My featured mama today on Fit Mama Friday is Lynda, the writer behind the blog Fitnessmomwinecountry. With three children, Michael, 22 years; Noah, 13 years; and Faith 11 years, Lynda and her husband of 16 years, Jeremy, are committed to raising their kids with a fit and healthy lifestyle. Lynda’s message is one of moderation and sanity – I enjoy reading her blog because she’s so devoted to her family, fitness is simply her way of life, and she lives in wine country! It’s beautiful! I love seeing Lynda’s photos of the gorgeous area she’s lucky enough to live in – and what a great setting for a blog about enjoying everything life has to offer while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
What is your fitness background, Lynda? You mention on your blog that you have had body issues in the past – can you tell me more about that?
I have struggled forever (since high school) with my body and weight issues. Okay wait, because anyone who knows me or sees me in pictures will think “yeah whatever”. I am about 5 feet 1 inch and this is on a good (heels) day. When I say I have struggled, it is because of my height. Every pound that goes on really shows and I really feel it. I think I have considered myself “fat skinny”, because I have never really been super toned and muscled out, but thin yet still soft around the edges. Does that makes sense? My thighs have always been my nemesis so to speak. I have huge issues with them. Still do at age 46.
Prior to kids (my first was at age 24) I was very active, running, roller blading (yes it was in then!) some water skiing, snow skier (learning to ski at the age of 3 and growing up in South Lake Tahoe made that a perfect sport), gym rat (oh boy was I ever).
Having body and weight issues, what were your pregnancies like for you? Did you stay active while you were pregnant?
When I was pregnant with my oldest, Michael, I was living in Laguna Beach and had the most perfect setting for running and staying active. Everyone in that area was “perfect”. So while preggers, I was either running along the ocean, the golf course or on the treadmill at the gym. I was determined to be a fit pregnant mom and was even riding a bike into my eighth month. I felt amazing.
When pregnant with the second, Noah, and the third, Faith, I was here in Sonoma and just really focused on eating (I enjoyed my cravings) but was also walking and and working out with some small weights. The two of them were so close together, just 18 months apart, so I was not as “fit” during that time. Once Faith came along I did take on Pilates as my new workout and really loved the way my body was getting back into shape. Great for losing the baby tummy, by the way.
You’re obviously in amazing shape now – what’s your current fitness routine like?
My current exercise routine? Outdoor Boot Camp! I go to Napa Boot Camp, I have been doing it for a year and LOVE it. So many reasons why – we are outside even all through the winter (unless it rains) and the sky in the early morning is so fresh and crisp during fall and this time of year, cold yes but layering is what is key. The boot camp classes I take are run by amazing people, they are super supportive, have great energy, are patient, kind and have a good sense of humor (I know this, because they put up with my constant questions!) as well as perky personalities. I was afraid of boot camp, because most of the time you think “super hard core” but honestly it is my staple. It holds me accountable, and works every part of the body.
Running is another fit routine I do as I am still trying to get that darn half marathon goal met. Uggghhh….One day!
So, living in wine country, you’re surrounded by good food and wine – what are your diet and eating habits like? Do you allow yourself to indulge?
My “diet” prior to my pregnancies – actually, I hate the word diet, so let me say my eating lifestyle was mostly healthy, however I was younger and my metabolism was faster then, so I was able to enjoy more “comforting foods” and desserts, things like that. I have never really been a red meat eater, but I used to enjoy a good burger. Since pregnancy and getting older and wiser about foods, now I am all about the healthiest and freshest way to eat. I incorporate fresh prepared meals as much as I can in our home. There is NO fast food in this family. We don’t stop at drive thrus, we don’t do soda. Red meat is not a staple in this house, we stick with chicken and fish along with veggies and grains.
Our children have become used to this lifestyle and really enjoy it. I am able to pack lunches every day because I shop smart and have the staples I need to give them those healthy lunches. I am not some mean mom who won’t buy chips or a chocolate treat or even ice cream -we do, but I’m just really teaching the kids that food and nutrition is key for them and their future; to stay strong, healthy and have the energy they need to get through their daily activities; to be able to fuel their bodies the appropriate way.
What about your workouts? Have they become part of your lifestyle now as well? Is it easy for you to fit into your schedule?
Definitely! I work out because it is just like waking, breathing, eating, showering. It is a part of my daily lifestyle. It is something that makes me feel strong, happy, energetic. It helps my metabolism, it makes me feel like a “bad ass” mom when I complete a great run, obstacle, or hard workout. I love how I fit in my clothes, I love how working out gets the blood flowing and the endorphins going. Being a stay home mom and full time blogger, I need that break and exercise to maintain my body. I love food and love getting in the kitchen with my hubby and creating amazing meals and know that I can enjoy food and wine, living in the center of wine country, because I do workout.
My workout schedule is pretty easy and/or boring. I go to boot camp class five days a week (three of those days are at 9:00 a.m. and two of them are at 5:30 a.m.). I actually video blogged an entire four week session last month on my You Tube Channel in order to hold myself accountable every day and it was a success. I go back and forth with my running, as I am really focused at times and out there a few days a week OR I fall of the wagon and find myself having to start over again from mile one.
Now, as well as blogging, you also organize and host wellness retreats, right? Tell me more about those.
Yes, I offer ‘Wellness Day’ events for groups of 6 or more. The group can select one or more healthy activities – yoga, hiking, or boot camp – as well as having an organic meal prepared by a local chef and of course we offer wines from our local area! They are so much fun and I’ve had some awesome feedback on them. If people need help finding accommodation in the area, I can help with that as well!
It’s great that you really take advantage of your environment and offer such a fun service! Now, apart from pushing yourself through running occasionally, what challenges do you face to keep up with your fitness routine?
The challenges I face are just to get up and go to class. To keep holding myself accountable. Like everyone else out there, I have been on the roller coaster of workouts, you know the ‘on a roll’ and then off. Yeah, that is not fun. So just REALLY making it a priority each day is key. We have 24 hours in a day, and if we have time to facebook, etc, we have time to workout!
What is being a fit mama like for you?
Being a “fit” mom has been a bonus. I am able to take the family out on amazing hikes, I am able to run 5K’s with my daughter. I can keep up with my kids and just play. I think being an active mom is being a good role model for them. They appreciate me and what I stand for. I know this because they have mentioned the difference in having an active/fit mom compared to others they know who don’t have that. They like having this kind of mom.
Our daughter Faith turned 11 this past year and the theme for her party this year was “fitness”. Each girl showed up in workout comfy clothes and sneakers. We had hula hoops, jump ropes and sidewalk chalk. We headed out for a one-mile hike and then had fitness activities. The sidewalk chalk was used for drawing boxes and shapes and making up movement games. We had a ton of water and then dinner when we got back home. I remember some of the girls telling me while we were hiking that they wished their families and moms would do this kind of stuff with them. I had mixed emotions about that. I was very happy that I incorporated fitness into their evening, yet sad that we as parents need to stop and take time out to be more active with our families.
That’s such a wonderful idea for a party, but I totally understand your mixed emotions at the girls’ reactions. Your healthy lifestyle has obviously rubbed off on your family. What new goals do you have coming up – ready to tackle that half marathon, maybe?
Has my healthy lifestyle rubbed off on my family? You think? 😉
My next up-coming “goal” is to get through the Warrior Dash at the end of this month. I have done Color Runs and Mud Runs, but this is my first with both men and women and a bit more “hard core”. This will be the prelude to possibly a Spartan, or Ragnar next year. I can only hope and keep motivated.