathon, the following year, in October 2011. I’d be rising way earlier than the 8am starting time to run through the streets of downtown Des Moines farther than I’d jogged. I was headed towards a huge training commitment A) because I was going literally from no running to running 13.1 miles and B) because I was extremely overweight.

On May 8, 2011 (Mother’s Day 2011) I went for my longest training run so far. I felt great and just kept running past my goal. Unfortunately, I wound up hurting my left knee and that landed me in physical therapy all summer. I was devastated by this injury because it wasn’t part of my plan. I cried my eyes out for about 3 hours then I picked myself up and said to myself: “This is a detour. And because of this, I will become a better runner.” Rather than let myself fail, I did all of my physical therapy and I learned to listen to my body.

I want you to know that I crossed the half marathon finish line on October 2011 and got my medal. I didn’t run the entire race. Instead, I did a 10 minute run and then a 5 minute walk until the race was complete. It was very hard to train for this while being injured but I knew I had to do it! I had to prove to myself that I had it in me. Other than marrying Andy and having my kids this was one of the greatest personal achievements in my life.

Has an injury ever tried to knock you off course from a fitness goal? Post a comment and tell me!

Tiffany, Week 16: How This Challenge Changed Me


It’s been four weeks and this self-proclaimed night owl has turned her habits around. Part of this month’s challenge was to go to bed every day at the same time and wake up at the same time. At first I thought that was a joke because I work 7:30 to 4 so I’m up early, which means I’m in bed early. Well I wasn’t too happy about it but we managed. We didn’t always get to bed at the same time on the weekends and we slept in on occasion, but all in all we did a great job. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep at night was kind of tough at the beginning but once my body got used to it, I had to have it.

And all the sleep behaviors we changed had some very positive results. I have more energy to devote to Andy, the kids, work. My workouts are more intense because I have more of a drive to push through.

We still are implementing practices we developed in this challenge and will continue to do so. What I’ve learned in this sleep challenge is that sleep is essential not just to weight loss but also to a healthy life.

What would it take to get you to change your sleep habits? Post a comment and tell me!