Lauren is a 28-year old Movin’ Mama living with her husband and two children [4 year-old daughter and 2 year-old son] in Virginia (It’s for Lovers!). We asked her how she’s Living Well today…supportive gal-pals + Spinning are just a couple of her must-haves at the moment–check out the rest below!
What is your favorite form of exercise right now, and why?
My favorite form of exercise right now has to be Spinning class. I try to get to the gym at least 5 times a week, and at least 2 of those times will be for Spin. I love the motivation from the instructors combined with great music. It is a great work out. I am constantly on-the-go between preschool, dance, soccer, and swim for my little ones, and getting an amazing, heart-pumping workout in 45 minutes or less is perfect for my busy schedule.
Can you share some of your 2015 Fitness Goals?
1) I am a TERRIBLE runner! I hate running. I get bored or tired and seem to always make excuses for not running. I will do the elliptical, spin, zumba, or any other type of cardio with no complaints. One of my goals this year is to complete the “Couch to 5k” challenge. I am slowly working my endurance up! On the days I am not spinning, one can find me on the treadmill before light weights.
2) My second fitness goal this year is to eat clean. I have been trying to incorporate more fresh vegetables into my diet and lessen the amount of processed foods I consume and purchase. I have found that it not only is helping with weight loss, but also giving me more energy to work out and keep up with my kids. I am happy knowing that I am nourishing my body with better sources of energy. Luckily, my kids don’t mind and have taken to all the new recipes I have tried.
What do you love most about being a new mom so far?
I love that by being a mom, I am not only nurturing and loving my children, but moreover I am surprised by how much my children give me in return. The amount of joy and love I receive from them is priceless. This is the best journey I could ever imagine being on! Although we as mothers have some rough parenting moments, our babies make it all worth it in the end.
What has been your biggest challenge with Wellness since the birth of your last child and how are you overcoming it?
I have realized that with having children, saying something and actually doing it are completely different concepts. While I realize going to the gym 5 days a week and eating whole foods is wonderful on paper, it does not always pan out if you have a sick child or are on-the-go and do not have time to cook or prepare a healthy meal. If one of my kiddos is sick and it prevents me from getting to the gym, I try to do some light yoga, stretching or Pilates in front of my TV. (Thanks, On Demand!!) When it becomes a drive-thru type of day, I do my best to go with the lightest and healthiest options on the menu and always substitute fries for a side salad. I LOVE that the menus near me show the calories for all of the meals.
How do you typically relieve stress?
I love my children BUT, I love “Me-time” as well. I try to make it a point to get out of the house at least once a week with no kids. In that time, I will get a pedicure or meet up with a girlfriend for coffee or lunch. We as moms NEED that mental break. My husband has even noticed a difference in how it affects my mood and fully supports watching the kids during that “mental rejuvenation”. My husband works long and crazy hours and we do not live near family, so I am essentially with the kids 98.9% of the time…so this free time is essential to me. It makes me a happier wife and mother.
What is your diet like on an average day? Where would you like to improve?
I always start my day off with a giant coffee and small breakfast. I love fruit and cottage cheese or even just a protein bar or shake. For lunch, I try to have a huge salad and fill it with as many veggies and chicken as possible. I have found that I do well with a large quantity of food for lunch with low calories. I trick my brain into thinking I am eating a lot!
Dinner is usually pretty well rounded with a protein, veggie and a carb such as brown rice or potatoes. I love sweet potatoes! My downfall in my eating is all of my kids tempting and wonderfully tasting snacks, or all of their leftovers that I hate to throw away. I have to learn to stay away which is hard if you are having a stressful day. I am a stress-eater for sure!
Who do you lean on most for support when it comes to Wellness?
I have a very good group of friends where I live now. We all have the same goals as far as weight-loss and health. We go to the same gym and try to take classes together as much as our schedules allow. We have a group text with each other and let each other know when we are having amazing days as far as eating or bad days. We hold each other accountable which is vital, especially in weight loss. Since we are all on the same journey together, it is wonderful to have that support and sisterhood!
What is one piece of candid advice you’d like to share with other new moms regarding general Wellness?
Do what you can! Being a new mom is stressful and exhausting! There are so many demands from having a child that are new to us. Being a first time mom is a shock to the system, and adding more children is even harder with the “balancing act” it requires. No mom is perfect, and if getting in workouts is becoming stressful then pull in the reigns and do something that works better…like taking a relaxing walk in the sunshine with the baby. Adding stress to stress is never a good mix!